Exclusive Artist Review: Black Reign 1 – “12 O’Clock Boys” LP

Baltimore has been well known for its influence and prominence among the inner city music scenes surrounding the prospects of rising artists in a different yet strong underground Hip Hop sector. Many major key players of the game have risen from the very bottom and its this exact concept that got rising rapper Black Reign Dat 1 to begin hitting the ground running. And after manifesting into a cohesive and versatile artist over the years with several releases under his belt, his best work to date without a doubt is his fresh new record 12 O’Clock Boys, an 11-track record of solid bangers with a sense of versatility that truly sets it apart from your every day contemporary Hip Hop release. This album comes out swinging and cruises throughout the record’s duration with its insatiable appetite for energy, perception, precision and thought-provoking, clever lyrical outbursts. BRD1 demands your undivided attention on this record and it’s very apparent from the very first track.

Album opener “Big Pressure” has a hauntingly ominous beat with a symphonic edge that really conjures up an ambient atmosphere that is both dark and effective in its execution. BRD1’s solid and strongly projected bars parallel the beat factors just about perfectly with the atmospheric tone that’s been set since the first measure. This is a track that’s not only a strong open, but a track that will immediately have you invested into what comes next. “Big Pressure” truly demands your undivided attention.

Another notable banger on this record is “Dead Rapper”, a multilayered song with an array of multifaceted features, instruments and effective implementations to really compliment BRD1’s vocal delivery. His vocal performance and production value is diligently paralleled from start to finish. It’s a big song that has been given the very fine tune treatment, serving up an anthemic number that is not only fulfilling, but altogether unforgettable.

One more track worth noting is the more upbeat and in-your-face “Top Tier”, a song that definitely does its title complete justice. This self-reflective number delivers a strong message of determination, unwavering ambition and never quitting knowing that you can reach the top of the game with enough of the hard work and grinding leading you there. The inevitability, that is. This banger also demonstrates that when it comes to writings, concepts, prospects and perspectives, BRD1 knows who he is, what he is and how he’s going to implement it musically. His signature style garners several nostalgic old school elements, but it’s with his mix of today’s more futuristic, innovative and modern sensibility that sets his craft completely aside as a complete standout of its calibre – and 12 O’Clock Boys is a clear demonstration of exactly that. Hip Hop fans of any era will absolutely dig this record. Easily one of 2023’s best Hip Hop releases, and we’re eager to hear what BRD1 has in store in the very near future as the year plays out.

Listen to the album:

•Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7kEInKAc8eNHxN2eIVrAGu?si=mQhVnTW5RMKDvxsK-TOB3w

•YouTube: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lMY74Tm8-pprrfnJUMRTRLyXHOzLOSx2A

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