Title - Diary of a Loner
Artist - Reo Cragun
Reo Cragun is surely one of the most prolific young rap artists in the game today. Releasing his third album since 2017, and his second since 2020, Cragun not only helps to redefine the new listenerís sensibility of what rap and hip-hop can be, but also strikes a blow to toxic masculinity with Diary of a Loner.
While the Apple Music categorization of Reo Cragunís music is rap, the title track leans more toward a sort of R&B, with melodic vocals. There is a certain wistfulness to the lyrics as Cragun dives deep into the sort of things that make him who he is, for better or worse: ďI celebrate my mom and auntie on Fatherís Day/I used to pray to God that I would pop off/When this s*** drop, Iím sending them on holidayÖĒ The songís chorus is even more telling: This is the diary of a loner/ It is this wistfulness and more importantly ó this honesty ó that sets this record apart from most other rap records Iíve heard.
1. Diary of a Loner
2. My Life
5. Light Show (ft. Kid Ink)
6. Just My Luck
7. Like It or Not (ft. Johan Lenox)
8. Truer Vibes
9. Crazy4U (ft. Marian Hill)
10. Hundred Million (ft. Clear Eyes)
12. Mile High
Just My Luck is more discernible than other raps Iíve heard, backed with strong electronic beats and more of this startlingly honest disclosure of Cragunís mental health struggles. These admissions are so stark that, halfway through the track, I found myself wishing that Reo Cragun would find the support system his music sounds like he needs, if he hasnít done so already.
Stylistically, Mile High is the standout track. The soft piano and the faraway vocals before the beat drops are everything, and if there was nothing else but those, I would have been more than happy. Alas, that beauty soon dissipated and the regular rap came in. Bummer.
One of the strengths of Cragunís album is that there are several guest stars, none of which do it quite as well as Marian Hill on Crazy4U. But this track isnít without its pitfalls, too; while Cragun and Hill sound marvelous together, there is a touch too much vocal layering. Itís very easy to get lost trying to parse out every part.
While Diary of a Loner is a worthy listen overall, I would be remiss if I did not exercise a word of caution: Several are the occasions in which Cragun drops the n-word in the middle of a bar, so if you are not one of the people who could sing along with that particular lyric in good conscience, perhaps make sure you donít.
Otherwise, this is a record that will untie both rap aficionados and new listeners under the banner of Reo Cragun Fans.
Review by: Ashley J Cicotte
Reo Cragunís Diary of a Loner is available on all major music streaming platforms.
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