What happens when a small town gets a big voice? When a small city feels, sees, speaks the truth. When it touches wisdom and puts the exact heartbeat to it. That’s what this album does.
Reggie Lowe who now goes by the name of R9LO found his love for spoken word, reading, and music. His poetic and musical journey cannot leave anybody indifferent; he kept his books and ideas with him – from middle school to the back of his dad’s van, and from a 2-hour train to college and back, to the homeless shelter and even when he got arrested.
And yet, you won’t find anger, distrust, or compounding the system. He knows the system you make is far more important than the system you’re born into. It’s what you breathe into and stay alive for that really matters. If ever there was an album that touched the human condition – beyond feelings of lust and rage – this would get that nod from me. Upon instant listening, it humbled me like grace and held me like only that true lover ever could.
Lowe’s father always pressures him about doing HVAC and was never supportive of his passion towards poetry and music; so he had to make one of the toughest choices when he eventually got kicked out of the house: stand up for what he loves or become “somebody else”. Thus, R9LO started over in a homeless shelter, (he was a resident volunteer at Peachtree and Pine shelter) working to support himself to actually be able to finish college.
None of these events discouraged R9LO, not even when he got trapped in jail for making some bad choices. Some of Reggie’s best work actually comes from this period of time, since he then created a motto for himself that can be seen throughout his creative work: a man only fails when he gives up. Your mission is to be a true player and stay true at what you do or say, being true to your heart and passion. While staying true to one another will actually change the world.
Bam! Now that’s someone you can talk about the meaning of life with. By far from a guru, and yet a keen observer of his own human soul, this music cuts more deep that blood, violence, and self-hate ever could.
And sure, there’s a God in here. Suspend your religion for just a second. This is no sermon. You are not judged or found wanting. There’s nothing to preach here. Just consciousness. With a piano. And the kinda picturesque musicality and lyricality that any and every song on this album deserves to be danced.
This is where people like Trevor Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Tyce Diorio, and Mia Micheals better be paying attention (#SoYouThinkYouCanDance) because narratives like this hold no genre or limitations. They just are. And stories these real, are our stories too.
To all our unworthy parts, imprisoned parts, unloved parts, and abandoned parts. To all the parts who knew they didn’t belong, who fight for your own cause/ art/essence in a matrix that tells us to shut up and ship out our own soul.
5 little tracks.
And songs that just have to be heard. I’m sorry, like it, don’t. Get out of your own way. Suspend your judgement. L.I.S.T.E.N.
It’s the greatest gift you give can yourself today.
That and forwarding this onto your crew at #SoYouThinkYouCanDance