Mr. Reaper is a furiously talented new hip-hop artist from Woodbridge, VA, who sounds like an absolute rap legend – or rather, someone who has been shaping soundscapes longer than anyone else in rap, creating complex, layered sonic contexts for his deep-thinking narratives. If you’re just looking for some beat and rhymes that you can nod your head to, his songs could work just fine. But it’s designed to do so much more than that. Each song he writes, is linked to an intense theme, which Mr. Reaper dissects and attempts to reckon with, in total honesty and integrity.

Our initial meeting with Mr. Reaper’s music occurred with the single the single, “Thru The Light”, released on July 4th 2020. “The light portrays mental and self-growth. An evolution or a rebirth in my character,” explained Mr. Reaper, continuing: “The light side is mainly seen in a positive aspect. It teaches us the ability to heal and improve ourselves and situations. When we have that epiphany, we are ‘thru the light’. We understand what needs to be done to improve our outcome and then we take action on it.”

Next we encountered the single “Down The Road”, which Mr. Reaper himself described as a song that “focuses on fighting a losing battle called life and embracing it with the passion of living life to appreciate it’s worth.” Mr. Reaper’s verses treaded with integrity as they went from blunt confessions, to references of the human experience, on how to do better in this life that constantly feels like a losing battle.

Now Mr. Reaper takes his study of analogies and contradictions one step further on “Thru The Dark”, the brand new single, which is the direct antithesis of “Thru The Light”. “The song paints a picture about a side that displays unwanted vibes, aggression, and loneliness,” explains Mr. Reaper. Thru The Dark displays having no fear, no emotions and being your own enemy as well.” Both songs will form part of an upcoming EP.

As complex and challenging as Mr. Reaper’s narratives sometimes seem to be, one thing makes him positively traditional: he takes the art of rapping seriously. You get the feeling that Mr. Reaper’s knowledge of his medium is key to his ability to produce a well-rounded listen. “Thru The Dark” is incessant and purposeful in its momentum. The track pushes Mr. Reaper’s flow, to mimic the extremity that’s in his words.

When you look at the rap landscape, there’s no-one quite like Mr. Reaper’s. Whether it’s his voice or his lyrics. He’s an artist who defies all traditional hip-hop tropes and expectations. Most importantly, he wants to make music that has a lasting impact. Rather than churn out dime-a-dozen party anthems, he is unafraid to sit down and really focus. Creativity and consciousness over ambition, seems to be Mr. Reaper’s motto.

Treading his own path has led him to create records that have the potential to last and not fade away. “Thru The Dark” once again shows that Mr. Reaper is a rapper who pushes things further, digging deep into his experiences and themes.

Rich, deep, full of wit, rapid fire lyrics and a fantastically lavish production, “Thru The Dark” really captures an unusual trip, where not everything dark is negative. In fact darkness often is a necessary aspect in balancing the yin and yang of life’s experiences. “Thru The Dark” offers pretty persuasive proof that, in terms of rapping pedigree, there aren’t many better than Mr. Reaper at this point.