A 1-Listen Review Of A-Reece’s Latest EP ‘Deadlines: Free P2’

a strong prequel to the highly anticipated sequel of his revered debut album

A-Reece is far from what you would call an average rapper. Being a veteran in the industry and growing in the footsteps of rap royalty Jay Jody, he has honed his craft by writing witty lyrics and serving antithesis punchlines. Over the last decade, A-Reece has left an imprint on Hip-Hop books: winning lyricist of the year in 2019 at the South Africa Hip Hop Awards and releasing commemorable projects. 

Despite Soundcloud being pejorative, A-Reece utilises the platform to drop singles that have allowed him to diversify his sound—developing into fully elaborative flows, dense rhyme schemes, and occasionally veering off from hardcore hip-hop to the romantic veil of R&B. Releasing his sixth full-length project in April: The Burning Tree that received massive success, the prolific rapper has been on a roll promoting his singles and featuring in collaborations. 

Releasing the prelude to ‘And I’m Only 21’, the Revenge Club Records co-founder has always kept a tradition of releasing projects on 21 October. In August, he teased his fans with a tweet hinting at the release of a new project. Today, his latest footstep is the release of his newest EP ‘Deadlines: Free P2.’ The EP packs a stellar line-up while all the songs are less than a year old: meaning this is new A-Reece. His previous mixtape ‘Today’s Tragedy, Tomorrow’s Memory was a jubilant masterpiece, so my expectations are high. Let’s get into the music.


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The project kicks off with an ominous opening. The percussive beat is an A-Reece signature. As usual, his knack for storytelling shines through the song. This whole song is a compilation of ice-cold bars from the start. He even takes a moment to remind you his mixtape was nominated for the 2021 South African Hip Hop Award while reminding his day ones about leaving his Ambitiouz entertainment: “came out the label, thought I wouldn’t make it.” This song is too good and it’s just the intro!


With the evocative horns and the bouncy backdrop, the aura here reminds me of a Nipsey Hussle song, and the Quentin Miller collaboration is nothing short of exquisite. The two artists complement each other’s verses giving a solid delivery. The message and production of this song are on par. The beat is nostalgic and sad while the artists talk about betrayal from friends and messing up in life.


Before I even play this song, I can’t fail to emphasize, an A-Reece and Marcus Harvey collaboration is one of the wonders of SA rap. (see: “Dreams”.) This beat is sitting between Soul and Hip-Hop. We are seeing a softer side of A-Reece as he is vulnerable while confessing to his muse. You don’t need to be a hip-hop head to listen to this song.  I love this song mainly because he’s worshipping his lady, not the predictable misogyny in rap songs. This is going to be a fan favourite among ladies.


The torch bearers of the SA New music generation in one song, this is going to be good and you can immediately tell from the beat switch. I have so many questions in my mind in less than ten seconds. This song is so beautiful. The background harmony, the Amapiano beat, and the rhythmic flow is angelic. I don’t know how they managed to roll hip hop on Amapiano but this is giving eargasms. The artists know when to switch to their native language making it sound like a product from South Africa. I want to listen to this song in a red room on the dancefloor with my friends.


The guitar strings make the song sound like an Indie track. With a fast-paced rapping over looping piano keys, this feels like a song you’ll enjoy with your crush or a lover.


Now, this is a legendary collaboration. It’s two demigods on one song and as sure as hell this is not disappointing, even the title is cool. Starting off with a sample questioning religion, the song focuses on reflection and their growth as artists: “back when I had to develop a niche, perfoming on stage for free”.  Appreciating their energy and everyone around them this song is different as they acknowledge their growth.


The outro is slower and more composed, signifying the closing of the album. Signifying his role in music is not for entertainment but mainly to pass a message “when God made me he created a leader/been a legend since the day of a fetus.” This line reminds me of Wu Tang’s leader RZA when speaking about his music.


Deadlines: Free P2’  is nothing short of what I expected. It’s alluring and sentimental while still being hardcore and braggadocious. The songs unfold like a collage as A-Reece takes you through various sound-beds and is joined by a diverse, stunning line-up of supporting acts. The project’s curation is meticulous as it opens and closes with A-Reece’s acknowledgment of being one of the best in Hip Hop, with some healthy amount of experimentation folded between the opener and closer.

The balance of the songs, from Amapiano-infused and R&B-tinged cuts to the new school boom bap he’s mastered over the years, tells you A-Reece is adept at servicing his the day ones who know his niche and also willing to create for fans who will discover him. This project is a perfect set-up for the rapper’s highly anticipated ‘P2’, the sequel to his revered debut album, ‘Paradise’. It’s a statement to expect the familiar and the unfamiliar going forward. All in All, A-Reece is a fountain of talent and, while ‘Deadlines: Free P2’ is not a high profile release, this brief project shows that the rapper is always sure to put his best foot forward.

Listen to Deadlines: Free P2’ here.