It has been ten years since Reg Mason started rapping with friends and producing his own music, and he still has a lot to say. The New Jersey artist wants the world to know that not only is he going to tell his own story in his songs, but his home state also has a voice and a story to be shared. Reg has used his lyrical and wordplay skills on previous releases like “CHECKERBOARD!” AND “STÉ” to expand the narrative, all while inviting others to be a part of the experience. On August 2, he will be releasing his debut album, TESTDRIVE, which will surely bring new fans along for the ride. His last single before the album’s release, “HANDSHAKES’,” takes a closer look at all he has been through in his career, acknowledging the friends and the enemies he has made along the way.
On “HANDSHAKES,” Reg uses the sound of old-school hip-hop to tap into his coming-of-age as an artist. Pairing his endless flow with soulful horn riffs and bringing fellow New Jersey rapper GINI into the mix, Reg creates snapshots of his teenage years in Union, New Jersey, trying to make it as an artist. The minimal use of beats and textures drives home the main message of the track, “Ain’t no hearts in this industry, it’s handshakes.” You can check it out in the video below, which was filmed at Reg’s uncle’s house in New Jersey. This house was a big part of his life, as it was the place where Reg discovered his love for music.
About “HANDSHAKES’,” Reg explains,
“We would walk up and down our main street outside of our high school on Burnett Avenue and rap for hours. ‘HANDSHAKES’’ is a recreation of the excitement and creativity that fueled us to rap as kids. The beat reminded me of childhood bliss, so the lyrics practically crawled out of me and took on a life of their own. ‘HANDSHAKES’’ allowed me to reflect on the years I’ve spent creating my own world within my music, including the growing pains and the pushback that came with it.”
You can listen to “HANDSHAKES’” on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
Pre-save TESTDRIVE here.