Style: Hip-hop meets pop

Top tracks: "Antidote," "Wish That," "I Know"

In a nutshell: tobyMac protégé B. Reith is a study in contradictions. On his first full-length release detailing issues of love, self-esteem and moving past tough circumstances, the Wisconsin native alternates between the hyperactive hip-hop of KJ-52 and the flowing pop stylings of Jason Mraz. Though it's clear the artist sees himself as both emcee and soulful singer, it's dizzying to reconcile the beautiful, nuanced vocals one second ("Antidote") with fast-paced rhymes filled with pop-culture dialect ("The Comeback Kid") the next. Reith's singing tracks are extraordinary, but critics are right to predict his dual craft will slip through genre cracks. That hardly stops Reith. Per his cheerful brush-off in "Old School," he'll continue gleefully resisting any attempts to classify—and simplify—his art.

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Now Is Not Forever
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4 Stars - Excellent
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Release Date
September 22, 2009
Label
Gotee Records
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