Confession – [Reno Shakur] x [LB199X] x [AyoNicky] x [Otitis]

Atlanta Georgia’s Reno Shakur has returned with his most exciting release to date. For his collaborative single “.Confession,” the Project FILO member connected with Guin Record’s LB199X, a promising hip-hop artist out of Washington, D.C. The record is jointly produced by Otitis and AyoNicky, who has turned into a favorite of Shakur’s, having crafted multiple hit songs for him. In Shakur’s words, “Confession is really just me telling the world that I’m going to be something one day. I’m fully aware of this fact. The song is bluntly saying that I’m going to sh** on anyone that ever shi**** on me. I recorded the record in my room; all in one day, and frequently edited it every few weeks.” Therefore, LB199X was the perfect feature for the track, adding raw genuineness and unadulterated story-telling to accompany Reno’s bold self-proclamations. Filled with piano keys, the groovy instrumental sets the tone for the expressive lyricism shared between Shakur and LB199X.

“You know that you ain’t sh** ni***,  you sittin’ on the couch with your thumb in your ***  and you prayin’ that your bank get bigger.. But if you wanna work boy you gotta go berserk if you tryna’ make a name my ni***..” These are the opening lines of “.Confession,” serving as Reno’s inner monologue to his former, uninspired self. The lyrics are also directed at anyone in the same position that Reno once was, specifically targeting his own community. Referencing alcohol, Shakur acknowledges that no pain will subside without habitual lifestyle changes. Within seconds, Reno goes from a couch potato to an artist who “rolls the dice” like an LA rapper, fearlessly making one move after the next. Later in his verse, Shakur professes that he has a bright future ahead of him, dismissing the necessity of a crystal ball for affirmation. He also states that he has no competition, making himself “the definition of an upper-echelon.” Reno particularly envisions a brand new sports car and a Christina Milan esque partner. Each bar of Reno Shakur’s grows in confidence, making claims such as “knowing the [rap] game colder than Chicago.” Without listening to the track, it’s easy to dismiss Reno Shakur as a deluded, arrogant fool. However, no matter how bold the claim(s), the listener is able to quickly grasp Shakur’s wholehearted assurance in himself, while believing his words in the process.

It’s safe to say that the Shakur moniker fits Reno, intending to keep Tupac’s rebellious nature alive and well. Following Reno’s verse enters LB199X, who artfully reveals his own truth. “I walk the valley that be lurking mind evolving soul been searching / Feet been hurtin’ looking up to God for answers, Momma almost died of cancer damn you serpents” are LB’s opening bars, befitting the theme of confession. Abiding by faith, LB199X reveals that he’s simultaneously been dealing with the “sinning police,” which could serve as a psychological and literal interpretation of handling corrupt law enforcement. Providing insight, LB199X urges: “Don’t talk cause your words is cheap, speak God from the heart cause the fire like to burn the weak.” Immediately afterward, LB boasts in a similar fashion as Reno, stating: “These bulls tryna’ hunt the sheep, they can’t f*** with me, cause these demons see the God in me.” Moreover, just as Shakur’s mission is to uplift his own people, LB’s reason for living is through his niece, citing that he still has more mouths to feed. Despite the collaboration being the first between them, the auditory chemistry demonstrated throughout creates a strong tandem that makes the listener want more. The unique time lapse visual was sketched by MC Blue Matter, a Paris, France based artist that specializes in album covers, merch design, illustration, and animation. Stream “.Confession,” the latest single by Reno Shakur, out now on all platforms!

Words by Brandon Washington