Along comes "Suicide II" from local emcee Ray Reed, and the heat from it is pure fire!

Local emcee Ray Reed has made some interesting strides since the last time we heard of him: His 2013 mixtape “Suicide” was well received around the city and gave the rapper his due shine. Since, fans have been blessed with only a few songs and verse. The dread-locked emcee has made the most of the past year, however, with a recent follow up project titled “Suicide II.”

It’s clear Reed is stepping his game up. The flow and lyrical content is mature and self-reflective, something not as noticeable in his earlier project. On multiple tracks Reed spits fluent bars about the struggle while showcasing an ability to stir in thought provoking lyrics with clever wordplay. Ideas like that make him a master chef of the mic  — the type that cooks up a perfect blend of hip-hop dinners.

He got some help from his friends, too. “For this project I worked closely with this producer out in London, JNYCE, who covers majority of the production, but besides him I work wit some hometown heroes such as Treezy, Mahxie, and J-Nice,” says Reed.

On an included track titled “Calm Yo Nerves pt. 2,” we get a mental illustration of what Reed has gone through over the past few years. It's sister-single, "Calm Yo Nerves Pt. 1," was arguably the most popular song on “Suicide” and featured a younger Ray Reed rapping about the weed he sold to help his income. Now, the emcee is a mature, talented writer — and knows it. Claiming to not be dealing as much as he used to, Reed is instead focusing on his talents and family, apparent in bars like, “I’ve been taking time to be the best father / writing verses like the best author.”

Let’s be clear, Ray Reed hasn't reinvented himself — he’s still the same lyrical monster that he always has been. There’s only been a little tweaking … and the results are eye-opening. “I would say it's authentic creativity,” he says.  “I've been inspired by Kendrick Lamar and J Cole — they let me know that it's ok to keep shit real.”

And keep it real he does, as he reassures the Denver hip-hop scene that he is a heavyweight with as much talent as the next guy. While we bump “Suicide II” for now, we'll sit anxiously awaiting the next project, which could be here soon. The future is rumored to hold two more projects — maybe 3. We’ll see …

– by Luca Delpiccolo