In a small town of Newnan in the state of Georgia, Reggie Lowe – a life coach and a motivated speaker for the youth – who goes by the name of R9LO, found his love for spoken word, reading, and music. Pressured by a father who was unsupportive towards his son’s passion for poetry and music, Reggie was eventually kicked out of the house, and started over in a homeless shelter working to support himself to actually be able to finish college. R9LO also made some bad choices along the way and ended up in jail, but none of these hapless events discouraged him from being the person he wanted to be. He realized that he needed to follow his own motto: “A man only fails when he gives up”. The release of his 5 track EP, “Universal Spiritual Consciousness”, is proof that R9LO has still not given up, and moreover, that he has a clear vision of what he wants his music to achieve.
R9LO pushes the boundaries on social, cultural, and spiritual commentary in “Universal Spiritual Consciousness”. The Hip-Hop beats creep into your pulse, engulfing his powerful spoken-word-style lyrics. Every song on this album brings to light a personal issue in your life.
As can be expected from someone with R9LO’s life experiences, he finds many of the solutions to these issues, in God and positive thinking. Even listeners who may doubt the God solution can still have moments of thought-provoking reflection here. The intensity of R9LO’s tracks come off as impacting but embracing – going hand-in-hand with his lyrics.
This album encompasses artistic expression with raw daily frustrations of our times. From the opening track, “Heart”, the concept and delivery of this album evokes a strong emotional response – making the listener both contemplative and inspired.
R9LO is appealing to the masses on “Hard Without God”, making his point well heard: “Life is hard without God. Trying to make it alone, trying to stay strong, while holding on. Life is hard without God, when your loved ones gone, flying to their new home, life goes on”
Appropriately enough, the EP comes alive at the midpoint, on “Keep Faith” with a breezily orchestrated soundscape. This sets into motion a strong melodic backdrop where R9LO platforms his inspiring poetic skills in solidly-built framework. This sees his meter steadily tick over a rolling piano loop.
And as ever, R9LO is at his absolute best when he most fully gives himself to inspirational poetry – the strongest card in his deck – which supports his tenure as spoken word artist. Thankfully, we get to hear that a few times, and it’s R9LO at his most commanding and visceral.
First and foremost, as a spoken word artist, he’s capable of creating work that can ignite a response in all are exposed to it. You’ll find no dull or trite oratory from R9LO. He weaves lyrics with a self-consciousness that goes further than supplying mere party rhymes. Which is what he does on “One Day”, cutting to the heart of the matter with an unambiguous declaration: “One day we will be judged by character, heart and what is real.”
The tracks that make up the course of “Universal Spiritual Consciousness” are poised to awaken our own consciousness and make the listener think. Nothing does this better than the EP closer, “Today”. Lyrically dexterous as ever, R9LO takes a sanguine approach to motivation. Once again proving that music with something to say is out there; you just have to know where to look.