Mark Anthony Nieves, known professionally as ReachingNOVA, is an American rapper, songwriter, label executive, businessman, and record producer from the Bronx, New York City. Without a major label box to guide and limit his every move, this artist’s mind is free to wander. His focused recording efforts, is where he presents his pointed messages, with pleasing arrangements and hooks that stick. Between alternating tracks, he easily strikes the balance between hard-nosed spitting and breezy consciousness, achieving an artistic equilibrium that eludes many of his contemporaries. He speaks directly to the dramas, traumas and joys of life.
Starting with a rich cinematic intro, on ReachingNOVA’s latest single, “Celebration”, the listener is introduced to an energetic flow with methodical swift change to the beat and rhyme, to start off what soon becomes a notable project. It’s loud, it’s relentless and it’s anthemic. A perfect track to get the crowds hyped and moving, especially in a live-show situation. One can’t help but be pulled in by the sonic euphoria generated by this song.
There has always been so much to unpack on each project ReachingNOVA has dropped in the past. From his alliterative rhyme patterns to his wonderfully woven metaphors and his thought-provoking words, the artist has always found creative ways to keep the audience glued to his music. Now he drops unbridled energy and sheer joyous bombast into the equation, and the resulting auditory experience moves his stakes up, yet another level.
“Celebration” is a verbose track, like it’s caught the emcee on an exploratory trip through the corridors of his mind, as he sets forth to unpack his state of being – past, present and future – while at the same time scrutinizing ours.
It’s a head-banging groove celebrating the little achievements accomplished within a lifetime. It’s the sound of victory amongst the struggles. In an era of disposable music, ReachingNOVA keeps bringing heart, soul and vibrancy back to hip-hop.
ReachingNOVA has been holding his own in the independent scene for a few years now, showcasing classic wordplay and more banging sounds, respectively. “Celebration” marries those two styles to create a project that’s dense with lyricism and awash with brightly burning instrumentation. In a climate that’s still pretty dour and unsure, on a global level, ReachingNOVA preaches pride, perseverance and the festivity of fulfillment to rise above it all.
This is the kind of track hip-hop – or any other genre for that matter – needs right now. “Celebration” proves that positivity doesn’t have to be saddled with sappiness. The bombastic production really drives home that message too. ReachingNOVA’s outspoken optimism overrides many feelings of suffering and sorrow during its runtime. Which means that slowly but surely, ReachingNOVA is making hip-hop better.
Whenever a new ReachingNOVA project drops, it’s always expected to be an incredibly dense experience with thoughtful lyricism and savory beats. “Celebration” proves to be just that. Which makes it entirely digestible and engaging. The song takes everything ReachingNOVA did so well on his previous projects and compresses it into a brisk recording that highlights the artist’s strong rapping and a banging instrumental.