It has always been a question as to whether Flame will be able to give us a dope record without his former TWC affiliate A-Reece. Following the recent release of CandyMan, human nature dictates that we should put it up against the Reece Effect and attempt to figure a few things out, such as if the two artists still need each other, creatively and subsequently which one gave us the better project.
As a unit, it seemed like Reece and Flame could do no wrong when they worked together. Songs such as “Love & Kare”, “Just Another Song”, “Rio”, “Yung”, “Whole New Lane” and “Money Today” saw the two complementing each other flawlessly on every joint they hopped onto together. Now that paths have separated, it brings up the question as to whether they will be able to produce musical content as impactful as that which they created together.
Personally, when I think about Reece and his music I really don’t take the Album he released under Ambitiouz into count, because what is the point of trying to formulate an opinion on a piece of art which the artist didn’t want to create in the first place? Anyway, when I think of Reece’s first album I think of “From me to you & only you”. That piece was nothing short of perfect, you could feel the hunger and authenticity, Reece had bounced back! The Reece effect, on the other hand, see’s the young man enjoying the fruits of his labour, after a few independent tours, a slew of mixtapes and Ep’s as well as appearances on other TWC projects such a “Thanks For Nothing” by Mashbeatz, A- Reece finally gave us the Reece Effect. This one was okay, heavily populated with features from Ex-Global and Wordz, it seemed a bit “lazy” for lack of a better term. The production from Mash saw him staying in the same Zone without any signs of growth or experimentation, which was a bit of a letdown. Reece sees his topical content divided into his struggles with fame, money and betrayal, which he pulled off in cuts such as “Fear no man”, “Fate”, “Safe haven” and “Honest”. “Masquerade” was a nice cut, especially with the manner in which Reece manipulated his voice but out of the eleven tracks on the album, it felt like the above mentioned were the only five noteworthy songs on this record, while the rest felt and sounded like fillers. The fact that it was a well-balanced album in terms of run time and the number of tracks, made it easier to get through. All in all, the Reece effect was average at best, with a select few enjoyable cuts.
Now, Candyman on the other hand, although it had its flaws, was a much better offering from Flame. The Candyman concept with the famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory references weaved into it ticks the conceptualisation box. With contributions from thirteen different producers, Candyman brings contemporary trap-ish sounds along with mad sampling, which adds to the sonic diversity on this project. For example the way “Home Run” and “Candyman” sound as opposed to a song like “Lemme Know”. Flame addresses a range of topics on this record, such as being a young father, dropping out of high school, his newly found success as well as his recent squabble with former TWC mate, A-Reece. The skit placement and selection was also impeccable, with reference made to the Katt Williams comedy sketch included in the “Cuterlude” cut, that was a nice touch. Flame also had features on this project which actually complemented the overall vibe of the project, most notably “Don’t Bother” with Ayanda Jiya which was refreshing to hear as it was a different and lighter vocal on the project. Although Candyman has been hailed as a masterful debut piece, It does have one major issue, which is run time and length. A whole Nineteen songs! Which isn’t bad at all, so long as the record can hold the attention of the listener, which unfortunately Candyman did not do. Cuts such as “late nights”, “Ride for you”, “Impatient” and “Hold You down” seemed unnecessary. They did not contribute to the overall project but regardless of that, Candyman was a great album by Flame.
Seemingly, the two artists do not actually need one another, they have demonstrated that they both can hold their own and satisfy their core fanbase. Taking both of their recent projects into account, it would seem that Candyman was the better offering, with the Reece Effect not falling far behind. It would be nice to hear these gentlemen on the same cuts again but as the saying goes, it is what it is, at least they are still doing their thing and giving the people music.