It’s been a minute (or around four years) since the world last heard from Long Island-repping emcee, John Reilly. The thing is, it’s not as if he spent that time off with his feet up or even completely removed from music. Quite the opposite, as he’s been dealing with nearly everything life could throw at him: family issues, depression. fatherhood, and death. In spite of it all, he never stopped writing and instead used it as the inspiration for his stellar new EP, Standing in the Face of Time, with Chicago producer Rediculus.
Reilly’s passion is clear from the jump on lead single “Do That Sh*t,” a track made for live shows and battle scenarios. But it’s on the gripping “Rabbit Hole” that he opens up overcoming his personal problems and not giving up: “Truly thought of quittin’ music after all this time and effort/ But, a writer’s who I am inside my very essence.”
Not that he needed to, but Reilly more than backs up his writing abilities on “What Goes Around,” a tragic tale of abuse that centers on a woman named Jolene. In addition to detailing her difficulty escaping a hellish cycle, Reilly at one point embodies her cold abuser. It’s a harrowing, well-written listen that touches on the realities of domestic violence.
Elsewhere, Reilly is more carefree, dropping hilarious Billy Madison references on “Bully Pulpit” while Rediculus supplies the lighthearted instrumental. They’re joined by New Jersey’s Rich Quick, who ends the track with a verse worthy of a sh*t-eating grin. And on closer “No Matter The Cost,” Reilly deftly blends his more serious and bravado-leaning sides over Rediculus’ head-nodding production. It’s a fitting way to close out Standing, an EP that proves time away doesn’t mean a damn thing.