Reason – an indisputable forefather of the Australian hip hop scene as we know it today; has announced his retirement after releasing Window of Time on November 4th. Though he is not short of qualities, perhaps Jason Shulman AKA Reason’s strongest virtue is his ability to bring people together.
Since the very early stages of his career in hip hop Rea’ –as he’s affectionately known, was uniting crews nation-wide, a sure-fire keystone to the strength and productivity of the genre today. Whether a veteran of the culture or newbie –none can claim a knowledge of Australian hip hop history without Reason’s story being heavily featured.
“Few achieve a status where they can be considered a king by not only fans, but by their peers. Reason is a part of that few. He has released a number albums and has rocked numerous shows all the while being a gentleman and a positive role model for the up and comers. I feel privileged to have traveled a great journey with him through music and friendship, and will miss him releasing solid and genuine hip hop. Thank you for getting me on your final record Rea’. Thank you for being you. Respect always.” – Hau Latekefu
“I met Reason years ago through gigs, BBQ’s near the Obese Records store, and just generally being a young dude hanging around, wanting to be a part of the scene, though he probably wouldn’t remember. Over the years, and as my career has progressed, I have had a lot more interaction with Rea’, and though I was helped along by my own people, he has always been a great source of support, advice, and knowledge whenever I’ve needed it. I have also seen firsthand the support Reason has given a lot of young artists, close friends of mine included.
I think it comes from the selfless passion he has for the music, the culture behind it, and young people with a goal, that many claim but few possess. And beyond that, an ability to see qualities in others, and to nurture and encourage that potential; earlier this year I spoke, at Rea’s request, to about 250 year 9 students he teaches. One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had through music, had very little to do with music, and everything to do with a bit of a push from Reason to step outside of my comfort zone. It’s a small, though insightful, example of the effect he’s had on me, and I’m sure there are many stories of a similar nature, spanning the more than 20 years of contribution Rea’s made.
When I heard that Window Of Time was to be his last release, I immediately hit him up saying that the scene, particularly Melbourne’s, would be that much weaker for his absence. There is much talk about kings and legends within the scene, but I don’t think there would be many brave enough to challenge the idea that Reason is a bona fide king. I wish the fella all the best for the future, and look forward to following in his footsteps to do my bit to improve the state of local hip-hop for those still to come. Peace brother, and congrats on an innings few will match.” – Illy
“Reason played a significant part in the progression of AUS Hip Hop music. His crew Intense Quality were right there with us from the early days. He’s been a great teacher to the young and will continue to inspire many. Glad to have shared the Sydney – Melbourne unity with our brother Reason” – Sereck (Def Wish Cast)
“I’ve never made it a secret that my introduction into the Australian Hip-Hop scene was through Reason. I moved from America to Australia in December of 1999 and after sitting back and watching the scene from afar, I finally decided that I wanted to get involved. I was talking to a friend and he said “you should try and connect with this MC called Reason. He seems like a nice guy and would be approachable”. Reason was running a night at The Lounge in the city so I went down one night and waited for an opportune moment to go and speak with him.
I basically said to him “I know you don’t know me and I’m a no-one in the scene, but I’d really appreciate you listening to my mixtape and maybe giving me an opportunity to play at your night here”. He politely said that he would give it a listen and that was the extent of our conversation. That simple interaction led to Reason not only getting me a DJ gig at The Lounge, but he made me the house DJ for his “Hittin’ Switches” radio show with Pegz, he made me his tour DJ and took me on my first national tour, introduced me to legends such as Hunter, Lazy Grey, DCE, Hilltop Hoods and pretty much anyone who was an anyone in the scene at the time… I can’t even begin to explain what that meant to me and how integral all of that was in forging my career in Australia. Reason owed me absolutely nothing but he gave me an opportunity to be a part of the scene and really took me under his wing. I don’t know why he took a chance on me (probably because my mixtape was bloody awesome and chicks love me haha j/k) and gave me all of these amazing opportunities but I hope it was because he could see that my heart was in the right place. I have tried to take a page from his book by ALWAYS helping and encouraging other young aspiring artists achieve their goals and I endeavour to be a continuation of his legacy through the work that I am doing in the industry. I whole heartedly believe that I would not be where I am if it wasn’t for Reason’s help. Thank you for everything mate, I will forever be indebted to you. You are indeed a true Aussie icon. I wish you all the best as you embark on this new and exciting chapter of your life! Shalom!” – DJ Flagrant
“I grew up in Wollongong and in 1991 I made my first visit to Melbourne and linked up with DJ Krisy who introduced me to Reason. From there on in I always made sure I caught Reason at his Sydney shows performing under Intense Quality and alongside crews such as Def Wish Cast. In 2002 I moved to Melbourne, hooking up with Reason who once again introduced me to local crews including the boys at Obese Records…the rest is history. Reason has always been there lending a helping hand, connecting likeminded people and tearing up the mic. He may have retired from rapping but I know he’ll be here forever, supporting the scene from behind the scene as he has done since day one.” – Slap618
”Over the years I’ve seen Reason take dozens of upcoming artists under his wing, showing them the ropes, introducing them to his networks, mentoring and sharing his knowledge with anyone with a genuine interest. I remember he got me on the bill for my first paid show ‘Urban Expressions’ Sydney 1999 which was an awkward but memorable experience. I remember performing with the microphone still in the stand like a crooner and the promoter kindly jumping up mid track to dislodge the microphone, yes embarrassing. He was also a driving force behind the Culture of Kings compilations which sparked the Big Bang of our evolution, bringing the states together and creating the networks which launched Australian Hip Hop to a new level. A true catalyst in bringing people together Reasons legacy is the scene we have today.” – Pegz