R&B is alive and well in 2020, and Reggie Becton is the proof.
In recent years, critics have claimed that R&B isn’t what it used to be, that it’s failing to live up to what the genre’s predecessors accomplished. This is largely due to a perceived lack of songs that are “pleading for love.”
But maybe those critics aren’t looking or listening, hard enough.
If they were paying close enough attention, they would find gems like Reggie Becton and his song ‘Rainin’ in LA.’
With his latest visual offering, Becton is doing more than just paying homage to his soulful forefathers – he’s setting himself up to be one to watch in the R&B scene.
The Maryland native found inspiration early on from the likes of Prince, Marvin Gaye, and Brandy, taking elements of their music, iconic R&B sounds, and fusing it together with his own brand of new wave soul.
“I would run away and start a life with you,” he croons on the ballad. The song is clearly a love song, deeply reminiscent of the classic ballads so many of us have come to know and love.
‘Rainin’ in LA’ tells a tale as old as time: love at first sight. When the narrator, through Becton’s smooth vocals, first sees the object of his affection, he immediately becomes infatuated, going so far as to indicate his desire to start a family with her. It’s forward for sure, but Becton’s soothing vocals, accompanied by the soft guitar, ensure the song’s message is nothing short of sweet and romantic.
With the help of director WALU, known for his work with 21 Savage, the video for ‘Rainin’ in LA’ has an old school appeal, a perfect fit for the ‘tribute with a twist’ vibe of the song. It’s simplistic, toned down compared to the highly-produced, heavily choreographed music videos that are prominent today.
Against the backdrop of Los Angeles, California, a city perceived to be all sun and surf, the video presents a different view of LA, one that might surprise non-residents. For much of the video, our preconceived notions about the City of Angels are proven to be true. We follow the singer as he performs his heart out on a rooftop, then cruising through the empty streets of the city in a classic car, sun shining both times. The initial brightness of the video is right in line with the lyrics, those feelings of ecstasy as Becton swiftly falls in love.
And then everything changes.
The tone of the video takes a darker turn, as we finally see the city’s downpour, something that is more common than you would think. This shift in tone corresponds with the realization that maybe this love isn’t lasting, as the song asks, “So what’s it gonna be?” Becton continues, singing, “If you didn’t wanna, tell me what you hollered back for.” The song takes on a more desperate feel, complete with pleading, and the visuals match that beautifully, as the rain pours on Becton in a dark, confined space, contrasting wonderfully with the videos earlier vibrance.
‘Rainin’ in LA,’ both the song and its accompanying video, are a welcome addition to the contemporary R&B scene.