Outside of a few small releases here and there and one full-length project, it’s been a relatively quiet year for the Top Dawg Entertainment crew. In comparison to 2019, which gave fans releases from Schoolboy Q, SiR, and Zacari, 2020 has only seen Reason’s debut effort, New Beginnings, and some loose singles. In an interview with HipHopDX, Reason admitted the label is “going through a weird time,” and he thinks he might be the “glue” holding TDE together.
“I almost feel like I hold that place right now as the glue, and I’m always going to give that honesty,” explained Reason, who signed to the label in 2018 and dropped New Beginnings this month. “I’m not saying it like I’m crowning myself, but n****s wouldn’t had no music from TDE this year if it wasn’t for me. ‘New Beginnings’ is the first TDE drop, and I gave n****s the Q verse, I gave n****s two ‘Soul’ verses, I tried to get diverse and gave you an Isaiah verse with JID.”
As for the status of the label, he didn’t divulge too much, but he did indicate there’s plenty to be excited about on the horizon. “I did that because even though the label’s going through a weird time, that we’re coming out of now, I still believe in this shit, and I’m still holding that flag,” he said, comparing TDE to the Golden State Warriors. The team, which he says are obviously great despite their less than stellar performance this year, are poised to impress in 2021.
“Everybody knows we’re the best team in the league,” added Reason. “Everybody knows that, but with the mix of COVID, Dave Free leaving, Dot not dropping because of family things, and just all of that put us back a little bit. … To give some foreshadowing to it, I feel like the Warriors are going to be the best team in the league next year, and I feel the same way about us.”
In a since-deleted video shared earlier this month, TDE CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith uploaded a PSA from Kendrick Lamar in which he joked about people “smutting” his name after rumors surfaced that he left the label. The rumors started to circulate after Kung-Fu Kenny launched his media company pgLang with former TDE executive Dave Free. SZA, meanwhile, shared a number of tweets in August expressing her frustration with TDE, as she admitted she’s “done all I can do” to get new music out.