Social media backlash over Reason’s new album cover

Hip-hop artist Reason speaks out about the furious response to the artwork for his new album

Sizwe “Reason” Moeketsi got more than he bargained for when he posted a photo of his latest freestyle cover on Instagram recently.

The controversial cover, which shows Jesus carrying two naked women over his shoulders, not only infuriated his fans, but also cost him a sponsor who had agreed to finance one of his campaigns.

Some accused the rapper of being controversial purely to create hype around his new single, which is dropping on Friday, but Reason denies this.

“I didn’t expect to get people to a point that they’d be that angry and offended – to a point that some lost respect for me and said they wouldn’t even listen to the song. I thought the image would create dialogue and [encourage] people to try and understand what the whole concept is about, because it’s not even really about Christianity, but about my own realities,” the rapper told DESTINY MAN.

He further explained that while his intention was to start a conversation, he’s learned some tough lessons from this experience. One is that people are very sensitive about their beliefs, especially when someone tries to create another perspective based on those beliefs.

“It’s a very tricky and sensitive thing, but to me it seems that the one conversation we should be having is about stepping on each other’s toes by wanting to express what we truly feel,” he says.

Reason added that artists must be brave and create conversations, even if some people might interpret them as being controversial, because he believes in tackling serious issues.

He says that not enough rappers are tackling serious issues and talking about the challenges people face dealing on a daily basis.

“We can’t all be making songs about being happy and going to parties because that is not the reality. This is one of the reasons I do songs such as Endurance, to inspire people who are going through some kind of struggle to get out there and get what they deserve. Because I’m a vocal person and I’m honest about what I do, it’s likely that I might keep pressing the wrong buttons,” he says, adding that he does aim to press the right buttons.

Explaining the artwork, Reason says the intention was to depict the challenges he faces.

He used the image of Christ as a metaphor for his struggles as a man and an artist to be Christ-like by being the best he can be, while fighting the temptations that come with the entertainment industry.

“The idea was to actualise a metaphor . . . the whole thinking was to speak honestly about my own realities – as a rapper, a musician and a father.

What people said on Twitter about Reason’s freestyle cover