Reason the Citizen
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Reason the Citizen

Denver, CO | Established. Jan 01, 2001 | SELF

Denver, CO | SELF
Established on Jan, 2001
Solo Hip Hop





As Denver’s blossoming music scene continues to grow, more and more artists are making the leap of faith and moving their music career from all over the nation to work here in the mile high city. San Diego-based hip hop artist Reason the Citizen is one of those artists who has decided to move his hip hop career from his roots in southern California to the burgeoning rap scene in Denver.

With opening performances for national acts like Machine Gun Kelly and Hieroglyphics, Reason is beginning to pave a lane for himself in Denver hip hop and people are beginning to take notice. After the release of his latest track “Airplanes” on April 22, 2016, I decided to catch up with Reason the Citizen and get a feel for why he moved to Colorado, and what he’s got in store for the future. - 303 Magazine

"Concert Review: Curren$y at Cervantes in Denver"

Just like any other night, Cervantes was buzzing with people. Curren$y was the performer of the night and it wasn’t hard to tell that there were a TON of fans in the building!

The venue was pretty full and I caught 2 of the many openers for the night. At some point it felt like we had been waiting forever for the headliner but this one opener, Reason The Citizen, was really dope! The better the opener, the better the energy will be for the main act. The vibe was good after him. - Lizzy Brodie

"A3C Hip Hop Festival 2016 – Day 1 #A3C2016"

Next stop, the “All 3 Coasts” show at Warehouse on Auburn, a quick 0.4 mile walk around the corner. I was there to check out Lyric Michelle, a truly dope young lady from Houston that I met at an A3C or two ago. Great show, which is always better when you’re familiar with the artist’s work, which I am from her EP she gave me some time back. She’s definitely worth clicking the hyperlink. I also discovered Denver rapper Reason The Citizen at this one. His stage show was high energy and he really rapped like he meant it. I took a copy of his CD, probably check it out when I get back to Dallas. -


Last out for the local artist showcase was Reason the Citizen—a very talented emcee originally hailing from San Diego, but who recently transplanted to Denver. Reason started with an emphatic opening verse that thoroughly impressed the crowd. The rapid fire flow and clever wordplay continued throughout the set and left many fans in the crowd going “woah” after many of the punchlines. Highlights from the set included “Unlikely” and “Airplane Mode,” but also included some other great tracks from this rising artist’s growing discography. - 303 Magazine

"Hip-Hop Philanthropy, Activism, and the #H2FLOW Campaign | Staying Optimistic About the Potential of Hip-Hop"

From a hip-hop perspective, the Wells on Warped tour was straight heat. Amplified, Andrew Bigs, Reason the Citizen, Lost the Artist, Pure Powers, Def-i, and Mazzi all rocked a stage dedicated to the #H2FLOW movement, spitting rhymes that made underground hip-hop fans of thousands of Warped Tour attendees across the country. Keeping the atmosphere collaborative and deeply hip-hop, other MCs and local artists joined the stage at each stop, all delivering on point performances. All working towards the same common goal: promoting #H2FLOW’s aims and raising funds to provide clean water around the globe. - TeamBackPack

"Behind The Scene Episode 8 – Reason The Citizen (Denver Rapper/MC)"

Reason The Citizen is a Denver-by-way-of-San Diego rapper that I’ve followed since I first caught his captivating Westword Music Showcase set 3 years ago. Growing up in San Diego, Richard John Martinelli found himself immersed in Skate and Hip Hop culture. Paired with an introduction to a speaking and debate club in High School he suddenly realized that he had a love for linguistics and wordplay that would come to define his art.

Listen above as we discuss Reason’s navigation through both the San Diego and Denver hip hop scenes. We also talk some of the differences between the hip hop and rock scenes, opening for larger acts (NAS, Mac Miller, Macklemore, Ghostface Killah), knowing when to move to a new city/market in order to open up opportunities, and how having a child impacts your drive and decisions when it comes to your craft. Reason also gives some excellent advice to up and coming artists about maintaining confidence and going after what it is you want. -

"Photo Pit - Hopsin & Reason the Citizen"

Hopsin w/ Reason the Citizen, RimeS, Diviine and Dassaro
@ Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom - Denver, CO
by Nic Vasquez | 06.23.2016 - The Rooster Magazine


Richard John Martinelli, aka Reason the Citizen, is a southern California-born emcee who has recently been creating a lot of hype in the city of Denver. With years of performance experience under his belt and an unmatched flow and delivery, Reason the Citizen should definitely be on every hip-hop fans’ watch list. Touring with the Vans Warped Tour and speaking at this year’s RiNo Ted Talk event are just a few of the huge accomplishments for the young emcee who is certainly blooming into one of Denver’s most promising hip-hop acts. He released a music video for his latest single, “Airplane Mode,” on April 22, 2016 — a perfect example of the talented wordplay and lyricism in Citizen’s arsenal. But don’t take it from me; check out the music and judge it for yourself at his upcoming show in Civic Center Park. - 303 Magazine

"Local Love: Reason the Citizen drops new single "Broken Bones" with bars for dayyyys"

Reason The Citizen is a Denver-transplanted — by way of San Diego — emcee with a splitting fast tongue, thoughtful bars and bounceable beats for days. This morning he dropped his new track “Broken Bones” (produced by Handbook) in anticipation of his next show with Grieves at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom.

Listen. Learn. Love. - The Rooster Magazine


Survival Plus (2006)

Broke For Free (2009)

World Hunger Volume One (2010)

The Adventure Continues (2014)

Finding Success Through Failure (2016)



Reason the Citizen is an American hip-hop artist based in Denver, CO. Born and raised in southern California, his musical style is heavily influenced by the cultural landscape of his hometown, Oceanside. The San Diego hip-hop environment, specifically the North County independent scene, significantly shaped his musical foundation. A sharp and linguistically skilled performer, his live set has been critically acclaimed and he has shared the stage with a number of notable hip-hop acts.

His 2006 debut album, Survival Plus, is widely considered an underground classic among early "internet hip-hop" releases. The independent effort gained him local credibility and resulted in tour performances throughout California and the southwestern US. Thematically, it tackled the up and coming rappers difficulties with adapting to a quickly changing environment, spoken truthfully over sample-heavy production. Survival Plus is the definitive starting point of a promising emcee's career.

Broke For Free, his 2009 sophomore album, quickly became a fan favorite and landed him on Denver based hip hop collective Fameless Entertainment. The duality of witty self realization and somber self deprecation throughout the album deals with themes that range from disastrous tour experiences, to balancing a professional identity with a growing family. Its success lead Reason the Citizen to performance opportunities at X-Games, and opening spots for acts like Macklemore, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon

In 2011, shortly after releasing World Hunger Volume One, a 19 track free mixtape, Reason the Citizen teamed up with San Diego rapper Ch@ng3 to develop a unique live performance that blended live hip-hop with off-kilter vaudevillian style stage antics. Unofficially dubbed The Greatest Shit Show On Earth, their live set routinely featured burlesque dancers and unruly food fights, which earned the duo a loyal San Diego fanbase. They would go on to share the stage with artists like Mac Miller, Dizzy Wright, Action Bronson, Wax, and Chief Keef.

Not long after moving to Denver in 2013, Reason the Citizen released a 6 track mixtape entitled The Adventure Continues. It featured the song Unlikely, which would eventually become the up and coming emcee's debut music video produced by The Other Guys Films. Since his relocation, Reason the Citizen, along with his dj and regular collaborator Almighty IZ, have been regular live performers at the legendary Denver hip-hop venue Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, and have landed performances with the likes of Nas, MGK, Curren$y, Hopsin, Deltron 3030, Grouch & Eligh, Grieves, Hieroglyphics and more.

After a breakout year that included a tour with Brother Ali and appearances on TED Talks, Vans Warped Tour, and A3C Festival, Reason the Citizen is set to release his 3rd studio album, Finding Success Through Failure in 2016. It features production from UK super producer Handbook, notable for his uncanny style as well as his contributions to Rootnote Collective, a worldwide group of diverse and unique musicians. FSTF focuses heavily on the repercussions of failure, and reveals its necessity in a creatively hazardous environment. Ranging in intensity, it stands out as a testament to the ever improving emcee's ability to combine razor sharp double-time, with thought provoking perspective and insight.

Band Members