Watzreal is a Bay Area underground titan. Since 2015 he’s released a slew of projects, which includes the popular Widom Wit Attitude and Itz All Love. After a brief hiatus, Real returned at the end of 2020 with a brand new single, “Guarded”. With vocal contributions from Danae Labraña, can Watzreal make this his best song to date?
Off the rip, you can tell the track is well crafted and filled with personality. The 20 seconds of smoothly intoxicating rewinds and distortions play perfectly into the song’s main sonic line, and with the angelic piano melody, theirs quite an angelic feel. Around the one minute mark, Watzreal comes in spitting with his strong delivery, intuitive flow, and thought-provoking lyricism. The storytelling here is illusive and empowering, which coincides with the vibe the instrumentals set up seamlessly. After the prolific opening verse, some clean background vocals from Danae and Real’s simple but effective hook further the trans the atmospheres has already thrown you in. The second verse commences off well as Watz switches up his flow and covers some ideals such as racism and inner-city struggles. Although his subject matter is well thought out and treated with the respect it deserves, some corny lines and lyrical mishaps throw you out of the experience. Still, this is not enough to ruin the track as these issues quickly fade away with the reprise of the song’s very catchy and humbling bridge. On the final verse, we see Watzreal at his lowest as he reminisces on an array of his previous setbacks and contributions. Covering issues such as his inability to care due to some of the terrible treatment he’s had from family, friends, and significant others, it’s honestly one of the most challenging musical moments I’ve had to grasp in a while. Closing things out, there’s a calm but well-fitted instrumental playout where we hear the intro’s same distortions. Ending on this note of calmness, listeners can take in what they just heard and are overall left with a splendid experience.
Walking away from “Guarded” and after all of the chaos which has occurred in recent times, the spiritual journey it brings us on is quite amazing. Watzreal is a gifted MC and an even better visionary as he structures one of the most healing yet challenging tracks I’ve heard in quite a while. Going forward, I hope this gifted artist will expand on these ideas and deliver us his best body of work yet!