There are few things better in the hard-knock life of a Christian Hip Hop album review team member than a solid debut album from a rising artist. Fortunately, that’s just what I got with Dwayne Tryumf’s “777 (The Mark of the PEACE)”. Most importantly, Tryumf shows himself to not be a mere foreign novelty emcee. One could see his UK flavor and British accent as a neat change of pace for our American hip hop palates. And though the accent is pretty dope, behind it is a serious artist displaying some great talent throughout the album.
Production in “Mark of the Peace” is air-tight. Almost every beat is at the very least, interesting, with plenty of diversity in between songs. Though most instrumentals lean towards an up-beat tempo, unique moods are set between most everything. In particular, the final song “This is For You”, combines a simple drum beat with a Casio-keyboard melody to amazing effect. It provides a great backdrop for Tryumf and featured artist Jahaziel to rhyme about everything that Jesus went through on the Cross for His people. Fantastic song all around.
When Tryumf is on point, he is something else on the MIC. Take the 777 Intro. One of the best intro tracks I’ve ever heard, Tryumf takes the listener through the meta-narrative story of the Bible in 64 seconds (yes, I counted) in a verse consisting entirely of double-time rhyming. His grasp of theology is impressive, but his ability to drop knowledge in an engaging way is what could give him a very long and impactful career. 777, along with the first few songs on the album, displays the bright future Tryumf has in hip hop.
Mark of the Peace does drag through the middle. “Proverbs 31 Woman” doesn’t do much different than most every other Christian hip hop song about Proverbs 31 women. For those familiar with the scripture, it speaks of the characteristics a woman of God should have and a man of God should treasure. Beautiful passage to read, tiring passage to hear rappers spit about. The rest of the songs, while still solid instrumentally, don’t have the same electric and high quality flow Tryumf displays early on.
I would be remiss to not mention the two MC Hatealot sketches! Comedian Chris Williams gives some hilarious parody on the sad folly of the Christian hip hop hater. Sadly, this contradiction of terms does exist, but Chris gives an excellent mimic of the CHHH in all their folly.
All in all, we have a really nice debut from an emerging artist. Can’t wait to hear what Dwayne Tryumf has next. And if you’re reading this Dwayne—please, please get MC Hatealot on an actual track. That would be epic.
Music: 7 of 10
Flow / Delivery: 6 of 10
Lyricism: 7 of 10
Content: 9 of 10
Creativity / Originality / Relevancy: 7 of 10
Credibility / Confidence: 8 of 10
Personality / Character: 5 of 10
Presentation Quality: 8 of 10
Overall Production Quality: 8 of 10
Potential Impact: 7 of 10