Let’s start with a little background on my experience with Rhema Soul. I first caught on to their music through their “Dope Beats Good News” EP. And yo, what a project! I was so encouraged to hear professional, radio-friendly rhymes coming from a Christian crew. I would have no shame bumping them in any dance club or radio station. Sonically, it was that good. My only gripe was the content. Don’t worry, there’s nothing sinful, and no heresy was formed either. Some of you readers can drop your stones. Unfortunately, many of the lyrics could be summarized by “Jesus rules, this beat is dope, lets boogie!”
Their new release, “Fingerprints”, was nothing less than a huge step forward for their artistry. They did an expert job of nailing the high quality sound, while pairing it with a much deeper message. “Fingerprints” is not a theological exposition, nor did it need to be. It was simply three extremely talented emcees sharing how the message and mercy of Jesus has dramatically influenced every area of their lives. With that being said, let’s peep the music.
Rhema Soul consists of rappers K-Nuff, Butta P, and JuanLove. As I said before, they are all fantastic emcees. In this album, JuanLove in particular shines as a highly versatile lyricist. He integrates plenty of brilliant rhyme schemes (“Fly Away”), and engaging poems (“Save Me”). Juan’s got tremendous skill, and his wordplay is worth the $9.99 iTunes price of admission.
“Blow Your Whistle” is a real highlight from the album. Behind the emceeing is an aggressive, infectious drumline instrumental that keeps my head bopping well after the track is over. In addition, it provides an excellent example of the forward progress in lyrical content mentioned earlier. Butta-P gives the listener an inspiring rally cry to reject the emotional retardation that comes from following the mainstream ideals of the good life. Most importantly, she avoids a hyper-judgmental tone by pointing to what God’s grace can do in a broken life. “A+” song all around.
If you haven’t gathered, I really enjoyed the Rhema Soul project in pretty much every way. The beats banged, the lyrics were off the chain, and God got the max amount of glory. Are there imperfections here? Sure, but I’m having trouble finding them. More diversity in the instrumentals would have been helpful for the general flow of the album. Still, it can’t be stressed enough how strong “Fingerprints” is. Must buy.
Music: 7 of 10
Flow: 9 of 10
Lyricism: 9 of 10
Content: 8 of 10
Creativity, Originality and Relevancy: 8 of 10
Credibility and Confidence: 9 of 10
Personality: 8 of 10
Presentation Quality: 8 of 10
Overall Production: 10 of 10
Potential Impact: 10 of 10