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Posted on Feb 7, 2014

[review.] Papa San – One Blood

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Papa San…where in the world have I been all these years. I have been sleeping on gospel Reggae apparently. Well guess what, I am not sleeping anymore. Now if you are unfamiliar like me, Papa San is no amateur to gospel reggae. He has been making hits since the earlier 90’s and is in fact known for being Jamaica’s fastest lyrical DJ. If that doesn’t impress you, the fact that he has been nominated for Dove, Stellar, Marlin, and World Music Awards should. Well Papa San is back with his latest album One Blood.

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Posted on Jan 22, 2014

[review.] HeeSun Lee – Stereotypes

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Some may disagree with this statement, but I feel like Christian Rap as a whole is growing. One thing in particular that is starting to stand out with this genre is female emcees. For years, it felt like women emcees were missing from Christian rap. Personally, I feel like women bring a different vibe and make their presence known on verses. It’s like they take a song to a whole different level. 2013 was a very monumental year for female rappers. Under the direction of rapper Thi’sl, an all-female compilation album, Gurl Code, was dropped. One of the females featured on this project was HeeSun Lee. She made her introduction in 2004 with her first solo album Re-Defined, so she is definitely no amateur to Christian rap. After almost 10 years, Lee is back with her second album Stereotypes.

First thing that caught my eye about Stereotypes was the album art. This is definitely something that was not thrown together; So much thought was taken. An elegant woman, covered in a dress of women’s faces, is seen sashaying across the cover. It leads the mind to wonder who exactly these women are (kind of hard to depict who is who) and if they too are stereotyped. If she was going with the goal of something that catches the eye, then she surely hit the nail on the head. Another thing that caught my eye was the title itself, Stereotypes. I feel like that is a topic we all struggle with but rarely speak on. Diving through this album, I noticed that Lee hit on not only stereotypes women and Koreans face, but she inspected society’s stereotypes as a whole. In fact, the intro of the album lists some of those exact stereotypes. The last thing that caught my eye about the album was the features. Some heavy hitters featured were Chris Cobbins, Erica Cumbo, MC Jin, and Social Club. There was a great balance of tracks with just HeeSun Lee and tracks with features. We really got her message that she was trying to deliver as well as hear some other artist sentiments on stereotypes.

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Posted on Jan 21, 2014

[review.] Jahaziel – Heads Up

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Once I got the opportunity to write the review for Jahaziel’s album “Heads Up” I had to do some research about the fella. After a long absence from the music game, I think this is the perfect album for him to come back with. Heads Up is a classic and in each song Jahaziel paints a picture of stuff he has gone through and had to deal with in his walk with Christ.

He starts the album with the song entitled “I Said Yeah” and shares his testimony by laying out some of his old life while glorifying God in the moment when he said yes to Christ’s call for his life. With this first track it’s as if Jahaziel screams, “I’m back and get ready for this album that lays out all that God has done in my life.” “I Said Yeah” makes it clear that when we say yes we must also say no to the world.

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Posted on Jan 20, 2014

[review.] Derek Minor – Minorville

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Ever since he dropped his debut album The Blackout, PRo has been making noise in the Christian hip-hop scene. Coming into the genre relatively unknown, he quickly got hooked up with Lecrae and eventually became a member of the Reach Records roster of emcees. His first Reach release, Dying to Live, showed off the great talent that PRo possessed. Now, going by the stage name Derek Minor, the man of the hour is back with his sophomore Reach Records release aptly titled Minorville.

What is Minorville all about? It’s pretty easy to figure out, just picture Any City, USA and you’re in Minorville. Minorville is just like your city or town, and no matter where you go in this world people are facing the same issues and are looking for a solution to their problems. Everywhere you turn, everyone is crying “In God We Trust” (IGWT) and that we’re supposed to be one nation under God, but it seems that every time you turn on the news there’s something showing how fallen this world is. Not only that, but you’ve got preachers encouraging people to say “Gimmie” the American dream and a bank full of money. Of course, there are also those people out there whose sole job on this earth is to bring other people down because of their own issues (Hot Air Balloon). Doesn’t that sound like your town? I know it sure sounds like mine. That’s Minorville in a nutshell. Now, if you lived in Minorville, you’d probably think that there’s no hope; but, that’s the flip side to this album. Derek Minor gives hope to the listener, letting them know that no matter their situation there’s hope to be found in Jesus Christ. While many of the songs may paint a sad picture of this world, if you listen long enough, you can see the silver lining.

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Posted on Jan 10, 2014

[review.] Roy Tosh – The Revert

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Now I am definitely no stranger to Roy Tosh. Does 737 sound a little familiar? Well this cat is back with a new name and a new sound. He is definitely no stranger to the Christian Hip Hop scene. Roy has worked with rappers such as K-Drama, J’son, and of course Lecrae. I first was introduced to him back in 2012 from my good friends Level 3:16, who were featured on his album Convinced. Speaking of Convinced, this album actually peaked at #25 on iTunes hip-hop charts. So when Roy Tosh latest mixtape, The Revert was dropped, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

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Posted on Dec 9, 2013

[review.] Sidewalk Prophets – Merry Christmas To You

Sidewalk-Prophets-Merry-Christmas-To-You-300x300As temperatures are dropping and decorations are filling homes, it’s definitely beginning to look like Christmas. Aside from the excitement about the holiday season, I am even more excited about Sidewalk Prophets new Christmas album, “Merry Christmas to You”. Now you may remember Sidewalk Prophets who stepped in the music scene in late 2009. Their debut album “These Simple Truths” delivered a No. 1 and No. 3 single and named them Dove Awards New Artist of the Year in 2010. It’s clear that there is definitely some talent here.

Now I’m going to be honest. I’m not a huge fan of Christmas albums. I feel that each album has the same sound and the only difference is the artist singing the songs. Playing “Merry Christmas to you” had me excited because it’s Sidewalk Prophets but also anxious to see if this band would change my opinion on Christmas albums. Well they did! “Merry Christmas to you” is by far an excellent album. It’s a very whimsical and fun. I loved how Sidewalk Prophets put their own spin on Christmas music. This album presents a variety of genres from blues to acoustic to pop. There is a great balance between ballads, worship melodies, and jazz inspired songs. The album is composed of some of your favorite carols such as “White Christmas” and “Silent Night” and introduces some originals from the band.

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