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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
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. More
By their ability to paint pictures with their words, Dear Son, a group of four people making art, have rightly entitled their album “Canvas.” From top to bottom on the track list the group was able to paint pictures with their words going back and forth from poetic slam poetry over gentle instrumentals to rapping over beats that go a little harder.
None of the people in the group grew up in the hip hop culture which has given them a unique sound. By going for less of a hip hop feel and being geared towards making good art they have developed the type of music Beautiful Eulogy has built it’s career on. More
There are a few CHH artists who can equally blend raw lyricism with true evangelism. Among these artists is Humble Beast emcee Eshon Burgundy. Emcee/producer/director and Philly native released an EP late September entitled For God’s Sake. Honestly, I’ve heard a few of his features and seen his work on music videos, but until recently, I looked deeper into his discography and biography. This cat is legit! He has worked with many hip hop legends including DJ Jazzy Jeff. Eshon lets the listener know how real his faith in God is in this project as he illustrates his testimony and life on the streets. Here are some elements I find truly significant in this project.
First, I would say that this EP is pretty much a mixtape. I love to listen to tracks with infinite bars on some borrowed beats, mainly because it shows that the emcee has something to say regardless of what beat it is. Eshon throws lyrics at you punch after punch in each track, following up with some hooks that will stay stuck in your head all day. “Gold champagne and a cup full of diamonds…” More
With the album, entitled “Growth”, Brandon “B-Luv” Johnson has established that he is here to make a huge impact in the Christian Hip Hop world. Even though “Growth” is his debut album, B-Luv gives off the appearance of being a seasoned veteran with the album cover and maturity in his lyrics. One of the most appealing things in an artist is their ability to be authentic within their rhymes and B-Luv was seemingly able to do just that.
Often times on debut albums the artist will try to go way out of their comfort zone musically and it ends up causing the whole album to suffer. B-Luv did the exact opposite. It is apparent he knows exactly what he is great at musically (which is absolutely murdering beats with nice lyrics and imagery) and stuck to just that and there is no doubt he will continue to grow as an artist and expand his realm of musical talent. More
Those who’ve been keeping up with the Christian Rap scene will be familiar with at least one of the artists now signed to Collision records and who now bring the ‘We Live As Kings’ project to the arena: Swoope, Christon Gray, Dre Murray and Alex Faith (as well as Wit, Dirty Rice and Joseph Prielozny assisting on the boards) . There’s a good chance too that one, or more, of them will be in your top 10 favorite artists of the moment. More
I have my copy of Sivion’s ‘Butterfly Sessions’ next to me, but have resisted the urge to play it afresh. Why? Well there are two approaches to reviewing a remixed release; the first is to compare, the second is to analyze it as a completely new piece of work. The original seven tracks produced by Dert will remain unplayed on this occasion; as you will have guessed, I’m taking the second option. Sivion and Freddie Bruno, both of Deepspace5, hope to breathe new life into Illect Recording’s 2010 release by offering up the same tracks but with new beats (but y’all already knew what remix meant didn’t you?). More
Summer of 2013 ended, and the heat somewhat dissipated. Time to bust out those clothes you haven’t worn since March, turn off the AC, and start raking the leaves. However, October 1, Clearsight Music artist Flame turns the heat up by releasing his seventh album, “Royal Flush”. I have always been a fan of his music, because I don’t know what to expect with his versatility, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be disappointed.
Before I even start on the album’s content, I notice the album title itself brings attention to the listener, especially those familiar with the poker game. The royal flush is the best hand to ever be dealt in the game. Flame parallels this with 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (NIV) This means that we have been given the winning hand that trumps out any sinful life. More
“Who’s The Collective? Timothy, Levite and Da Blacksmith (blessed by the ruggedest tracks by Theory Hazit).” That’ll be Timothy Brindle, Stephen The Levite and Zae Da Blacksmith, then; some of Lamp Mode Recordings’ freshest and finest. “What’s the objective? To give cats the music they’re lacking and international missions, for anyone asking.” That pretty much sums up this self-titled album. More