It's not often that a musical group transcends stereotypes and geographical influences to produce a universal piece of music.Producers: Mo Henderson, Eric Bryant, Mic T, Pop
album release date: June, 2001
That’s what happens on this new music from Shabach Entertainment, the Florida-based label known for producing revolutionary artists such as Pettidee.
Returning to the rap game with the hip hop quartet Camp Quest, the label debuts a multicultural group with a self-titled project that succeeds in turning heads with scintillating tracks (under the guidance of proven veteran Mo Henderson), and thought-provoking lyrics.
Joules, Amp, DJ and Mic T each demonstrate a sincere desire to spread the gospel through their original lyrical flow and demonstrate their unique talent by composing all songs on the album.
The Florida natives stray from the stereotypical "dirty south" sound to adopt a strong East Coast vibe, which comes over like a natural flow for the group. It's hard to neglect this group's amazing talents. DJ's flow in particular is remarkably reminiscent of that of controversial rapper Eminem, a style that has until now not been heard in the Christian rap arena.
The 14-track journey starts with an energetic call to action titled "Get Ya Tents Up", advising all Christians to prepare for the war that is at hand with our eternal enemy. It’s an appropriate introduction to this multi-faceted group who masterfully blend their diverse rapping styles.
In addition to their own flows, Camp Quest enlists the help of several of hip-hop's most talented emcees. Grits joins CQ on the shout-out filled track titled "CampOut", and Knowdaverbs joins the crew on the laidback "Sunday Drive". Bonafied (of Grits) also steps in with a rap and writing assist on “Xpectations”.
Camp Quest also utilizes the services of label mate Pettidee on a highly thought-provoking track titled "What If?". This one is special as it helps you to realize what life might be like if we weren't alive, or if we didn't travel down a God-ordained path.
It's tracks like this one, as well as others such as "Fatherless Child" and "Nicki" that define this group, for Camp Quest refuses to shy away from the difficult life issues that can often be ignored elsewhere.
"Fatherless Child", with Shabach artist Lisa giving vocal support, tells the story of a child who is abandoned by his father and the difficulties that he faces. The song deals with the raw emotions of many fatherless children, offers Christ as a solution, and addresses the true hurt and pain that is associated with this situation.
"Nicki" chronicles the life of a girl who is raised in the church but chooses the life of prostitution as a lifestyle. With wailing, Eastern-ish guitar picking happening in the background, the song reveals that Nicki chose this lifestyle as a result of sexual molestation by a family member.
Another powerful track is "Single Bedsheets", which addresses single Christians who have difficulty with sexual promiscuity. DJ candidly expresses the difficulties that he's faced in these scenarios and offers purity as the alternative to premarital sexual activity.
"Chronicles" is a remarkable look at several Biblical characters including Adam, Eve, and Samson. With a smoothness by way of Melissa Johnson’s vocals contrasting the edgy, accented CQ flow, it succeeds in presenting a fresh view on these persons found in the Old Testament.
Camp Quest's ability to address life's difficult issues by way of innovative lyricism and catchy tracks make them remarkable within the Gospel community. Talented rappers and ministry-minded, this crew belongs in the upper echelon of the hip-hop arena.
reviewed by Gerard Bonner and Stan North —
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