Hip-Hop Snapshot (1)
We’ve been in earshot of these hip-hop snapshots. Deeply independent, these
projects deliver combinations of rhymes and beats that further add to the
growing body of Gospel lyrics draped in hip-hop culture.—
reviewed by Stan North —
Let The Truth Be Told
Stay Ready Records
Take note from his moniker, this artist hits the lyrical edge hard, and compounds the message with equally blunt and abrupt approach to his flows, tossing in ample poundingly heavy beats. Variously schooled in rabbinical theology and Hebrew studies, Obadiah One testifies to Jesus Christ as the only Way in his prophetic rhymes, bringing in deep topics reflected in titles such as “Rumors of Wars”, “Don’t Prayer Hate” and “Repent or Perish”.
Memorable cuts include the latin-influenced “Between Two Testaments”, featuring Urban Legend, and the lighter "Inspire Obadiah" which highlights smooth-flowing rap poetry from Nubian Experience. "Bible Man" could be considered the theme track, and is the focus of the hard-hitting concept video from the album. With Black Spade hooking up the phat beats, this project is a 17-track, heavy hip-hop winner.
Sphere of HipHop
Using diverse hip-hop influences to create ‘raw’ hiphop soup, Mars Ill is the epitome of underground Gospel hip-hop, displaying originality, hard-spitting topics, creative freedom and entrepreneurial web marketing to boot. Veteran crew members DJ DUST and soul heir the manCHILD rely on the basics (two turntables and a mic) to deliver flows and, needless to say, a hefty dose of scratches.
Any attempt to define killer cuts must include "Black Market" (featuring melodic elements and contributions from guest emcee, Playdough) and "Monotone", which rides on a minimum of vocal tones par excellence, bringing hip-hop praise to God. Other highlights include cameos from Sev Statik and Flyn Adam Akins (on "Try Again") on select tracks. Seventeen cuts, two instrumentals there’s no shortage of depth. Bottom line here is that you need be bumpin’ this wax if you want to keep up with the underground scoop.
Metro One Music
Hailing from the same hip-hop stable as veterans T-Bone, K2S and
Priesthood, The Raven spreads his wings on this debut
from the Metro One label. With his California-based ministry already responsible
for some still circulating independent releases, his ministry is serious and sincere. The Raven’s testimony and holy warfare speaks of a prodigal experience, and his presentation and rhymes reflect that. "Unmask The Predator" is a prime example.
Regarding beats, the lyrical impact would be that much stronger with improved
production and a sound that lines up more with today’s scene and tomorrow's vibe.
MC's & DJ's
Newcomer Rahab Records puts the emphazise on holy fun on this
complation of vocal rhymes and glory beats. Much of the material
moves along on soft bed of R&P beats and smoothed out vocals, which serves to support
the melodic skills from various artists who take turns on the mic.
In fact, with this much smooth, it might
be a stretch to call the project hip-hop. The MCs and DJs referenced in the
title track include Deuce, Chris Ezell, D. Latif Alston, Keith Brown, plus several others.
The theme of encouragement prevalent through many cuts is worked to the max
with the use of melodic instrumentation (title track) and selective
use of choir ("It's The Spirit"). This enjoyable project will find
a welcome home in those who may not expect it, should they make a judgement based
solely on the album title. Look for more to come from Rahab.
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