Real Talk

There are many great emcees that hail from the East and West Coast: Da TRUTH, New Breed, Ahmad, Sev Statik, The Cross Movement, GIBRAAN (Fathoom Unseen) and many others.

Now repping the dirty South is an emcee by the name of Lecrae. Born in Houston and residing in Denton, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), his debut, Real Talk, is the kind of joint to which Source magazine would no doubt give five mics —it is just that good.

CDLecrae does what many have not done in this genre. He stays true to hip hop while still representing the dirty south. The album is full of ministry and it challenges the believer and the non-believer alike.

The emcee opens with his message of being “Souled Out”, a slow beat banger creates desire for more of the same from the minister. R-Swift guests on “We Don’t”, as he and Lecrae assure everyone that they are serious about being sanctified. No church lingo here, they use phraseology that brings home their message loud and clear. Add to that the dope beat (by Lecrae) and you have a song that needs to be played all over radio and featured on mixtapes.

“Aliens” is a song that unifies dancehall (a la Sean Paul or Papa San), hip hop and that rapid-fire lyric-spitting that is popular in the dirty South and Chicago (Twista). Plumbline member Tedashii joins in on this cut, stepping in to rap so fast and so skillfully that it will have one asking, “What did he say and how can he rap so fast?”. (Here's an artist true to hip hop while being able to rap in many different styles.)

Lecrae shows his versatility on “Crossover” as he raps over a crazy, synth-filled dance track provided by Deep Era Productions. This is a song that will burn up the repeat button. Lecrae wants those who are not saved to cross over to the life with Christ.

For those who love the crunk music, “Represent” is just the song. Tedashii appears again with Lecrae as twosome admonish Christians to proudly proclaim the name of Jesus.

“Take Me As I Am” is a chilled autobiographical story of how Lecrae came to Christ. Then on “Who U Wit”, Pac Man elements are folded in to create a clever jam good for a ride on the freeway.

Lecrae Another highlight is the uptempo "The Line”. Cheese provides the music, Tedashii sings the hook, and Lecrae and Tedashii provide the dope lyrics.

Lecrae correctly titled the album Real Talk, for he tackles tough issues. On “Heaven or Hell”, the street minister bluntly expresses the reality of choices that people have, with regard to places to go when they die. “Wait” challenges young ladies to wait until they are married to have sex and not to follow their feelings.

Two bonus tracks are a nice slow jam by Steven Carter and the screwed version of “Represent”.

Real Talk is a great debut by an upcoming artist. Lecrae keeps his mind focused on ministry, while delivering an album that lovers of hip hop, crunk music and just plain 'ole good music will love.

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Producer: Lecrae
album release date: June, 2004

— reviewed by Dwayne Lacy

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