Okay, first off, let me be the first to say that I tend to be an optimist. I look for the good in just about any and every thing possible. Now with that in the open, let’s get this party started right; ya’ll want this party started quickly, right…lol…
Cat, a rapper out of the Pacific Northwest, drops his debut album Cloudy Dreams, with the intent of spreading the message of the gospel. His intentions are notable and very much appreciated in a world full of unsanctified and unholy hip hop. But (you knew it was coming), I can’t really say that I enjoyed this record. From the production (Vic Zendez of NB Entertainment and Smooth from K2S) to Cat’s lyrical presence to the overall style of the record in general, I just wasn’t feeling it.
Something seems to have been lost in his attempt to marry an old school rap steez with pre- “nu flava-N-yo ear” era production. Along the journey of listening to the album, I really felt like I was stuck in late 80’s hip hop, without an escape route to the present (don’t get me wrong, I love some late 80’s hip hop, but, well I’ll stay here before I digress). Cat’s lyrical content and cadence remind me of early Christian hip hop when it was just trying to fit into the predominantly west coast gang influenced culture of, well, the 1980’s.
Tracks like “The Devil’s a Punk”, which is a noble concept (I mean really, who likes the devil??), sound somewhat elementary with hooks like, ‘the devil’s a punk / everybody buck-buck / the devil’s a punk so shoot him up, shoot him up / the devil’s a punk, everybody buck-buck / the devil’s a punk so wet him up.” Maybe it’s just me, but I was under the impression that it was an unspoken rule in Christian Hip Hop that we just don’t talk ‘bout bustin’ a cap in demons and breakin’ the devil off somethin’ proper like anymore. As fun as it may sound to walk down the street loading up a “holy strap” (bang-bang!), it really seems satirical and so far away from where we are trying to go as a genre.
I believe that Cat has the right heart for holy hip hop, but I would like to see a more up to date and relevant style from him and his producers on his future efforts. Bang-Bang, for two stars.
Production 5 Lyrics 4 Message 8 Overall Quality Track Listing
2. Cloudy Dreams feat. Terryl Greg
3. Tha Devil's A Punk!
4. Times Like These feat. Smooth of K2S, Terra Nyce, Mario V
5. Prayer Interlude
6. Pray With Me feat. Demon Killa, Terra Nyce
8. 4 My Homiez feat. Terra Nyce
9. Thru Tha Storm feat. Mario V
10. Call My Name feat. Terra Nyce
11. Ridin 4 Christ (Old Skool Mix) feat. Terryl Greg
12. Every Tear feat. Terra Nyce
13. Outro feat. Smooth of K2S