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Undoubtedly, you’re curious about the album title of Rey King’s debut release. Seems a bit odd, to say the least, for a Christian artist to title their album Young God. But of course, we all know better than to pass a verdict on something or someone without actually first examining the issue, and a once through of King’s Young God will dispel any notion of false doctrine as King is not claiming to be God rather a child of God. While Rey King probably should take to the doctrine of adoption with more humility, there is certainly no cause to write off the Florida representer without at least examining his work.

With that said, let’s actually get into the album. Young God is King’s debut release on the music scene, yet sonically, it sounds nothing like a debut. The production is vibrant, diverse, and near flawless. Equipped with that fresh FLA club hip-hop vibe, R&B stylings, smooth samples, fresh instruments, 808’s and synths, nearly every beat on Young God is a gem. Most artists don’t even dream about having this level of production on their debut, but then again most artists don’t produce all 20 tracks on their debut like King has. Gifted behind the boards, Rey King also puts it down on the mic and mixes it up with a fair amount of crooning as well. To say the man is multi-talented would be an understatement.

Impressive on the musical front, Young God is a mixed bag content-wise. King demonstrates some noteworthy creativity on the surprisingly hype intro/interview with God entitled, “Hi,” which continues on at the middle of the album with “I‘m” and at the album’s conclusion with “God”. With King spitting as the Lord and revealing God’s redemptive plan on each respective interlude, all three takes happen to be some of the album’s brightest spots as both production and content sync together well in terms of directing attention to the Lord.

Now, for the mixed bag part. The lead single, “Hustler” features a smooth club beat and a chorus that are the epitome of catchy. The autotune hook is a perfect fit as King croons about pressing forward for the Kingdom. However, the problematic content comes in the verses and is a bit similar to the concerns people had with Pro’s debut, “The Blackout”. That is, while King’s intentions certainly seem to be God-glorifying, his lyrical content often lacks the humility needed to glorify the King most effectively.

On “Hustler,” King describes himself as “Da Vinci on the beats, Picasso with the flow/When it comes to calculations, Einstein with the dough”. The thing is, after listening to the album’s intro (“Hi”) and as soon as the drums kick in on “Hustler,” it is more than apparent that King is a beast on the beats. When he spits, it is more than apparent that he’s a talent. We don’t need to be reminded because, one and a half tracks into the album, it’s crystal clear. Lines like “200K on the wrist to remind me what time it is/I ain‘t braggin’ just proud of my accomplishments” also show a lack of maturity on King’s part.

Lines like “The Bible say you reap what you sow/ and I sow dough which means I grow more” and “here’s a message to the haters: we rich (in your face)” from “On Me” not only present theological problems and but seemingly contradict earlier bars from King like “if you think havin’ money means you’re rich than ya really broke ” (“Hustler”).

In addition, “Call Me” and “Spot Like” are two tracks that bang musically but feel wasted as they are overly arrogant at points with the former being directed to haters and the latter serving as an overcomer’s anthem with immature lyrics like “I’m a repper and singer, I’m a young god, you a sinner”. Certainly not the best way to display Christ to the “haters”.

Fortunately, not all of Young God is marred by such content issues. Rey King shines on all fronts, musically and lyrically, on the aforementioned God interludes as well as tracks like “Young” featuring Netty, “Why” featuring J1 and Denim Deleon, and “My All”. Unsurprisingly, the album’s standout tracks are where Rey’s passion for Christ is uninhibited by pompous lyrics. Instead, the heartfelt nature of these tracks are palpable. On the melodic, intricately produced “Young,” King unveils his struggles with the temptations of youth and rebellion, a joint that will resonate with and encourage many young believers.

The beautifully produced “Why” is another exceptional joint as Rey recounts his struggles to fight his old way of life and accept the freedom of new life in Christ. The authenticity of King’s verses along with solid contributions from J1 and Denim Deleon makes “Why” one the album’s best tracks.

Likely the album’s best and most complete track, “My All” plays out much like a modern day Psalm as King expresses devotion to the Lord, singing his praises over a rich electric guitar riff and one of King’s most stirring beats on the whole album.

Sometimes, talent outruns maturity and humility. We’ve seen it with countless preachers, who while gifted in their teaching, often lack the maturity and humility needed to keep themselves out of unnecessary controversy. I suppose this is somewhat the case with Rey King, who is an incredible talent, yet a lack of lyrical maturity taints many tracks on Young God. Artistically, Young God is almost without blemish, yet I predict some of its lyrical content may put some off depending on personal preferences. I still recommend you check out Young God and determine for yourself what you tracks you find edifying and worth purchasing. As for me, I’ll be bumping select tracks from Young God and eagerly awaiting King’s next offering with the hopes that like me, he will continue to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and humility.


LABEL: Indie

RELEASE DATE: July 2009

TRACKLISTING
1. Hi
2. Hustler
3. Light Bill
4. Angel
5. My all
6. Call me
7. On Me
8. On top ft. Shad da gifted
9. Young ft. Netty
10. I’m
11. Why ft. J1 & Denim Deleon
12. Starz
13. Godz Music
14. Fantasy
15. Save me ft. Netty
16. Grace
17. Spot like
18. Work me
19. Sheppard
20. GOD