Rappers aren’t writers! Are they? That’s what most people think. “They just rap there isn’t much depth to them”. But what happens when a rapper realizes there is more to their life than the music they create? That’s where Malice of The Clipse comes in. With a desire for people to see the man behind the music he lays it all on the line in his debut book “Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked”.
With The Required Taste, veterans Othello and DJ Vajra are coming for the number one spot. What the listener can expect is soulful, jazz infused hip hop paired with conscious wordplay. It's a project that will definitely cater to those starved for the classic, golden era sound.
Othello, perhaps best known for his work with Lightheaded, seems to thrive when working with specific producers. He and DJ Vajra, a gifted turntablist and beatmaker who handles all the production on the album, tap into their funk and soul roots to create a sound that is both mature and expressive.
Lecrae is back with his fourth studio album: 'Rehab'. His previous projects displayed his passion to be unashamed, encouraged believers to live for Christ after the music stops and be rebels. Rehab conveys the message of rehabilitation, redemption and recovery.
Since the beginning of recorded music, there has been one constant: record labels. For the most part, they come and go, especially on the independent scene. Labels like Sun Records, Sub-Pop and Metal Blade have all shaped different genres in music, and have even heralded changing trends. Some of these labels live on for an extended period of time and some are absorbed by major labels.
Unfortunately, the shelf life for most indie labels is very brief, and Christian Hip Hop is not immune to that particular business truth. In the past 20 years, labels like Frontline, Grapetree, Reserved Records and Uprok were well respected, but have since gone the way of the dodo. They've been succeeded by labels like Reach Records and Illect. However, since the 90s, one record label* has continued to thrive and provide solid hip hop with a spiritual message: Syntax Records.
St. Louis native Json has become a very familiar name in Christian Hip Hop. He has been turning heads and getting verses re-winded since he was first heard on the 116 Clique compilation in 2005. As an independent artist, he went on to drop two noteworthy albums: 'The Seasoning' and 'Life on Life.' The latter created such a buzz, that Lamp Mode Recordings picked up the unsigned artist and released a remastered version of the album last year. On his third album, 'City Lights', Json seeks not only to paint a stark picture of the inner-city, but urges the church to be the much needed illumination to dark streets.
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Griffin, if you didn't know is a Tunnel Rat, Scribbling Idiot affiliate and one half of the duo EDM (Mouf Warren of SI being the other half). Griffin is one of my favorite emcees and this was before his solo debut album ‘Samson’ was released. A lot of fans of The Tunnel Rats have been waiting for a Griffin solo effort since the 2005 self-titled TR release. Here we are five years later and End of Earth Records releases Griffin’s ‘Samson’.
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What makes a healthy church? Lamp Mode and 9Marks have teamed up to let Christians know. Utilizing the “9 Marks of the Church,” (created by D.C. Pastor Mark Dever) Flame, Trip Lee, shai linne, Tedashii, and others seek to communicate the characteristics that aid in the health of the church. This album is a perfect marriage of weighty doctrinal teaching and quality rap music. Learning has never been so worthy of a rewind as it is here.
Torey D'Shaun & Kevi Morse
Any Last Words?