Saturday, January 24, 2009
Me on my soapbox....
Amusingly for someone who’s hooked on who’s supposedly hooked on Holy Hip Hop(or Gospel Rap for Craig Lewis faithful)I refused to listen to this album simply cos I felt it wouldn’t be on the same level of quality with Da’T.R.U.T.H., Lecrae or any of his other “contemporaries”. Of course all this was before a certain bloke named Akor (God bless him) gave me the album last year at the YWAP end of leadership retreat. Let’s just say I’ve been hooked since then! As a staunch fen of “conscious” rap, I couldn’t help but get disarmed by this offering. Not exactly 5 mic material I know, this probably the 1st and most accurate Social Commentary done by a gospel artist (except maybe Everyday Process’s Illumination and Elimination LP).
It covers (yeah study the album cover) everything from today’s music to our greed(for prosperity), social vices and of course, our God…
Ok what’s a Soapbox? Apparently this is a word that refers to a sort of impromptu platform raised above the surrounding level for an orator/ speaker to give a speech or address people on!!(You’re forgiven for thinking it’s just a container of soap). And here’s what R-Swift does, he makes you ask yourself “what’s up with my beliefs?” he unapologetically asks you what you are proclaiming on your own platform!
Away from the message a bit and focusing on the production… it’s now common knowledge that CMR boys don’t ever fall hand cos some banging beats done by the very much on the rise Mac The Doulous and even J.R were on the album. If Soapbox is a movie then the cast for this album is an assorted collection of Oscar nominees and Winners with the likes of Lecrae, J.R, Izreal on board(Particularly the album’s cipher The League boasts a cast of the Who is Who in underground gospel rap). In short this is just tight East Coast material and I think anyone who hasn’t heard it is missing a lotta good stuff big time!!!
1. Stage Fright
2. In Session
3. Good Mourning
5. Breatha (Featuring Lecrae)
6. Message 1 (k-Drama)
7. The League
11. Message 2 (Flame)
12. American Soil
13. Love Letter (Featuring Michelle Bonilla)
14. Me on My SoapBox
15. Message 3 (Teddy P)
Fav Jams? The League, Breatha, Soapbox, Lifetime….
Json_Life on Life
Dang!!! This dude is independent(or was independent till he signed on Shailinne’s Lampmode Records) but of course he brings heat just as blazing as one of em CMR/ Reach Records bois. Released two years after his first album (The Seasoning), Life on Life is simple, straight to the point and an album that emphasizes discipling/ sharing one’s Faith with others. To start with, check out the album cover, then the beats, then the songs!...This guy’s from St Louis and he lets us know with banging Crunk jams, topics like (yup you guessed it!)The Word of God, leaving our comfort zones to share the Word and Growth. The album comes across as a Christian Big Brother just tryna update you on what’s been happening and the next few steps to take in your walk with God.
The same Json flavor that hit us on 13Letters and The Compilation Album is present on this album with even more swagger! There’s a couple of new cats like Future and Titus on the album but we also hear the likes of Thisl, Flame,Lecrae and even Trip Lee(amongst other established acts)
To tell the truth I’ve been listening to this album like everyday since the year kicked off and I can tell you my Faith and Belief has grown based on some concepts he makes mention of. If you can cop this album, do it pronto!!!!
1. Life On Life Intro
2. Catch Up (Interlude)
5. Turning Point
6. What It Do (Feat. Titus & Trip Lee)
7. Listening Choice (Feat. Tedashii)
8. My Heart (Feat. Dawndia of Cho’zyn)
9. I Do
10. Glory Revealed (Interlude)
11. Sitting Big
12. Fight (Feat. Thi’sl & MikeREAL)
13. Who He Is (Feat. Lecrae)
14. Confession (Interlude)
15. Ladies & Fellas
16. Move Out (Feat. Future & Flame)
17. In The Studio
20. Grace (Bonus Track)
Fav jams? Sitting Big, Who He Is