Reach Records (September 28, 2010)
Review by Aidan Severs
It’s not because hes dropped five solo LPs that Lecrae has made what is arguably the biggest noise in the history of Christian Hip Hop. No, it’s because of just one of those albums: Rehab. Its the album that fans of numerous genres have been able to listen to and then list as one of their favorites. It’s the album that’s recently seen him featured in secular Hip Hop magazine XXL. Its the album that’s made Lecrae the current ambassador for CHH.
Stylistically Lecrae is comparable to other artists from the various Southern states and cities he has called home. With its synths-not-samples approach and auto-tuned vocals the albums team of producers employs current production trends although are not limited to one particular sound. Weighing in at 17 tracks long and with over an hours worth of music you definitely get value for money. Topically the album is full of explicit thoughts and teachings on the Christian life.
Just Like You is a thoughtful and honest track about earthly role models but it’s the last verse that brings perspective with its unashamed explanation of our sin and what Jesus has done for us. Background is a song in a similar vein with C-Lite on chorus duties and Lecrae rapping, almost in prayer, about allowing God to be sovereign in his life. High, which features Sho Baraka, is reminiscent of Snoops Drop It Like It’s Hot and its memorable lyrics are sure to get audiences rapping along. 116 compadres Tedashii and Trip Lee get on board 40 Deep as accountability and community in the body of Christ are discussed from a street perspective. These are some of the highlights but after each listen the listener will come away impressed by a different track – the rock/rap/reggae of Children of the Light and the perspective on the devils tricks in the last verse of Used To Do It Too are currently on my mind.
Some of the tracks don’t stand out as much as the others and there aren’t many who would be able to listen to the album in one sitting but they are my only negative thoughts on the project. The LP is very well conceived and my suspicions are that the intention is that the album hits many different target audiences and markets – the tracks that don’t stand out to me will be someone else’s favorites.
Lecrae is a talented MC with a shrewd ability to make songs with mass appeal. There’s no doubt that without the Christian content these tracks would be all over your radio and TV and it’s the fact that Lecrae makes a stand for what he believes that secular programmers will not give these tracks the exposure they deserve. That being said, this record has been making waves over the last year and continues to do so and I’m sure the Lord is using His servant and his work for His purposes – there many who will testify to this. Ultimately, regardless of the listeners tastes, this album uplifts and encourages believers and its success lies in this fact.
For fans of: 116 Clique, Sho Baraka, Trip Lee, Tedashii