Reach Records (January 11, 2011)
Review by Aidan Severs
Lecrae: undeniably Christian Hip Hop’s current leading light. He’s the MC whose show reportedly attracted a crowd of 10,000, the MC whose Rehab LP is still lingering at the top of Amazon’s Hip Hop best sellers chart, the MC whose follow-up record Rehab: The Overdose peaked at number one on the iTunes chart; big achievements for a clear message which is so hated by this world.
Rehab: The Overdose immediately strikes the listener as being something different to its predecessor; this LP is the more gritty, from-the-streets record that the more serious Hip Hop head probably wanted to hear Lecrae make. It’s almost as if both this and Rehab were designed to work side-by-side, thus widening the audience of this one rapper. At only 11 tracks long, this is an album which is much easier to take in.
Embodying the “dirty south” sound, this time without many radio-friendly leanings, the production on The Overdose is raw yet definitely high quality. Lyrically Lecrae raps more technically than on Rehab. Content-wise Lecrae continues to get across many Christian truths in a responsive manner – the listener gets a feel for how biblical doctrines have impacted Lecrae personally. Conceptually the album loosely continues the themes of Rehab – a good marketing ploy. The album starts off well with “More”, “Battle Song” and “Anger Management” all being good tracks. “Chase That” begins with a nice orchestral instrumental which then breaks into a haunting but pacey exposure of a wrong attitude to ambition.
“Strung Out” and “Like That” feel more like tracks which didn’t make the cut on Rehab as they do have a more poppy feel to them, auto-tune and all. “The Good Life” has a bit of a generic R’n’B feel to it (the subject matter isn’t anything original either), which may not appeal to all but it’s the type of track that most rap albums do have so most fans are used to this sort of variety when listening to an LP.
Rehab: The Overdose is worth a listen, especially if you’re a fan of Lecrae’s Rehab, or if you’re generally into the “dirty south” sound. There are plenty of encouraging topics and good teachings to keep a believer entertained for the short duration, so in that sense it has its attractions too. The LP is a solid release on the whole and, despite my comparisons to its forerunner, should be judged in its own right.
For fans of: 116 Clique, Sho Baraka, Trip Lee, Tedashii