Christcentric “The Ephesians Project” (album review)

Indie (2011)
Review by LaRosa

If you’ve been around the Christian hip-hop scene for any amount of time, one thing that you’ll notice is that a significant portion of it is dedicated to trying to reach the lost. Sure, you’ll get some artists that try to cater to both the Christian & the lost; but, there is very little out there that is made strictly for believers. Christcentric is one of the few groups that fits into this mold; they make their music for the edification & uplifting of the Body, in a style that they call “didactic music.”

In their latest offering, Christcentric is attempting to tackle a first in our scene. They are taking the popular form of expository preaching and putting it to music, giving the listener a lyrical hip-hop exposition of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. With that as their premise, the name of their project is aptly & simply titled The Ephesians Project. An interesting concept, the crew takes a group of Scriptures and gives you a lyrical summary of what those verses are talking about.

Christcentric took on a pretty substantial undertaking with The Ephesians Project, but they execute it exquisitely. In terms of a concept album, they carry out their object flawlessly. Every track sticks to the task of expositing a passage from Ephesians, which means that there are no wasted tracks or filler material to speak of. That is always a joy to have when listening to an album. Now, one might be fearful that an album like this could become dry or bland, but Christcentric took steps to make sure that didn’t happen. Instead of listening to Evangel or other Christcentric members for the entirety of the album, they brought in “The Citizens of Zion,” their likeminded brothers to share in the heavy lifting. This really helped bring like to the album on tracks like “By Grace Through Faith” where the Brindle brothers (Believin’ Stephen & Timothy Brindle) go back & forth talking about Ephesians 2:1-10. Others like Zae da Blacksmith, B. Morr & his wife Jewel, Jovan Mackenzy, and B-Doe to name a few, all bring their talents to this album, which aides in keeping the album moving from track to track.

The Ephesians Project is a very straightforward album. While this isn’t exactly a bad thing, you’re not going to get a lot that is going to make you turn your head or blow you away. While some are looking for innovation in hip-hop, this album isn’t that. Christcentric remains within the mold that works for them: melodic east coast sounds that provide a picturesque backdrop for their weighty lyrical sermons. Although the album starts off a bit awkward with Evangel singing “Greetings… Ephesians…” on the hook, he quickly jumps into some pretty solid bars that make up for where the chorus lacks. In many ways, the opening track is a good summary for the album as a whole: there are some sketchy spots that leave you scratching your head, but there is more than enough to make up for where the album may lack. If there’s anything that feels considerably out of place on this album, it’s the last track “Fight for the Children,” which is just thrown on at the end; I get why they put it on there, but it just doesn’t fit and takes away from what you should walk away with after listening to this album.

As a whole, this is either going to be an album that you love or hate. For those that are looking to walk away with some biblical & spiritual edification while listening to some quality hip-hop, then this album will be for you. But, if you’re not someone who likes preaching in their music, then you may want to shy away from this album. For what this album attempts to do, I have to say that they did a very good job, and it probably stands as one of their best efforts. Whoever listens to this album will be hard pressed to not learn something about the book of Ephesians.

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  1. Excellent review although I’ve obviously not heard it yet. this will be one i buy mainly because i DO want teaching and encouragement. Not that I rely on music to give me that but I do find it helps me to remember things.

  2. All I want to know is when is the release date? Christcentric is my favorite Rap group and Evangel is my third favorite Rapper of all Time. I have all of your albums Christcentric. Ephesians is one of my favorite books in the Bible. I also have your two solo albums Evangel and they are Holy Ghost fire. I can not wait to buy this album. May The Lord Jesus Christ bless your Ministries, households, families, marriages and singlehoods. Praise Jehovah God Tghe Father, Jesus Christ God The Son and Holy Ghost God The Holy Sprit our Triune God forever and ever Amen.

  3. After a quick listen through of each track on the album, I’m noticing something really odd about the production. I haven’t talked with anyone about this yet so it might just be me but it seems like the beats are not matching up with the vocals well. I seriously love didactic, Christ-centered lyrical theology and even though I havent heard every song all the way through I know they deliver in that area, but I’m having trouble even listening to these songs. Anyone else notice something about the beats?

  4. @Apologist, don’t apologize for this 🙂
    Bro I love the music yall makin, Christcentric is definitely
    my fav hiphop group. I was super excited for this album to drop
    and after I bought it and listened, it just seemed alot different than
    your guys other stuff. I’m just not used to some of the beat styles that were used. But after listening the last few days its grown on me.
    Im really feelin Spiritual blessing in Christ, armor of God and
    Ephesians overview (love that sped up beat from Voice’s “consequences”). I dont think I heard Israel on the album, was he in any songs?

  5. Israel took a sabbatical that’s why he wasn’t on the album but he’s back and ready to work on didactic music vol 2. I’m glad the album us growing on you, don’t forget to pray for us that we will continue to focus on Jesus.

  6. I def agree w/ the review. One thing I’d probably add is this: the flow of the album from track to track feels off. I think the production should have been laid out to flow along side with the content. That’s not to say the production isn’t up to par. The production is def on point! I love the concept too & would love to see more albums like this in the future. Thanks for all the hard work that you guys do to put out solid material that causes listeners to grow. Since I bought th record it’s been on repeat!

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