#ATWT: Lecrae’s first major label release proves inspiration is in “All Things”

I don’t know about you but I’m…look what you made me do.

I’m not ashamed to admit it but I’m one of those chicks who likes to ride with my top down listening to Jesus music. It’s partly because of the way I was raised. I actually wasn’t allowed to listen to a lot of secular music growing up until I rebelled against Christian music for a few short years when I was trying my hand at being the female version of Slim Shady. I was obsessed with Eminem at 13 and still have yet to get over his Curtain Call album. Turns out, rapping isn’t my calling but at least I had fun figuring that out.

Someone who is a natural lyricist is Lecrae. He was the first Christian hip hop artist to have a #1 album on the Billboard Hot 100 but he didn’t just walk out of the gate and into overnight success. His first album Real Talk was released via the independent label he co-founded in 2004 and it started the 116 clique movement. He refers to his music as “hip-hop that he uses to share his Christian faith,” and it is this outsider attitude that has taken him from rapper to anomaly with a Grammy win, a BET win, and now a signed contract with Columbia Records. Lecrae Moore has quite the life story, and is definitely real life proof that all things do work together.

Song by Song Review

Always Knew: The perfect track to break the glass ceiling as a major label artist. The musicality of the entire album is a definite head nod to all of Lecrae’s “day ones and the crew” with elements from Real Talk and his Church Clothes mixtapes. Lyrically, this track discusses his Reach Records days to transitioning to a major label artist with his album displayed in Times Square.

Understanding me ain’t for the simple& elementary

Facts: Emulating Church Clothes style and musicality  discussing current themes about racial divisions and stereotypes

Just know if you rock the boat you better have a life raft

Broke: A song about how the struggle makes you stronger, it boasts how God takes all the broken pieces & makes you the righteousness of God through Christ. Also is about wealth in character being far more valuable than any and all material wealth

Hard times made for a good life

Blessings: A song of thanksgiving and praise, gospel gone ghetto, about being grateful & counting all God’s blessings.

Whatchu Mean: With a catchy backbeat, it discusses someone who’s words and actions don’t balance out. On this track featuring new Reach Records artist, Aha Gazelle we find them blocking out haters and pursuing dreams.

Hammertime:  Lecrae tells the listener to work hard at what they want to achieve in life. Musically, it samples the 90’s hit “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer.

If we living what we talk about, you don’t talk a lot

Come and Get Me: Favorite track on the record because it’s the perfect mix of righteous and ratchet, and it is unapologetic rebel music, with sleigh bells carrying the back beat.

Tweet: #ATWT is the perfect mix of righteous and ratchet with a substantial testimony @lecrae https://ctt.ec/OHePu+ via @tscphiles

Lucked Up: Another reason I respect Lecrae as an artist is because unlike other hip-hop artists that get on hit song charts by bragging about how many women they get with, he always has a song that boasts his life for his wife and showcases his softer side, and that’s what this track is for this album.

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Wish You The Best: A song about the power of forgiveness despite how the relationship came to an end.

Can’t Stop Me Now: As I am a white female who was born in the 90’s, the first thing that came to mind when I heard this track was that it reminded me of Sailing by ‘NSYNC in musicality and style but a Caribbean element creates a song about letting go of depression and doubt.

I’ll Find You: Featuring Tori Kelly, this dream collaboration talks about God finding you in the midst of the pain or trial

8_28: Based on Romans 8:28, the title track is a lyrical tale about how all things work together for those who love God & are called according to his purpose.

Cry For You: It was originally written as a journal entry and not going to be used for the album, and Lecrae recorded it in one take with authentic emotions and tears in the corners of his eyes, it discusses having weaknesses, flaws, and a thorn in the flesh. Almost a letter to God about the fight of faith.

Worth It: Gospel Baptist Church musicality sets the scene for this track about how God looks at us with unconditional love even in the midst of our sin and mistakes because “the price paid determines the value.”

Overall, Lecrae’s major label debut knocks it out of the park and has all the original reach of his past projects with a new testimony: all things do work together.

#MusicLove: Tampa Local KB uses second album to preach life

Not a stranger to the 116 clique and a huge supporter of Lecrae since he was my introduction to Christian hip-hop ( you mean I can turn up for Jesus?!), KB’s album came on my radar after listening to Derek Minor and Lecrae stations on Pandora.

I prefer Christian hip-hop anyway because the content is stronger and less offensive as well as the beats are blessed by the Lord ( chances are your hips will catch the rhythm before you even realize what is happening).

KB is from Tampa, FL as I am and that only made me jump at the chance to review his second album even more.

From whoiskb.com:

Kevin Burgess, now better known by his stage name KB, is a hip-hop artist based in Tampa, FL heading up HGA. He’s found redemption in what was once the forbidden music of his youth.

His latest EP 100 debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Christian Album Chart. Tomorrow We Live has brought both critical acclaim and commercial success, debuting on the Billboard charts at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums, No. 4 on Top Rap Albums, and in the top 20 on the iconic Billboard 200. Tomorrow We Live  was released on April 21, 2015.

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Song by Song review:

Rich Forever: The album opens with a slow-tempo piano accompanied track based on Matthew 6:19-21 about treasure stored up in heaven once you become a believer of Christ.

Sideways: Featuring Lecrae, this is all about being persecuted because of your faith. A street phrase popular in all hip-hop music today is “sideways” meaning Someone coming at you in disrespect. This is my favorite track because it’s a banging track and Lecrae’s verse is fiyah:

ou ain’t never seen us cause you ain’t lookin’
And if I say Jesus everybody start bookin’
Get out the kitchen when I’m cookin’

I BelieveFeaturing Mattie Montgomery, this is a fire up your faith, we are victorious in Christ type jam. Matter of fact, I used it to further my faith in the most recent election, I believed America would win!  “I Believe” is an anthem of perseverance for those struggling in their faith with God. With this song, KB wants those people to know that they will win against every form of sin and the evil.

9 AM: An adlib track of KB’s daily morning as a husband and father.

Fall In Love With You: This is a lullaby KB is singing to his son. This song is set at 9:02 AM, continuing from the previous skit “9AM”. After he’s finished his morning workout and greeted his wife he comes into his son’s room to check on him and let him know how much he loves him. Although his son cannot yet understand what he’s saying, it’s a touching ballad for his baby boy that all fathers can relate to, and anyone who has someone that they love can relate to. Similar to Lecrae’s “All I ”Need Is You, this song can be dedicated to that “special someone” in your life. I like the breakdown part with the horns.

Always and Forever: KB wrote this song trying to encapsulate the feeling of the atmosphere at a wedding, and the love that the bride and groom have for each other. It has a disco vibe to it because that’s known as the greatest era for weddings still to this day.

I don’t know what holds tomorrow but I know who holds tomorrow

Matthew 6:34 (ESV) “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Ima Just Do It: This is for all those all-talk no action people. This is a song that instead of describes how things are done it’s about taking action in your faith. It’s said to be slightly inspired by Nike’s slogan: “Just Do It.” This is another favorite of mine because it’s another TURN-UP anthem.

Cruising: This song is the ride home after the wedding as KB’s about to sleep. On his way home KB is cruising through the city and is engaging in introspective throught.

Calling You: This song is a based on the true story of KB’s friend who came back from Iraq and killed himself. Suicide is something that occurs way too often as many people decide to kill themselves over major personal issues, and is considered a “permanent solution for a temporary problem”. The song goes through what KB would have said if he had been there to talk to his friend.

Save Me: The second interlude on the album that allows the listener to breathe and take in all the events of the previous track.

Drowning: KB finds himself in a place of helplessness that can only be solved by Jesus Christ or in other words, no matter the problem Jesus is the answer.

Lights Go Out: a song of hope that directs listeners to the love of Jesus Christ. Cece in this song is a metaphor for Christ’s Church (CC). Throughout the song he expresses his love for the church and the community around it and features Blanca and Justin Ebach.

Crowns & Thorns (Oceans): A rap over the famed Hillsong worship hit ” Oceans,” I actually prefer this track to the original because I love the “I am yours and your are mine” line that opens the rap.

Find Your Way: Prior to “Scars” by Alessia Cara, woman have little tracks that tell them they don’t have to be anything but what God made them to be and all that they are is enough. This track speaks to that and is another favorite of mine off the album despite it being a bonus track. This is KB’s advice to women to not worry about their bodies and how they look, and to instead see themselves as beautiful creatures created by God.

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