Monday, 21 November 2011

'T.H.E. O.N.E.S' - N.I.F.T.Y. (review)

Another review, this time of N.I.F.T.Y.'s 'T.H.E. O.N.E.S.' (glad I don't have to type that again for a while!).

Here are a few samples of what I had to say:

"T.H.E. O.N.E.S stands for “Through His Example, Our Numbers Enter Salvation” and it’s an intensely gospel-centered album. N.I.F.T.Y.’s content is encouraging, challenging and true to the word of God."

"N.I.F.T.Y. has an authoritative voice and presence on this record. His vocals hold the strange ability to evoke the sound of Hip Hop legends... he has a mainstream but credible and classic voice."

Anyway, check it out for yourself - this will be one that gets iPod rotations from me, that's if my iPod stops acting a fool.

Friday, 18 November 2011

'Mending' - Paradox & DJ Sean P (review)

My latest review on Sphere of Hip Hop and an album I really enjoyed. The beats are spectacular and Paradox's rhymes never get tired. Check out 'Mending' by Paradox and DJ Sean P.

'He'll Come Back' is a fun reminder of something that believers should be so joyful about - our future hope - Christ's return. It features some of the album's great guests - MotionPlus, Freddie Bruno and Braille.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Pre-Release Thoughts on Shai Linne's 'The Attributes of God'

Shai Linne has to be credited as being the one who brought me back to Christian Hip Hop. As you might know he's due to drop an album called 'The Attributes of God' which is based largely on the book of the same name by A.W. Pink (click the link to read a PDF version).

In preparation for the album, and also because the book has been on my list of Christian classics to read, I've begun reading A.W. Pink's book. It's short and incredibly easy to read whilst being packed full of Biblical truths about our God which are all firmly rooted in scripture.

One thing I noted in the preface to the book is this quote:

"If the reader is to truly profit from his perusal of the pages that follow, he needs to definitely and earnestly beseech God to bless them to him, to apply His Truth to the conscience and the heart, so that his life will be transformed thereby."

I hope that I, and all other listeners of Shai Linne's LP will have this approach to both the book and the music. It's actually a scary thing to be praying for - that we would be changed, change that will be and should be uncomfortable as we dethrone self and put God in His rightful place. Having said this, the preface to the book also reminds us from Job to:

So, the more we know God, the more we will be at peace although that time of refining may be uncomfortable as Psalm 66:10-12 reminds us:

"For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance."

Shai Linne has written some interesting posts relating to the release of the album over on his own blog (, one being his post entitled 'Why Do An Album on God's Attributes'.

For a taster of the album, which is released on 1st November 2011, check out these videos:

'Stranger 2 Stranger' ft. Mac The Doulos - Evangel

It's been on my listen list a while now (it being a Lampmode release and all) and I finally got round to beginning to check Evangel's 'Expository Journey'. The first track proper is a duet with Mac The Doulos called 'Stranger 2 Stranger'.

If you're the type who learns from rap lyrics, and indeed learns rap lyrics by heart, then this track could really help you in situations where you're sharing the gospel. The unbeliever in the track throws up the most common objections to Christianity and the believer tackles each one graciously and succinctly - kinda like an easy-to-remember rap catechism!

Props to whoever uploaded this to Youtube with all the lyrics.

PRo and Odd Thomas - Two New Reviews

Have a couple more reviews for y'all to peruse:

First is PRo's 'Dying To Live' on Reach Records, which to be honest, was kinda the last Reach Records-ish release that I could listen to, having only recently reviewed both of Lecrae's latest releases. Because of this, it's possible that I reviewed unfairly but really 'Dying To Live' is very similar to other Reach releases - which is good, if you like that sort of thing. I must say though that their Gospel message is consistent and challenging and this is of utmost importance - they'll be reaching the folk who they intend to reach by continuing the way they are going.

Second is Odd Thomas' 'The Divine Use of Animosity and Ridicule' which I really enjoyed - much more my thing. OK, so Odd Thomas isn't exactly prolific with releases but that doesn't matter too much to me - at least I don't have to keep splashing out to keep up with him (even though this release is free as it's a Humble Beast jobbie). Want to hear some brave and bold emceeing? Then check this one out.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

'The Rock Is Steady' - Theory Hazit (album review)

Loved this release, as you may be able to tell from the review, and you should too (you being no-one because no-one reads this blog!).

Have also submitted reviews of PRo's 'Dying To Live', Lecrae's 'Hallelujah' single and Odd Thomas's 'The Divine Use of Animosity and Ridicule'.

I've also been listening a lot to Macho's 'Remember' which has prompted me to go back again to New Breed's 'Stop The Music' and Tunnel Rats' 'Tunnel Vision'. Also on deck has been 'One' by The Battery (ex-Tunnel Rats Jurny Big and Peace 586). I've also been listening to Wit and Dre Murray's 'Hell's Paradise Part 2' EPs - very good stuff.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

'Jerus & Gentiles' - Knew Jeru'slum (album review)

Here's a review I did a while back now of an LP from the UK:

Rowdy and militant – that’s how I’d describe ‘Jerus and Gentiles’. Now you must understand; I use both words with all possible positivity. Knew Jeru’slum’s debut LP disturbs the peace with its no-nonsense approach to Hip Hop although it’s not all heavy fire.

‘Intro’ featuring cuts from First Word’s Andy H, ‘Thirty Twos’ and lead single ‘Non-Apologetix featuring US MC Manchild are pure aural assault with the album’s three producers Eliphino, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Brutal Artistry each taking their turn to match the MCs’ impassioned rhymes. ‘Dreamcatchers’ featuring JND (as heard on Certified Banger’s ‘On The Radar’ series) and ‘Kaleidoscopic’, whilst remaining equally as heavy, provide a slower tempo and a rest in the trenches before ‘Speakwise’ explodes into the ear canal with renewed fervour.

Label mate Chief Wigz must have influenced ‘Move Mountains’ featuring Larbi; the interplay between Jonny Alpha and Watson G on the chorus makes for one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Another US MC, Pigeon John, joins the ranks for the summery ‘Hibernation’ on which Belinda’s vocals are showcased beautifully. ‘Aircon’ does what it says on the tin – provides a breather and a chillout moment which is backed up by the serious message and the laid back vibe of ‘One Foot In The World’.

‘Plan To Prosper’ brings the funk and the juxtaposition of the haunting background vocals with the MCs frenzied words is fairly close to surreal, and that’s before it ascends into Drum and Bass chaos. Narykcin provides a heartfelt chorus on ‘Penitent Man’ and if you hadn’t caught onto the fact that this album is inspired by the Christian faith of its proprietors by this point then this will track will point you in that direction, causing you to re-think everything you’ve heard so far.

‘Memoirs’ serves as a decoy before ‘Bobby Legion’ devastates the situation; the track, featuring singer Stevie Heath’, has the most mass appeal because of its chorus which is insane considering the earth-shattering hardcore-ness of its Hip Hop beat – definitely the album’s atomic charge, talk about saving the best ‘til last! In fact, it’s not the last; ‘Hunger’ featuring Rini of Sons of Light and Ragga artist Wizkid bring the final frontier of variety as old school Hip Hop, R’n’B and Dancehall rub shoulders making for a crowd-pleasing product.

You can download this now for £2.50 by going to Bandcamp ( and typing 'halfprice' into the discount code box. Not sure what that will work out as in dollars but it won't be much and paypal does all the money changing malarky for you. Do it.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

'Persuaded' ft. R-Swift - Macho

Macho, of New Breed (one of my favourite Christian Hip Hop groups) and Tunnel Rats, is preparing to drop a new album entitled 'Remember'. He's already dropped a few tracks which you can listen to at his Bandcamp page.

'Persuaded' sees Macho lays bare his life and faith in Christ without being cryptic about it: "...Y'all ain't gotta convince me that Christ is king, the reason death lost its sting, Jesus is more than magnificent, the antithesis to the curse that we've been smitten with... I'm recommending repentance to any and all who'll listen...".

'Persuaded' features R-Swift and his lyrics "It ain't easy; the path of a believer, but the grass ain't greener on the other side either" also really caught my ear on this track. I just liked that reminder that even when life as a Christian gets tough, it's immeasurably better than life without Christ. In fact, clever as it is, this lyrics is a bit of an understatement!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

'The New Raw' ft. DJ Rob Swift - Braille // Matthew 25:14-30

Those reading this will already know that Braille Brizzy, the Christian rapper with the most secular fans (not official, just probable), very recently dropped his seventh album 'Native Lungs'. He dropped it for free on his Humble Beast label and you can go get it now.

Several tracks on 'Native Lungs' stand out to me - 'Native Lungs' for its production, '48 Prisons' for both its Xperiment production and the lyrics and content and also a track called 'The New Raw' which features Rob Swift on the cuts and Ohmega Watts on the beat.

With lyrics like "...and keep it raw 'til I hear 'Well Done'" and "Well done is the new raw" it's clear to any believer who knows a little scripture what Braille is referring to. Matthew 25:14-30, where the quote "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'" comes from is about what we do with what God has given us. Those who use their gifts wisely will hear a 'Well done' from God, and will be given more. Braille's play on words and Hip Hop culture references are clever and his message and desire is serious - the prayer of a Christian hoping that what they do in life is God's work.

I noted with interest that this isn't the first time Braille has referenced these verses. At the end of 'Surgical' from 'Weapon Aid' (also free from Humble Beast) he raps "Who I am is a man; a husband, a father, a son, striving to here 'Well Done' in all of the above, 'cause I only got one life".

Well, as well as inspiring me to actually pay money to have a CD version of a free download release shipped to the UK, 'Native Lungs' has re-inspired me to ensure that the way I use God's gifts and blessings are worthy of the giver of those gifts. Pray that this would be the case in your life too.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Thoughts Corrected

Have been continuing to think on my post regarding only listening to Christian Hip Hop. I realised that maybe my answer to the question asked of me wasn't 100% correct - more accurately, at the moment, the only new Hip Hop I'm buying, downloading and listening to is Christian - or at least Hip Hop created by Christian artists (i.e. Mr. J. Medeiros). I am still listening to some older secular Hip Hop from my collection (but have begun to pare it down to stuff which is more wholesome).

Part of my re-think was inspired by some of Mr. J. Medeiros' writings on twitter. He was saying that artists in gospel Hip Hop (and other sub-genres of Hip Hop) need to know and respect the history of the genre; including its originators and innovators. I totally agree. I could never write off secular Hip Hop as a whole as without it we wouldn't have the genre with which artists express their faith. I do think, as an artist there is a lot to be said for studying the last 30 years of Hip Hop in order to find out where they fit in.

Even in CHH I like to hear that the artist is schooled in the knowledge of the mother genre, as well as music as a whole. Recently I reviewed Theory Hazit's 'The Rock is Steady' E.P. which is a great example of how a Christian artist can come across as knowing what has gone before them (the review is for Sphere of Hip Hop but it has not yet been posted). Braille's amazing new (and free) album 'Native Lungs' is also a good example of an MC who has more than paid his dues on the underground scene, who knows Hip Hop's history (i.e. the word play on Native Tongues for the album title tips a hat to innovators within the genre), who has a lot of secular fans and who makes unashamed gospel music.

So, I won't be giving up all secular Hip Hop, certainly not that which has been instrumental in shaping the genre I know and love today.

Monday, 29 August 2011

My Testimony

I've been clearing out my ipod to get rid of tracks I don't want playing in shuffle mode and came across some tracks I wrote and recorded a few years ago. This is not something I do any more; partly because I realised I probably wasn't very good at it, partly because I don't have time any more and partly because I am so impatient with the recording process.

Anyway, this one song I'd like to share on here (not the audio, mind you) is basically my testimony. As far as I can tell from the Word file, this was written/finished on 25th February 2007. There was a first verse but I don't feel it added much to my testimony:

About ten years ago a voice spoke in my ears,
A voice that before had been greeted by sneers,
had been treated to jeers, but this time I heard it,
My mind was quite settled but the voice disturbed it,
It said that I was a sinner, and was headed to Hades,
The voice erased dreams of peacefully pushing daisies,
That was it, a tender nerve hit, I couldn’t swerve it,
Knew I needed pardon, but how? I didn’t deserve it,
But the voice that convinced me had not yet finished,
by now opposition in my head was diminished,
Cos the train of thought in my one track mind,
Was on the turntable halfway down the incline,
And the voice was speaking ‘I am the way,
Sins committed, now admitted, follow me today’,
So I turned my life around and started to climb,
I knew I had to have it, this gift was too precious to decline.

I gotta give praise to my almighty saviour, Cause I know that He’s working in my life,
Seems like only yesterday that I found out that the only one that I needed was Christ,
Convinced of my sin, I had to let Him in, I knew there was no other choice,
And now I’m living in His light, He’s forgiven my lies and I only listen to His voice.

And since that day He’s stayed by my side,
And although I've strayed, He’s able to provide,
My faith has waxed and waned and it’s died,
But He’s never wavered and my faith’s been revived,
Even in the times when I’ve favoured my pride,
And I’ve tried to hide, the relationship survived,
I came crawling back; He had arms open wide,
And all too often I act so surprised,
He reminds me of His grace, reopens my eyes,
Memories erased of all my brokenness and lies,
He loves me, my failings and hopelessness aside,
Mercy immerses me, sins washed in the tide,
A few years after that first day I got baptised,
A sign to the world that I now despised,
All that was below the ways of Christ,
The day I heard His voice: the most defining of my life.

I now understand more about baptism and believe that there is more to it than it being "a sign to the world". I also would now advocate repenting and being baptised going hand in hand - they should both happen at a similar time, it shouldn't be a few years apart!

I'm not saying that I'm an excellent lyricist by posting this, I just thought it appropriate to share my testimony!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

'Do You Only Listen To Christian Hip Hop?'

My wife asked me today, as we were travelling in the car listening to Deepspace 5's 'Unique, Just Like Everyone Else', if I only listened to Christian Hip Hop now. It made me realise that actually, I do. She asked me if that was a concious decision and I answered that, yes, it mostly was.

Previous to writing this blog I started and built up another music blog about UK Hip Hop. It went on to be the biggest and most well known blog on the subject. I built up good relationships with PR people and artists themselves, but doing it almost took over my life. I felt the need to cover everything, and be the first to do so. I also put myself in a position where I felt obliged to say positive things about most releases I was sent (I had CDs in the post almost every day) although I did give short shrift to some releases that were so against my beliefs as a Christian. All the time I ran it I didn't have other contributors, mainly because I didn't want to compromise on the standard of writing or on the viewpoint from which the blog was written (my own viewpoint). I finally made the decision (partly influenced by the imminent arrival of our first child and the increasing lack of time to spend listening and writing) to hand the blog over - which I did very quickly once the decision was made. Once this had happened I almost stopped listening to Hip Hop and started picking up on other genres that I had neglected over the years - I nearly went cold turkey on Hip Hop (the fact that there was so much rubbish rap being released helped).

The other main factor that acted as a catalyst to this change was my continuing maturity as a Christian. I felt I couldn't go on supporting and championing music that came from such a different viewpoint to my own Christian stance. I also felt that letting it saturate my life so much couldn't be helpful for my own spiritual state. I realised that it could be replaced by something a bit more beneficial and began to return to some of the old Christian Hip Hop CDs I had (as a teenager I had a purge on secular Hip Hop, giving away albums such as Eminem's 'Slim Shady LP' and Dr. Dre's '2001' and replacing them with albums by John Reuben and Peace 586 amongst others). I knew that filling my life with things that pointed me towards God (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) would help to shape my life as a believer - and Christian Hip Hop was one way of doing that.

So now, whilst there are still secular tracks I like and will listen to, I am mainly listening to Christian Hip Hop. Hopefully it will provide me with decent music I can play whilst my children are around which at the same time challenges me and turns my thoughts towards God. I am not relying on it solely to minister to me but hope that it can be a part of a life which worships and enjoys God in everything I do.

For my latest review at Sphere Of Hip Hop, click here.

Edit: I am not saying this is what everyone should do, or that I will never listen to secular Hip Hop again, just at this moment in my life this is where I'm at!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

'Rehab: The Overdose' - Lecrae (review)

Again, despite the fact that I'm not really a fan of the dirty south sound, nor the commercial, poppy sound (which is much less prevalent here), I appreciated this album for the way Lecrae consistently lays truth wide open on the table.

He explores less-covered issues, issues which come from the heart (see 'Anger Management') and are honest and open. In this way, I feel as a listener it was easy to relate to Lecrae as a human being - he is humble and down to earth.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Joyful About Jesus #1: 'Jesus' - Jahaziel

After returning from an excellent week away at a small family conference I've been after finding some Hip Hop which revels in the work of Jesus on the cross. I listened to Shai Linne's 'The Atonement' in the car on the way home, and whilst I love the way doctrines are taught on that CD, I wanted something more responsive to what Jesus has done for me to listen to.

I decided to get out my copy of Jahaziel's 'Ready To Live' and found the track 'Jesus' to hit the spot! I have been so challenged in my thinking about the cross and resurrection. I think for me it had turned into just head-knowledge; something I knew, and was real to me, but not something that made me rejoice daily in what my Saviour has done for me.

I'm now on a quest to put together a decent sized playlist of Hip Hop tracks which enjoy what Jesus has accomplished for us, rather than just teach what He did. Watch this space and if you have any suggestions, send them my way!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Christian Hip Hop #1 @

What's currently number one on's most downloaded Hip Hop and Rap charts? Eminem? Beastie Boys? Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa? You'da thought so wouldn't you?

Currently sitting in that number one spot is Illect Recordings' Mind The Rap Vol. 1' compilation. Not far behind it at number four is 'Mind The Rap Vol. 2'. It's also worth noting that This'l's 'Beautiful Monster' is there in third place and Lecrae's almost-year-old 'Rehab' is still on the first page at number 22. All Christian Hip Hop releases.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

- Matthew 28:18-20

The Great Commission; CHH is doing it. God is using these artists. Let's pray that with these prominent positions unbelievers will download these projects (the Illect ones are free!) and hear God's name glorified and Christ preached. Pray also that if people are touched by this music that they will seek further guidance from the Bible and Church. Pray that the Spirit of God will work in their lives.

'Mind The Rap Vol. 1' features music from Scribbling Idiots, Deepspace5, JustMe, Peace 586, Cas Metah, Sintax The Terrific, Ajax Starglider and Freddie Bruno among others.

Now, would just love to see this happen in the UK too! If you're not in the US and can't get those downloads for free then check out Illect's Bandcamp page where you can get them for 99 cents each (about 62p in the UK).

'Cry No More' - Cross Movement

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

Revelation 21:1-4

Are you looking forward to death? Are you genuinely excited about the new heavens and the new earth? In honesty, it's probably not something we think about very often even though it is our great hope and it is the gift we've been given through Christ's death and resurrection.

I'm always thankful for Cross Movement's 'Cry No More' from their 'Holy Culture' album. It's one of my favourite Hip Hop tracks and it reminds me every time that, although we don't know a great deal about what heaven will actually be like, and what we do know is hard for us to picture because we only have earthly experiences, "We're going to a place that'll be much better than now". Whatever it will be like, there won't be all the awful things that there are in this world - things which sin has created.

Thank God that the former things will pass away. I'm so glad that despite the many, many blessings God has bestowed on me here in this life I'll be leaving it one day because nothing here can be perfect.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Uprok Records LP Covers Love

No music, no musings today; just a sharing of my love for some album covers. With the exception of 'Tunnel Vision' by the Tunnel Rats all of these albums came out on Uprok Records ('Tunnel Vision' came out on Uprok's parent label 'Tooth and Nail') in the noughties. I'd love to see more covers in this vein - surely we can have a revival? Albums in the slideshow are New Breed's 'Stop The Music', Sev Statik's 'SpeakLife', Peace 586's 'Generations', Tunnel Rats' 'Tunnel Vision' and Underground Rise's 'Sunrise/Sunset'.

'Rehab' - Lecrae (Review)

Once again the scoring might need explaining and once again I would say the overall score out of 10 is fitting.

We discussed the fact that this is a very commercial sounding release (which has its plus points as I pointed out in the review) and that although topically it's rich in the message of the Gospel, lyrically it is more simplistic than a lot of other Christian Hip Hop releases.

Part of it is probably a preference thing too. This style of Hip Hop is not what I'd choose to listen to (which is why I hadn't picked it up before) but I was blessed, encouraged and reminded of some important truths whilst listening to this album. Also, as I said in the review, some of the songs are very catchy and I still find myself singing them now!

One of the tracks that really caught my attention was 'Used To Do It Too'. The lyrics from the last verse are really relevant to me:

"You see Satan uses guilt to strip away our hope,
He shows us our mistakes and tells us we're a joke,
I used to sit and mope like what's the point in all,
If I'm a Christian how come everyday I seem to fall,
But I ain't know that all my sins were nailed upon the cross,
I found this out in chapter 2 in the Book of Colossians,
See the devil's a liar, yeah he's an accuser,
He tells me I'm worthless, he says I'm a loser,
But now I refuse to let him lead me wrong,
Reading the Word in the morn got me feeling strong,
I found my worth in Christ and I'm pursuing truth,
A living testimony so you can do it too."

My next review will be of Lecrae's follow up album 'Rehab: The Overdose'.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

'The Forerunner EP' - Stephen the Levite (Review)

Now you've read it, let me explain my ratings. At SOHH releases are given marks out of 5 for both lyrics and production, they are then added to give an overall score out of 10. I gave 4 for production and 3.5 for lyrics. The production score needs no explanation however the lyrics score might seem a little stingy.

I personally did not like the track 'Shrink Me' although I appreciate its sentiment and that it is pretty well written in terms of spoken word poetry. I also don't agree with the pre-trib stand point that Stephen adopts on the track 'Slept In?'. For me, although lyrically both were good, these were things that meant I couldn't give fuller marks in the category of lyrics (obviously the production score remains unscathed as a result of these two points).

An overall score of 7.5 out of 10 I think is a good assessment of the EP because it is pretty good - all the other tracks are very solid in content and style. If I had assessed just the four other tracks I would honestly say that for lyrics I would give 9 or even 10 out of 10.

Going back to the theme of 'Slept In?' Stephen the Levite writes humbly about his views on the track and its content on his blog here.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

'TSOL' - Shad (review)

Not here but at Sphere of Hip Hop. Click to read my review of Shad's 'TSOL'.

Keep your eye on that most excellent site for more reviews by yours truly and for general news about all things Christian Hip Hop.

"Music is a great way to heal, And a safe place to feel,
Trapped in this fake world, A gateway to real...
Listenin' to sounds in a space that's vacant, Profound and deep, underground as basements,
And quiet as kept but i found it sacred,
A sage said silence is the sound of patience, Listen"

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

'The Blows' - DJ Kurfu & Sintax the Terrific

DJ Kurfu and Sintax the Terrific dropped their 'Prince With A Thousand Enemies' LP this week. The lyrics of the album were inspired by themes from Richard Adams' 'Watership Down' (which I have now begun to read). The album is out on Illect Recordings and can be bought from Sphere of Hip Hop and their Bandcamp page as well as all the usual places. Musically, conceptually and lyrically the album is brilliant. Here are some striking lyrics from a track called 'Blows':

He had no protest political statement
or bumper sticker campaign ticker entertainment
no marketing plan or t-shirt design
like, “Being Hebrew’s Heavenly but Jesus is Divine!”
still they called in the troops, not to keep the peace
but to kill the Prince of it, of a thousand enemies
that gathered in the courtyard to cut Him to His calloused knees
and pour upon His holy head the hate of human history
but in that misery I know He caught the eye
of Rome's lost boys now centurions despised
“I made the beautiful cow from whose side
came the rawhide strips from which your whips are tied
the fingertips that slide into an uncertain grip
like they know that it's the Maker of their narrow bones they hit
I fashioned every implement of My demise be
the timber that you cut into a cross to crucify Me
‘cause when you strike we share a sacred moment
set free with every blow ’cause My blood is your atonement”

Saturday, 18 June 2011

'Fathers' - theBREAX

theBREAX "Fathers" by Rapzilla

You come home from work, only to realise your work has only just begun. Welcome to Manhood."

I love this track. I'm not sure I've ever heard truer words spoken about fatherhood and manliness. This is something I've been thinking about a lot over the last couple of years as I've heard stories of irresponsible men who think that to be manly is to do what they feel like (i.e. leave their wives, kids, sleep around, go out, get drunk etc). The other reason I've been musing on this subject is that last August I became a father myself.

Being a man is not about resolving yourself of responsibility, it's about taking responsibility by the horns, running with it and realising that it's infinitely more fulfilling than selfishness.

Although 1 Kings 2 is a difficult passage to tackle (listen to a great sermon on it here), David gives some great advice to Solomon:

“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’"

David tells his son to man up. What would this manliness look like? Finding out what God wants of him and then doing it - to the last letter! Why? So that he would prosper and so that God may keep his promise.

We too are to embrace manhood (by we, I mean 'we men') and to do this we must look at what God expects of a man and we must look at the examples of Godly men in the bible and Godly men in our lives. We should then reflect this in our own lives. Our lives are a part of God's plan and "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (plan).".

Man up!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Illect Recordings

Big up to Josh and the guys at Illect Recordings for electing me winner of a little competition they did on their Facebook page. All I had to do was tell them my favourite release from their label (which was easy because I’d only just downloaded and listened to muzeONE’s excellent ‘Cold War’ LP) and they picked me to win some free tunes.

Well, they sent me Sivion’s ‘Butterfly Sessions’, Theory Hazit’s ‘Lord Fire 2’ (don’t understand the title yet but will check it out – I’m sure it makes sense!) and Caramel Skillington’s ‘Legends of the Fall’. No doubt at some point one of these releases will inspire me to post on here.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

'I Hate It' - Propaganda & Odd Thomas

I downloaded 'Art Ambidextrous' by Propaganda and Odd Thomas the other day (it's free from Humble Beast don't you know?) mainly because I'd seen Propaganda's spoken word video entitled 'My Next Record' and really hoped that he'd live up to what he promised.

Anyway, I've not decided if he manages to fulfill everything he promised but what I do know that 'Art Ambidextrous' is "awkwardly awesome". It's hard hitting and fairly alternative in its sound.

Many lines caught my ear but one in particular was a rhyme from 'I Hate It' which goes "I believe welfare’s a band aid on cancer, The problem’s still sin and only Christ is the answer".

This is something which I've thought a lot about. No matter how hard we try to tackle the world's problems, with our own devices we will ultimately fail. Sometimes we can make things better but we never eradicate the root of it all - sin. If you doubt that sin is the root of everything then pick something that is wrong with the world today, trace it back to why it occurs and you'll find that it's because man has gone against the way God created things to be.

Romans 5:12-20 talks about how sin entered this world through one man (Adam) and that death entered the world through that sin and that as a result we all die (which reminds me of 1 Corinthians 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive" which Shai Linne explains in 'In Adam All Die'). Romans 5 tallies with this as it goes on to say that "one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people." That righteous act was Christ's death on the cross - the act that sees Him paying our debt of death (Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.").

What a gift! Yet we ignore it and continue to try foolishly to put a "band aid on cancer". Christ is the only answer to this world's problems.

Edit: This is not to say that I don't believe in welfare, charity or just plain old helping people with their needs. I believe that charity is essential, and that as Christians we are called to be charitable.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

'Fly Tonight' ft. Miss Tai - Serene

Heard this track today and really liked the fact that it's a balanced love song (not too slushy, not too hard) from a biblical perspective. Good on Serene for tackling the subject and doing it well.

'Fly Tonight' is taken from Serene's album 'Different Strokes' which can be downloaded legally for free from here.

Monday, 10 January 2011

'777 Intro' - Dwayne Tryumf

Lyrically and musically this track is absolutely spot on. Content-wise most of it is brilliant too, there are just two points that I would raise:

Dwayne raps "Now the devil was jealous and Genesis doesn't tell us this, But Isaiah 14 gives us the parenthesis, The former glory Lucifer was given, Was taken and given to Adam and Eve 'cause of vanity."

He references Isaiah 14 and I think refers to verses such as verse 12: "How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!". In the New Bible Commentary (IVP) it says "This song is often thought to tell of the revolt of Satan (taken with Ezk. 28) but this is a precarious conjecture. The tale of pride and downfall is at most only similar to what is said of Satan in e.g. Lk. 10:18; 1 Tim. 3:6, and in any case, when Scripture speaks directly of his fall, it refers to the break-up of his regime, not his prior fall from grace (cf Rev. 12:9-12)." Verse 4 of Isaiah 14 clearly states that this is written about the king of Babylon and whilst this king is evil, and therefore is under Satan's power, we shouldn't jump to the conclusion that the verse has double meanings relating to Satan's fall.

The other dubious lyric is "So he devised a plan to get at a man through the woman,'Cause he knew he couldn't fool Adam."

As far as I can see this is speculation and there isn't a place in Scripture which backs this up specifically. Nowhere does it mention in the account of the fall in Genesis 3 that Adam was too strong or clever for Satan although it implies that Eve is under the authority of Adam (Adam came first and he named her). Nowhere does it say Eve was more easily fooled either although it clearly speaks of the differences between man and woman and man's leadership. It does the raise the question "Why did Satan trick Eve instead of Adam directly?" and Dwayne may be correct in his conclusions.

Edit: After giving this much thought and study I realised the biblical answer was that Satan wanted to turn God's created order on its head. In the beginning God's word was over man, man was over the woman, the man was also in charge of the plants and animals. When Satan tempted Eve (and succeeded) the order became animal over woman, woman over man (by way of a plant) and man over God's word. In doing this Satan has upset the created order forever. Shortly after my pastor preached sermons confirming what I thought which can be heard here (Genesis 3:1-7) and here (Genesis 3:8-24) and will explain things much better!


Discussions on this track are raging over at I thought I'd basically just copy and paste my thoughts from there on here. The first video is of the song. The second video is of Canton Jones explaining the message he was trying to give and why he edited out certain words.

My thoughts:

Comment 1: "The bleeping is clever, subversive and thought provoking. But why does he say OMG? I can't hear that in any other way but as blaspheming - it is totally unnecessary and it is in including that lyric that he panders to the secular market (even Usher sings "Oh My Gosh"!!!!!)"

Although I said that the editing was clever, that doesn't mean I actually agree with the sentiments of the song. Clubs can be dangerous places for Christians (speaking from personal experience) although I am aware that this club night was a specifically Christian event where the bar was alcohol free. CJ also mentions arriving in a Bentley - something most would frown upon and something I'm not really that comfortable with either (don't get me wrong though, I am a bit of a petrol head!). Songs that are supposed to glorify God shouldn't see the artist showing off their personal wealth.

Comment 2: "Back to the OMG thing:

"I think a better example would be if a person used "OMG or Jesus' in place of a four letter filth word vs a prayer."

When some people witness a car crash or similar, they may say s*** or something similar. Saying OMG or Jesus in place of this is taking God's name in vain. This is not an example of calling on God's name - it is an example of exclaiming something as a reaction. It's naive to think that saying OMG in these situations is a good thing. Praying to God immediately would be a good thing but saying OMG isn't praying... unless you say it with a prayerful heart - which is not how people use the expression.

In this song CJ seems to be using it in place of "Oh my goodness, I can't believe it, they've let some Christians in the club" - it is an exclamation, a showing of surprise and is not the correct use for God's name IMO.

If this is a trend, then it is a bad one. It is worldly. The world says OMG as an exclamation with NO reference to the One True God. We should not be trying to reclaim it so that we can use it in the exact same way. If we say it, then it's just another lost opportunity of showing yourself as different.

Obviously, starting a prayer with "Oh my God" is the best and only way to use those three words in sequence. Yes, it can be sung...but in a way that addresses God and then goes onto say something to God."

It's saddening to see that there are Christian people out there who are unaware of parts of who they are called to be and how they are called to behave in this world. I know a keyboard warrior like me can't make changes but I felt that this was a point that needed raising. I also don't intend to start arguments, just provoke thought. What do you think about the use of "OMG" in this context?