Monday, November 19, 2012

Album Review: "Gravity" by Lecrae

Release Date: September 4, 2012
Genre: Hip-Hop
Rating: 5/5 Stars
With two Dove Awards and a Grammy nomination under his belt, hip-hop veteran Lecrae Moore is back with his sixth studio album. Lecrae has become the face of Christian hip-hop, having already released five studio albums as well as the highly praised mixtape Church Clothes. His 2010 album Rehab and its 2011 follow-up Rehab: The Overdose were highly successful, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Top Gospel and Top Christian Albums charts. It is no surprise that Lecrae’s sixth album Gravity has gained a lot of attention from critics and fans, all of whom have high expectations. Lecrae said concerning the theme of the album, “Gravity is loosely based on Ecclesiastes, and I think what Solomon was trying to do was bring some weight to life, and that’s really what I want to do, to paint some sober pictures.”
“The Drop (Intro)” opens Gravity with an upbeat chorus of strings and drums as Lecrae fiercely delivers rap lines that will instantly get the listener’s head bobbing. Lecrae raps about not letting pressure from outside sources stop him from continuing his ministry. The title track (featuring J.R.) tones the beat down a notch as Lecrae raps about putting his hope in eternal life. Lecrae is joined by Novel in “Walk With Me,” an encouraging song about crying out to the Lord for help during troubling times and to resist the temptations that arise. “Devil’s lurking around the corner just waiting for me to sin / I pray that you sustain me and keep me from giving in.”
In “Free From It All,” Lecrae talks about people who strive to be accepted by others by living a life of lies and shame. “Falling Down” features Swoope and Trip Lee and has one of the dopest beats on the record! It follows the gravity theme of “falling down” while the rappers drop lines reflecting on the world’s sinful nature. Fellow hip-hop veteran Thi’sl joins Lecrae in the upbeat song “Fakin’.” For those who are well familiar with Christian hip-hop, it is always enjoyable to see these two experienced rappers in the same song, and “Fakin’” is easily a highlight on the album.
Lecrae mentions in “Violence” that some people believe the lie that they cannot be forgiven for their sins, but Lecrae assures us that we can be forgiven. “Mayday” features Big K.R.I.T. and Ashthon Jones singing about forgiveness and how all our lives need perfecting. “Confe$$ions” is one of the more serious tracks on the album, featuring Lecrae rapping about how money is not enough to make someone truly happy. Lecrae sings to his wife in “Buttons,” assuring her that no matter how strained their relationship becomes, he will never leave her. “Power Trip” features Derek Minor (f.k.a. PRo), Sho Baraka, and Andy Mineo, who rap about the desire for power, and that God is really the One with all the power.
The next song on the album, “Lord Have Mercy,” features Tedashii and a voice-over of No Malice singing one of his lines from the Church Clothes mixtape, “Lord have mercy and pity on your son / From what I once was and what I have become.” Tedashii and Lecrae rap about turning from their sinful ways. The first official radio single, “I Know,” which Lecrae again raps about pressures and hate he receives for his ministry, follows this. He emphatically states, “I know what they saying, but I promise that I’m cool though.” Lecrae marvels at the love of God in “Tell The World” which features Mali Music. ‘Crae raps about the Lord’s willingness to die for us and clean us from our sins, making us brand new. R&B singer Rudy Currence sings with Lecrae in “Lucky Ones,” the title referring to us Christians who do not deserve the salvation we have been granted.
After listening to Gravity, I was impressed with how much Lecrae’s lyrics and music have matured a lot since his previous works. The beats are extremely catchy and contain a stronger mainstream sound while the lyrics remain spiritually convicting. Gravity is a perfect follow-up to Church Clothes and exceeds the mixtape’s excellence with terrific rapping from Lecrae, and it is no surprise that Gravity has garnered much mainstream praise. It is arguably the best album of the year and is sure to gain Lecrae not just mainstream attention, but award nominations and many new fans as well!
Get your copy of Gravity on iTunes!
Deluxe Version (featuring four bonus tracks and a digital booklet)
  1. Falling Down feat. Swoope & Trip Lee
  2. The Drop (Intro)
  3. Tell The World feat. Mali Music
  1. The Drop (Intro)
  2. Gravity feat. J.R.
  3. Walk With Me feat. Novel
  4. Free From It All feat. Mathai
  5. Falling Down feat. Swoope & Trip Lee
  6. Fakin' feat. Thi'sl
  7. Violence
  8. Mayday feat. Big K.R.I.T. & Ashthon Jones
  9. Confe$$ions
  10. Buttons
  11. Power Trip feat. PRo, Sho Baraka, & Andy Mineo
  12. Lord Have Mercy feat. Tedashii
  13. I Know
  14. Tell The World feat. Mali Music
  15. Lucky Ones feat. Rudy Currence

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Song/Video of the Week: "Tell The World (feat. Mali Music)" by Lecrae

Check out this great new music video from Lecrae for his single "Tell The World" off his latest album Gravity! The song and video both feature Mali Music and the song really has a great sound. The video features Lecrae and Mali Music singing next to each other and also shows shots from them singing it live in concert.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Artist Alert: TobyMac's "Eye On It" Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Top 200

News Source: The M Collective

Nashville, Tenn. (September 5, 2012) – Five-time Grammy® Award winner and multi-platinum selling artist TobyMac has made career history with his latest project, Eye On It, entering the Billboard top 200 at No. 1, selling nearly 70,000 units and marking the first time in 15 years an artist in the CCM genre has accomplished such. Eye On It released August 28 to an overwhelming response, with the album topping the Overall iTunes® Chart just hours after its release, and continuing to reign there throughout the week. This amazing debut comes as his single, “Me Without You,” continues to hold onto No. 1 on the CHR and AC Indicator charts.

"We have been so honored to see Toby achieve number one songs at AC and CHR radio formats on his new album, and now for him to achieve number one status on Billboard's Top 200 chart is absolutely amazing and well deserved,” remarked Peter York, President, EMI CMG Label Group. “This project is filled with great songs that are well produced and that clearly resonate with Toby's consumers. The launch plan at radio & retail was meticulously designed and executed by his marketing, sales and management teams. I'm very pleased to see this collaborative effort work so effectively for Toby."

“It's my honor to write songs and even a further privilege that people choose to listen and make them part of their lives,” TobyMac reflected upon hearing the news of the debut. “My hope has always been that these songs would somehow remind people that though we are all flawed God offers us love, hope and refuge. If this week or these numbers is any indication of that, I am thankful.”

The 12 tracks comprising Eye On It pull from TobyMac’s personal influences (“Made For You” and “Family”), as well as a nod to his ascension into music (“Thankful For You”). Eye On It features musical guests including reigning GMA Dove Awards New Artist of the Year, Jamie Grace (“Favorite Song”), Group1Crew’s Blanca Reyes (“UnStoppable”) and Christian rap heavyweight Lecrae (“Forgiveness”). Along with TobyMac’s first three solo projects, his 2009 release, TONIGHT, was recently certified Gold by the R.I.A.A. Written by TobyMac and David Garcia, “Me Without You” was the first track from Eye On It to be released to radio, where it claimed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Christian Songs, CHR and Christian AC Indicator charts. It’s currently at No. 2 on the National Audience Chart and No. 3 on the Christian AC-Monitored chart.

About TobyMac:
With over 11 million units in career sales, TobyMac's first four solo projects are RIAA certified gold. His live DVD, Alive & Transported, is certified platinum by the RIAA and also received a GRAMMY® award. In 2012 the much-celebrated and acclaimed artist celebrated his eighth consecutive GRAMMY® nomination, this time for his songwriting contribution to rising star (and recording artist on his label, Gotee Records) Jamie Grace’s No. 1 hit “Hold Me.” His album Tonight received GRAMMY nods for “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album" and "Best Contemporary Christian Song" with “City On Our Knees” the RIAA Gold-certified track that topped the sales and radio charts faster than any of his previous singles, spending 8 weeks at No. 1 on the Christian Audience Chart. Tonight also garnered him the highest sales debut of his solo career with over 78,000 units and a No. 6 Billboard Top 200 debut. The album was also named as iTunes® Best Christian Album of 2010 and recently took home the Dove Award for “Best Rock Contemporary Album of the Year.”

Along with sold out tour dates, back-to-back radio hits and being named the GMA Dove Award’s 2008 “Artist of the Year,” he was also nominated for “Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist” at the 2010 American Music Awards and was up for three Billboard Music Awards in 2011 including “Top Christian Artist.” The hit song “Tonight” was also chosen as the theme song for MLB’s 30 Clubs in 30 Days Spring Training Series and featured on the Golf Channel. Additionally, his music has been heard in major motion pictures such as “Hancock,” “TRANSPORTER 2,” while also being featured on Fox sports, The NFL network, being selected as the theme song for Fox College Football and WWE’s Fatal 4-Way Pay-Per-View. “Showstopper,” from the chart-topping album Tonight, was featured in ESPN’s ESPY Award Show and used to launch the last season of CBS hit television show CSI: NY.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Artist Alert: New Album Promo From Lecrae + Making of Gravity Video

Sorry that I have not posted anything in a while. I have been really busy the past couple weeks. Tomorrow, the much anticipated Gravity album from Lecrae will be released to the public! Lecrae recently released a third promo for the album which you can watch below.
In addition to the promo, there is also a two-and-a-half minute long "The Making of Gravity" video which shows some cool behind the scenes shots of Lecrae working on the album. Enjoy both videos and be sure to pick up a copy of Gravity when it hits stores tomorrow, 9.4.12! And also be on the lookout for my own review for the album which should be posted sometime in the next week.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bible Verse of the Week: We Are God's Workmanship

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

This is another verse that never fails to speak to me in a different way each time I read it. We are His workmanship created for the good that God prepared for each one of us beforehand. There are a number of points in this verse, and I will state three of them. The first point is that we were crafted perfectly and uniquely by God in His own image. Second, the purpose of our creation was and is for us to do good works. Lastly, God planned our works and future before we came into being. With the three of these in mind, how could we do anything else besides putting our trust in God and striving to fulfill what He prepared for our lives? Each of us has something that God has specially purposed. I encourage you to seek what God prepared for your lives in order to fulfill those good works. ~Jesselyn

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Song/Video of the Week: "Overcome" by Jeremy Camp

Jeremy Camp just recently released this new music video for his single "Overcome" from his 2010 album We Cry Out: The Worship Project. The video features footage from a live performance of the song. In "Overcome," Jeremy sings about the awesomeness and glory of Jesus Christ who suffered for us and overcame death! "God's only Son / Perfect and spotless One / He never sinned / But suffered as if He did."