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