Christian rappers Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed partner to create a well-crafted hip-hop album featuring mainly trap beats. Trap music originated in the 1990s and can be defined as a genre that has a low rate of beats per minute with an emphasis on samples and distorted bass sounds as well as vocals that are often altered to sound more synthetic. The album includes 10 songs and three skits; basketball is a theme woven through the entire album.
All of the songs are free of profanity and the promotion of promiscuous sex, but this album does raise a question. How do Christian rappers reconcile boasting, a mainstay of the hip-hop genre, with Jesus’ call for Christians to be humble?
Mineo and Wordsplayed offer many boasts highlighting their progression from poor unknown musicians (“Break Bread”) to successful and aspiring rich people (“Judo”) who got to where they are on much of their own strength. The vulnerability Andy Mineo showed in previous releases, such as the song “Bitter” from his debut album Heroes, is missing from this album, though the song “Legends” offers a glimmer of this past vulnerability as he contemplates his life in a less glamorous light.
Part of the appeal of hip-hop and trap music is hearing the grittiness and confidence found within the tone and flow of the lyrics, aside from considering what the words are actually saying. The musical creativity and production on this album is excellent, offering the listener gritty trap beats that beg to be listened over and over again on a cranked-up stereo system. A variety of producers collaborate with Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed to keep each track different enough from the rest to keep the attention of the listener.
Overall, these songs are innocent enough, but the boastful nature won’t do much to push the listener to think and behave in ways that better align with the humble teachings of Jesus. (Reach Records)