Reviewed by Andrew Midgley
Lon C Harris' ministry extends beyond his three LPs as Elohin to schools mission work and acting. If his recent casting in independent movie Who Will Move The Stone as "a jail converted Muslim who has a brief but intense religious debate with . a born again Christian" (so says the promo) does not speak of subtlety, there is no doubting Harris' sincerity. His conversion to Christianity saw him forsake the pursuit of money, girls and violence; and his heart for young people to change likewise and follow Jesus is doubtless as much needed in Detroit as anywhere else. "Man On The Bus (1995)", Elohin's sketch of an influential conversation he evidently had as a boy, describes the ethical demands Harris evidently felt necessary to take his faith seriously, while "Miss America (ftg Reggie Williams" brush-strokes Elohin's cosmology away from any theological nuance in Genesis with his contention that "evolution" is "a whole bunch of nonsense." It's good stuff in the main, though. An entire tab on Elohin's website depicts a high school auditorium, and you can well imagine Harris inspiring youth from the stage with his raps about abstinence, management of relationships and taking discipleship seriously. Elohin's unashamedness and confidence make him a safe pair of hands for a school booking. A lack of industry savvy dogs 'R 2.0 Let's Continue' from a musical perspective. Nu-metal never feels far from Elohin's influences, and is seen most evidently on guest vocalist Ryan Valdiviez' channeling of the late Chester Bennington on "You Don't Know". It is like the last 10 years of Drake, Kanye and Kendrick never happened, while "Enough (ftg Jenee Monica)" - a challenge to recognise Christ's sacrifice as good enough to invest in - is let down by a dull tune and the constant threat of those nu-metal guitars, like a shark fin protruding through the water's surface. Lyrically the album also needs work: lead single "Lost In You (ftg Ashley Garza)" includes the line "I found somethin' real/Not fake like tofu" - a metaphor that was probably intended to be witty but instead comes across as clumsy - and a further odd comparison on "Tattoo's [sic] And Scars" baits image-conscious teens citywide: "Relationships can feel like a love-hate thing/Ups and downs, downs and ups - like it's weight gain." But a man who can tweet "Feeling blessed and appreciated. My wife and my boys brought me breakfast in bed this morning" and "Happy 78th birthday to my aunt Dorothy. I'm so blessed to have you another year" is a man that I want to keep my kids listening to as long as possible. Hip-hop needs real life, never mind Christ, to counter-point its fashionable narcissisms, and Elohin obliges just fine.
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