STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 132300-20240 LABEL: Save The City 859708877380 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2013-02-25 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Andy Cooper
After almost 10 years in the industry, here is the first full length album by the driving force behind Souljahz/Washington Projects, Je'kob Washington. In fact, these tracks were first released as three EPs, 'Faith', 'Hope' and 'Love', and are well worth closer examination. Je'kob has a lot of similarities to TobyMac and Group 1 Crew: mixing fun loving rap with catchy chorus lines. The lyrics are easy to follow, the song structures are kept simple, and 21st century recording technology is used to good effect. It's an appealing recipe for young teenagers, and there are plenty of backing vocal lines to join in with! There's huge variety too: "Can't Have My Soul" is gritty and Je'kob raps like a young Will Smith; "Make Me Over" is more laid back and confessional; "Dreams" goes more gangsta but with a story of faith, and "John 316" is a fun way to convey the message of love. Je'kob had a hand in writing most of the songs and plays a bunch of the instruments too. It's impossible to not admire him for creating this set, and for bringing fun and faith back into hip-hop.
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When Je’kob stepped into the music industry he had no clue what he was getting himself into, or the journey that lay ahead of him. He was 1/3 of the group ‘Souljahz’ who released their first major label record on Warner Bros/Word Records in 2002. During his four-year stint at WB he garnered two Dove Awards and performed alongside some of the biggest names in the music industry, including John Mayer, Nelly, Ja Rule, Chicago, TobyMac, Casting Crowns and many more.
In early 2012 Je’kob teamed up with Save The City Records to release his first solo project Faith Hope Love. The record can be best defined as ‘Eclectic and honest, feel-good music’.
The heart of this ambitious album comes from 1 Corinthians 13:1–13 which is summed up in the last verse that states, ‘And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’ With this groundbreaking project Je’kob hopes to renew the deep passion believers should all have for these three things.