STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 153874-22577 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Steve Hayes
KJ-52 is a phenomenon. Not only has he been one of the most creative and pioneering Christian hip-hop artists, his pop rap shows a never-ending ability to transform, morph, stay fresh yet never come across as being too cheesy! On 'Mental' the rapper once again feels like an artist going all out for Christ while his usual mix of seriousness and silliness ("Fresh Kicks On") and giving other guest emcees a platform all work together to deliver an outstanding album. In fact, Lecrae, Propaganda, Tedashii, Flame, Canton Jones and many more almost threaten to take over the project at times such is KJ-52's generosity in passing the mic to others. Beats are solid, crisp and pure and production is brilliantly high - "Fight Music" being one of many standouts. This isn't a pop or rock crossover project but one that's more focused on the hip-hop underground or the rap/dance subgenre (in fact, "Tonight" in many ways reminds me of the epic sounds of LZ7). KJ brings his usual lyrical ferocity in the southern smasher, "Gameface", reprised later in the album. There are a huge range of issues touched upon throughout but in "Mental" we find a track that manages to bring a massive party vibe to blow your speakers while addressing the closed minds of those who don't know Christ. The album ends with another dance music oriented track, the uplifting "Brand New Day". If this doesn't get you jumping up and jumping around for Christ then nothing will!
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