Reviewed by Cole Moreton
If you like a little subtlety... forget it. SFC, otherwise known as Soldiers For Christ, are not subtle. Or to put it their way: "There's no confusion in this communication". Militant is the word. Fourteen no-nonsense, rock steady Christian jams, driven by massive drum tracks, minimal bass and keyboards and the occasional sample. Songs like "Dope Dealer", "Drugs" and "Transformed" are full of desperate people meeting Christ and changing their lives. " Main Man Super C" tells the story of his own conversation from streetwise party animal to King James-reading gospel rapper. It's a very simple, straight message, and there are two reasons why SFC don't fall flat on their collective faces: Firstly, this is no patronising holy imitation. SFC themselves say they're aiming at the ghetto. They know what it's like because that's where they're from. And they get away with agressive preaching because the groove is so good. If your feet don't move they must be dead. Secondly, SFC are fun. Humour in music is a bit like a visual joke - you've got to be there to get the point. But they take the mickey out of themselves and it works. Best track is "No Stoppin" ("I'm eatin' up the devil like a church-fried chicken") with a chorus sampled from "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now". Next best is the opener "Listen Up", a surprisingly mellow jam that reminds me of LL Cool J. The only disaster is the terribly sincere "This Is What He Went Thru", a slow jam about Christ's suffering on the cross, ruined by crass and dated keyboards. If you're not devoted to militant rap, this album may be too much to take in all at once. But it's packed full of little hooks and surprises, and well worth a bit of effort from the listener. 'Listen Up' won't get much airplay, but then SFC's own rap says they don't care. It may be an acquired taste, but it's also loud, proud and powerful.
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