This is a first for the Hip Hop Speakeasy – a Christian rapper has reached the top spot as Hip Hop Album of the week. Let me start off by saying that this was a hard decision to make as a ton of dope hip hop albums came out today, so be sure to check out the notable mentions below. But, as far as rapper/spoken-word poet Propaganda’s album Excellent goes, well, shall I be punny?
G.R.I.T.S. commercialized it, but artists like Propaganda take Christian hip hop to its roots: rhyming for God. Now if this is making you think you don’t want to listen to this album, bare with me and read the following sentence: you do not have to believe in God to enjoy this album. That is not the point here; the point is that Propaganda makes you think. By pointing out the flaws in society and creating new ideas and thoughts for you, he really instills a sense of introspection upon you as a listener and a human being in general. The production is deep and vibrant, with various warm, sonic elements backing some crisp hi hats and thick drums.
It is Propaganda’s lyricism, however, that is the most amazing aspect of this album. Like I mentioned earlier, Propaganda brings Christian hip hop back to its roots; however, Propaganda also brings regular, classic hip hop to its roots, as well. He does this by actually saying something; if a rapper doesn’t talk about cars, money, women, etc. he’s half-way there, but Propaganda is actually smart and makes a true, deeper meaning out of his lyrics. Originally a poet, Propaganda has a way with words and he uses that talent over some pretty dope, electro-hip hop instrumentals to talk about very conscious topics from modern slavery to the government to “YOLO.” It’s truly remarkable.
For anybody to not give this album a chance is not blashpemous, but it is dumb, because this album is a solid hip hop project. The production is extraordinary and Propaganda’s complex and intellectual lyricism is fantastic. Using layers and layers of multi’s and internal rhymes, Propaganda makes his rhymes intensely entertaining, and almost like a freestyle. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Propaganda, as an emcee, is bringing a very talented act to hip hop, but as an artist, he is revolutionary. So, my rating…
I recommend this album to any fan of spoken word, conscious hip hop or electro-hip hop production.
1) Don’t Listen to Me
3) Redefine Cutter (feat. Lee Green)
4) Raise the Banner
5) Excellent Analogy (feat. Alphonso McAuley)
6) Conquer (feat. Theory Hazit)
7) Precious Puritans (feat. Kevin “K.O.” Olusola)
8) Forgive Me for Asking
9) I Ain’t Got an Answer (feat. Sho Baraka)
10) Warm Words
11) Lofty (feat. Joel Davis & Beautiful Eulogy)
12) Be Present (Live)
Sureshot Symphony Solution: Elegant Aggression
Murs & Fashawn: This Generation
Lupe Fiasco: Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album, Vol. 1
Montage One: 10.6.3 OGX
Bumpy Knuckles & Statik Selektah: Ambition
Chino XL: RICANstruction: The Black Rosary