|Jaw-Dropping Debut | Posted July 17, 2012
The debut album Weight and Glory from new Reach Records artist KB is another example of Christian hip-hop that doesn't cut any corners or pull any punches. The lyrics are in your face and the production quality is excellent. KB was first introduced to the general public after his signing with Reach Records last summer with a mixtape titled Who is KB?. This mixtape prepared us for a bright up and comer in Christian hip-hop and the debut album is more than we all expected.
The album kicks off with "Weight Music." This is a strong song that speaks of the weight of God's glory that is reflected in KB's music. There are gorgeous vocals in the chorus and the use of choral music in parts definitely imparts that "churchy" feel.
"Zone Out" is next. This features the vocal talents of Chris Cobbins. There are actually two versions of the song on the album with the remix finishing out the album. The song is about zoning out from the world and zoning in on God, a common theme in Christian hip-hop.
Being an "Anomaly" is what the Christian walk is all about, it is about being different and providing a different viewpoint to what the world provides. KB speaks plainly and clearly that his music is an anomaly to what the world is providing. "I feel for rappers that blaspheme when they spit / Let call a spade a spade homey / You don't know who you dealin' wit' / Jesus ain't playin' games / the second coming is still legit / The lamb that was slain will be slayin' like St. Nicholas."
Sho Baraka shows up on the next track. And with Sho Baraka's appearance, "Don't Mean Much" takes on a much more hard core feeling. The lyrics tell of how the world looks for many things, such as money, drugs, fame, sex and the like but in the end none of these things means much.
Andy Mineo and Tedashii feature on the next track. The hard core feel continues with "Go Off". This song shows off the breadth of KB's rhyming skills and just how fast he can spit. KB definitely goes off with some of his best verses.
After the not-so-easy opening, "Mr. Pretender", "Open Letter" and "Heart Song," get to the reality of life in a series of three heart wrenching songs. "Mr. Pretender" is about the devil and the lies he feeds people. This song contains one of the best lines ever spit in Christian hip-hop, "I promote latex / get your wrapper dawg / but a condom can't protect you from the wrath of God."
"Open Letter" tackles issues such as pornography addiction, homosexuality, self-image, lust and pre-marital sex. It goes over two letters from fans that bear their hearts to the artist and KB prays for the fans at the end. It really shows the depth of the ministry that Christian hip-hop artists are involved in.
"Heart Song" will rip your heart out and stomp on it. It features vocals by Jasmine Le'Shea. The song discusses the struggles of two friends, one with a brain tumor and the other that had heart problems, but how through the life and death issues they faced, they knew they had Jesus and a heart that would never stop beating. The girl with the heart problem who should be dead today is the very Jasmine Le'Shea that sings on the album. If that doesn't provide you with hope and victory in the midst of your problems then you need your heart checked.
The album closes out with "Tear it Down", "Church Clap", "Hello", "Here We Go" and "Zone Out (Amped Remix)"--a finishing salvo of five songs equally as good as the first five and features artists Lecrae, Suzy Rock and PK.
This is an amazing debut album from this stunning new artist. If you have been listening to Christian hip-hop and following the scene for a while you would have already heard of KB. This album hits hard emotionally, vocally, lyrically and musically. KB has a definite style all his own, he raps with quickness, agility and feeling. This album will be playing in regular rotation for a long time.
Comments (0) | Add Comment | Is This Review Helpful? Yes | No
|KB: Weight & Glory | Posted July 18, 2012
We were first introduced to KB, outside of HGA, when he rapped on Lecrae's song "Used To Do It Too," off of Rehab. The Tampa Bay, Florida native made a pretty big splash with that, but people still did not pay too much attention to him. Next came Tedashii's "You Know What It Is," and still it seemed that he was not given the proper attention; but then he was signed - in what seemed to me - out of the blue, to Reach Records. That is when people really started taking him seriously. In the past year and a half he has been on Pro's "116" and "Full Court Mess," Tedashii's "You Know What It Is," 116 Clique's Man Up, Andy Mineo's "Young," and Trip Lee's "One Sixteen." Plus, he has released three singles: "Hello," "Zone Out," and "Go Off," and a mixtape, Who is KB? The guy has been busy, and with all that he has still managed to release great quality music every time. ("Hello" was my only disappointment, but I will hit more on that later.) I have had high expectations for Weight & Glory mainly because of how well he has done on everybody else's songs.
The two things that originally drew me to KB were, number one, how fast he raps. The dude can rap faster than anybody else I have ever heard - expect maybe Canon; they're both pretty fast. The second thing was his lyrically ability. Lecrae has always set the bar for me as far as lyrics go in Christian rap, but KB is almost on his level already.
The album opens with "Weight Music," which I feel is a very important song for the album. It sets the tone for the whole album, and it shows the theme of the record, which is being so overwhelmed by the weight of God's glory that you want to do anything you can to further His kingdom. The song has a very nice beat, with some sweet keys, and awesome background vocals, that make for a great opening track. The second single from the album, "Zone Out," follows that up with a very fast-paced track, that is easily one of my top two or three songs on the album. The concept of the song is that we should be so zoned out for Christ that all we see is Him and all we desire is to glorify Him in everything we do. The song has an amazing message, but it also sounds so good. The verses are spectacular - KB definitely did a great job with that. The chorus is phenomenal - I literally cannot get it out of my head. I have been singing it since it was released in January; I am addicted to this song, and its message.
"Anomaly" deals with God's nature and how it is against everything this world possibly thinks is right. Christ died for all of us - who in the world does that? He never changes; he is constant in everything he does - who do you know that is that way? I love this song, and its concept. "Don't Mean Much" really surprised me. I think mainly the sound is what surprised me, because it sounds a little different than the rest of the album, and different than really everything else released on Reach. It is nice to have Sho Baraka on another Reach song though. Baraka is what I would call a "smart man's rapper;" whenever I listen to him I feel like I am going to be a smarter than before I listened. His vocabulary is stellar, and the way he raps just feels so educated and civilized.
The final single from the record, "Go Off," really had to grow on me. I was honestly not a huge fan of it after listening to it three or four times. Now after listening to it probably 20 times, I am in love with the song. I love hearing Andy Mineo singing, and I love the fact that the song is super fast from almost the very beginning, but Mineo comes in on the chorus and really slows it down. At first it felt weird and unnatural, but now it sounds so clean and almost perfect. On a side note, Tedashii killed it on his verse. I have never heard him rap like this; he literally raps so fast on his verse that I feel like he is going to need an oxygen tank afterwards. His verse, and really the whole song, is so dope. Even the concept of just going off for Christ and being souled out for Him is awesome!
In so many ways I feel like "Mr. Pretender" is speaking to me. The lyrics talk about that guy who goes to church and acts like he is the greatest saint in the world, but he really does not have a solid relationship with Christ. Sometimes I feel like my walk with Christ is not as good as it should be, but on the outside I seem like I have everything together. I guess we are all not as close to Christ as we could or should be, and in that case this song is really for all of us. The lyrics are a great reminder for all of us. "Open Letter" is one of the best songs Reach Records has ever released; there is no doubt in my mind about that. In the song KB and Swoope each open up fan letters that each deal with lust, and then at the end Trip Lee prays for the people writing the letters. Most Christian rappers try to stay away from any controversial topics, and in the process their songs come off as cute and fuzzy. The lyrics to this song are fantastic, and are very relevant to young Christians today. I have very quickly fallen in love with this song, and I think it will be an instant hit from the album.
If I had to pick a least favorite song on the album, it would probably have to be "Heart Song." Even though it is my least favorite, it is still a pretty good song, it is just that compared to the rest of the tracks on the album, it is not quite as good. The song talks about a baby girl with major heart issues, and it ends up being a very emotional song from start to finish. "Angels" picks the pace back up, with another great song. I think one of the things that drew me in with this song was the sweet beat; it is so simple, but the bass is killer. Flame killed his verse on the song as well, and really showed me why I love his music so much (it reminds me a little bit of his album Captured).
"Tear it Down" is one of the few songs without any guest artists on it, and the first since the sixth track. The song talks about tearing down all the false notions about Christ and showing who He really is and what the Christian walk is all about. Overall, it is just a great hip hop song. I was so anticipating the song "Church Clap" with Lecrae. It seems like when Lecrae and KB come together they always create a masterpiece, and that certainly seems to be the case with "Church Clap" as well. I could see this song becoming the next Christian anthem; it just has that anthem feel to it. The song talks about churches that are not focused on the right thing: bringing people to know Christ. If churches really listen to the lyrics on this song, they should easily be convicted if they are not doing their duty as a church.
"Hello" was the first single released by KB, and it was easily my least favorite single ever released by Reach Records. It has grown on me some, but I still hold that it is my least favorite single they have ever released. It sounds nothing like the rest of his music, and almost sounds like Group 1 Crew, especially when Pablo was still with them. The song is all about the joy of being freed from sin and having total forgiveness in Christ. I love the concept of the song, but I am still not a huge fan of the sound. "Here We Go" picks back up with another great song though, this one featuring PK - who always seems to deliver a stellar performance on whatever song he is on. The amped remix of "Zone Out" then finishes off the album very nicely. I have missed the amped remixes so much, so it was great to hear another one from Reach. If you like how this one sounds, you will definitely want to check out 116 Clique's whole Amped EP. The remix stays pretty true to the original sound, but at the same time brings a sweet rock influence to it.
After looking at the tracklist for Weight & Glory I was a little disappointed. Three of the songs had already been released - four if you count the "Zone Out" remix - that leaves ten new tracks. I had this sinking feeling in my stomach it was going to be a watered-down and simple album that did not take too many risks. I could not have been more wrong. The lyrics to some of these songs are not what people want to hear, because they will truly convict you. The beats are better than I thought they would be for a debut, much better. And of course the rapping is stellar; there was not a thought in my mind the album would lack in that category. I have had this album on constant replay since I got it, and have probably listened to it at least 10 times in the past four or five days alone. I think I would go as far as to say it is my favorite Christian rap debut since Lecrae's Real Talk. I am very excited to see what the future holds for KB; God is going to use him in great ways, and I have a feeling his music is going to get even better. This is rap at its finest.
Favorite Song: Open Letter (Battlefield)
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Music Review Blog. Click here to visit today!
Comments (0) | Add Comment | Is This Review Helpful? Yes | No