|First A-Level Rap Album of 2013 | Posted April 04, 2013
The first premiere Christian hip-hop release of 2013 takes the form of Heroes For Sale from Reach Records artist Andy Mineo. This is a long-awaited follow-up to 2011's Formerly Known. The album includes production credits from a venerable who's who of Christian hip-hop producers, including J.R., Tyshane, Alex Medina and Skrip. The album touches on themes of forgiveness, sexual purity, idolatry and just plain fun.
The album opens with "Superhuman." The interesting twist here is the use of a very orchestral arrangement of the old hymn "I Will Go and Follow Jesus." From this opening the listener knows that they are in for something a little bit outside of the normal. The song speaks to how fans tend to view artists as infallible superheroes, but Mineo sets them straight saying that God is the only superhuman, and that He is not for sale.
The next track is "Ex Nihilo" which literally means "out of nothing" in Latin. The song features Christon Gray with vocals on the chorus and the song speaks to how God can bring us out of absolute nothingness and bless us beyond our wildest imaginations. Mineo also continues the theme that he will never be bigger than God and calls out to his crew to keep him in line if his head gets too big.
Two songs have been released prior to the album hitting streets. "AYO!" is a party song and is Mineo showing his lyrical skills. Representing the 116 loud and proud and telling the listener how much fun there is in Christ. "Bitter" is a song about relationships, everything from passive/aggressive Facebook and Twitter posts to jealousy. It speaks to how bitterness and unforgiveness can become poison to our souls. Mineo touches on the personal example of his relationship with his dad. It is a poignant song that ultimately tells us that if we don't forgive, we are not truly letting the light of Christ shine through us.
"Wild Things" starts with a jungle drum beat, and then a heavy electric guitar starts in. This song is about living among a lost world (where the wild things are) and being a witness to the world. This song is about real life ministry, in real life situations that many of us in the church shy away from. This song will open your eyes to the life of Jesus and how he ministered. It also contains one of the most clever uses of original greek this reviewer has heard. "I'm duckin' stones thrown from them pharisees/Gospel of Peace on my feet like a pair of cleats / Walkin' with the paraclete, that's Greek for The Spirit."
"Uno Uno Seis" features Lecrae and many listeners will be divided on the song. We learn on this track that Andy Mineo and Lecrae can rap in Spanish and Spanglish as well as they do in English. It features an awesome electronic beat and for those of you that don't like it write now, I'm confident that there will be many remixes of this one. It truly is the hidden gem on this album.
This is an incredible album that has to be listened to from beginning to end. Some songs may not resonate with the listener immediately, but the whole album is better than it's individual parts. When I first received this to listen to the track order was not yet finalized and I wasn't overly impressed. When the track order was announced and I listened to the album the way the artist intended it to be listened to, the album took on a life. The rhymes are clever, the beats hit hard, production quality is on point and most importantly it challenges us to better in our walk as Christians and speaks of the love of Christ to soften the hardest of hearts.
Song to Download Now:
"Uno Uno Seis" (Get it from iTunes here
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