The Trap Which Sets Your Soul Free| Posted August 10, 2018 What You Need To Know:
Nashville native Derek Minor is an iconic rapper and producer in the Christian Hip-Hop (CHH) industry. He's co-CEO of his recording label, Reflection Music Group (RMG), has compiled 13 commercial releases over the past decade and has directly invested in lives of other artists such as nobigdyl. The current release, The Trap, is a piece of art rivaled by few others in the genre. It's the third release in the "Up & Away" series from Minor with previous EP releases titled High Above and Your Soul Must Fly; both released in 2017.
What it Sounds Like: The Trap is not a record the listener can ignore or just play in the background. Each track is heavily weighed with socially conscious topics relevant to racism, politics, stereotypes, culture, faith and real life issues. Essentially, the album tackles head-on the daily struggle of what it’s like to be an African American in modern society. There hasn’t been a similar hearty release since summer of 2017 with Propaganda’s Crooked.
Lyrics echo the words of, “The world don't care about us, but they want more for their cameras,” on the opening track to the project highlighting a flawed culture we tread within. “It Is What It Is” was the first single released back in February previewing Minor’s mindset about to be unraveled throughout the 15-track masterpiece interjecting faith, empowerment, and love as the answer to the sins of the world.
“Black Market” interjects that 90’s hip-hop elements vibe with deejay scratches, a return to the boom bap and a mid-track masterful switch up that fans will applaud. “Decisions” follows that era with classic storytelling which would make Slick Rick proud.
“Of Course” and “See You Win” gain my vote for summer anthems to just nod, bounce, and dance uncontrollably to in the car or gym. “Goodbye Lullaby” contends as one of my favorites of the project, as Minor reminds listeners he can harmonize and destroy tracks bar for bar with a fine-tuned flow unlike any other.
Social injustice may reign as the overall theme for The Trap, but Minor’s references to his personal faith, God’s word, and the Kingdom are anything but sparse. Minor proclaims, “I tell the whole world I’m a sinner and Christ saves,” in the final track “Revolution.” He also declares “I’m not perfect, but I’m sticking to His plan. When I lose my life I already lost it for Him,” in “Don’t Cry.” Minor has always worn his faith open for all to hear and witness.
Best Song on the Record: “I Have a Dream” is unmistakably my favorite track on the project. The song echoes the civil rights movement pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s historic 1963 speech striving for equality among all races. Regardless of our own environment or situation, Minor speaks of a better life through Christ. We’re all seen as God’s children and should be treated as such in human form. With several beats and flow switch ups displayed on the record similar to this track, Minor showcases to listeners the good, bad and ugly in all walks of life. Simultaneously, he exhibits the multitude of talents present between singing, rapping and even poetic highlights.
Derek Minor is masterful in his delivery. The substance of each track was researched and executed with near perfection. Social injustice and all of its accomplices (racism, inequality, hate) are not easily discussed topics to present to a culture consumed by the next Billboard hit or club jam. Minor crafted songs to reach people at their core, the heart. As Jesus defined, souls are won within the heart through love. He lyrically meets people regardless of their situation and points back to the cross. His extensive talents are wonderfully displayed throughout the project within his unique storytelling delivery through harmony and rhyme. Highlights like “Decisions,” “Goodbye Lullaby,” “Of Course,” and “I Have a Dream” walk the listen through unique audio experiences neatly packaged and what some will deem album of the year.