A 116 Christmas| Posted November 24, 2018 The Gift is the third overall studio album from 116, and their first Christmas collection. Noticeably missing from the Reach Records group is Andy Mineo and KB, but there are some surprise guests including Derek Minor on the album. Adam Grason did the cover art, which merges the look and feel of vintage Christmas with traditional hip-hop elements. The album debuted at #1 on iTunes Hip-Hop and Rap chart.
I really enjoyed this album and getting exposed to some artists I was not familiar with, as well as hearing some of my favorites such as Lecrae, Trip Lee and Tedashii.
Below are a few brief comments about each song: O’ Come – The song is written by Dustin “DAB” Bowie, John McNeil, Joel McNeil, Crystal Nicole, Ace Harris, CASS, Tedashii and nobigdyl. It is produced by Weathrman and Ace Harris, and features CASS, nobigdyl and Tedashii. The chorus includes a bit of the Christmas hymn “O Come All Ye Faithful” written by John Francis Wade. The song opens with CASS, with Tedashii taking the first verse, CASS the second, nobigdyl the third, and Tedashii closing things out. The joyful song has a great beat and some hand claps.
Key lyric: He changed the world, that's a landslide God meant for all mankind This Christmas – The song was written by Ace Harris, Epikh Pro, Evan Ford, Abe Parker, Jon Keith and Jaylon Ashaun. It was produced by Ace Harris and Epikh Pro and features Jon Keith, Jaylon Ashaun and Evan and Eris. Evan and Eric handle the chorus, with Jaylon Ashaun on the first verse and Jon Keith on the second on this light-hearted and joyful song with a great beat.
Key lyric: It's gonna be the best time of the year Got my hands in the sky 'cause I know that I'm living my best life when you're near Joy – The song was written by Ace Harris, Epikh Pro, Alex Hitchens, Abe Parker, Trip Lee and Lecrae. It was produced by Ace Harris and Epikh Pro, and features Lecrae, Trip Lee and Abe Parker. Lee and Lecrae each take a verse, and Parker handles the chorus, which includes a bit of the Christmas hymn “Joy to the World” written by Isaac Watts. The song addresses pain, injustice and life’s difficulty, along with God’s faithfulness and spreading the good news. A highlight.
Key lyric: Why wait for tomorrow? Joy came and He called us What A Time – The song was written by Cardec, Ace Harris, Zach Paradis, Jimi Cravity, Dave James, SVRCINA and WHATUPRG. It was produced by Ace Harris, Dave James, Zach Paradis and Cardec, and features WHATUPRG and SVRCINA. The chorus includes a bit of the Christmas hymn “O Holy Night” written by Adolphe Adam. There are also some references to the song “What Child Is This?” written by William Chatterton Dix. The drums really stand out on this track. WHATUPRG’s and SVRCINA voices blend well as they sing together near the end of the song.
Key lyric: What Child is this? Whose crown is this?
On the ground I live
Falling on my knees
Giving everything to the King of kings Silent Night – The song is written by John Smythe, Joel McNeil, John McNeil and Chrystal Nicole. The song is produced by Weathrman and features Chrystal Nicole on vocals. Nicole has worked with Lecrae, Andy Mineo and Tedashii in the past. The chorus includes a bit of lyrics from the Christmas hymn “Silent Night” written by Joseph Mohr. Nicole delivers a powerful vocal over guitar and excellent backing vocals as the song builds. All Is Bright – The song is written by Derek Johnson, Crystal Johnson, John McNeil, Joel McNeil, Wande and 1K Phew. It was produced by Weathrman and features 1K Phew, Derek Minor & Wande. The chorus includes a bit of the Christmas hymn “Silent Night” written by Joseph Mohr. The vocals from Wande, 1K Phew and Derek Minor are strong. Minor sings in verse three of being saved out of the slums, with dealers, users, scammers and hustlers.
Key lyric: You got a way of, making me stay You pull me closer when I push You away Noel – The song is written by and features Trip Lee and Dave James, and is produced by James. The song includes a bit of the Christmas hymn “The First Noel”. This song is about Jesus. Lee handles the verses. I loved the line “Baby clothes couldn't cloak His divinity”. Includes some nice guitar at the end of the song. A highlight.
Key lyric: Who would've known that this babe was the King on the throne? Angels – This song was written by Abe Parker, Crystal Johnson, Rhomar Jessy, Joel McNeil and GAWVI. The song was produced by Weathrman and features GAWVI, who delivers his usual strong vocal over a punchy percussion driven beat. The chorus includes backing singers infectiously singing a bit of the Christmas hymn “Angels We Have Heard on High” written by James Chadwick.
Key lyric: I wonder where would I be, I be if You never found me when I needed You We Three Kings – The song is written by Zach Paradis, Alex Hitchens, Wande Isola, Ace Harris, Epikh Pro, Paul Russell, Lecrae and Abe Parker. It is produced by Zach Paradis, Ace Harris, Epikh Pro and Abe Parker, and features Lecrae, Abe Parker and Paul Russell. The song is based on the Christmas hymn “We Three Kings” written by John Henry Hopkins Jr., and begins “We three kings with the diamond rings, bringing gifts, coming from afar”. The song is upbeat, starting with guitar before it dives into a great percussion driven beat, featuring a memorable chorus. The song also includes a lyric “Long lay the world in sin and error pining” and from the Christmas hymn “O Holy Night” written by Adolphe Adam.
Key lyric: Was the lowest of the low, born in a manger Came to Earth out of love so You could save us