The Joy Found During Difficult Seasons| Posted May 01, 2020 What You Need To Know: Ty Brasel was born in Memphis, TN, where he grew up at the intersection of East Memphis and Olive Branch, Mississipi. This area, referred to by locals as “Memphissippi,” is where Ty first recognized his passion for music.
A press release from his music label, Curb/Word Entertainment, gave a great description of not only Ty's new album, The Divine Storm, but Ty as well: "Ty's style, as showcased on 2017’s Young Tand 2018’s Destined For Greatness, draws inspiration from the southern style of rap he was raised with, as well as influences like Kendrick Lamar, Curren$y, and Post Malone. Ty’s eclectic style and songs are often aimed at people in the down cycles of life. The theme of overcoming life struggles and personal demons is ever-present. The notion that while there may be storms within, peace and hope are attainable."
Brasel released three singles before dropping The Divine Storm in early May 2020. “The Power,” featuring KB, has gathered over 850,000 streams since its release in January. And, “Highlight,” featuring WHATUPRG and 1K Phew, has collected more than 350,000 streams since its release in March. "Night Dreaming," released in 2019, is considered a birthday gift to his fans.
In March, Brasel released a statement about the creation of The Divine Storm stating, “The road to creating, clearing, and releasing my album has been unimaginably challenging. Although this music was written in the spring/summer of 2019, I believe the message is more timely and relevant than ever. Looking back, I see God’s hand every step of the way.” Given the circumstances around COVID-19 between March through present day, the correlation between the album’s tracks and reality is rooted together. Brasel provides life music during a time of need where music is a form of healing.
What It Sounds Like:
A brilliant escape from the smothered trap sound, which has saturated Christian Hip-Hop (CHH) for the last few years. You discover sounds absent from most CHH tracks: piano, trumpets, flutes, and bells. The album is a collection of organic instruments closer to a live set. The overall balance of The Divine Storm shifts to melodic beauty from Brasel himself and accompanying background vocals of silent features. Translated, listeners are exposed to a heavier helping of Brasel's voice. Unlike most, he doesn’t require heavy autotuned influences to belt out harmonies. Brasel’s voice has a natural, mellow, "Friday night cruise" sound pleasant to the ear.
Standout tracks include “Whirlwind,” “Airborne,” and the melodic “Paid For It,” featuring Jay-Way and Brianna Catrice. Each song has a vibe of its own. “Paid For It” dips into more of a soulful worship track focused on how Jesus paid for our debts in sin, enabling us to navigate life with purpose. “Whirlwind” shows us Brasel’s strong bars and wordplay throughout speaking of the storms of life defeated by the power of Jesus. “Airborne” weighed in as a favorite of mine. The track possesses simple production allowing listeners to focus on the content.
Like Brasel’s 116 brethren (a supergroup comprised of rap superstars Lacrae, KB, and more), he’s unashamed of presenting the gospel in his content. He gives references to faith, God, and His Son Jesus throughout the album. On “I’m Grateful,” featuring J. Monty, Brasel speaks, “Look to the right, Look to the left, see God’s hand at every step.” Ty's project displays God’s existence in life’s everchanging storms, and how adversity is met with strength gained from God’s love and the Bible.
Best Song on the Record:
My favorite song from this album, by far, is “I’m Grateful.” I love the calm, soothing sonic feel of the track. Brasel shines bright lyrically as the feature from J. Monty compliments the record with precision. A simplistic hook is present with a soulful harmony in the background. You'll need to play the song a few times to snag the intricate wordplay. It’s a homage of celebration and gratitude similar to the end of a storm when the sun reappears, igniting its scenery.
Final Word: The Divine Storm has a feel of a concept album. Each track points back to a storm-like reference or is nature-driven. He raps about how God’s love and the hope found in Christ rescues us from storm-like scenarios in life. I thoroughly enjoyed the contrast of harmonies and singing from Brasel, mixed with his strong wordplay and flow. The contrast felt natural, not forced. Brasel’s formula to stray from a feature-drenched album continues to work in his favor. Each track has its own sonic value and varies enough to add replay value. A strong complement of Brasel is his effortless flow. In the end, The Divine Storm differs enough from 2018’s Destined For Greatness to provide its own unique arsenal of sound but sticks to a familiar formula from Brasel of precision and excellence.