Dubbed as Lecrae's protege, the latest Reach Records signee, hip hop artist Hulvey, has released his long-awaited debut album Christopher.
The album takes listeners through 22-year-old's life, the journey of being an adolescent teen in high school, to seeing the importance of community and mentorship and the freedom and deliverance he received through Christ over some of his internal hardships including anxiety.
"I started breaking free of all my anxiousness, so many anxious thoughts and worries that I have struggled with for years, and so I wrote about it," shares Hulvey. "As dark as 2020 was for people, for me personally, I found beauty and peace within it."
The project features guest appearances by Lecrae, SVRCINA, Andy Mineo and BigBreeze. Pushing musical influences aside, the new music pouring out of Hulvey lyrically and sonically, reveals his true authentic self; embracing his hip-hop and pop background.
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Testimony Exposed Between Valleys and Blessings| Posted April 13, 2021 What You Need To Know
During the short-term period of just two years, Georgia's own Christopher Hulvey has exploded onto the Christian Hip-Hop (CHH) scene evolving from scrubbing toilets in a local grocery store to a certified hip-hop artist signed to Reach Records, one of the most profound music labels within the industry.
Rapper, singer, freestyler, and producer credits contribute to one of the most famed up-and-coming artists in CHH. Before signing with Reach Records in January of 2020 and releasing his debut EP Prelude the same month, Hulvey released his personal agenda to God before fully encompassing what His creator planned for the now 23-year-old lyricist. Four EPs and a handful of singles later, fans are rewarded with his debut album, Christopher.
Transparency takes front and center throughout the new album, representing an audio timeline from high school to present day. Hulvey’s transformation in maturity, faith, and artistry is exposed through snapshot moments of time pinpointed as game-changers.
The idea of worship is true to form as a lifestyle and not concealed to musical restraints as Hulvey’s heart for God is spotlighted all for His glory. Christopher correlates the best of Hulvey’s arsenal in rhyme and harmony perfected while expressing how the last decade has molded him into the man he represents today.
What it Sounds Like
The beauty resides in the various soundscapes experienced throughout Christopher. Worship anthems, Friday-night bangers, pop-driven hits, freestyle perfection, and songs of remembrance assemble collectively. A correlation of meaningful strings, energetic keys, and masterful mixes seesaw between the pulse of the streets and the refuge of the sanctuary.
Standout tracks tagged begin front and center with the first track, “Can’t Tell It All.” The beat, including the switch-up, is infectious. Hulvey’s flow comfortably and elegantly sits in the pocket. Rhyme schemes are on point and the content pours out directly from the heart and blessings from God.
Also, a highlight stems from one of the pre-release singles, “We Against the World,” featuring fellow hip-hop artist Andy Mineo. The visuals alone are worthy of a Best Video of the Year award nod. Andy’s acting mimics the caliber of an Oscar winner for Best Comedic Performance. Besides that, Hulvey explains how life is impossible alone, as we need a loving God beside us to foster success.
“Nothing Without Jesus” brings Revelation 12:11 to life, accenting how important a believer’s testimony is personally and to others in need.
The listener doesn’t have to wait long to hear of how God’s influence is written all over Hulvey's life. His first name, for starters, means “Christ Bearer.” From start to finish, on his debut album, Hulvey's goal was to glorify God. The entire project bleeds of God’s blessings, protection, and love everlasting—on his life and the life of his peers. From mission trip miracles to God’s calling not always being popular among friends—and even times feeling apart from the calling—Hulvey details how good our God is and the impact felt from preschool years forward.
Empowering lyrics follow one after another such as, “Holy Spirit, come into my life/Won't You wrap me up inside Your light?” Also, “All praise to the Father, to the Son/To the Spirit, You're the one/Hope You hear it, He's the one.”
Christopher is smothered in spiritual content—just like Hulvey's life. The goal of glorifying God as the overall theme of the record was accomplished hands down.
“Cold Nights” stands out on its own for good reason. As believers, we know how to praise and worship our creator when times are good. When life seems to ride on auto-pilot. However, how about the difficult seasons? The restless nights? The times we’re stuck in the valley? Those are the types of tracks I personally relate to the most.
Like many, 2020 was a year of struggle. The pandemic exposed many emotions usually well-kept hidden. Depression, anxiety, uncertainty, and a storm of negativity laced the year. Hulvey shares some of his own experiences and anxiety from that year and generally speaking. He calls out to us to reach out to those in need often and to always remember to praise Him even in the storm.
Hulvey infuses hope and passion into his brand of artistry. Christopher is a body of work well defined as a Christ-centered, unapologetic expression of faith. Listeners were treated to the raw form of Hulvey and his creative arsenal of talent. In the past 365 days, he’s provided a buffet of sound and material to marinate upon. The rapper has cemented himself as one of the top emcees in the space—and he’s only just began.
Stream Christopher on Spotify or purchase the debut album on iTunes.