Reach Records' Hulvey recently released his debut album, Christopher, just over a year after joining the prolific Christian hip-hop label. NRT’s own Joshua Galla says in his NRT review that, “the new album integrates the artists’ talents of rapping, freestyling, and singing.”
Josh continues, “Christopher is a transparent walk of faith from high school through present day, embodying God's work within him artistically and personally.”
On the album, Hulvey collaborated with a number of producers, including Ace Harris, Zach Paradis, among others. The rapper also collaborated with a number of artists, including hip-hop icons Andy Mineo and Lecrae. Hulvey says his real first name, Christopher, means “Christ-bearer.” According to the rapper, he wants to reflect on God when people see him and his life.
Hulvey took some time to share the inspiration behind each song on Christopher.
“Can’t Tell it All”
On the album’s intro, I wanted to express that I’ve seen God do so many beautiful things that I can’t even share them all. At the end of the song, I declare that everything is all for His glory. I want this album and, most importantly, my life to glorify God.
“Back in the Wick”
For this song, I went back to my roots. I wanted to use that raw “Wicktown” sound I started with, as well as expressing my need for loving my enemies and realizing that I am just as guilty for my sin as anyone else.
“Reasons" (feat. Lecrae & SVRCINA)
In 2020, and, honestly, in life in general, some of us have lost loved ones, opportunities, and jobs. Friendships have become distant, and some have lost their own minds. I can’t keep running away from the pain that I’ve experienced. I have to let God in to help me face it head-on. I lost my grandad in 2007 and, to this day, it’s sad watching his funeral video. I wish I knew if he went to heaven or not. But, that’s only in God’s hands.
I used to have a friend named Evan growing up. He was my best friend. In middle school, I remember our friendship slowly starting to change. In high school, we weren’t really close anymore. People go their own way, and it hurts.
I’ve had many friends that have done a lot of things, like drinking and drugs, that I didn’t know much about. It was hard being the guy that didn’t get invited to the parties. In the end, I realize that we’re all broken humans. As the lyrics say, “Maybe it’s all of us/Ninth-grade kids and we’re starving for love.” Turns out the only one that could’ve eased our pain was God.
Mentally, I’ve been through a lot the past couple of years. I was having invasive thoughts tormenting me. Anxiety has also been a struggle for me in 2020. The song's hook captures what I felt during that time. But, “Cold Nights,” as a whole, is a broad approach to touch people that are struggling with using other things as a band-aid to ease pain and past mistakes.
“Where the Love Go?" (feat. Big Breeze)
The Christian hip-hop world, for some reason, is full of gossip. I’ve even struggled with it myself. We have to get away from that and unite. This song is a declaration that my goal is to point people above.
“912 Tap In”
My friend, LJ, from Brunswick, did this interlude. When he says, “Y’all will hear from me later” at the end, it is a foreshadow to the mixtape I’m working on that he will play the role of the narrator.
Think rapper the Kid LAROI mixed with gospel’s Kirk Franklin, and rapper Ty Dolla Sign. I wanted to infuse a new sound by blending gospel, rap, and rock vocal tones. I never want to forget about the Holy Spirit. He is God. This song is telling Him how much I need Him. He is in me, but sometimes I forget to let Him lead my life.
What’s temporary to eternal? These earthly things don’t matter in the end.
“We Against the World" (feat. Andy Mineo)
I can’t live life on my own. I’ve tried and I fail every time. I think I’m so strong, but I’ve come to the realization that I need God and my brothers and sisters in Christ. As the lyrics say, “Starting right now, take my doubt/I’m done trying act like I got it figured out.” Sometimes out of my place of uncertainty is something I try to take control of. But, I’m done with that.
“Nothing Without Jesus”
The best way to describe this song is through Revelations 12:11 (NLT): “And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” As believers in Jesus, we all have a testimony. I don’t want to hide what God has done in my life. I want to tell the world how Jesus has set me free by His blood.
“Washed in the Blood”
Continuing after “Nothing Without Jesus,” is the album’s closure, “Wash in the Blood.” The song means that I’m cleansed by God’s blood and I’m free.
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