Each week, dozens of singles and a handful of projects are released in the Christian Hip-Hop (CHH) and Urban Soul spaces. Below, we listen to a few highlights and list the rest for your own discovery. As always, follow our New Christian Rap & Hip Hop playlist on Spotify and Apple Music to listen to all the latest.
Carlton Deserves Flowers EP by Battz
The Nashville-based indie rapper Battz blessed the hip-hop space with a three-track EP titled, Carlton Deserves Flowers. Prior to the EP, Battz has released nine singles in 2021 along with a handful of YouTube freestyles. He writes, produces, engineers, and records all of his art and visuals for any given song; impressive to say the least. The motive behind the EP is to provide the masses with a taste of what an album from him may sound like.
The first of the three tracks, “Carlton,” showcases Battz self-taught production and engineering skills with the beat switch-up, transitions, sonic values, and samples. It’s a message for the streets to remain encouraged. A message to our youth to use God-given opportunities to impact communities nationwide. The second track, “Deserves,” accents his growing notorious lyrical assaults while stampeding to the top of CHH. The third track, “Flowers,” pinpoints gratitude as the overall theme. His thankfulness for family, friends, partnerships, and the overall culture is displayed audibly.
This EP should represent a bookmark in CHH. It exhibits the growth of a young emcee hopefully able to rejuvenate a culture teamed up with a class of similar visionaries such as COOP., 350, Swaizy, Miles Minnick, and a growing crowd of rappers called to show God through hip-hop. Stream Carlton Deserves Flowers on Spotify here.
Mitch Darrell x A. Ruiz - "Crying Out"
Indie artists Mitch Darrell and A. Ruiz collaborate for one of the top singles of this year. The track is emotional, yet encouraging. Also, Darrell’s constant improvement of his lyricism is reflected. At first listen, I received vibes from the classic 1995 Mary J. Blige hit “Not Gon’ Cry.” However, the track focuses on our devout return worship to our Lord as we cry out to Him in need and in praise. The accompanying cover art from well-known Juzo is a near-perfect representation of the single. A believer at the cross, hands raised, crying out. The combination of the acoustic guitar, high hats, and strong 808’s fit the track seamlessly. The track is already on constant repeat. Stream “Crying Out” on Spotify here.
Shopé - "RISING"
Indie Canadian artist Shopé releases a new single “RISING” which landed him the first sync deal of his esteemed career in music. Andre De Grasse represents Canada in the 100m sprint during the current 2021 Tokyo Olympics. “RISING” is the official soundtrack used for one of Canada’s top athletes. Shopé’s delivery immediately reminded me of Tobe Nwigwe. There’s something special about that international sound. The production provided a heartbeat-like tempo capturing Shopé’’s intense, riveting, and encouraging content. The end provides something unique which I won’t spoil, however, the entire track is a certified vibe. Stream “RISING” on Spotify here.