HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! 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.
KB - "EZ" St. Petersburg's own KB returns with his second single of 2023 holding back no punches. The new single, "EZ," solidifies KB's reign within CHH and his prowess in hip-hop generally speaking. Few other emcees can go line-for-line with KB. His rhyme structure, wordplay, strategic flow, and pocket control are nearly flawless. Some of my favorite bars include, "Ya'll don't know the KB I was back in BC / My ex-man was a wolverine, I marveled that He freed me." Also, "Got a taste of fame, but the flavor didn't intrigue me." Those are just a small sample of the intricate lyricism included within this single. Couple that with the insane beat switch around the 2:00 mark and this is my favorite single of 2023 to date. Carvello and WEARETHEGOOD worked their production magic as car windows vibrate throughout the three-minute track. Stream "EZ" on Apple Music here.
Jay Sanon x Jekasole - "Come My Way"
South Florida residents and members of the Hilltop Society collective, Jay Sanon and Jekasole team up for one of the top singles of 2023. Long-time friends, Sanon and Jekasole have searched for an opportunity and track to appear on. God's timing is always perfect because "Come My Way" is beautiful in a multitude of ways. Produced by wow eli, the soundscape goes crazy between an acoustic guitar, rhythmic finger snaps, crisp 808s, and creative fillers in between.
Sanon wanted to create a love song soaked in wholesome values, love, and affection. Most mainstream R&B tracks are smothered with toxicity from multiple sources. However, "Come My Way" speaks from a place of purity and solid moral ground. Honestly, not enough quality R&B Christian-based artistry exists. Love is vaguely spoken about outside our admiration for the trinity. Thankfully, Sanon and Jekasole are at the forefront leading fans into exciting new adventures. Enjoy "Come My Way" on Apple Music here.
Built Different by Konata Small South Florida has taken center stage tonight with the TKO, as we've featured yet another Sunshine State native with Konata Small. He's a seasoned rapper, songwriter, and producer whose collected placements for his artistry from a wide range of media including HBO, Showtime, NFL broadcasts, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and a variety of others. Since 2017, he's released four projects and in 2023 alone, he's released three singles. His latest is featured in the music video below.
The newest project and EP Built Different focuses on the beauty of African American people and culture. Sadly, Americans seldom embrace anything or anyone that's considered different outside of caucasian skin, brown or blonde hair, and blue or brown eyes. Even some sixty-plus years after the stances Martin Luther King, Jr. took towards equality, we're just as (if not more) separated as a country.
One thing I love about Small's music is how most of his tracks carry the weight of a certified anthem. The title track is yet another one of those examples. He's deterred from the typical trap sound and handcrafted a unique soundscape mixed with live drums, synthesizers, hand claps, and an array of creativity. The album includes 11 tracks with favorites of mine being the title track, "Look At Me Now," and "Glory." All anthems, all life-giving, all incredible. Stream Built Different on Spotify here.