Propaganda is not afraid to tackle tough issues and real questions
Posted October 23, 2012
By DwayneLacy_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Have you known (or known of) someone whom you appreciate and respect and you say, "I'm glad they're on our side"? This is the way that I feel about Propaganda, meaning I'm glad he is a Christian. Propaganda presents hip-hop and poetry in a way that those who are intellectuals will dig into even if they may not agree with him.
He is back with Excellent. Beautiful Eulogy serves as the lone producers, which means that the album is full of organic sounds with guitar riffs, innovative beats, no samples and the like. Coming into it I knew that Propaganda would offer thought-provoking poetry and clever wordplay in his rhymes. What I did not expect was the degree of how much he caused me to really ponder my relationship with Christ and areas where I still have question.
He starts things off by having the "audacity" to tell us, "Don't Listen to Me"--but why would he do such a thing? Obviously he really wanted to grab your attention and put you on a ride that will stimulate you spiritually and mentally. The title track has a beat that sounds like someone riding a horse to a cadence or nicely syncopated clock ticking. He makes it known that whatever he does; he tries to do it with excellence as homage and thanks to God.
"Redefine Cutter" has a sitting-on-the-porch-playing-the-blues feel, but the content is heavy. Props hits on the fact that his family's "manifest destiny" of moving from the ills of Jackson, Miss. to Los Angeles was not what they expected. It was more of a "war zone," but it was there that he learned the art of hip-hop and repping Christ. On "Forgive Me for Asking," he addresses many questions that we may not ask in public or with only our closest friends.
Although I am a fan of Beautiful Eulogy as a group and a production team, it would have been better to diversify the beats and music on this album. However, the music never overshadows the messages of each song. One song that totally overwhelmed me was "Precious Puritans" featuring the fancy cello work of Kevin "K.O." Olusola of Penatonix and Gungor. He takes pastors to task who quote Puritans of 16th and 17th centuries. Many of those Puritans believed in slavery, which still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many.
One of the most compelling parts of this spoken word piece is when he said, "Pastor, your colorless rhetoric is a copout. You see my skin and I see yours. They are beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully divinely designed. Uniqueness. Shouldn't we celebrate it instead of acting like it's not there?" He brings it home as he lets people know that it is even bothersome for people to quote him, but that God uses things that are crooked to make people's way straight--"just like your precious Puritans." Go listen!
Beautiful Eulogy and Joel from Ascend the Hill guest on "Lofty." The many wonders of the earth and more attributed to the infinite God of wonders are part of things that the guys tackle. Please take notice and lend your ear to "Conquer" featuring Theory Hazit and the compelling, "I Ain't Got An Answer" featuring Sho Baracka.
Be prepared to dissect, chew on and ponder all that Propaganda covers on Excellent
. It is a free download on humblebeast.com
. If you would like to support them financially, go to iTunes and buy it. I have already sent it to someone who likes to be intellectually stimulated. Hopefully, this stimulation will lead people to believe that our intellect is finite and Christ is infinite. Propaganda is surely trying to deal with real questions while pointing everyone to Christ.
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