Revitalizing Hip Hop
Posted December 15, 2014
By DwayneLacy_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Hip hop fans, do you ever find yourself listening to hip hop (whether mainstream or even Christian) and thinking "why does everything sound the same?" Well, Japhia Life is here to save the day or the game with his album The Profit. That may not have been his intention nor were those his words, but hip hop needed this album. It's an ode to 80's and 90's rap with a 21st century spin.
The telling of his life growing up in Philadelphia is the subject matter of "Flashlight," with a sick beat by Eastside High. Lifey wants to bring the light of Christ into the darkness that happens in the streets. This one is a head nodder, and you will instantly want to hit repeat.
Lifey continues the introspective look into the hardships of the city of brotherly love on the banger "Ultra Violence." One can hope that the lane for this type of hip hop will basically reopen so that youth, critics of the genre and radio will hear something that is fresh yet seasoned. Lifey gives a node to Houston, Texas aka H-Town and DJ Screw with the chopped and screwed interlude, "Get It Done". He uses this as a segue to "Real Love", which is a dope ode to the longing for THAT girl that he is ready to do life with.
Japhia does not shy away from singing his own hooks and showing a few chops of his own. As a teen, his mother would have Gospel music blasting throughout the house. One artist that he heard a great deal was Pastor John P. Kee, whom he features on this album. Kee takes a more soulful angle in his vocals to weave adlibs throughout the song "Water," while Lifey sings the hook. If done right, a Gospel artist and a hip hop artist can do a song that works, and "Water" definitely works.
I can vibe to and even zone out to this album. It is like a part of the serum that should be injected into the infection plaguing youth through mainstream hip hop. There may be moments where the mixing could have been better, but there is so much else that is right with this album. You can't help, but hear the pain as he speaks of the death of one of his best friends on "Jermaine Chain."
Like he stated in one of the songs, he is trying to stop the mirages and get the "Days Back" from all of this nonsense that is plaguing the radio. Japhia Life is an artist trying to bring realness back into music. He brings Christ into hip hop, though he has never gone by the label of Christian hip hop. All labels aside, pick this up and just enjoy one of the most authentic and real albums in a long time.
Song to Download Now:
"Flashlight" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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