Don't Sleep on 5ive
Posted April 25, 2018
By MarcusHathcock_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Rapper 5ive, also known as Craig James, has a pretty incredible, radical conversion story of how Jesus met him in a huge way and instantly ended his addictions. Since then, he's been sold-out to God, dedicating his lyrical gifts to a truly unashamed representation of Jesus. A follow-up to last year's Me Against the World EP, this 9-track project continues 5ive's rap campaign against that which would trip up God's people.
What it Sounds Like:
People who aren't hardcore underground Christian hip-hop fans are just waking up to the treasure that is 5ive. People wanting a break from the trap-saturated (dare I say oversaturated) scene will discover an R&B-flavored project that juxtaposes smooth sounds with rapid-fire rapping. It's a combination that works, and yet is not at all commonplace in Christian hip-hop. Featuring the prowess of Jordan Lucio, J. Carter and on several occasions, 5ive himself, you could be forgiven for calling this an R&B album instead of a rap album. On songs like "#NoFakeLove" and the remix of "#ForeverKing," there's no rapping at all, just singing. "#INeedYouMore" is straight-up CHH worship. There are even a couple of good gospel tracks, such as "#StillWorship" and "#NoFakeLove," and for the trap lovers, he even throws a bone on "#WitnessGreatness."
"That life was put to death when He sent His only son." This simple lyric from "#DestinedForMuch" captures the focus on this record: God's people have been radically saved and the "old person" is gone. He died for new life, so let's get away from that old stuff. Not only does 5ive have so many incredible lyrical moments in this project, but they're often delivered at high-speed... you'll need a few listens. Another standout on "#DestinedForMuch" directly references Reach Records, which has wavered a bit on the meaning of "unashamed" to its growing audience: "When I scream I'm unashamed I'm really talkin' bout the Gospel."
Best Song on the Record:
"#DestinedForMuch" has the fastest wordplay, but beyond that is full of awesome one-liners (like the ones mentioned above) that tackle the whole concept of being destined for much from several angles.
For Fans Of:
FLAME, Tedashii, KB, Canon, Pyrexx
The greater Christian music world needs to wake up to 5ive, who bridges so many musical styles, while providing a lyrical emphasis as overt as any in our industry. This is a great, hard-hitting, discipling piece of music that--bonus!--gives half of its proceeds to a charity that gives shoes to impoverished children. 5ive is the real deal and deserves a listen.
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