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Second City Not Second Rate
Posted February 09, 2019
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer

What You Need To Know:
In his sophomore release, The Second City, Steven Malcolm returns with his unique flow. A project that had a lot of run up with multiple singles released prior to the album, the full album brings the story together and highlights the improved talent of the young artist from Grand Rapids, MI.

What It Sounds Like:
Malcolm artistically blends hip-hop, reggae and worship. These three genres are shown in the first three tracks on the album. "Not To Us/Good Love" is a blend of worship and hip hop. The song opens with a soulful worship chorus/hook and the verses bring in a classic hip hop beat and then Malcolm's lyrics shine through. If "Not To Us/Good Love" blends worship and hip hop, then the title track, "The Second City" perfectly blends worship and reggae. Continuing on the worship front, Malcolm teams up with Leeland on "Even Louder" and Stars Go Dim features on "Overflow."

Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights:
Steven Malcolm's content is first and foremost Christian. Tracks would be as welcome in a church as on a dance floor. Although not lyrical theology in the vain of Shai Linne or Hazakim, Steven Malcolm brings us songs that deal with Christian life, and uplifting God throughout all we do. "Devil is a Liar" takes on the subject of spiritual warfare that is so real in the life of each and every Christian, and that even though the devil may be whispering (sometimes shouting) lies in our ears, God has delivered us from those thoughts.

Best Song On The Record:
Although I'm a fan of the diversity on the album with the reggae and worship vibes, "Fadeaway", a strict hip hop banger featuring Zauntee, gets my vote as best song on this record. It is modern trap beat layered with Malcolm and Zauntee's vocals that blend perfectly together. 

For Fans Of:
Zauntee, KB, Social Club Misfits, nobigdyl, WHATUPRG 

Final Word:
Steven Malcolm has secured his place among CHH's elite with this project. Steven Malcolm was the first signee to 4against5 (an imprint of Word Records) and the gamble on the young artist has paid off. As Malcolm continues to grow into the veteran on the label, his future definitely looks bright. The Second City shows his range of genres and skills and positions him perfectly for bigger things in the future. 

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