From the Altar to the Streets Posted September 25, 2020 By JoshuaGalla_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need To Know Kevin “KB” Burgess solidified his career in Christian Hip-Hop (CHH) after signing with the infamous record label Reach Records in 2010. In college, prior to his signing, KB was the leader of a hip-hop independent group known as HGA (His Glory Alone). It was through HGA, Lecrae Moore, and the team at Reach where KB realized his true potential. Over the next eight years, the artist has released a mixtape, two EPs, three studio albums, and a handful of singles.
His devotion to faith and fellowship with Christ through the originating mantra “His Glory Alone” carried into KB’s own clothing line: Native Supply. To date, the merchandising hub has over 62,000 followers on Instagram, selling thousands of items annually.
Never apologetic about his faith as a strong ambassador for positive, God-filled hip-hop, KB returns with a vengeance on his fourth studio album, His Glory Alone.
KB recently signed with Sony Entertainment in early 2020. The label released a recent snippet about what KB's goal is for the record, "KB’s latest release is a message meant for today, but tailored to a better tomorrow. Music for hope and change earned through blood, sweat, and tears. It’s what happens when KB speaks straight from the heart without a filter. The things that KB loves the most—prayer, celebrating God, and music—come together to hopefully encourage, empower, and heal." His Glory Alone takes the best efforts of each of the last three albums and combines a collective sound like no other.
What it Sounds Like KB has formulated an exciting bridge between worship music and the world of trap. It’s like an album from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, or Travis Scott and being revamped and rearranged by the likes of Kirk Franklin or Tye Tribbett. The message of the Gospel and the hard-hitting 808’s of trap wired together to create something beautiful and impactful.
Worship anthems such as “10,000 Reasons” (Matt Redman), “Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)” (Chris Tomlin), “Let It Rain” (Michael W. Smith) among others creatively flipped by KB and crafted into soundtracks for life to the streets.
KB also paid homage to his multi-cultural fanbase with two tracks featuring international heavyweights Tommy Royale, Bianca, and Musiko. “Libre” (Free) featuring Tommy Royale speaks about the freedom found in Christ and owed to all people regardless of color, race, or ethnicity. “Sí Canción" featuring Blanca and Musiko flipped a worship song from Vertical Worship with a Spanish twist. It’s unique, uplifting, and empowers the spirit regardless of your background.
“Masterpiece” is one of the album's standout tracks. It's an ode to KB’s daughter. As a father of daughters myself, this one especially hit home. The track displays KB's range of musical talent and honors the blessings God provides.
Spiritual Highlights Essentially, His Glory Alone is a worship album with the streets serving as a background. The entire basis of the project is giving God his deserved Glory and thanking his son Jesus for unbound grace, mercy, and love. Over three-fourths of the tracks have classic and modern worship favorites as foundations for the included material. The few which do not are plastered in appreciation, devotion, and examples of servitude of God.
On “10K,” KB explains, “I got a God, don’t change with the seasons, uh.” On “Armies,” KB confirms, “Life ain’t been the same since death died, won it by a landslide.” Listeners will discover similar gems of faith throughout the album from KB and his all-star roster of featured guests.
I challenge the listener to not only pay attention to the spiritual content of His Glory Alone, but to pay close attention to the effects and victories KB speaks on due to his unwavering faith, dating back to his teenage years.
Best Song on the Record Focusing on a single favorite track is no easy task. His Glory Alone doesn’t have one skippable track. However, “Let It Reign,” featuring artist Bizzle, has gathered the most repeat plays from me thus far. Several factors cultivate this track as a highlight. The driving bassline and infectious hand claps are hard to ignore. The classic worship line of lyrics from “Let It Rain” has been cemented in my memory since first listen: “Let it rain, let it rain/Open the floodgates of heaven.” That alone, driven by the handclaps, motivates you to move with the music.
Bizzle’s contribution acts as a cherry on top of sorts to an already blazing anthem. God Over Money’s frontman never disappoints in bringing the gospel forward with crisp and clear lyricism reminding us why God reigns over the lives of believers. Then, enter in KB’s lyrical contribution which has quotable lines one after another throughout. Personally, it’s one of the strongest tracks I’ve heard in CHH this year.
Final Word KB has always possessed an 'outside the box' mentality. Therefore, you cannot contain KB to one genre or one type of lyricism. His creativity overflows constantly. To combine the worship and hip-hop genre feels natural with KB’s persona and heart, wrapped around the art he provides fans consistently. Fans are treated to KB’s bag of talents. Worship. Check. International sound. Check. Innovative wordplay through raw lyricism. Check. As I previously mentioned, a skippable track doesn’t exist on His Glory Alone. It’s impossible to remove headphones and not walk away personally affected by the album's songs. KB has crafted a masterpiece.
Stream His Glory Alone on Spotify or purchase the album on iTunes.