I always talk to people about my music listening experience and one of the first things I tell them is that if a song doesn’t grab me in the first thirty seconds the “next” button is hit immediately. It’s sad, but my “next” button is pretty worn on my iPod. Then there’s Decipha’s “Rep.”.
The intro track alone will require a few listens for one to decipher the beat pattern. What? A 6/8 hip hop beat? Love it. And for all those that believe you must speak scripture in your song from the intro to the last track, this cd gives me the impression that Decipha is heading in that direction with this project.
Who is this Decipha dude anyway? I hadn’t heard of him before, but I gotta say; “the brother got skills.”
Track 2, “Heaven,” is a dope track. It describes what we, as Christians, should be like. He breaks down Scriptures and Christianese catch phrases to simple terms for every believer and even non- believer to understand. Great use of a preaching sample, driving beat and hook sample make the song even more pleasing.
Rep Hard drops with some hard hitting violins with the intensity and impact of a dramatic movie like feel. The flow is swift over a bounce type beat. Here we have another awesome song proclaiming to the world that as a Christian you should Rep Hard. Not only is he saying we should, but also tells us how we should.
Ok, what’s this? Wow, next track has this blaring rock guitar over a slow beat with a horror movie type piano and bass with a good featured guest on it. Odd Thomas and Decipha is danger together. I am really feeling the talent Decipha has and I love the selflessness and solution delivering style that comes across so far track after track. We are usually quick to say what we been through, but rarely offer solutions.
Galatians 5:1 is the verse first quoted in track five: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”. I am really impressed by the way Scripture is presented without sounding corny or overbearing. He’s encouraging people to try Christ. Your problems may not disappear immediately but give Him a try.
An emcee delivers different flows and styles without compromising skill. Decipha’s got it locked. Red Flag has a little singing like flow that draws you right in.
The productions / beats on this REP CD are all pretty tight so far. None have made me say I wish he’d use another sound or pattern.
Hear Say feat: Fitzgerald hits us with some head banging type rock, but again, well done. I can imagine lots of Christian rappers getting upset over this song. He goes in a bit on Christian rappers that “try” to be like the secular rappers. In short, “If we would only take the time to look in the scriptures we will find the truth,”, is what the hook is telling us. Issues of lies, divorce and lust are all topics heard on this song amongst others. A message needed for such a time as this.
Did you ever feel you were not qualified to deliver God’s message to others? If so, Disqualified is a track for you. I admit, at times I wonder if I am a good candidate to represent Him. Many times we get it wrong. We act in ways we shouldn’t and think its ok because we have this “new way” of evangelizing or witnessing. “Are we showing them
The Christ or are we Disqualified?” We must allow God to work in us before we pour out into others. Be encouraged as I was encouraged by this song.
Each song is relatively short too. That helps. No time to get tired of it.
Now a Gregorian / choir chant of “Love, Love. Love, Love.The Gospel in one Word is Love. Love your neighbor as your Brother. Love, Love, Love.” is the next sound you hear. But the beat and bass line behind it are dope. Katalyst and Swoope are featured on this track. Good stuff. I am really feeling this project. (Can you tell?). “Love your neighbor as yourself.”. Love it. Simple truths! Let’s go back to these basics.
Let’s face it; the world doesn’t want to hear about God. If they hated Jesus when He was on this earth they will hate Him more in you. That’s the theme of the next song with a classical “O Fortuna” feel to it which is actually listed ad an interlude.
He’s our treasure, he’s our pleasure, he’s our reward The Pleasure is Mine. Decipha speaks about God’s Grace. It’s an honor to be a recipient of His grace and that is totally broken down for us here.
Thi’Sl joins Decipha on Persuaded. By this point there is no need to persuade me. I am a fan. I love the old 1980s type disco feel the track opens up with. I honestly didn’t think they were going to turn it into a bounce track. That’s what you call a good use of a sample.
I know this is a long review but it’s hard to just say a CD is good when all songs have a life of their own. “Hollowed”, featuring EMJ, slows down the pace considerably with a electronic yet laid back feel to it. Just goes to prove that hard hitting emcees can also tone down a bit without losing quality, content or character.
Tedashii? Are you serious? Who’s NOT on this CD?. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Decipha until this project. He’s definitely got skills. Every collaboration compliments Decipha without taking away from the face that he is the main artist on the project. You know how some CDs you get are not that good and the only songs you like are the ones that have all the special guests? Lol Fear not, this is not one of those CDs.
Mimik, another new name to me, is featured on the track “Folly” that opens up with a Radio Voice type intro over a very synth-driven, anthem heavy kick and crisp clap type track. There are heavy messages in each song on Rep. I have much respect for an artist that can flex skills without compromising content.
Everyone loved Katalyst’s project when it came out. To hear him on another track with Decipha is a plus. Matrimony is one of those songs I can picture people using to play at their daughter’s wedding. Though it’s more of a description of how we (the church) are
the bride, it’s a great description of a TRUE Matrimony. Man, there is something for everyone on this CD.
KB-HGA is featured on the last track on this CD which has a Motown-like intro that kicks into a heavy hip hop track. “Take Us Home” is a perfect way to end REP. After listening to all the songs on this project, if you haven’t made a decision to serve Christ more intimately I don’t know what will make you get closer to Him. Seriously, at this point we have to be ready for Jesus to Take Us Home.
Decipha, hats off to you brother. This is definitely a great project. I highly recommend this CD to every fan of the Gospel. Notice I didn’t say to hip hop heads. There is a lot in here. Grab your bible, your iPod, good headphones and get ready for an awesome experience.
Music: 8.5 of 10
Flow / Delivery: 9 of 10
Lyricism: 8 of 10
Content: 8 of 10
Creativity / Originality / Relevancy: 8 of 10
Credibility / Confidence: 8.5 of 10
Personality / Character: 8 of 10
Presentation Quality: 9 of 10
Overall Production Quality: 9 of 10
Potential Impact: 9 of 10