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War Records Compilation– Waging War
Released: 2011
Reviewed by: Ed Welch
Rating: 6.95 (Out of 10)
[xrr rating=6.95/10]

Wow!   Not only have I never heard of any of the artists on this project, I can truly say that I have never heard a group quite like this.  Yes, they get points for originality.  This album starts out with tons of energy in a really unique way.  In short, it’s entertaining and you really get the feel that you might have found the next “dope” crew.

I apologize for the lack of clarity as I toss out vague words like unique, originality, and entertaining.  If you were to put them in a box of a musical style they definitely bring that East Coast “battle emcee” type flavor.  If you will, they sound like battle emcees that happen to be Christians.

I say that to make my next point.  While some songs are better than others (as with any project) I have one major gripe with this group and this album.  At the end of almost every song and definitely at the end of the album I still have one rather important question.  What was the point again?  Even on the songs that I liked (because of the production or the “catchiness” of the hook), a lot of the lyrics just came across as random and incomplete thoughts that rhymed.  I’m getting the bad out of the way first here, so in short the content is the weakest part of this album.

The variety on this album was surprisingly great.  On one song, I thought they had John Legend singing on the track!  Not a poor man’s John Legend.  I mean, “The” John Legend.  I was tempted to check the credits of the album for real.  They switch from raw, war mode type songs to smooth songs that make you wanna sing and/or chill effortlessly.  Thumbs up gentlemen, you made me smile.  With all of the “good” singing I heard on this album, I was a little perplexed as to why the rappers decided to sing part of a song.  I know the bar is lowered when we can tell a rapper is singing the hook, but this was too much of a stretch.  I say this with love, please don’t do that again.  Wait, where was I?  Oh yeah, the variety!  Some songs made me feel like I was riding with them to battle and on other songs I felt like a Christian version of Bob Marley was in the car singing “Hallelujah!”  I really enjoyed that, by the way.

Either way, I’ll stop there.  If you like rap music with that East Coast-type feel, the Hyborian Warriors are right up your alley.  The word play was solid.  Nothing blew me away lyrically, but I had some moments of serious head-nodding when the wordplay and the beat met on even terms at a high level.  I just hate that I really don’t have a message that I can walk away from this project with.  When it’s all said and done, I heard some battle emcess that love Jesus.  I actually think that’s pretty cool.  But hey, everybody is a critic.  I’m just the guy who wrote the review.  Peace and much love.

Comprehensive Ratings:

  • Music                           7
  • Flow                            8
  • Lyricism                       7
  • Content                        2
  • Creativity                      9
  • Credibility                     6
  • Personality                    7
  • Presentation                  8
  • Overall Production        8.5
  • Potential Impact            7
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