Who said nothing good can come from Nazareth? As scripture so accurately describes, Jesus proved that statement to be false. Quickly moving forward to April 2010, we are blessed by the release of “Nazareth” by Japhia Life. Trust me, the statement is still not true.
Some of the newer Gospel hip hop fans and supporters might not even know who Japhia Life is. His last release was in 2006 called “Fountain of Life”. Look it up after you read this review.
The artwork on the cover of the CD might not be the “wow” type that would make you buy it just because, but don’t be fooled. This project is filled with nothing but East Coast heat, start to finish. As you sift through the tracks you can paint a picture in your mind of a Christian emcee that exudes confidence and passion track for track.
It’s refreshing to hear a few different names pop up in the credits and the tracks, and the flows still be banging. This CD is definitely made with the hip hop lovers in mind. In using the term hip hop lovers I am referring to those that are fans of the craft.
It’s a great thing when you can stay off the shelves for a few years, come back and still be relevant musically and lyrically. This is by no means a come back album and Japhia will let you know in his songs as he explains his journey and the reason for his song writing. This project comes across as very personal and somewhat like a Japhia journal.
If I had any complaint or negative comment about Nazareth it would have to be that I would have loved for Japhia to pick up the tempo just a little bit in at least one track but then again, if he did, he wouldn’t be Japhia Life. Oh, and the song “Moment in Time” probably would have worked better if released during the last presidential campaign but nonetheless, it’s a very inspiring song. The fact is that it probably was recorded during election time.
Songs like “Momma’s House”, “Pain” and “Crack House Blues” are testimonies of the type of life Japhia lived. The good and the bad are in there. All is laid out for you. As a Christian you will be totally satisfied knowing that he’s not hiding any details about who he was and who he is today. Unfortunately, for some reason, we seem to want that from an artist. It’s called transparency. Please, if Japhia was any more transparent on his songs he would have his social security number and bank account statement included in the credits.
Any novice to the Gospel but fan of hip hop will also be satisfied with the true hip hop sound throughout.
The song, “Don’t Keep Me Waiting” could easily be dubbed as “Suicide”. I’m telling you, the brother goes in and goes in hard on real topics. While some might hear his lyrics and perceive them as a little cocky, all I can feel from this is a person who is super-confident in his walk with Christ and has a passion to lead others away from the path of destruction, lies, and sin that Japhia himself has faced and overcome.
There’s something on this CD for everyone. Guys, girls, thugs, ministers, hard core hip hop heads and those listening for the first time.
I wish this project had a little more promotional and marketing support as I feel that there is a much larger audience out there that can benefit from the realness within it.
Much love to the producers and guest emcees on this project that completely compliment Japhia’s style and presentation and help us paint a clear picture of his mission with this project.
There are no undertones of cheap shots at anyone in the industry and no dis tracks complaining of past experiences. Maturity hovers over every song.
Ok, can you tell I really enjoyed this one? I did. I highly recommend this CD to anyone looking to add music to their catalog.
Music: 8 of 10
Flow: 8 of 10
Lyricism: 8.5 of 10
Content: 8 of 10
Creativity, Originality and Relevancy: 8 of 10
Credibility and Confidence: 8 of 10
Personality: 8 of 10
Presentation Quality: 8 of 10
Overall Production: 8 of 10
Potential Impact: 8 of 10