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Thi’sl – “Beautiful Monster”
Reviewed by: Ed Welch
Rating: 8.55 (Out of 10)
[xrr rating=8.55/10]

Ok, it’s official. Thi’sl is a beast! (Drop the pen and post the review. Walk away from the desk.)

Part of me could end the review right now (but I don’t think that would go over too well). I remember his last album. I didn’t write the review for it here at Holyculture, but I did help score it. I’ll kill the suspense right now. I am impressed. Not just because Beautiful Monster is tight, but because I can easily see the growth in him as an artist and as a minister. For those who think Thi’sl is too “street” or too “hood”, I’d encourage you to get over it. I hear what you’re trying to say, but your argument is being drowned out by the awesome message I hear on this CD. After all, he is talking about a monster. Do you really expect it sound beautiful? 🙂 I want my whole youth group to have this album. …Wait, I’ve never said that before. Hmm…oh well, moving on. Thi’sl brings a message that is raw and unapologetic. The only thing I didn’t quite get was “Beautiful Mind”. I don’t see the purpose of the song. I guess it just went over my head, but in general Thi’sl just says what needs to be said and I love it.

Look, I’m not a big Thi’sl follower. Like I said, I heard his last album. …It was nice, but that’s where it stayed with me. It didn’t hit me that hard. Thi’sl is not the type of rapper I would normally seek out. So if I were going to be biased, it would be in a negative way. The one thing that stuck out to me about Thi’sl from his last album (I’m going off of a not-so-good memory here) is how great of a story teller he was. He pulled my attention (on the last album) with his stories and his voice before the song even started (normally that’s when I go to sleep). This album is even better (in my opinion), because he commands that same amount of attention without the interludes or intros.

He’s grown as a lyricist. I heard him switch up his style and bring more complexity. Don’t get me wrong, Thi’sl didn’t reinvent his lyrical presentation at all. He stays in the pocket for the most part, but when he stepped out and did something different, he did it well. …Very well. Yeah, he talks about his past a good bit. But what’s the difference in between that and half of the testimonies we hear at church? (Shrug) I don’t see a problem. I appreciate the fact that I didn’t hear him glorify his past. I’ve heard some notable Christian emcees glorify their past mistakes recently and it’s rubbed me the wrong way to be honest. Thi’sl talks about his past more than any other Christian rapper that’s out right now (that I know of), but I didn’t hear him “brag” about it. He says what he does to prove a point that comes closely thereafter. For that, I thank you, sir.

~Random thought. Pettidee killed his verse on It’s Not About Me and PRo did the same on Let it Knock.  (In my Forrest Gump voice) And that’s all I have to say about that. SMH. My bad…back to the review. But, while I’ve got producers on my mind, I even hear growth in the musical diversity of this album. Once again, expect the same ole’ feel, but an addition of a little bit more. Songs like Hey Moma, I’m So Gone and Hold On are downright smooth. I Need You brings a totally different flavor as well. What else can I say? I haven’t been this excited while doing a review since I did Lecrae’s Rehab (that was last October if you were wondering). I’m not comparing the two albums at all by the way…I’m just excited to hear the growth I’ve heard in Thi’sl. In short, I have one thing to say. Thi’sl is a beast! (Drop the pen and post the review. Walk away from the desk.) But hey, everybody is a critic.  I’m just the guy who wrote the review.  Peace and much love.

Comprehensive Ratings:

  • Music                           8
  • Flow                            8.5
  • Lyricism                       7
  • Content                        8.5
  • Creativity                      8
  • Credibility                     10
  • Personality                    10
  • Presentation                  8.5
  • Overall Production        8
  • Potential Impact            9
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