Reviewed by: Neil Christian
Rating: 3.4 (Out of 10)
Christian Hip-Hop worship albums are a relatively rare sight these days. Sure you have your average CHH album that does worship tracks but an album entirely dedicated to worship? Apart from Attributes of God and The Illsong Project I cannot think of any other. This makes this album all the more special. It is an entire worship album with the music to match the worship mood. Unfortunately this attempt falls flat on its face.
Let me get the positives out of the way. The music on this album is good. It meets the worship that you want to set. The prime example of this is the song Rest that sports soft ambient almost old skool, r&bish beat with the sung chorus “come on and just praise, come on and just praise.”
Another good example is God’s World with features a 40-ish beat with minimal percussion and lots of atmosphere and ambience. The song concepts are also centered on this worship experience with songs like Praise Him Like Everyday Sunday and Worship You. The concept for praise and worship is carried through particularly well.
Now for the bad news; the artwork and album name is downright offensive and blasphemous. Christ is compared to a car? The Creator is being compared to man’s creation? Christler 300?! I have no idea why there is a photo of a Chrysler on the cover of a worship EP. I don’t know Young News’ heart so I don’t know why he did it but frankly it was deeply offensive to me.
Next, Young News cannot sing. Starting with the title track Baptize in Fire sees the rapper garbling singing through the chorus “baptize me in your fire, baptize me in your fi-re!” I don’t know why rappers try to sing on their songs. If you need a singer, find one in your church brother! Young News needs some work on his rhyming skills.
The rhymes are very basic and there is little change in flow throughout the album. His voice sounds lazy and lacks the energy and emotion needed for a worship track. Also the mixing and mastering on the project is bad. The sound is mushy with the vocals sounding quite dull. The sound is not clear. Often the chorus vocals are louder than the verses and vice versa.
The big elephant in the room however is the theology that is conveyed through this album. According to the worship interlude Sermon, if real worship came down in the church then “ushers can’t usher, deacons can’t deacon…” really? So in worship the biblical mandate of deacons is stripped? If there is real worship in a church then deacons can’t fulfill their biblical calling? I have no idea what the title track is trying to convey about being baptized in the fire? There are a lot of theological concerns that I will digress from addressing as this is a music review.
With 7 songs and 1 interlude, this is an EP length project. This album is a sonically cohesive album that provides a good glimpse into the artist that is Young News. However with bad post-recording production and wonky theology, it is not an album that is recommended. Young News, I would encourage you to get some good resources and get your theology sorted out before making another worship album. Jesus tells us in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” Hit me up on my facebook link below and let’s connect.
Rating – 3.4
1. Music – 5
2. Flow – 4
3. Creativity / Originality – 2
4. Relevancy – 4
5. Content & Character – 3
6. Credibility & Confidence – 5
7. Personality – 5
8. Presentation Quality – 2
9. Overall Production Quality – 3
10. Potential Impact – 1