Album Review BRM (Brandon R Music) "Chosen"
I grew up in the “Like Mike” Era. When it came to sports, especially basketball, most dudes I knew wanted to be like Michael Jordan. ESPN recently presented a documentary highlighting the Chicago Bulls and their 2 magical 3 peat championship runs. Each run was led by Michael Jordan; however, the documentary took the time to highlight supporting members of each of those teams. Some were popular and some were not, but they all contributed something to make each of those teams successful.
BRM aka Brandon R Music is the President of Rapture Ready North, a Christian Hip Hop label that serves as home to a full roster of up and coming CHH artists. A number of those artists make guest appearances throughout this 12 track LP. As with any championship organization it takes time, strategy, and the right pieces to make it all work together. Ideally Brandon is the Owner, GM, and a Player on that same team. He wears many hats, but from the start of the new album from BRM entitled “Chosen”, you can clearly see that the model/theme of “Team” is present throughout. BRM makes it clear in the title track, “The Chosen”, that CHH, needed a wakeup call/reminder, “What you doin’ CHH? Yo HE chose us or did he not? Have you found a lane or you still up in that parking lot?”
BRM doesn’t get caught up in the typical MC persona, and quickly takes the spotlight off him, and puts it on the King of Kings. In the song, “Role Model” he boldly states, “I am not a role model no I ain’t. Only one man to follow calling HIM the king. HE the Alpha and Omega. Listen up to what I’m saying. We can crown HIM and forget me, Aye!” BRM uses honesty and transparency to get his message across. He’s so transparent that he even takes a moment or two to highlight feedback received from some previous listeners saying that, “all his songs sound the same,” but that didn’t stop him from following through with his mission. To me it takes a thorough person to know who they are, what they bring, and being secure enough within themselves to stand firm on that. I honestly wish there were more MC’s like this.
That vibe of knowing one’s self, in Christ, is served up nicely in the song “It’s a movie” where he makes is clear, “We are not those kinds of actors that be secretly hurtin’ cuz the role that we play is for the one we be servin’.” In the song “Writing” BRM digs a bit deeper into his personal life as he recalls his personal struggles and triumph in marriage, "I was lost I was in between. Wasn't sure what I should be. See I'm married now but I want to flee." It’s within these moments that BRM clearly shines on his own.
Within any of those Chicago Bulls championship teams it was clear that Michael Jordan was the Alpha. It came through in what he said and the corresponding actions on and off the court. With BRM I don’t ever feel as though he presents himself as the Alpha, but he is a team player, and that’s ok. There are slight flashes of that “Mike vibe” within the LP and the biggest flash was on full audio display in “Body Slam” featuring former WWE superstar Monster Tarver. With lines like, "With one rhyme" "I'm eating too much of these mumble rappers like it's crunch time. What is your core fan base?" "I've got a gut feeling like it's crunch time.” You can tell that Tarver didn’t come to play.
Overall, this project colored within the lines a bit too much for me. Out of 12 tracks BRM had features on all but 4 of them, unlike his previous project entitled “Gods Goon”, where he held down all but 5 songs within the 12 track LP. I expected the level up but got the level off. The project is not bad, but it certainly doesn’t move BRM to “Classic” territory yet. This was a bit disappointing for me because I wanted to experience more of BRM the artist (Player) and his story but I feel like I received more of Brandon’s “Diddy-ish”/Owner/GM vibe. The biggest takeaway is that BRM is clear on who he serves and that is refreshing. His boldness to declare the name of Jesus Christ without hesitation is the sure foundation in which he can continue to build upon. BRM keep growing, learning, and building. l look forward to hearing what’s next from you.