Real. Raw. Uncut. Those are the words that come to mind after hearing the new album form Bumps INF, entitled Pain in Paragraphs. In his interview with Rapzilla, Bumps talks about this album as “a collection of songs that manifested themselves or came out of …like, obviously one of the most difficult times of my life.” Also Bumps mentions his desire to not give anyone a “false impression” of him and where he is at and that is what he does.
From the “Intro” track Bumps raps about key traumatic events in his past: “7 years later since the day that you saved /you been using circumstances and things that happened to shape me” This song sets the tone for the album. Thematically the album talks about pain, struggling with sin and restoration. While the majority of the record deals with the pain and struggle, Bumps ends the album with a focus on restoration and intimacy with the Lord. The listener isn’t left in a depressed state, but is comforted by knowing that God is there.
Bumps proceeds to deliver the same lyrical personality we’ve come to know him for; original concepts, clever jokes and transparency permeate Pain in Paragraphs to the core. From discussing “Long Road”, to playing the role of a substitute teacher on “P.P.K”(Priest, Prophet & King), to talking about living under the rule of Christ Jesus in “The King” featuring Bizzle and Jeremiah, mostly every dimension of Bumps INF is represented and refined. In my opinion, the strongest songs on the album were the more somber ones.
“Shunned by Society” is a song that addresses the Columbine shooters, Timothy Mcveigh and anybody who has been viewed as an outcast. Bumps says that: “Every man is born with a nature that’s wicked/ but we cultivate that darkness the more that hatred is inflicted” The song is a reminder that “how we treat people today has lasting effects.” We as Christians must remember that Christ had every right to have nothing to do with us and would have been just to do so but in his love he showed us grace.
My favorite song on the album is “Remind You” that discusses the idea of restoration and difficulties of living the Christian life. Bumps gets real: “Ain’t it funny how things happen in life that you could never predict/The one that’s got your heart is the one you’ll never be with/ and you can’t figure out the reasons that it happens for/your mind keeps going back and forth kinda makes you sea sick/Yeah let my thoughts spill out on a piece of paper / I’m having dreams that I’m doing things that don’t please the Savior/ I struggle often I’ll take his hand and lose it/Probably ain’t even saved to half the fans of my music.” However the hook gives the listener the encouragement by reminding us no matter the state of our walk: “He (Jesus) already walked it” Considering that many of tracks deal with the struggle with pain and sin it is good that a track deals with the fact that our righteousness is found in Christ and not ourselves.
The title track “Pain in Paragraph” featuring Bizzle and Red Lettaz is a track that deals with the feelings of sorrow that come from the pain of this living in a fallen world. Bizzle is on the hook: “Wish I could find the words to say/to communicate my hurts and pains/But until then I’ll just put my pain in the paragraphs/my pain in paragraphs” Bumps uses the track to as he says “spell my pain out on each line”; he talks about dealing with his divorce from his ex-wife. However Red Lettaz shares the feelings and thoughts surrounding the death of his wife at the tail end of last year. The pain that both men speak about is palatable and brings you in to the trails they have had to and are facing.
Bumps doesn’t overload his LP with features either, as only an average amount of artists are present, but they all help the presentation as well. Mac the Doulos drops a great verse that (“What If”), while J. Carter accents the song perfectly with his soulful vocals (“Celebration”) and Bizzle does two hooks(“Hold Dat” & “Pain in Paragraphs”) besides the verse he has a verse on “King”. Also I was surprised that Lavoisier, another member of the God Over Money crew, was a no show.
Bumps INF has always had good beat selection. Some people say that it makes it easier to focus on lyrics, while others say there needs to be a good mixture of both; this album, however, finds a happy medium that’s sure to please most. The production is mainly handled by Juice of Soundbreaker Musik, Cephas the Remnant and DeeOnTheTrack of Bang Muzik. The music ranges from piano driven instrumentals to tracks that use the 808 sound. The instrumentals often work with the tempo and tone of song. However the mixing could have been better in some of the songs because at certain points it was difficult to hear what Bumps was saying. That is a shame considering the fact that Bumps is a gifted lyricist who always sharing a funny one-liner or clever allusion with the listener.
After 59 minutes and 27 seconds are up, what have listeners learned about Bumps INF? That he is strong lyricist and is improving upon his skill set with each project. His delivery is clearer, the bars flow tighter— he has grown and continues to do so. I am excited to see where Bumps and the God Over Money crew are going and I especially appreciate Bumps honesty on the track. Pain in Paragraphs can and will be and encouragement to those who are currently facing the many trails which come with life.