Psalms chapter 75 talks about God being the One who exalts, the One who brings His people to the forefront. One of the unfortunate problems with Christian artists (and by Christians I am referring to those whose name is actually written in the Book of Life to clarify,) that effects their star status is that they have given up all rights to their life and turned them over to God. Therefore the height, width, breadth, and impact of their art are totally governed by God. Now, the spiritual realm governs and defines success as opposed to our own dreams, desires, etc. That’s why I found it very interesting and bold for JCR Music Group (formerly known as JChrist Remant) to title their album 75th Floor in reference to Psalms 75. The title itself sets an understanding that this group of artists understands and acknowledges Who architects their influence in this industry and are submissive enough to leave it in His hands – while putting in work. And work they did…
JCR consists of rappers JTruth tha Heart Chaser, Zeal, Rapture, and JP along with songstress Christina. Hailing from the California Bay area, this group of artists are bringing a clear message with this album. The semi self-titled album opener, “Remnant,” sets it off letting the listener know from the jump where they are coming from, where they are going and what they mean by remnant. The song tells of commitment to Christ; a clean, righteous life; and integrity with or without an audience. There is a lot of theology in this track and the group did a great job not drilling, but articulating deep truths in a palatable fashion. Definitely a head-nodder, this track will keep you moving and sets a good pace for the remainder of the album.
Christina lets you know why she is a part of this rapper heavy group, totally crushing “Famous” by lulling the listener into her own world with her melodic contribution, or shall I say melodic take over on this track. The tempo drops a little, as comparisons between being what it means to be famous in the physical versus the spiritual world are addressed. But no time to get too caught up in this relaxed tone, “Electrified” is a kick driven, dance track which dares you to sit still as you listen to what the rejuvenation power of the Holy Spirit can do in a life that is dedicated to serving The King. This song has a great deal of things going on and I must say they all work together well. DJs will be sure to cue this one up.
Though the group is from the Bay, they did a great job mixing it up with a variety of styles exhibited on this album. “Get Down” is just a reminder clearly saying, “yeah, we still rep dat Bay, though.” Incorporating that Bay area feel, the track adds to their assortment of flavors that make this an album that will keep you on your toes sonically.
75th Floor is not a lyrical masterpiece – flooded with clever wordplay and vocal acrobatics, but the message is clearly and succinctly relayed in a manner that does not require much effort to understand. This album fits perfectly in what you are currently hearing today on the radio (complete with maybe a tad too much Auto-Tune effects) – the difference being that Christ is definitely the center of the message.
The thought that went into this album is obvious. There is a constant, yet balanced theme from beginning to end over the backdrop of a mix of musical styles. The songs on this album were put together very well. The song structure combined with properly placed transitions capture the attention of the listener. The production, lead by Black Knight, has a very professional feel to it, which is a welcomed rarity in Christian rap today. We don’t often point this out during reviews, but the mix and mastering (done by Israel Musiq) of this album was done very well; a nice clean sound that hits where and when it should.