Reviewed by: Ed Welch
Rating: 7.3 (Out of 10)
M.P.H. aka Man Praisin’ Hard is back with another project! Critical Condition is actually the perfect name for this project, but I’m not sure if I’m on the same page as M.P.H. In fact, I’d say that’s a pretty safe bet. Let me explain…
I’m actually familiar with M.P.H.’s work. I had the privilege of writing a review for a past project of his. Cold Sweat got an overall rating of 6 stars from me last time and he has definitely grown musically. This project is definitely an improvement…musically.
He starts off this project with a nice intro called … (wait for it) …“Intro”. All jokes aside, the beat is nice. I like the feel of the song. M.P.H. goes back and forth from singing to rapping and it all sounds good. He’s no Usher or anything, but it flows. The hook is really catchy, but I have to admit that the content irks me. I like to sing-a-long with my favorite songs like the next person, but I don’t like to recite lies. What does the hook say? I’m glad you asked… “I’m tired of the pain/ and I ain’t even begging for a life without rain/said a million prayers, I ain’t ever seen change/ know God real, but He hating on me, hating on me, hating on me/ I know God real, but He hating on me.” …Really? Okay, let’s move on. It’s just one song. …Right?
“On My Level” comes up next, and it’s okay. It’s not my favorite or anything, but it’s cool. Next, M.P.H. goes old school with “Blame it on the Devil”. Unlike a good number of my contemporaries, old school rap is not my favorite style of rap, but he chose a great beat, he brings his lyrical “A” game, and I love the hook. The content is great as well. At this point, I’m starting to forget the irritation that the intro brought me and I’m enjoying this project again. “On My Block” is a down South banger! I love the concept of taking the ministry outside of the four walls of the church. “For the Love of” is another nice track and M.P.H. is consistently bringing it lyrically on this project. It’s just a teaser though, with only one verse. Unfortunately, in that one verse I got irritated again. Before I quote him, I will be fair and explain the context. He was painting a picture of what he could have been doing if he chose to live by the flesh. I get that, but it’s still too spicy for my taste. You be the judge… “Don’t let me talk about my love for the taste of the reefer/hate I fell off, but I can put down some shots of that ‘quila (tequila)/ I could’ve hit a whole army of beautiful models/ and probably got some of the classiest women to swallow.” I repeat…really?! Now, I’m bothered, because I don’t want my kids hearing this. …That’s a whole sermon right there.
Next up is “Hands High” and this is another favorite. Yeah, I know…is your head spinning like mine yet?* “Hands High” is great for the same reasons that “Blame it on the Devil” is tight…except it doesn’t have an old school feel.
*At this point, I feel like I’m in one of those Sour Patch Kids commercials. First they’re sour…then they’re sweet.
“Hands High” flows smoothly into “Love Me Tomorrow”. I didn’t think M.P.H. could make it through a whole project without kicking a little game to the females…I was right. 🙂 This song is smooth, cool, and classy. The next song, “Apologies” is probably the only song I would consistently skip on this project. This song was a bad idea. …Or a good idea executed badly. The song in itself (chord progression, melody, etc.) is cool. But, the bass line vibrates so much in my speakers that the song sounds like a jumbled mess. Plus, the effect on MPH’s voice is annoying. I applaud the attempt to try something different and a little abstract, but I didn’t enjoy this attempt at all. M.P.H. ends this roller coaster ride with “Motivation”. The first line exposes the other reason I enjoy MPH from a distance. “Hey yo, my homey he told me somebody better than moi [me]…”. Even though this project seems like it was done for God, M.P.H. talks a lot about himself. Two things carried over from his last project. The first thing is his musical gifting. I see a lot of growth in this department. The second thing is that he comes across as cocky. Unfortunately, that may have grown too. I know I’m treading on thin ice, especially since I don’t know M.P.H. on a personal level. He could be the most humble and selfless guy out there. That’s not for me to judge. I just know what I heard in the content of this project and how it came across to me.
So yeah, this project is about a“critical condition”. But after listening to this album over and over, I honestly can’t tell if he’s talking about the critical condition of this world or himself. I’m not saying that because it sounds catchy either. I’m concerned about M.P.H.’s doctrinal strength and the possible imprint this music can make on young impressionable listeners as well as his own personal health. It’s possible that he really was talking about himself. His mentioning of possible suicide didn’t fall on deaf ears either. I pray that M.P.H. has some mature brothers and sisters around him that are sharpening him and encouraging him to continue to grow in more ways than just in music. I apologize for getting so personal, but this album was personal and you never know… Oh, and for the record, God doesn’t “hate” on any of us, but He does resist the proud. But hey, everybody is a critic. I’m just the guy who wrote the review.
Overall Production: 7.5
Potential Impact: 7