Disclaimer: All views presented in this review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
After four years, Beautiful Eulogy is back. Their last album, Instruments of Mercy, was released in early 2013. Since then, little has been heard from the group, until now. On October 20, 2017 they released their latest record simply titled, Worthy. Since forming this super group, they have kind of flown under the CHH radar. They have a strong core fan base and they have some fans outside of that. They just haven’t seemed to be able to cross outside of their core fan base.
My theory is that there is nothing like Beautiful Eulogy in hip-hop anywhere. I’m also straining to find a comparison throughout the history of hip-hop that I know of. Beautiful Eulogy operates in this odd space of being completely hip-hop and not really being hip-hop. They have legitimately great emcees and an incredible producer, however, they have taken their talents and have consistently made something different from what we all know hip-hop to be.
Beautiful Eulogy changed CHH. They have done things musically that haven’t been done at this level in the genre, as long as I’ve been apart of it. From record to record they are continually pushing the bar with tremendous results. In an era of hip-hop where people are constantly trying new things, Beautiful Eulogy has been the most musically innovative and interesting group.
Worthy is more of that. Musically this pushes the bar. There are different sounds and elements used throughout the album that don’t normally make their way into a hip-hop record. The production is more restrained. Typically on a hip-hop record the production is strong, pronounced and in the forefront. It’s used as the thing to draw you into the record. On Worthy it’s used as an accompaniment to the lyrics. They support each other in a way that makes everything sound cohesive.
Every time I listened to this record I was brought back to the same comparison. It is a reference I have used before, but it might be the most apt in this instance: movies. One of my favorite elements of film is the score. A good score can make or break a movie. If the proper music is used in a scene, it evokes an emotion in the viewer that is necessary for the story. A good score supports the film; it works with all of the other elements to create one piece of art. Worthy has that same feel. This record feels cinematic in the sense that the production is there to support the artist and it does that perfectly.
Worthy is a musical marvel. This record is gorgeous to listen to. From the opening track through the end of the record, there is never a time that beautiful music isn’t being played. I can’t even isolate one track as the best or my favorite because each track is beautiful in it’s own unique way. Which leads me to another fantastic element of this record. It is a complete and comprehensive work of art. This record can be listened to in pieces, but it feels like it was created to be listened to in its entirety. The music flows effortlessly into and throughout each track, as the transitions are seamless. There were several times that I didn’t even know the record ended and started over. Worthy is the type of record that can be played on repeat all day and would never get old.
As great as the music is (and it is definitely great), it’s not the only great element of Worthy. The lyricism throughout this record, to no one’s surprise, is nothing short of spectacular. It’s honest, vulnerable and slick. Odd Thomas and Braille display how skilled they are as lyricists. Their skill isn’t what will be remembered on this record though; their lyricism transcends mere skill. The lyrics on Worthy will touch your soul. This leads right into the next great element of this record: content.
Beautiful Eulogy has never shied away from an overtly Christian message. Each of their records all have this in common. On Worthy they were up to keep it fresh and find new ways to touch listeners with the same message. I personally was convicted and inspired with this record. It changed me and continues to do so every time I revisit it. There was never a time with this record that I didn’t feel like God was being praised. The message to this record is just as beautiful as the music.
Overall this record is perfect. Every element of the record is thoughtful and performed with excellence. It is easy to revisit time and time again. It carries a message that all fans (both Christian and non-Christian) need. With all of that being said, some may shy away from it because it sounds different. It feels like the perfect mash up of praise and worship and hip-hop. That is a sound that many have tried but none have perfected until now. It was a long four years without Beautiful Eulogy but Worthy was definitely worth the wait.