Disclaimer: All views presented in this review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
Over the past several years Bizzle has become one of the most consistent artists in all of Christian Hip Hop. Every year since 2010, Bizzle has released at least one record–often times releasing more than one in the same year. That is a pretty impressive feat, especially when you add the fact that he has his own record label (God Over Money), with a stable of artists, and he is also raising money to build water towers in Africa. Bizzle has made a prominent name for himself in the genre, and has quickly become one of the best artists. Now, he is back with his latest album titled Surrender.
Bizzle has always been very straightforward with his music. He has never been one to shy away from sharing his opinion. Surrender is no different. This record has a very blunt feeling to it because there is no sugar coating to anything at all. Bizzle is up front about Jesus being the solution to all of the problems in this world, and looking anywhere else would be futile.
On the title track featuring Monty G, Bizzle illustrates how we are the problem because of sin and that we need to surrender to Jesus. “Protocol” is a call to the church to unashamedly seek Christ and keep him first. The Bumps INF assisted “No Hate” has the emcees addressing the “hate” they get in and out of the church, and lets us know that “we can hate them, but we won’t get no hate back”. These tracks provide great messages for all who hear the record. The gospel message is a strong constant and continual theme throughout Surrender but Bizzle also goes deep on a variety of topics.
With “Not For Sale” featuring Kefia Rollerson, Bizzle goes deep with his God Over Money message. He makes clear that he will not mislead people just to further his career. Bizzle has built his career around this idea and has some of his best tracks around it. This track is another one to add to that list and is an anthem of sorts for those who walk with Bizzle on this belief. “Feel Good” featuring Crystal Tamar is a walk through his struggles with temptation. It’s a transparent and very real story that can both encourage and warn believers. On “Soul Deep” Bizzle takes an intellectual look on why people should believe in God.
Surrender is rich in Christ centered content. It is unapologetic and straightforward. The message can get uncomfortable at times for unbelievers or struggling believers, but it’s all in how you prefer your message. If you like a blunt, tell it like it is message, then this record will be good for you. Overall, it has some great content that is good for the body of Christ.
With the way Bizzle delivers his message at times, it can kind of feel like your taking your medicine, and as the saying goes, “sugar helps the medicine go down easier”. For Surrender, the sugar is in the sound of the record. There isn’t one particular sound to attach to this record. One of the best artistic traits Bizzle has is his versatility, and that was on full display on this record.
Musically, Bizzle gives listeners a lot to choose from. “Surrender” is a hard hitting track with plenty of bass. “Sin No More” slows down and has a very melodic vibe, whereas “No Hate” is a west coast, almost hiphy feel that promises to get your head nodding. “Better With You” featuring J. Carter has an early 2000’s P Diddy feel, which is an unexpected but welcome twist in the middle of the record. Overall, the music on Surrender will keep the listener off balance and anticipating what direction Bizzle will go next.
Apart of Bizzle’s incredible versatility is his performance on the record. Sizzle keeps a melodic tone in how he delivers his bars, so that leaves room for him to ride different styles of music. Then when you add his willingness to sing, that opens up even more versatility. “Protocol” is a good example of him meshing his abilities together. The hook has him delivering his bars with aggression, then he settles in on the verses with a melodic flow and he ends each verse basically singing the last bar. It’s a brilliant mixture that makes the song very memorable.
Bizzle has never shied away from singing on his records, and on Surrender he continues that trend. “Sin No More” has him singing on the hook and “No More” features Bizzle singing the whole song. “Feel Good” adds auto tune to Bizzle’s voice to give it a feel unlike anything else on Surrender. There isn’t a whole lot of singing on the record, but it does give an extra dose of versatility for the listener.
All of the differentiation that Bizzle gives on Surrender really creates an experience for the listener. There is something on here for all different types of hip hop fans. And even though there is a lot of different styles of hip hop, the album still tied together nicely. The production and sound of Surrender is solid and gives a good backdrop to Bizzle’s strong message.
Surrender has some very good elements to it that make it a very solid record for Bizzle. The elements that make this record solid are a lot of the same elements that have made Bizzle so successful up to this point. If you are a fan of Bizzle, then you will really enjoy this record. It has the strong message and convictions that Bizzle fans love. It has the versatility in sound and upfront Christian message that we have become accustomed to from him. If you aren’t a fan of Bizzle’s past releases, then this record probably wont convert you. Either way, this is a good record with good music, good features and a great message.