Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O
Bizzle has had a very compelling career up to this point. Since bursting on to the CHH scene he has been nothing short of entertaining. Whether it is through classic songs, stellar mixtapes or controversy, Bizzle has always given CHH fans something to tune in for. This year has been no different, from the critically acclaimed mixtape he dropped with his God Over Money label mates (Martyrs In The Making 2), to his controversial remix of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love”, to his inspiring and very passionate “Unjust Scales 2.”
After he released his most successful album to date, The Good Fight reached number one on iTunes and even garnered some mainstream success. Now Bizzle is back with his new record Well Wishes. This new record is unlike anything the highly successful artist has ever done.
One of the great things about CHH is that every record has a bigger meaning and purpose, unlike their secular counterparts who don’t always have a bigger purpose behind their records. Over the past few years CHH has taken this up a notch by adding a cause to their record. This is most notably seen by the recent Rapzilla compilations Stop The Traffic and King Kulture. Each of these records brought awareness to a cause bigger than music. It was really about taking the gospel and putting it to practice. Bizzle is did just that with his new record Well Wishes.
Bizzle has always been a straightforward and very opinionated artist so it’s no surprise that he decided to put his money where his mouth is, literally. Every dollar that Bizzle made from sales of Well Wishes went to help build water wells in Mozambique, Africa. He got this idea after he spent time in Africa and was so concerned about the water affecting his own health. This really speaks to the heart of Bizzle as a person. He saw something that was alarming and heart breaking to him personally and he set out to make a difference. That in and of itself is inspiring. He also is using this record to challenge others to find a cause and use their God given platform to affect change.
The purpose behind this record is beautiful and it really speaks to what being a Christian rapper is all about. Bizzle is taking the gospel he raps about and is putting it into action, and that is amazing.
One of the great things about Well Wishes is that the music plays the background to the overall purpose, but it’s vital to the success of raising awareness for the cause. Much like the similar Rapzilla albums, Bizzle’s Well Wishes plays more like a compilation than a more traditional record. The high number of incredible features and the lack of an overall concept to tie the record together, is what brings that feeling. That is not a criticism at all; it actually fits this record perfectly.
This record is a collection of songs. Moreover, it’s a collection of what appears to be dream collaborations. Bizzle worked with a who’s who of CHH artists. Some of the biggest names in the genre made appearances on Well Wishes. Bizzle brought in Lecrae, Sho Baraka, Derek Minor, Jin, Alex Faith, Eshon Burgundy and Social Club. That’s not the whole track list; there are so many other talented artists on this record. It’s the perfect fit for this type of record because the track list alone will bring fans to the record. With a star-studded track list like this one, it brings heavy expectations, for the most part Bizzle delivered.
He nailed some of these collaborations and created some truly memorable moments. The opening track “Ready” featuring Willie Moore Jr. and Gemstones is a smooth lyrical gem that will appease hardcore hip-hop fans. “Thought They Knew” featuring Datin and D Maub is a more up beat track, but again has him and his co collaborators ripping this track lyrically. Those are just a few of the several memorable tracks on the record but every collaboration wasn’t a slam-dunk. “Do This” featuring Social Club and GS didn’t come together and felt a little forced, while “Still Riding” featuring Alex Faith and Sean C. Johnson left plenty to be desired. Even with a few missteps the record overall was a solid effort.
This record is about so much more than music and that can never be forgotten when purchasing and listen to it. Well Wishes should always be a reminder for us as Christians to do more and take risks for the causes that burden our hearts. Musically, it is a good record and it’s a great record to buy and share with any of your friends that are hip-hop fans. More importantly, this is a great cause to support an artist who is taking a risk for a cause that he believes in; even more of a reason for us to go support him. Support Well Wishes, enjoy the music, and let it inspire you to find a cause and get involved. That is the heart behind this record.
Bizzle’s Well Wishes can be purchased on iTunes.