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Album Review: Canton Jones – God City USA

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Canton Jones is a seasoned veteran in our genre. He is constantly putting out music and encouraging believers to develop confidence grounded in the fact that they are apart of God’s kingdom. He has a unique ability to create anthem-like music that can stir up people to worship in hip hop fashion. Canton knows how to run in his lane and people love him for it.

Another thing people love Canton for is his ability to put out a lot of music. His albums are almost always over 13 songs and you can hear passion all over the tracks. In February, he released Lust, Drugs & Gospel and he had a promo letting his listeners know that they could expect even more music from him. Then, in July, he dropped his most recent album, God City USA. It is not easy for an artist to put out so much music so quickly, but he was able to do it.

In this review, we will look at what Canton brought to the table.

What Listeners May Notice

After the first listen, there was one thing that stood out drastically. This album was flooded with worship. His previous album (Lust, Drugs & Gospel) had plenty of hip hop and rap all throughout the project. This album starts off right away with “Holy.” It is a pop worship song that focuses on God’s holiness and submitting to Him. The first song sets the tone for the project and gives the listener a clue as to what to expect. The listener will still hear hip hop, but it is more of the EDM influenced hip-hop (example: a lot of the sounds you may hear from Flame and the Clearsight crew) compared to the trap sound that you may have heard on the previous project.

Another thing that listeners may notice is that he made songs that sounded like they could be great praise songs for a church service. Some of the more liberal churches could possibly use them in their Sunday service, but he definitely has songs fitting for collegiate ministries and youth groups. That is an area that makes Canton unique. He may be involved with hip hop, but his voice is so good that he can create great Praise and Worship songs. In regards to the songs that could be used in a church service, songs like “Holy,” “You Are,” and “Amazing” come to mind.

Concept

When the name of your project is God City USA, it leaves a lot of room to be creative with the concept. Canton could talk about what it is like being apart of the Kingdom aka God’s City or refer to his city as God’s, or twist it some other way. However, there was not many mention of the album title throughout the album. The songs were about God, but the project did not weave the title into the DNA of the concept. The sequencing of the tracks was not very cohesive and caused the songs to feel a little scattered.

Listeners who love for the music, song titles, album title and packaging to complement each other will be bothered by the fact that the title doesn’t give the album direction. The songs aren’t bad, but they do not tell the listener a story about God’s City.

Features

It is always interesting to see who is going to feature on a well-established artists’ project. It’s refreshing when an established artist uses their platform to give others a voice. On this project, the listener will get to hear from unfamiliar artists like Tonio, Ryan Horton, John Waller, and G.L.O.. Canton Jones has collaborated with plenty of artists in the genre and anyone that has followed his career knows that he does not mind sharing the stage. These artists did enough to make people curious about what else they may have to offer.

Some of the more familiar names on the project include Erica Cumbo, D-Maub, Uncle Reece, Ramona Estelle Jones (his wife), Isaac Caree, Darlene McCoy and others. That is another trait people will notice. Canton doesn’t mind sharing the stage, but he also carries people that have supported him along the way. For instance, Erica Cumbo, D-Maub, and Big Ran can be found on multiple projects that Canton has put out years ago. To his benefit, they have constantly helped strengthen the songs they are on with strong verses or choruses.

Conclusion

God City USA was not a bad project. The content of this album will truly point people towards worshiping our Creator, but this album is not for the hip hop lover. There are moments of hip hop, but if that is what you are looking for, you will not be satisfied. Canton showed his ability to keep up with what’s hot in doing more of the EDM worship-style. It really is catchy and plenty of people will enjoy it.

With this project, Canton showed why people enjoy him. He truly pours a lot into his projects and gives the listeners a lot of music. Overall, you cannot come into this project expecting to hear a hip hop flooded album like Lust, Drugs, & Gospel, but you will be motivated and encouraged by the praise that Canton brings.

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Branden Murphy has served as a Campus Missionary. He loves Christian hip hop and uses it within his ministry to reach and converse with many different students. He plans to use his heart for music and ministry to write album reviews on Wadeoradio.com. Branden is also married with two children. You can follow Branden on Twitter: @Bmurph633.

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