If you are like me, your first introduction to Chris (Lee) Cobbins was on Lecrae’s Rehab project. His warm vocals quickly became a personal favorite to hear featured on choruses peppered throughout the CHH genre. He has had a multitude of singles released and EP’s, but with this being his first debut album, and much anticipation leading up to its release, does Hello World live up to the level that Chris’ previous body of work has placed him? Teaming up with well known producer Tha Kracken (formerly known as Cheese Beats), the project Hello World does more than meet expectations, but does a smart job of navigating through the musical realm of our present culture. Allow me to explain.
You know I have to start with the musicality first. One thing I loved about this album is that it gave you enough of the Chris Cobbins that we have enjoyed and showed us new sides of him that we’ve yet to see. His ability to fit in songs that have different musical styles, without sounding out of place, was great to hear. Tha Kracken created tracks that allowed Chris’ vocals to breathe effortlessly within them. Kudos to Tha Kracken for making tracks that were culturally relevant without sounding cheesy, as one problem with making songs that sound culturally relevant is that it can sound like the producer is just copying the most popular music elements of the time (GIANT thumbs down to that).
One song in particular that comes to mind when talking about this is “U” featuring Princeton, which is a well done record with a dub-step-ish breakdown. The diversity of song styles on Hello World seemed to figuratively take you by the hand and walk you through the album, with the flow of a guide that personally knows the ebb and flows of a newly discovered land. In the first seven songs alone, we go from songs with an urban bounce like “Ay Yah” and “One,” to an EDM dance hit “Scream Out,” that I personally plan on requesting at the next Christian party I attend.
The title Hello World does nothing more to tie the entire album together, from a concept perspective through the music, than to notify you of a song on the album. But from a concept of what this album represents, this is a great introduction of who the real Chris Cobbins is to the world. In other words: This is Chris’ first official “Hello.” This is the first LP from him and each song clearly defines what Chris Cobbins considers himself, who the God is that he serves, and what topics he likes to convey in his music. I can be somewhat critical of rap that is more inspirational than meaty because rapping involves a lot more words per minute than singing, but I recognize how difficult it is to pack an entire album full of SUPER DEEP songs.
The messages in the songs are on point and inspirational at the same time; Like how “Masterpiece” and “March On” speak about knowing our completeness in who God made us to combat how society’s vision of beauty and the treatment of women, can make anyone seem less than adequate. If I could sum it up in a statement, I’d say this is a perfect Christian replacement to many of the secular singers out there that have nothing Godly in their songs. Many friends of mine talk about how there aren’t many Christian singers, that aren’t necessarily gospel artists, with songs that have a good message, but that are catchy enough that you want to sing along to them or with a great beat you can also dance to. You may now insert Hello World into this category to fill that void.
My favorite tracks
As a dancer, I love the dance tracks “Dance” and “Scream Out.” The production level of them are top notch and they’re not like the usual club hits you hear on the radio talking about getting drunk at the club, sleeping with some girl, doing some drug etc.. And there are enough common, Christian references in them that you can understand what he is talking about. Nothing wrong with dancing and having fun for the Lord right? However, my favorite song on the album is “Rep” featuring Tony Tillman.
I loved Chris’ song “Chase Me Down” off of The Medicine, and this song has a very similar vibe to it – being spiritually on guard and fighting the sins that ALL men have to deal with at one point or another. It’s the song tempo, the way the lyrics blend perfectly with the beat, Tony Tillman’s verse; I’m just a huge supporter of songs that focus on issues that every Christian man should consistently be bringing to the Lord, and I fell in love with the song the minute the beat dropped.
Hello World stands strong as a first full offering of music to the world from Chris Cobbins. I really enjoyed the thought put into the songs and his artistic take on sharing issues that I know every Christian faces in life. While preparing to write this review, I have listened to it multiple times, and have found myself singing the songs throughout the day unconsciously for the past week – even waking up singing some of them. I’m happy for this brother to have his hard work pay off in such a way that the world will hear it. I believe that this album is worth the price tag and anyone reading this review should go and pick it up.