Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O
Being a young Christian in a world that automatically goes against what Christ directs us to do can be an overall confusing and distracting experience. Interest in members of the opposite gender, possibly interested in wearing up to date fashion, and the overall minefield that is the emotional state of an adolescent teen-young adult, are just a few of the circumstances that face people daily.
There are so many things in society and the media, not to mention our own sinful nature, which pull our desires left and right, and the decisions that we make always come with consequences, whether positive or negative. D. Tropp’s new album Away From Home flows as an album created around the life circumstances of a young adult trying to navigate through love, pain, reactions, consequences, and their faith. We take a look at what type of story D. Tropp painted with his lyrical storytelling?
Love and Loss
Besides the first two tracks, “United Center” & “The Drive” (featuring Elhae), which are introductory tracks to who D. Tropp is and how he became the man he is now, Away From Home is a heart album of a young brother handling circumstances that go from loving his girl, her doing him dirty, and him making unwise choices that land him in a situation or two, that eventually snap him out of his downward spiral into a sinful lifestyle.
Each phase has two songs dedicated to it, in order to give you a mental picture of the situation. It starts with the hesitancy of entering “love” for the first time with someone new in “No Filter”. This song accurately captures that first interest/attraction, but also the hesitancy that always comes up when you’ve been hurt in the past. John Givez and ABIV do a good job as features on this first page of the story. “Authentic” has the groove of a “song for the ladies”, with a hook that seems to be made for a guy to sing it to his girl to make her feel special. Something happens in the relationship, as the next song is titled “Choices(The Break-Up)”. And to not give away the story completely, we are soon greeted with two very vividly painted pictures in “Champagne Showers” and a Wade-O Radio favorite, “Misbehave”. Bad decisions lead to bad circumstances, but even in the midst of that, D. Tropp is able to pull himself together, put his thoughts back on the Lord, and get back to the home he was away from.
Away From Home addresses the fact that all of the desires of the flesh that we use to cope with our daily struggles aren’t worth the time. It brings the focus of all our thoughts and actions back to our true desire, which is life in heaven with God after this earthly one.
Now, a side effect of some albums that tell a story is that sometimes some songs don’t stand alone as strong as they do when in the sequential lineup. This doesn’t mean that the songs are bad or weak, but it’s just that they make more sense when coming after the track that setup up its situation. For example, “Champagne Showers” in the context of the album makes complete sense to listen to, but if you were to listen to it for the first time by itself, you would be listening for and wondering where the redemptive value of it is. Its there, late in the third verse, but its hook and first two verses seem like it’s a club track that you’d hear on the radio.
Music and Flow
D. Tropp comes with a musical approach that works for his vocal range, while he may never be able to escape the comparisons to many current secular rapper/singers on the market if he continues in this vain. He may not be the most dynamic singer (most of his singing parts are sung with the exact same power and emphasis through the whole album), but a good artist knows their lane and works it to the best of their advantage.
He sings in a range that he can confidently sing in and isn’t afraid to ride the beat however it feels comfortable for him. He can speed it up on the lyrical delivery, as he does a few times in songs like” United Center”, and only one to two times goes a little off tempo with it. Most of the songs on the album are what I call “hype mellow”. It’s not uptempo, but its not slow enough to be down-tempo either. It’s that sweet spot where you find yourself bouncing along to the beat, but its not so fast that you’re actually dancing with effort. A majority of the songs fall into this category, besides “Misbehave”, which is arguably the only upbeat song with some punch to it.
This is what the current state of hip hop is going with mostly, so it’s natural to see it affecting music on a larger scale. But along with that comes higher quality music production. The tracks are hot and are really easy to nod your head along to. Swade, DZL, Cardec Drums, Black Knight, Tyshane, and Rey King put in some good work on this project.
D. Tropp’s first full album shows a lot of creativity from an artist who is currently on the come up. His ability to capture the life, more so the young adult life experiences through a full length LP was a great ride to listen through. Many people will be able to relate to his lyrical illustration, and I’m sure that his hope is that many are encouraged by his transparency towards his own life.
With an album of tracks from current hot producers, and a singing/rap flow that brings mainstream comparison, you will either like what he brings to the table or be turned away by its contemporary hip hop sound. Either way, Away From Home deserves a listen, as it has a great message to a world that is searching for help from the pain and hurt of their own bad decisions and life circumstances. If you know anyone going through struggles in a relationship, or just finding growing up under the pressure of society difficult to deal with, let them listen to this album for introspection and encouragement.
D. Tropp’s Away From Home is available for purchase on iTunes.