Disclaimer: All views presented in this review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
Often times in CHH artists will share their testimony of how God delivered them from various lifestyles, trials and tribulations. There are also artists who make it clear in their music that the fast life of love, power, and sex don’t really equal the keys to life, however, all artists do not necessarily discuss biblical principles in their lyrics.
D-Will found a creative way to promote biblically sound principles in his lyrics while putting it in a form that’s understandable to those who know Christ personally, and those who may not. A lot of this may come from his direct involvement at his local church as the campus pastor but either way it goes, it’s a refreshing perspective to hear in CHH today.
This is my first encounter with D-Will’s music and I was pleasantly surprised with his work. His testimony of coming from the streets of Rochester encourages you. I also respected his theological standpoint on the topics he discussed throughout the album such as accountability, hope, and humility. In a culture where CHH has become a little diluted in addressing topics that are found in the Bible, D-Will does not take that approach. The listener should not shy away from this album for fear that it’s overly complex in its theological breakdown.
For example, D-Will understands the importance of working out your salvation as it tells us in the Bible through the track “Bout That.” This song has an upbeat boom bap type of beat with a quick punchline delivery. The state of our nation and local neighborhoods are viewed as chaotic and not very many people are willing to go to those very neighborhoods and share the Gospel with those who are lost. D. Will is basically addressing that issue through this song telling the listener it takes work to reach the lost.
In his docu-series leading up to the album, D. Will shares his story of how God reached him, his heart behind the music and the movement of M.O.G. He shares his testimony of being a former drug dealer and how growing up in religion actually turned him away from God. The goal of ministry for D-Will comes down to bridging gaps between the church and the streets, while building men and reshaping the world.
I believe that he’s accomplished all three of these goals through this album. He brings God-focused music to the streets but also to the church; who may not be familiar with CHH. He also encourages men in songs such as “Mr. Rogers” and “M.O.G. Anthem” and shows them that it’s okay to pursue God and to be leaders of households without sacrificing masculinity. D-Will is sharing the message of Christ in his music as well as he leads by example to those around him, which leads to reshaping the world.
The debate of whether to be labeled a Christian rapper or a rapper who’s a Christian is not a concern with D-Will and his music. He makes it known that his only focus is to be labeled M.O.G. which stands for “Man of God,” and people can place his music under whatever category they choose. D-Will gives credit to God for everything that he has through the song “God Given,” which has a strong bass line and a catchy hook.
The introduction song to the album invites the listener in to the testimony of D-Will of going from the streets to the stage, and using music as a way to reach people. He discussed how music has the ability to affect our moods as well as actions, and the impact that music had on him while in the streets. D-Will uses his music as a way to invoke the emotions of hope and peace to his audience knowing that there is security in Christ. The production quality of the introduction track will catch your attention and it also sets the tone for the rest of the album with hard hitting beats and powerful lyricism.
D-Will, the self proclaimed underdog, delivers a powerful track by the name of “Rocky,” which grabs your attention by its aggressiveness in his delivery as well as the beats. Being this album is his first official release, D-Will has a lot to prove to the industry as well as CHH fans. There’s no fear or intimidation in his voice, in this song, or the rest of the album for that matter.
Although majority of the album is very hard hitting with the production style, D-Will slowed it down with the song “Amazing Grace” which offers a chill, laid back vibe. Throughout the song, D-Will mentions that he’s still very much involved in the neighborhood that raised him and is still spending time with the people he grew up with, but this time around he’s representing something bigger than himself. He’s giving the same circle of influence he grew up with a personal encounter with Jesus through his lifestyle and that speaks louder than any track an artist could ever write and record.
The topic of accountability was addressed in the song “Mr. Rogers,” which caught me by surprise because you don’t hear this topic much in CHH today. D-Will understands that ministry goes beyond the music and the surface level questions of “Are you okay?” or “You need anything?” Real ministry requires life on life interactions and encouraging one another to grow and mature in our spiritual life.
The track offers a laid back feel that puts you in the mindset of cruising down the road with the windows down and just vibing to the music. It’s a very easy flowing song, still with a good bass line that you will enjoy. Another slow paced song that addressed an uncommon topic in CHH is ” I Believe In You” featuring John Givez, Beleaf, Taelor Gray and Th3 Saga. The song addressed humility and how we should view failure and challenges in our lives. This song is encouraging because D-Will sees failure as a chance to better yourself and a way that we encourage one another.
I believe that D-Will delivered a strong first album with Project #M.O.G. for his listeners. He approached this album with passion and aggression while also reflecting the love of Christ to all. The production quality of the album was good overall because he offered a variety of upbeat songs, as well as laid back songs that give you a chance to digest everything you are hearing. His passion for bringing the streets and Jesus together is both motivating to the listener as well as inspiring. His doc-series will also encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and see evangelism with a whole new perspective. I look forward to what D-Will will put out in the future.