Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
For me, Fedel isn’t usually the first name that comes to mind when talking about Christian hip hop. But if you need a song to get people out of their seats and moving, his tracks are among the first to get played. He has made a pretty strong career this way and he is releasing his third project entitled V.I.P.. Fedel has made some good strides throughout his career and has gained a good following. If he can continue to make strides he can become one of the more popular names in CHH.
Here’s the good and the bad from Fedel’s new album V.I.P..
Good: The Production
One of the first things you think of when you think of a Fedel record has to be the production. Fedel always selects excellent beats, so his albums always has good production. V.I.P. is no different. From beginning to end the production is solid. There was a good variety in sound that changed with the tone that Fedel was going for. It wasn’t just the variety in sound that made the production on V.I.P. so good. It was the neck snapping, up-tempo beats that have become synonymous with Fedel that I enjoyed. Tracks like “I Will Be” and “Family Secrets,” featuring T Haddy, had me reaching for the replay button. If you don’t like anything else about this album, you will definitely love the production.
Bad: The Concept
I like the title V.I.P., especially after his last album was titled “Club David.” My problem lies with the fact that it was never addressed on the album. The only time it was even mentioned was by Social Club member Martymar on “Trust Him.” I think a solid concept would have helped this album a lot and even taken it to the next level. V.I.P. was missing a certain element to bring this record together. The lack of concept left the record without a clear direction and that hurt it.
Good: The Features
Features are always entertaining because it’s great to see talented artists work together. That was most certainly the case on V.I.P.. Fedel brought some serious talent with him on this record. Names like Dre Murray, Json and JR would get anyone’s attention, but if that’s not enough there’s also Jai, T Haddy and Social Club on the 11 track record. Every big name brought their A game, and in turn Fedel stepped his game up. This was most notable on “Trust Him” (featuring Social Club, Dream Murray & SPZRKT), when Fedel went bar for bar with Dre Murray and Social Club to make one of the records best songs. The features were great and added some much-needed excitement to the record.
Bad: The Overall Album Quality
With the growth of hip-hop (and now CHH) there has been a decline in the importance of this aspect of an album. Albums have become more of a Sportscenter than the actual game; it’s all about the highlights. V.I.P. unfortunately fits right into that mold. There were some good highlights on this album but it lacked overall depth. There were holes and very forgettable moments throughout the record. That made it a tough listen straight through. Even with some very solid songs, the lack of consistency really hurt the overall quality of the record.
Good: The Message
This is by far the best part of V.I.P.. Fedel made his message clear and delivered it on every track. By the end of the record I was motivated to be who God created me to be, and do what God created me to do. This is an encouraging and freeing message, and is so important for people to hear. Fedel used personal experience mixed with biblical truths to tap into the listener’s soul. This connects Fedel to the listener and makes the record as a whole memorable. Fedel’s message on V.I.P. is something that everyone should hear.
Bad: The Lyricism
I’m a strong believer that how you say something is just as important as what you say. Which is why I put a lot of stock in an artist’s lyricism. With that being said, this is the area that I was most disappointed with when listening to V.I.P.. Fedel’s rhyme schemes are simple and sometimes hurts, because that’s not always pleasing to the ear. There were times when he got lost in the track because his delivery didn’t fit. His lyricism also showed as a weakness on his hooks. A lot of them sounded similar and they’re simplicity came off as annoying at times. Some tracks just had him repeating the same one or two lines over and over again. This was most present on the track “Make A Scene,” where he repeated “make a scene” several times throughout the hook and it came off as too repetitive. Fedel’s message was great, but there were a few times when poor lyricism out shinned the great message.
V.I.P. was like a roller coaster, because it had high highs and low lows (and both were pretty sudden). Overall it was an enjoyable listen though. Fedel delivered an incredible message in a mostly enjoyable way. That makes this record something I would recommend for any CHH fan. There are tracks that you are bound to love, and that will be prominent on your playlist. Most importantly, you will walk away from your listening experience motivated and inspired.
Fedel’s third project, V.I.P., drops Tuesday, May 21st.