Christian hip-hop is great right now and I would argue that it’s at an all time high. There is great talent at the top and it’s as deep as any fan of hip-hop would hope for. In the past couple of years, a slew of artists have given us a constant flow of good music. That constant flow of good music has come from artists you would expect, and some from artists you may not have expected.
With CHH as deep as it is, it makes this a tough time to break in and really leave an impression. The next artist to be placed on the radar is FLY Geara, an Orlando based M.C. who recently released his EP, Years in the Making. Is a six track EP long enough to make an impression? Is it good enough to be memorable or will it just get lost in the shuffle of great projects that have come out over the past few years?
These are just some of the questions that Years in the Making has to answer. Before those questions can even be asked, FLY Geara has to make a good first impression. So, did he?
There is nothing more important for a new artist than the first impression. Most fans will give you two shots. Whether it is a feature or your own record, you have about two tracks to make a mark. With Years in the Making, it didn’t even take two tracks for FLY Geara to make an impression on me. The opening track, “New Script,” was a solid intro. From there the record just continued to get better and better. As first impressions go, this was a really good one. By the time I was done with this record, I wanted to go back and listen again immediately.
With this only being a six track record, you loose a lot of the extra things that really make a record special. The concept, versatility, consistency and things along those lines are usually lost. Even without those things, Years in the Making was still a pretty special EP. FLY Geara had plenty of really strong elements on this record.
Lyrically, Years in the Making was solid. FLY Geara won’t blow you away with his lyricism but it was good, and at certain points really good. The most impressive part of the whole record was his flow. He has a really commanding voice and presence. No matter what thoughts came across my mind or what I was doing while I was listening, my attention was always drawn back to FLY Geara.
As impressed as I was with his flow, I was equally as impressed with the production. The production on Years in the Making was really good. I was taken aback a little by how good some of it was. I was nodding my head throughout the entire experience. The more impressive part though was how complimentary his production was to what he was doing. As good as the production was at points, it never completely stole the show.
With impressive production and an impressive individual performance, it’s easy to overlook the real star of this record. The message on this EP was really strong. God was never lost on this record. From start to finish and everything in between, God was the center and focus of the record. FLY Geara made a point to bring everything back to that. It never seemed forced or disingenuous, but it was inspiring and motivating.
One of my biggest criticisms in the past has been the length of projects. Not necessarily as a knock against the artist. It has more so been because I’ve wanted more music. This situation is no exception. I wish Years in the Making was longer than six tracks. I understand it’s an EP and not a full-length project, but I really enjoyed what I heard. The end of the record left me wanting more, a lot more.
As far as other areas of growth, it’s really hard to tell because the record was so short. In a sense, the length (or lack there of), hides any real defencies that the artist may have. From what I heard, I think FLY Geara is a strong lyricist, but I’m left wondering because there are so few tracks. Strong lyricists get better as a record goes on, I don’t know if that’s the case here. I also wonder about his versatility and overall creativity, because both weren’t overly present on the EP. FLY Geara may be excellent in all of these areas, but what I was left with after my experience was wonder. I didn’t really get a feel for the artist as a whole, just a small taste of what he has to offer.
On an EP, all you usually get is a sample. Just enough to peak your interest and bring you back for more. Well FLY Geara achieved that goal with excellence. My interest is peaked and I will definitely be coming back for more. The sample I received was really good. I enjoyed every second of my listening experience. Years in the Making was memorable. The track “Heart 2 Heart” touched me personally and had a strong affect on me. It was a great song with an even greater message. “In All” was also another solid track and will crack my iPod playlist easily.
Overall, this is a strong offering from FLY Geara. Any fan of hip-hop should check this out. This is an artist with a seemingly high ceiling with the ability to make good music, and it looks like he’s just getting started. It seems to me like CHH just got a little deeper when you add FLY Geara to the mix.