On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, two albums dropped in the Christian hip hop community. Reach Record‘s Andy Mineo released Never Land and Lamp Mode artist, God’s Servant released Diadem. Although, Never Land received much press as it debuted at number 1 over all albums in iTunes, Diadem is a project that should not be overlooked.
God’s Servant went the seemingly less popular route and made an album flooded with Christ-centered lyrics. In the press release, God’s Servant communicated the heart behind the album.
“In this day and age we’re fighting for freedoms to not make albums saturated with the words of Christ,” said God’s Servant. “I wanted to do the opposite and make an album saturated with the worthiness of Christ.”
Knowing that Lamp Mode Recordings does a wonderful job at being purveyors of lyrical theology, I was excited to hear what God’s Servant had to offer.
What I Noticed First
As I listened to this project all the way through, one thing was strikingly obvious; the concept. Lamp Mode Recordings made this statement, “The album is about bringing forth the diadem, a crown worn as a sign of royalty, and crown Jesus as Lord of all.” I don’t think I can word it any better than that. Each song seemed to reference how worthy Jesus is to be crowned. In fact, on the very first track, “Make Way,” God’s Servant ended the song by repeating one phrase, “I’m only here just to crown him, that’s the reason for this diadem.”
The idea behind this album is the perfect set up for tracks that will help humble the listener. God’s Servant does such a great job of lifting up Jesus and down playing man’s efforts to be great. I am not saying that God’s Servant has anything against being great, but he does make it clear that our natural talent is but dust, compared to the all sufficient God we serve.
Another Thing I Noticed
God’s servant is a great lyricist. I appreciated how he skillfully and thoughtfully placed each verse in each song. However, that is not what really caught my attention. This may sound odd, but I appreciated the worship on this album. Each song was filled with scripture references (whether it was characters in the Bible, scriptures, or stories) that move the listener to worship God. It made it painfully obvious that I haven’t heard this kind of worship in rap in a while. It was so refreshing. I love the artists that seek to make great art, but this album reminded me of how much I love artists making music for the Body of Christ as well.
This album definitely edifies the believer and speaks truth to the non-believer. It was a project that moved me to read my Bible in worship. Listeners would be greatly encouraged in their walks with Christ as they listen to each song. He even has a song, “Look Ye Saints,” inspired from the hymn “Look Ye Saints the Sight is Glorious.” He begins the song with an interlude of a choir singing the original and then the song comes on. It was just a beautiful picture of how rap is just another form of worship.
This was a great album to listen to. God’s Servant has that skilled, east-coast sound, but this was not a boom bap kind of album. The production was on point and each track has amazing clarity (in reference to sound/mixing). If you are looking for a hype, concert type of song, look no further than with “At his Feet” featuring Json.
I think that this album has the potential to encourage all that listen to it. As I stated earlier, it is full of worship and edifying lyrics. Crowning Jesus and lifting up his worthiness is not exactly a theme that can be redundant. Although you hear the same theme on each song, it has an effect that increases the longing for more Jesus. That is what I truly appreciated about this project.
Last, but not least, the features on this album did a wonderful job. Most notable were label mate Json, Chris Cobbins and Benjah. All added their own flare to their tracks and enhanced the overall experience.