Album Review: Govenor Reiss – Mercy-Grace-Favor: The Playlist
Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
Sometimes when you talk to someone, right away, you can tell that they are real. That’s how I felt when I first heard Govenor Reiss. When you hear him speak, it takes you straight to NOLA (New Orleans, LA). You can almost hear what he’s been through simply by how he communicates.
Govenor Reiss is no stranger to a life of sin. He discusses how he’s sold drugs, been on drugs, and even partnered in different crimes. I think knowing where he’s from really sets the stage for his 17-tracks project Mercy-Grace-Favor: The New Playlist. When listening to this project, don’t listen to it expecting lyrical theology. Instead, hear a man that has sought God to heal and bring him from the pain he’s endured. This short documentary gives much more insight into how much Govenor Reiss been through and how God has shown His mercy, grace and favor in his life.
With all that said, when you hear Govenor Reiss’ music, it screams redemption. He has a unique sound. He sings, but he has a nice flow with it. During one of the interviews on the project with DJ Wade-O, Reiss describes the sound as “Bounce Music” (a sound that originated in New Orleans). This added to the mixtape because it was refreshing. He didn’t sound like he was trying to be anyone other than himself. The honesty from the beginning of the mixtape prepared you for a genuine listening experience.
Songs That Stood Out To Me
This song was very special because it lets the listener know Govenor Reiss’ heart from jump. The acapella, dry feel of it does not take away from it at all. It makes you connect right away. You can hear the scars from his past as he sings that he is free. I was really touched by this song because of how sincere it was. As weird as it sounds, when I listened to it, I pictured him singing at his own funeral. This was a great song for a mixtape full of songs marked by redemption and freedom.
Mercy Grace Favor
When I heard this song, I didn’t know what to expect. The first thing you hear is Reiss tell Gifted Da Flamethrower that he remembers Gifted getting shot in the face, and how Gifted remembers Reiss overdosing on drugs. After the brief exchange of words, the song develops more and you get lyrics that describe their pasts, and how they were pulled from it by God. This was such a gritty track full of past experiences that many in the urban context can relate to. I think this track alone will minister to people that are still caught up in the “street life.”
This song makes you think of church in the south. I loved the feeling I got while listening. It was a great song simply focused on praising God no matter what. The song featured D-Maub and he delivered a great verse to compliment the joyous mood of the entire track. Govenor was transparent and even mentioned how he did codeine and realized that it did not satisfy what he was looking for. It is a wonderful thing when we take a moment to remember that nothing in this world can satisfy us. Only Jesus Christ can satisfy and for that, we can praise him.
With everything going on in our country, this song was strong. I am not opening the floor for a debate about gun laws, but I did think this was a very honest song speaking to the pains that gun violence has brought to families all over. He mentions prior to the song that he’s experienced the pain first-hand with a family member. This was a beautiful cry and plead for people to come together and stop gun violence.
When a team from the National Football League co-signs on a Christian artist’s song, we should rejoice. This song was not about Jesus. It was literally about about the New Orleans Saints. He mentions that he is a believer in one of the verses, but it was just a fun song about his favorite football team. This song stood out simply because the Saints loved it, and we can be praying that it opens the door for more opportunities in New Orleans.
Areas For Growth
I am not a singer, but I can notice a repetitive style when I hear it. In my opinion, I felt like Reiss sang using the same in the same key the entire mixtape. I think his voice is pretty good, but I would’ve liked to hear a little more range from him.
He also can and I believe will grow in is his message and delivery. At times it felt a tad elementary, but it did not lose me. I think that as he continues to make music, he will develop better punch-lines. I loved the heart-felt songs, but there were moments where I was wanting the message to hit harder.
Overall, I really enjoyed this mixtape. It was a refreshing sound and there was a nice variety of beats that did not cause it to run dry. Also, Gifted Da Flamethrowa, D-Maub, Kelly Kelz and Dre Murray were great features. We got to hear Govenor’s ability to rap and sing with a New Orleans twist. I was also surprised by the production. It was very clean for a mixtape.
The interviews with DJ Wade-O were short, but I felt that they were used perfectly. We got to hear back stories to songs, more from the artist and the songs transitions were done smoothly. Sometimes interludes can cause distractions or take away from the listening experience, but the interludes on Mercy-Grace-Favor added a richness to it.
This project was a great introduction for CHH fans. I think that Govenor Reiss will have a long career and impact people that others may not be able to reach. I also think the more people that get their ears on this project, will be excited and anxious to hear what else he gets featured on in the future. God’s mercy, favor and grace are not to be taken for granted, and this mixtape was a great example of what happens when someone recognizes this.
You can get the FREE project HERE!