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Album Review: Humble Tip – Free Thinking

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Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.

Free Thinkers are in the building!

Jason Lewis, known as Humble Tip, continues to proclaim the name of Christ with his latest project Free Thinking. Humble Tip has been involved in this genre for a while now, with a multitude of albums and mixtapes in his catalogue to date. Longevity in the CHH world is worth recognizing, so we took the time to listen to Free Thinking to see how someone who has been rapping for years keeps himself relevant, fresh, and connected with the ever changing culture.

Content

After listening to Free Thinking a few times through, I got the feeling that this album is a soundtrack to a movement. Free Thinkers is a tag line that you can be heard peppered throughout the album; a reference to some type of ministry or mindset. And if this is a soundtrack to a movement, then that means it was created to uplift the body of Christ.

I think that is the exact purpose of the album: To uplift and support Christians in the world to continue to be free thinkers in this world of sin and debauchery. A lot of these songs felt like they were anthems, and I don’t mean because of their tempo, but because of how the songs were structured. The songs have catchy choruses and were written in a way that can get stuck in your head – but they’re Christ centered, so it’s perfectly fine.

I found myself nodding my head along to the more aggressive songs like “Face Low Cross High”, “Never”, and “Go to War.” Overall, the songs are full of understandable lyrics, which work well towards the idea of it being movement music. Movement music needs to be understandable, easy enough to learn, and about topics that plague neighborhoods, so that when churches get ready to go out into the world and stand, they can pull the songs from their memory that pertain to the current circumstance. Humble Tip also brings some songs that are personal to his life, which shows that he doesn’t see himself above everyone else and their struggles. By being transparent about his own struggles, he’s allowing the real roots of Christianity to shine through his life in song.

Those who are looking to join or who may be interested in getting involved in his free thinking concept are more susceptible to receive the message of a transparent Tip instead of a fake, churchy, unattainable level of righteousness that comes from fake living. Overall, it was a humanizing approach from a “life minister” of the gospel to make the biblical concepts of being a free thinker palatable to the regular, “un-churched sinner.”

Production

A lot of people chase what is popular in music alone and that creates a project that sounds like everything else that is out from other artists. Being a well rooted artist , Humble Tip doesn’t shy away from tracks that are unique and things that he himself would enjoy. If you listen to the entire album, you aren’t going to find more than one or two songs that may sound like the common you hear on the radio, which I really appreciated.

I like it when artists stick to the vision that they have, even if it doesn’t match the popular, “over used” production techniques of the current day. This allows Humble Tip to carve his own place in the genre and be unashamed with the project he is offering to society. A few of my favorite beats are on “G Status”, “Never”, and “Where the Party At.” And for the most part, the featured artists that were singing on the hooks blend with the tracks well. One of the best blended hooks had to be on “Heal Now.” The rock band combined with Drew Miller’s smooth vocals make for a very warm song that I could see transitioning to a live performance situation with ease.

While I liked a lot of them, more than a few of the tracks were lacking the same thing: A strong presence of a kick drum. A lot of the songs seemed to have their kick drum turned down a little low, and it hurt a few of the driving elements in songs that were really looking for a powerful kick in them. On my studio speakers, I could hear them with no issue, but in a multitude of other hearing devices, the presence wasn’t as powerful. So, if I had any gripe, it’s that someone didn’t quadruple check the kick drum level through the mixing process.

Conclusion

As the outro track to “Free Thinking” says: “That’s what I call a revolution.” Humble Tip wants you to know that free thinking is a way of living. Free from the lies of the world, free from the lies of society, free from the lies of the devil, and connected to the truth in Christ through his Word. Humble Tip wants us all to disconnect from the world so that we can join the movement of free thinkers, who are here to change the world for Christ.

If you are looking for some unique music in a world that is full of musical copycats, then I suggest you check out Free Thinking by Humble Tip. It;s a diverse collection of songs, offered up as a soundtrack to a movement, that, in general, needs to be in the body of Christ. It has relatable song content, which I believe crosses boundaries in churches most effectively, as well as understandable delivery. You can pick this project up on any of the major digital distributors and support the movement of Free Thinkers.

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Daniel Cody is the engineer for the Wade-O Radio podcast and producer of The Life Change radio program for 4th Generation Ministries. He has a Bachelors Degree in Music Production & Record Engineering. He has a passion for authentic rap about the Gospel and collaborates with all genres of Christian music with his production company - Man of God Productions. Follow him on Twitter @DRoyulMOG.

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