Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
If you are a hip hop connoisseur, you may be able to relate to stumbling upon a great artist on accident. That is what happened for me with J Prophet. I didn’t know much about him, but I decided to take a listen to his project. After listening, boy, I was surprised. He is a passionate lyricist and he brings a smooth vibe to the listening experience.
J Prophet’s free EP, I Got Bread, does just enough to gain some new fans. The EP only had seven tracks, but J Prophet allowed the listener to get to know him throughout the project. I want to share some thoughts that I had while listening to I Got Bread.
Whenever I hear a new artist, the first thing I listen to is their flow and word choice. I Got Bread was full of great, Christ-centered lyrics. The content was great, but that was not what grabbed me. J Prophet can ride a beat well. He also articulated his words well. I could hear his passion, but he did not get so passionate that his flow became sloppy. On “Deuce And A Quarter,” you hear his heart for his city and desire to see change. He spits this thought-provoking line in the very beginning:
“Money this, cars that, and women are trophies/ Swaggin’ is really suffering if you listen closely.”
He mentions how so many people chase an image, but are internally broken. He goes on to share his heart about reaching people with the love that changed his life. He tactfully communicated where he sees people falling short around him with grace and compassion.
J Prophet not only proved to be strong with his flow, he also showed off some nice word play. For instance, on “Breathe,” he starts off by saying, ‘I’m an heir (air) so I gotta breathe.’ I love double entendres. When each meaning or perception of the word adds to the greater meaning. In this case, we (in Christ) are heirs so we have to live (breathe) like we believe it. We also need air to breathe. Both words urge us to take life seriously. I know that was a small snippet from him, but there is much more of that on the album.
I am a fan of the Jazz sound and this album was great for providing it. I pictured listening to these songs at a live music venue. This album does not provide party music or radio hits, but the music does feel and sound good. On “Tie Me Down,” J Prophet provided an intimate song, sang by Dez Duron, on being freed by Christ from the many temptations that try to tie us down. This was one of those songs where the singing really brought in the emotion to go along with it. I was really impressed by it. The singing by Fancy on “Availability” had the same effect on me. J Prophet penned a beautiful song about being available for all that God wants to do with him.
The singing from different artists mixed with J Prophet’s smooth flow, allowed for his message to be heard on this EP. I’m not sure if that is what he was going for, but the laid back sound definitely let his message take the stage. You can tell that he wasn’t just out to make good music, but that he really wanted the lyrics to edify the listener.
I am not saying that the sound on this project was poor at all. It was refreshing. It wasn’t your classic boom-bap, but it also was not your “rah-rah” sound either. I was so refreshed by this sound, that I am looking forward to hear more from J Prophet, and I would not mind hearing other artists with the same sound. The overall sound on this album was quality and I appreciate that from any artist that is diving into Christian hip hop.
Areas For Improvement
Although I loved the Jazz feel, I felt that J Prophet could have shown his versatility. This project only has seven tracks, so it may have been beneficial for him to give the listener snippets of all that he is capable of. He sounds like he could takeover any beat, so I will look forward to that in the future.
Also, the mixing on some of the tracks sounded a little off. The vocals were a bit louder than the music in some cases. I don’t think that will be an issue as he gets his name out, and gets the opportunity for better production.
I Got Bread was a good project. It was an easy listen and the message was potent. He is clearly referencing Jesus, the “Bread of life” in the title and you feel it on each track. He never misses a moment to boast in God’s goodness and unfailing love for his children. After listening, I was encouraged to pray for people that I know who have not accepted Christ. J Prophet does a great job communicating his heart for people who have not accepted Christ.
I was impressed by his lyricism and quality beats, because sometimes new artists try to get heard off of their message alone. You could tell that he not only cared about his message, but also the complete package. The production had the hick-ups that I mentioned before, but overall, it sounded great. The instruments used in the music seemed to be a perfect fit for each song.
I feel that J Prophet has a ton of potential. His music is a breath of fresh air and I think it will only be a matter of time before more people hear it. I look forward to seeing how well he can maintain his consistency on a full-length project, but he did a great job with this one.
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