I’ve been continually impressed with the state of Christian hip-hop this year. It seems like every month a new artist is breaking into the genre or leaving their mark on the genre. It’s refreshing and exciting as a fan because there has been a constant influx of good music. It’s brought a depth to the genre that I haven’t seen before. The bar for what is good and acceptable Christian hip-hop music has risen as well. The artists that have been breaking into the genre aren’t just adding depth by putting out music; they are adding good depth by putting out quality music.
The next artist up to bring good music to CHH is John Givez. He is still a relative new comer to the genre, but his talent and potential far outweigh his resume. That’s the reason why theBREAX snatched up the young emcee for their new label Kings Dream Entertainment. With the backing of a label and one of CHH’s best groups, John Givez released his debut album IV Seasons (4 Seasons). Being a relative newcomer is both a gift and a curse. For a lot of CHH fans this will be their introduction to John Givez. Will the California emcee impress and leave a mark?
The first thing that usually jumps out on an album is the production, 4 Seasons is no different. The production jumped through the speakers and grabbed my attention. Each track brought a different but well put together sound and created an album with a fantastic sound. There was a smooth versatility in the production that aided to John Givez skillset very well. It also provided for a wonderful listening experience for the listener.
The production isn’t just about dope beats; it’s also about the quality of the sound. Any fan of theBREAX is familiar with the extremely high quality of sound that they produce. That influence was heavy on 4 Seasons. The quality of sound was very high on this project and each track was cared for in a meticulous fashion that elevated the whole project. The production was great on 4 Seasons and that alone is enough for a listen.
This is the area that stands out to me the most. Of all the things an artist can do to leave an impression, this is the one area that makes the biggest mark on me. John Givez left a mark on me in this area. He brought solid lyricism to 4 Seasons as he maneuvered through different topics, and he mixed some theology with real life stories, which provided a rare connection for the listener. For a younger emcee he was also polished with his flow. He has a commanding flow that draws the listener’s attention. 4 Seasons shows off some of John Givez lyrical talent. If he can continue to grow and evolve in this area, he can become a top lyricist is in CHH.
I touched on the versatility in the production and how that had a positive effect on the record. John Givez individual versatility had even more of a positive effect on 4 Seasons. John gives is a good emcee and he showed some impressive artistry on this record. The part that was so impressive was that John Givez is also a singer. He mixed his singing with his rapping very well. He used both talents at proper times and both talents complimented each other beautifully. His versatility also makes 4 Seasons a unique record because there aren’t many that are like it. His ability to mix singing and rapping allow his artistry to flourish. His versatility makes 4 Seasons a record worth listening to.
Area of Growth
A lot of young artists struggle in similar areas, and John Givez is no exception. One of those areas is conceptually. The Concept on 4 Seasons was pretty much non-existent. If John Givez could have put together a flowing concept throughout the record, it would have improved an already good album. This isn’t a huge area because many artists have made successful careers without being strong in this area. This area, however, is what separates good artists from great ones. If John Givez can improve and grow in this area, then great is exactly what he can become.
Stand out tracks:
“Eastside Church Boi” – From the hard beat to his smooth flow, this track is nearly flawless. The full potential that John Givez possess is on display on this track. It’s a memorable track that will bring you back time and time again.
“Westside Blues” – This track sums up just how fantastic his versatility is when it’s done at its highest level. His smooth melodic flow was complimented wonderfully by his beautiful vocals. This is a beautiful song that is truly a highlight of this record.
“Rebelutionary” feat. Ruslan – There are plenty of songs on 4 Seasons that will bring you back to the record, but this track may be the most memorable of them all. This song is the type of track that will stop you right in the middle of your listening experience. Ruslan and John Givez compliment each other well and they made a great song.