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Album Review: Mahogany Jones – Pure

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

In a genre dominated by male voices, it is always refreshing when a woman comes along and lets her voice be known. I personally love it. There are some male rappers that may try to write a song for women, but it’s like striking gold when a lady gets on the mic and spits life to her listeners. Both males and females can gain so much from hearing a raw, biblical, solid woman of God’s perspective on life.

Mahogany Jones is no stranger to the Christian hip hop scene but she had been a little quiet over recent years. Not anymore. She came back with her most recent album, Pure and laced the album with so much raw emotion and truth. I think she put together an experience for the listeners that we have not heard in a while.

Why This Project Is Important

The Message

In most reviews, we will breakdown different aspects of the project and share our thoughts. For this review, I would like to focus primarily on Mahogany Jones’ message.

The name of the album was “Pure,” but the content in many of the songs was far from that. They were not bad songs, but they were very transparent. She shared moments in her life where she was broken and vulnerable and also talked about struggles that I’ve heard many women express as well.

Songs like “Pure,” “Skin Deep,” “Stolen Innocence,” “Mirror Mirror, Perfect Imperfections,” and “Naked” tackle some tough issues like self confidence, impurity (from a woman’s perspective), the need for attention and the pressure to “perform” the way society expects you to.

This was important because many male rappers can speak worth over women, but hearing a woman speak identity over women was just powerful. She didn’t speak from the perspective of the “perfect Christian,” but more from the woman that has learned through trials (in her life and others) and found hope in Jesus. Some of the tracks were so personal, I almost felt uncomfortable listening. But they were needed. As a guy, I walked away thinking about the ways I mistreated and took advantage of women in my past. This, again, speaks to how important this record is. This is not a “ladies only” album.

The Effort

Another reason this project is important is because of the effort she put into it. I’m not talking about the time she invested. I’m referring to the intentionality behind each track. She put herself out there. She also got other women to join her.

One of my favorite songs was “Wash Me” featuring Lisa Chantel, Kiwi “K-Pratt”, and Butta P. All of the women on the track went in and exposed themselves while showing off the saving grace of Jesus. You could hear her heart behind each track and she put in an obvious effort to make sure that people did not only enjoy the music, but also could grow from the music.

She also had tracks like “Girlfriend” and “Game” where men were the rappers on the track, providing insight for women. This points to the intentionality behind the entire project. She did not mind not being the star of her own song, she was more concerned with her message. This was a message that should not be passed over.

The Content

I have mentioned a lot about this album’s message and potential takeaways that a listener could get, but I do have to address the content. I do appreciate when an artist is honest and open about life. With that, I understand that the content may not be suitable for all ages. If you go to iTunes, you will see that this album is marked ‘explicit.’

That is not a negative thing. It was an honorable thing. This album does not have cursing in it, but it does have content that parents may not be ready to expose their kids to. I think that it was smart of Mahogany to make sure her listeners know what they are in for. I repeat, this album is not flooded with cursing, but there are explicit moments in some of her songs.

I think that this may limit the amount of people that listen to the project, but it should reach the market that she seemed to be aiming to reach. She did a wonderful job giving her listeners an experience that was unfiltered. It will be great for those that are used to not speaking on certain subjects in the church. For some, their church may think “sex,” “rape,” and “sexy selfies” are too taboo to speak about and this project spoke boldly.

Conclusion

Mahogany Jones put together a smooth album with a strong message. The content may have been heavy but she often dressed the subject matter over a smooth, laid-back type of beat.

Many listeners will benefit from this project and I think that it will be great for stirring up tough conversations. This was not a simple, “feel good” record, but I do think that it is important for people in general. As much as I believe this album will benefit believers, I truly believe that many people, that do not know the Lord, can be impacted in a mighty way.

After listening to this record, all I could say was “She did it again.” Mahogany came with excellence and did not come soft. She made sure that our community knows that this genre does not lack women that can hold their own. Well done.

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Branden Murphy has served as a Campus Missionary. He loves Christian hip hop and uses it within his ministry to reach and converse with many different students. He plans to use his heart for music and ministry to write album reviews on Wadeoradio.com. Branden is also married with two children. You can follow Branden on Twitter: @Bmurph633.

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