Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O
Renegade. The word means, “A person who deserts and betrays an organizations, country, or set of principles; changing allegiances.” A fitting part of an album title for an artist who is signed to a record label called Infiltrate Music.
Skrip desires to make a statement to the world as to what he stands for. With this album, Renegades Never Die, as well as the face masks with the album title printed on them, Skrip is desiring to start a movement within the body of Christ – with his album as a part of the soundtrack. So how well does the phrase “Renegades Never Die” translate throughout the album? Let’s take a look.
I’ll start with the music first. One thing you’re going to notice first off with this album is that it is a contemporary album. Now, I use the word contemporary not like we think of as worship in non-denominational or un-traditional churches, but as the second definition, which states: “belonging to or occurring in the present.” I’m not sure what I was expecting from Skrip musically, but it’s definitely got a sound that reminds you of current music.
Clearly Skrip is rapping on this whole project, but in the context of songs having multiple genre influences, there are a few that fall into other categories above rap/hip hop – even though he is rapping the whole album. It has sprinkles of some EDM influences, current hip hop influences, as well as pop. But don’t let that description be a negative. It’s very enjoyable. You can hear how some dance/turn up tracks from the past few years may have influenced songs like “Heir In The Air” (featuring Adrian Quintana), “When The Beat Drop”, and “Tonight”, which features a big hook from Canton Jones.
There are records that lean more towards what the pop genre is doing now with the big powerful synths and such, like “A Better Way” (featuring Eden Myrrh), Este Fuego (which borders on being a dance track really), “I Wanna Go There” and “Go On,” which features Michael Ketterer of United Pursuit. And of course there are hip hop tracks like “Right Now” and “Memorandum” featuring the duo of Marty & FERN aka Social Club.
When an album may sound like songs of the times, you can tell from the beginning if it will lack longevity because of how much it relies on what’s popular to sustain itself. I can safely report that Renegades Never Die doesn’t rely on hip-hop “parlor tricks” or an over abundance of popular slang words to get over on the listener. There is good, quality production on this project – it translates as sincere and not a copy or parody of what’s hot right now. When I was ready for the lull-in-the-middle to hit, the change ups kept me interested to what Skrip was saying. Speaking of lyrics…
Going back to the definition of Renegade, referring to deserting or betraying an organization, Skrip is using this meaning to personify what those who give their lives over to Christ are doing to the world. As followers of Christ, we are to be in this world but not of it – sanctified, set apart for God’s usable purpose whenever He desires. When it comes to others who don’t know Christ, when we constantly are going against the grain, we look like…. Renegades.
Skrip uses this outlook as his driving force for the songs on this album. All of the songs speak of never giving up, in their own various forms. The intro track “Idols” speaks to dropping things that exalt themselves above God in your life. After that song, they all talk about being who God created us to be, no matter what comes against us.
“Este Fuego”, “When The Beat Drop”, “Heir In The Air”, “Tonight” – all being fun dance tracks, are about living for The Lord, going 100% for Him, and forgetting about what the world is going to think of you. Your focus is an eternity in heaven, so there is no reason to leave the life of being a Renegade for Christ.
They’re not all “I’m unashamed”, upbeat type anthems though – there are songs that are a bit more somber in tone. In “A Better Way”, Skrip takes a retrospective look at his unwise decisions that placed him in bad situations. But even in those bad situations and bad decisions, repenting and coming back to The Lord also embodies the heart of a Renegade. “Let It All Out”, which features Jennifer Reis, talks about the frustrations that any Christian will eventually deal with, no matter how hard of a Renegade they are.
My personal favorite track is “LWYMMD.” This song is a response to the world, that’s basically saying: “Because this world is so wicked and sinful, I’m going to turn up my righteousness and zeal for the Lord up 3000%” – Look what you made me do? I love this concept, as it’s one of my mindsets of ministry overall.
Overall, Renegades Never Die is a fun project that has substance. There are a handful of fun tracks that are easy to dance to, easy to learn, and are worth checking out. The mix of somber/encouraging songs within the uptempo tracks brings balance to this album, as our Christian life should be.
We all face highs and lows in our life. We’re not always gung-ho for the Lord, and we’re not always burden with sorrow at the fact that we’re still sin prone. But overall, as long as we remember that Christ is with us through all we go through, we will be hooked up to the power source that will allow us to be Renegades forever. And if our heart truly says “I Wanna Go There”, we have nothing that can stop us – because Renegades Never Die. I believe this album is worth picking up, so if you like music that makes you want to move, so should you.
‘Renegades Never Die’ is set to release Tuesday, February 24th, and is now available for pre-order on iTunes.