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Album Review: Social Club – Summer of George

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The beautiful thing about hip-hop is that it means something different to everyone apart of the culture. Every fan of hip-hop has a different experience and relationship with it. It can personalize the music with the fan and create connections and memories that never die. This bond created between artist and fan (or music and fan), is even stronger within CHH, because the spiritual element elevates everything.

Few artists have understood this aspect of hip-hop and utilized it as well Social Club has. Over the past two years Social Club has expanded their “Misfit” brand into a movement. This movement was built on a transparent and relational type of hip-hop that builds a strong bond between artist and fan. There are “Misfits” all across the country now, and these “Misfits” are eagerly waiting for what Christian hip-hop’s fastest rising group has in store for them next.

What’s next is Summer of George. This is the next record Social Club is adding to an already impressive resume, and looks to take Social Club even higher than they’ve already gone recently.

First thing I noticed

Not only was this the first thing that I noticed, but also I continued to notice it throughout the entire record. That was how the duo has grown as artists. Growth is an important thing and a lot of times it’s overlooked or undervalued. For Social Club this could be especially easy because they stay in their lane so well. Nonetheless their growth has been steady and continuous throughout their career.

It was especially noticeable on Summer of George because their flows were a bit more polished, production was better and their overall song making got better. Not to say that the duo was lacking in these area’s on previous records, but they improved on what was already strong talent and really good artistry.

Two Other Things I Appreciated

They stayed true to themselves:

This is something that can often be taken for granted. For a group like Social Club this is so important. Their honesty, transparency and slightly off centered nature are what make them so special. From the title, to the album artwork (a picture of George Costanza from “Seinfeld” shirtless on a couch), to the classic “Social Club is the Best” before tracks, this record screams Social Club.

The duo has had a meteoric rise over the past year and a half. That rise is played in part to the fact that they know who their core audience is and what they like. Social Club always gives their fans what they want. They balance staying in their lane with experimenting with their music beautifully on Summer of George. We saw a couple of new things on this record but it was still geared toward their core audience. That makes that connection between Social Club and their fans even stronger and tells me that they will continue to rise in CHH.

Lyricism:

Lyricism is what drives hip-hop. Without that what does an artist really have? Usually when you think lyricism you think complex schemes and wordplay, big words and double entendres. That isn’t all lyricism is though. Honesty, transparency, and relatability to listeners are a part of it as well. The latter is where Social Club excels. If there is a more honest and open pair of artists in CHH, I’d be surprised. Listening to a Social Club record is like doing life with the group. Summer of George is no different.

This record has Marty spitting candidly about his family on the Cardec Drums produced opening track “Steinbrenner”:

“They say my days are numbered and I’m counting them down/

I miss my family and them running around/

It’s probably all my fault they ain’t coming around/

And this is my cross, I’m laying it down.”

Whether you have a similar struggle or not, you can feel these bars because of the transparency. The honesty that Social Club raps with allows you to feel the personal struggle, not just the situation. F.E.R.N. brought a lot of raw emotion of Summer of George as well. The theme in all of F.E.R.N.’s bars was his love for God and appreciation for his salvation. This is a common theme in all of CHH but F.E.R.N.’s passion was refreshing and inspiring. Overall Summer of George was amazingly honest, transparent and refreshing lyrically.

Conclusion

When listening to Summer of George I got everything I expected and more from Social Club. I was fed spiritually, emotionally and musically. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish, and I came back to listen time and time again. Social Club has always had great playback value but there was even more playback value on Summer of George. Every song has great value in it and will bring you back over and over. A great aide in the playback value was the tremendous supporting cast that Social Club brought in for Summer of George. The tracklist tells you how high and fast Social Club has risen. Canon, K-Nuff, Thi’sl and Anthony Rose all lended incredible verses to the project. It was just great artists that made up this supporting cast, Social Club also brought in big name producers like Cardec Drums, D-Flow, and Tyshane.

All of this makes for a great album, and it was a great record. Which adds to a resume of great music. Even with that, Social Club has their detractors. Some say they’re not lyrical enough or spiritual enough, or that they play around too much, and even that they’re too weird. If you’re one of those naysayers, then you don’t understand Social Club (which isn’t new for them if you understand the misfit movement). Social Club Misfit Gang Wolf Pack is so much more than just music. They optimize the artist/fan connection I’ve been talking about. Social Club aims to empower, inspire, motive and accept their listeners. Fans of Social Club feel like they’re apart of the group. They feel accepted by the misfit movement and for most they’ve never felt that.

Social Club is about love, acceptance, fun and great music. That is exactly what Summer of George is. It has all the elements of a great album, strong lyricism, great production and fantastic replay value. It also connects with old fans and brings in new fans. Summer of George is Social Club at their best, and you can see that they’re only getting better.

'Stop the Traffic' -
How Skrip and Kidd L

Aubrey McKay has a strong passion and love for CHH, and he uses that to write album reviews for Wadeoradio.com. He is a graduate of Southeastern University in Lakeland Florida. He currently resides in Lakeland and teaches middle school. Twitter: @ajmckay24

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