All views presented in this Album Review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O
Thi’sl is a great emcee and has been great for the growth and expansion of Christian Hip-Hop. His resume is amazing. Thi’sl has accomplished some things in his career that few other artists have. Thi’sl has consistently been high on the iTunes hip-hop charts, he has multiple CHH anthems, and he’s achieved high levels of crossover success. He has given the genre some classic songs and albums, and he’s been apart of some of the best collaborations.
Recently, Thi’sl has pushed the genre forward by executive producing the all female compilation album Gurl Code. He has opened the minds and hearts of listeners all over the country to issues that attack our inner cities, and has championed the idea of being an “Urban Missionary”. So whether it has been in the booth or out of it, Thi’sl has been a leader in the CHH community.
Thi’sl is back now and ready to add to his stellar resume. This time Thi’sl is offering up his new record entitled Fallen King. This full-length album was originally intended to be an EP, but turned into more after Thi’sl was inspired by the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. If this doesn’t get you hype, maybe Thi’sl himself saying this is some of his best work will do the trick. That definitely has CHH buzzing about this album. Thi’sl shows no sign of slowing down. This record is set to grow his great legacy.
More of the same
Throughout his career Thi’sl has been amazingly consistent and very authentic. He never strays from his target audience or from the type of music he believes he’s supposed to make. Thi’sl has become known for his anthems, hard-hitting production and honest rhymes about life in the inner city. Fallen King stays pretty consistent on that. Time and time again Thi’sl went with what brought him here; hard beats, catchy hooks, and tough rhymes. This is definitely not a knock on the record. Thi’sl is great in this element and he has enough creativity and versatility, that it sounds new and fresh each time. Overall there’s a lot on this record long time Thi’sl fans will love.
Tracks like “Chicago-Detroit” and “King of the Trap” are the classic Thi’sl songs that I was referencing earlier, all the way down to the trademark Thi’sl intro on the latter of the songs. These tracks will have you nodding your head, turning up your radio and rolling down your windows. “Keep Grinding” featuring Brian Owens is right in Thi’sl’s lane as well. He slows it down a little on this record but it has a similar feel to slower Thi’sl songs in the past. He also enlisted the help of a singer we’ve heard him work with in the past (Brian Owens). The message behind this song is what listeners will hold on to. Thi’sl just brings a beautiful word, encouraging us to just keep grinding.
Lastly, Thi’sl gives us the anthem we’re looking for with “Take My Life” featuring FLAME and Json. In classic Thi’sl fashion, this track will have you jumping around and reflecting. On “Fallen King” Thi’sl did a lot of what has made him great, and that was great for this record.
Another great thing about this album is that you could hear some growth in Thi’sl’s music. It’s incredible that in this stage in his career he is still pushing himself musically and growing. The clearest and most obvious example of this is heard sonically. There were a few tracks on Fallen King that strayed from that classic Thi’sl sound. The title track “Fallen King” is an example of this. It’s a beautifully produced track. It’s a very soft and melodic track. Then when Marz lays her vocals on the hook, the song just melts over you. When Thi’sl’s verse is added, the track just comes together. Thi’sl pulls back on the aggression but not the passion with a much softer delivery. “Rooks” featuring SPZRKT is another example. The futuristic melody matched with SPZRKT’s unique vocals creates a whole different feel. This is an experiential track. You feel this. Thi’sl does a great job of blending sounds and showing every bit of his versatility.
“Rooks” is also example of another growth area for Thi’sl on Fallen King. Conceptually Thi’sl was on point. This was probably the most conceptual (and consistently conceptual) he has been on a record. “Rooks carries this chest theme all the way through the track and challenges the listener to dive deep into the lyricism. That was just a small part of the overall concept, which was weaved beautifully throughout the record. The idea of “King” was everywhere. Whether it’s being a king, how to be a king, praising the king, false kings or people that are fallen kings, you can’t escape this concept. It was great and it really brought the project together. The concept makes Fallen King an easier listen and makes it a memorable album because the listener can tie this album to the concept.
It was impressive to see what Thi’sl was able to do conceptually. The record really benefited from his creativity and commitment to his concept, but the listener also really benefited from it.
There isn’t much not to like about Fallen King. The content was amazing. It was theological and relevant, uplifting and motivating. Altogether it was a strong and inspiring message. On top of a great message the lyricism and production was great as well. All of this makes for a great album, which is exactly what Fallen King is. It is great from start to finish. It is a consistent ear and soul pleaser from start to finish. This record will bring in new Thi’sl fans and satisfy current Thi’sl fans. This is a record that will definitely add to the excellent resume that he has already built.
‘Fallen King’ is now available for purchase on iTunes.