Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
There is one thing every person respects, and that’s honesty. We’re in a time when it seems as if everyone is lying; the media, politicians, pastors, entertainers, athletes. We don’t know who to trust or who to believe. Honesty is at a premium right now. Phrases like “I’m real,” “let me keep it real,” and “real recognize real” are usually followed by some lie, manipulation or fabrication of the truth. The line of what’s real and what’s fake are blurred: especially in hip-hop.
“Trap rappers” have become the new trend in hip-hop. Rhymes saturated in fabricated street tales, and stories that can only be real in movies, dominate the airwaves. The lifestyle of selling drugs and gang-banging is glorified throughout there songs. It has painted a glamorous picture about that life. It has been turned into something like a goal or dream for some people.
With all of this going on in hip-hop, in steps Thi’sl. The St. Louis MC has been honestly and aggressively attacking that picture the “trap rappers” are painting, with his own agenda to expose it for what it really is; a lie. Throughout his career, Thi’sl has been painting his own picture of reconciliation and redemption for the person caught up in that lifestyle. His new record Free From the Trap is no different.
Thi’sl takes the listener right into the trap. He shares heartfelt stories and experiences, and mixes it with the hope of better days. The song “Baby Mammas and Broken Hearts” will pull at your heart strings as Thi’sl paints the scene of this single mother who lost her baby’s father to the trap lifestyle. The listener relives these similar feelings on the track “We Blind” featuring Brian Owens. Thi’sl paints pictures of people dying from the lifestyle they choose to live and why some young people choose to live that lifestyle. It is an honest look into the psyche of individuals in that situation. It draws the listener into that situation and helps them to understand it a little bit better.
Thi’sl didn’t just pull on your heart strings though. He painted beautiful pictures of hope with the songs “Wish Upon A Star” and “In the Morning” featuring Daphne Rice. These tracks shine bright on this record because the message of hope shines so bright. This helps create a balanced record and it gives the listener something that they can take away.
Thi’sl has always had great message, that has never been in question. Free From the Trap is more intense than prior records, but there is also a lot of hope and encouragement in it. This is such an important message right now and Thi’sl is the perfect artist to deliver it. Free From the Trap is the perfect package to tell people that there is a hope and a way to be free from the trap.
Thi’sl brought a great message, but to have an effective message it has to be delivered correctly. Free From the Trap is filled with great music. From beginning to end the X-hustler will have your head nodding. It was just good production though. Lyrically he was on point as well. On every aspect of the album Thi’sl delivered and he didn’t really miss on any tracks. From top to bottom this is a very solid record.
One thing that makes Thi’sl’s music so enjoyable is his ability to connect with his listeners. He is usually presenting a message or situation that most of his listeners haven’t experienced but that doesn’t stop the listener from feeling what he’s saying. The reason behind that is a beautiful mixture of passion and lyricism. Free From the Trap is a manifestation of that. This record is full of great passion and great lyricism.
His lyrical ability allows him to create scenes that the listener can step into and feel. He makes it real for them. The perfect example of this is on the song “I Needed You” featuring Brian Owens. Thi’sl shares a personal story of his youth without his father. His passion and lyricism was showcased beautifully when he spits:
“You weren’t there to teach me to run, to teach me to fight
I remember momma lied and said you sent me a bike
Where were you when I was crying in the midst of the night
I needed you to show me how to make it through life”
Whether your father was around when you were a kid or no,t Thi’sl makes you feel his pain. That’s because he tells a story in which you can put yourself in his shoes. Thi’sl is able to get past surface level and penetrate the soul of his listeners. It takes a great MC to do that.
No matter if you’re looking for something to just knock in your car or something to sit down and vibe with Free From the Trap has it for you. This record is full of “real” music…”real” good music.
Thi’sl is a special MC. He is able to merge two cultures (the trap and the church) together beautifully. Mainly because he is so real and genuine. He delivers his message with such honesty and passion the listener has no choice but to be drawn in. And he wraps it in an enjoyable package. He has really emerged as one of the best all-around artists in CHH. With Free From the Trap he struck gold again and showed why he has emerged like he has. This is a fantastic album that any fan of hip-hop will love. Even more than that, any fan that appreciates honesty and an artist being “real” should have this record.