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Album Review: Tony Tillman – The Tillman EP

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

Tony Tillman knows how to make good music. I have been following him all the way back to his “The Interlude” days under the rap name, Brothatone. He does not always put out music back to back, but he does deliver when he puts something out. When Tony became a part of Reflection Music Group, his craft only got better.

His latest project, The Tillman EP, was just released this past Tuesday, June 25th, 2013. He put out a video for the first track “Tailored,” and it was received very well. You could hear from the single, that we were in for a new sound in his music.

This EP is like an appetizer. He let us hear a little bit of where he’s going, but did not give us the whole meal. Each track had a different feel and I’d like to give a play by play review of each track.

Tailored

Tony Tillman delivers an intimate, powerful song about our worth and value. It is titled “Tailored” because it emphasizes how we are perfectly and uniquely created by God. The message speaks to both men and women.

His flow fit the smooth vibe of the song. It was not extremely lyrical, but he tells two impactful stories about a man and a woman who do not know their worth. The last verse points to Christ and his provision for their insecurities. Beckah Shae also adds a nice element to this track with her wonderful vocals.

Many will be able to relate to this song and be encouraged by it.

Hourglass

This song opens up with a verse from Tedashii about how he learned as a child that tomorrow is not promised. Chad Jones follows his verse about time and how we should not play with it. Tony finishes this track with a passionate verse about taking time we have been given seriously. He says:

“Someone told me that life is a beach, they got the speech wrong/ Life is more like Adrian Pete, runnin’ with cleets on.” 

His verse implies that time is moving much faster than we’d like to imagine.

The song has a real relaxed feel, but the message is far from it. Each artist did a good job of displaying their points on being good stewards of our time.

Pyscho

This song changes the tempo of the album. It is an upbeat song and Tony Tillman comes out the gate with a fast flow. You have to listen closely, but in the first verse he is rapping about how he’s going to let unbelievers know about the God that saved him, even if they label him crazy.

Derek Minor is featured on the chorus and delivers in a way that could get a crowd riled up. This song definitely sounds like it would do well in a concert setting.

Canon takes on the second part of the song, and in Canon-like fashion, he too raps fast. Canon’s verse talks about being secure in Christ, despite how others view him. He focuses on taking the Gospel to rugged areas in his city boldly. He is sold out on the fact that because Christ saved an undeserving Canon, he can’t help but share this message of light in the darkest areas.

This is a good song to get believers excited about standing firm in what they believe in, no matter what.

Heaven (Acoustic Version)

This song reminds me of “Take Me There” by Trip Lee. It is a wonderful message about the ails and pains that many of us face in life and how everything will change when we get to heaven. The girl singing on this track, Out of the Dust, makes it clear on the chorus when she sings,

“Love’s so hard to find. No hope in this life, only pain, that’ll change when we all get to heaven.” 

Tony’s verses talked about the hard times that people face and how there will be eternal peace and joy in heaven. This song will really inspire hope to people that are struggling with “life” while here on earth. He did a really good job capturing emotion on this song. Out of the Dust’s smooth, soft voice aided the peace that this track provided.

Heaven

“Take em’ to church” is the first thing I thought of when this version turned on (Tony Tillman actually says it on the track).  The tempo is livelier and the chorus is Tony Tillman rapping a rendition of what Out of the Dust sang.

Sho Baraka delivered a great verse, flooded with his classic word play. His verse was different because he focused on how life could be  when we live with the end in mind. Tony talked about how we can think about heaven to endure the hard times, but Sho talked about heaven as a means of motivation to serve people here on Earth. He says a powerful line at the end of his verse:

“For those who thought the most about the after-life tend’d to serve the most on this Earth before they died.” 

Although the message between the acoustic version and this version was relatively the same, this version inspired joy. It is a song that will encourage believers to be excited about the life that is to come when we die.

Tillman

I thought this track would’ve been the intro to the EP. Not only is the EP titled “The Tillman EP,” he says “I’d like to welcome you to the Tony Tillman Show …”

Other than that, the song lets the listener in on his heart. In the first verse, he explains that he’s out to work the fields even where the terrain is a little rockier. He is going to go where it’s rough and share how God changed his life.

In the second verse, he lists how we turn to idols and worship different self-pleasures. He then goes on to discuss how he hopes to help people turn from their idols and turn to Jesus.

The song was pretty simple and to the point. He wants to be known as a man that loves God and brings others to Him.

Conclusion

Overall, this was a pretty good album. The content was great and the music complimented each song. He does a great job telling stories and inspiring the listener.

There was a lot of encouragement on this album, but the length was a little discouraging. His last album was the re-release of “Mic Check,” and this EP has only six tracks.  As a fan of his Tony Tillman’s music, I am waiting for a full album to come out. I know he’s capable, but it has been a while since his last full project (the original “Mic Check”).

I look forward to what he has to come in the future and I also think this is well worth your $4.99.

My First Experience
Stephen the Levite -

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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