Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
“Artist” is one of those words that get’s thrown around Hip-Hop often. There are many definitions for the word. To some it just means musician, to others, the word ‘artist’ is a musician that turns their music to art. Dictionary.com even has five different definitions for the word. So it’s almost impossible to give one meaning to the word.
I’ve always taken it to mean more than just a musician. I’ve always thought of an artist as someone who takes the craft of music and creates something bigger than just music, through artistic expression. That is exactly what Christon Gray did on his most recent release “Body Art.”
Three ways Christon Gray was Artistic on “Body Art”
The very first thing that jumps out about Christon Gray is his versatility. There really isn’t anything that he can’t do musically. He’s a rapper, singer, songwriter and producer. He is a true ‘jack of all trades,’ but instead of being a master of none (as the saying goes), he appears to be a master of all. This type of versatility is unseen in CHH.
“Body Art” covers the full spectrum of urban music. There is soulful R&B, bass-knocking, lyrical and even some political Hip-Hop featured. Chris transitions through these styles seamlessly. The beautiful thing about it is, it all seemed natural. It is all a part of the artist that is Christon Gray.
Another thing about “Body Art” that was awe-inspiring was his transitions from singing to rapping. That skill added a whole new element to the record that you can’t get anywhere else. It also showed how polished of a musician Christon Gray is, because that is not an easy task to do, and he did an excellent job of it.
Christion Gray’s creativity is an extension of his versatility. They are tied into each other. That’s what makes him so special as an artist.
“Body Art” was an insanely creative project. From the production to Chris’ flow to content; creativity poured out of each track. The sound of the project was different from what is commonly heard in Hip-Hop now. Swoope, Redd Lettaz and Wit all lent their talents to the project. With those names on the project, you know the production is going to be great.
On top of the production being great, it was also very clever. Instead of the production becoming the star, it was an aide that allowed Chris to be the star. The production created a canvas for Chris to paint on. That is what made “Body Art” so special. It was true creative art.
A big part of being an artist is lyrical ability. It’s hard to create a beautiful picture if you can’t take the listener there to see it. Chris had no problem taking me to see whatever pictures he was painting.
“Body Art” was a ride through each track that seemed to be individual pieces of art. Each piece was different and lyrically took you somewhere else. From “Clear the Air,” that saw Chris giving lyrical jabs throughout. To “Autumn Leaves,” which had him serenading us with a heart-wrenching story about a girl whose mother has died. Those were just two stops on this ride.
Christon used this record to poor his heart into each art he presented. His passion, creativity and talent seeped through the speakers and drew you in for the entirety of the record.
Overall “Body Art” is a great record. It wasn’t perfect. There didn’t seem to be a clear direction throughout the record. The idea of “Body Art” was never clearly explained. That didn’t matter though. You are drawn in by his lyrical ability and then taken on this beautiful ride to see what art in music really is.
Christon Gray is the reason why musicians are called artists. He took his craft and created something bigger than music through artistic expression.