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EP Review: FERN – ‘68 and Douglas’

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

The dynamic duo known as Social Club has been making a lot of moves amongst the independent artist crowd of Christian hip hop. Both members, Marty and FERN, have dropped solo projects this year and set record sales for both projects as independent artists.

My first encounter with the group Social Club came from their album Misifts 2. The album was so unorthodox from the typical sound of Christian hip hop that I had no other choice but to learn more about the movement. Overall, I have been impressed with their sound and unique wordplay. To be able to embrace one’s awkwardness, and use it to help others who also struggle with fitting in, is ingenious.

Content

FERN opens the EP with the song Victory,” paying homage to the neighborhood he grew up in. He reflects on the beginnings of the Social Club movement and him making it out of the hood lifestyle. It was through his childhood memories and old neighborhood upbringing that helped FERN value family and to make sure that he always puts God at the forefront of anything that he does. FERN enlightens the newbies of CHH that he’s put in 15 years in the game, so don’t expect to make it overnight. Of course there are a few exceptions, but overall he advises the up and coming artists to give themselves a chance to develop their relationship with God and remain persistent with cultivating their craft.

The song “No Love” featuring Cap 1 informs the listener not to believe the hype that making quick money, running the streets and having a lot of women is the goal of life. FERN was transparent about his past dealings with being in jail and the mindset that comes with the fast lifestyle. Throughout his testimony, FERN makes it clear that ones background is not a death sentence but a chance to experience the love of our Heavenly Father. The world isn’t consistent because everybody is chasing materialism and temporary happiness, which leads to an endless circle of disappointment, heartbreak, and frustration. This song is relevant to today’s culture because it seems as though everyone is searching for something outside of God, and question why they can’t find true happiness and peace.

“Them streets don’t love you.” – FERN

One aspect that I respect most about Social Club as a whole, is their ability to create a movement without the backing of a record label. On the track “Who Am I,” Fern discusses the positive side of not being signed to a major label, such as the autonomy to move when you want and the ability to travel and meet fans without owing the hassle of being bound by legal paperwork. On the song “Supreme,” featuring Clemm Rishad and N.O.R.E., FERN reflects how everything that has happened in his life brought him to the place that he’s in now. The song also acknowledges where God has brought Social Club and shows gratitude to where they are headed.

In my opinion, it would not have been a complete EP if FERN and Marty did not do a song together, and they did just that with the song “Having Said That.” I’m particularly fond of this song because it talks about how God transforms the unlikely and uses them for His glory. The story of Social Club and all that they have accomplished is both motivating and encouraging. Accomplishing goals on the level that they have without the backing of a major record deal shows that God can use anyone to do anything that He wants them to do. FERN does not take the typical churchy approach to spirituality, but instead aims at reaching the heart of people through his music.

“Streets + church… that’s what I call spiritual.” – FERN

Conclusion

Overall, the sound and production of 68 and Douglas gives it a classic hip hop vibe that you can relate to and be motivated by. The productive work of STREET RUNNER was very clean and edgy, and the listener can vibe to it with the windows down in the summer time and in the middle of winter.

The short project was filled with real life testimonies by FERN that will have a positive impact on those listeners who come from a similar background and those who are just fans of Hip hop. I look forward to seeing what else FERN has in store for the upcoming year, along with Social Club as a whole. As long as they both continue to embrace the “misfit” lifestyle, I believe they will continue to be a consistent voice for the culture.

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Chanel Crosskey aka DJ Smylee is an avid listener of CHH music and uses that passion to deejay and write album reviews. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. You can follow her on Twitter @imdjsmylee.

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