Top 10 Christian Hip Hop Albums from the First Half of 2013
Disclaimer: All views presented in the Album Reviews are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
The first half of the year has passed and we’ve decided to make a list of our top 10 Christian hip hop albums 2013 has had to offer.
When choosing the albums, we had a set criteria. We thought about which albums had memorable moments, great production, and artistry. The artists varied from well-known to fairly new. Overall, we expect that if you check out these albums, you will really enjoy them.
The comprised list are from artists who have dropped their albums between January to June of this year.
The write-up’s next to the album cover are from our reviews published around the time each project dropped. You can click on the Album Review title under the excerpt to read our full review of each project.
Top 10 Christian Hip Hop albums in order from 10 – 1:
10. Love, Hope & War – Da’ T.R.U.T.H.
“This is one of my favorite albums from Da’ T.R.U.T.H. He delivered lyrically, production was on point, but that was not the kicker for me. I was genuinely challenged by the songs. It’s been a long time since I have been legitimately convicted after listening to a track.
The way he emphasized true, Christ-centered love, exposed areas in my life where I can love others better. He spoke to the body of Christ in a way that made you want to wave your banner, yet at the same time, see those who aren’t saved through the lenses of grace. This project was much needed in a time where many Christian hip hop artists are torn, choosing which crowd they want to make music for. Simply put, He reminded artists to reach as many people as possible without minimizing the name of Christ.” – Branden
9. Rejects – Social Club
“It’s not all about the message with Social Club. They can also make some good music. They have great chemistry, versatility and a lot of creativity. All of those things were on display in a major way on Rejects. The duo also brought some solid lyricism with them. Marty and F.E.R.N. continued to show an incredible ability to take real life situations and stories, and turn them into great songs. It’s not always easy to do that, but these two make it look effortless.” – Aubrey
8. Of Vice and Virtue – Alert312
“The lyricism on this record was beautiful. From the opening track, my jaw dropped at what Alert was doing lyrically. It was intellectual, theological and witty. Even with all of those things, the most impressive part was the word play. Each track had a dazzling display of word play and word usage. A skill that is not easy to master. I can only assume it is God given and is made to look simple at times by Boogalu. It was beautiful artistry.” – Aubrey
7. No Limits – Flo
“Flo does not just rap well, he murders songs. He did what many artists steer clear from doing. He rapped over tracks that were originally done by great artists. As stated earlier, he rapped over Lecrae’s “Violence.” He also rapped over Da’ T.R.U.T.H.’s “Hope” and Kendrick Lamar’s “*Please Don’t Kill my Vibe.” Being that this was my first time hearing him, I was shocked to hear him tackle these songs with so much confidence.” – Branden
6. Carry On – Ruslan
Ruslan is a talented artist, and I knew I was going to get a great record from him. This was different than I expected though. This was a consistent pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Most records are like a roller coaster because there are highs and lows. Carry On didn’t have any of that. From the beginning Ruslan set a high expectation for this record and then continually met that throughout the record.
This album is a pleasure in every way possible. It’s an easy listen all the way through. It has great lyricism, production, sounds great and it’s relevant. This is a record that you can give to any fan of hip-hop (Christian or not), and they will enjoy it and be able to take something away from it.” – Aubrey
5. The Resistance – Wes Pendleton & Tragic Hero
“Both of these talented artists have been able to make good music separately. The task now rests in their ability to come together and make good music as a duo. The Resistance is definitely good music. Tragic Hero was really able to shine on this record. His first record Going Home was a solid effort and CHH was able to see the stunning talent this kid has. The Resistance was another shinning example of how much talent Tragic Hero really has as an MC.” – Aubrey
4. Heroes for Sale – Andy Mineo
“Heroes For Sale may have contained some of the most transparent songs from an artist with a platform as large as Andy’s. Before the Christian hip hop historians whip out their book of lyrics, I want to explain why I say this. Andy Mineo was one of the first artists to admit where he fell. In the past, we’ve heard artists be honest with struggles or repentant for falls, but on this album, we hear where he’s lost the battle and is still growing through it.” – Branden
3. Apply Pressure – R-Swift
“This record has it all. It will please long time Swift fans and bring in a whole new breed of fans. It’s got your lyrical boombap joints, your political thoughtful tracks and some speaker busting bangers. Swift ties these all together beautifully and the transitions between these songs were seamless. This whole record flowed together beautifully.” – Aubrey
2. W.L.A.K. – Collision Records
“Each track is like it’s own individual experience. Almost like a movie, each track pulls you in, and you’re with them in that moment. It then builds to a climax that will leave you speechless, and by the end of the track you are begging for more. Those small experiences then turn into one fantastic experience by albums end. This experience is created through amazing production and each artists’ individual ability to fit what they do to the song. There is versatility in sound, flow and some clever lyricism that showcases their dynamic creativity.” – Aubrey
1. Talented Xth – Sho Baraka
“Anytime politics, race and government comes into play…it is inevitable that someone will get offended. I don’t get the impression that Sho’s intention is to offend anyone with this record, but in true Sho fashion he does not shy away from any topic. He shares his opinions very openly and honestly. Songs like “Jim Crow,” “Madoff” and “Bethesda” (Co-authored by JK and L.I.B.E.R.T.Y.), are standouts as far as content. You may or may not disagree with Sho’s stance on these records, but you have to respect his boldness to even speak openly on the topics of race and unequal distribution of wealth.” – Aubrey
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Wade-O Radio is a ministry dedicated to helping young urbanites grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The ministry includes a widely read blog and weekly podcast, The Wade-O Radio Show, that has been downloaded over a million times. You can follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, or subscribe to their free podcast in iTunes.