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Those of us who listen to Gospel rap have been involved in a chess game lately, patiently waiting to see what Lecrae’s next move would be. Would he make a simple defensive move towards solidifying himself as the greatest evangelical gospel rap artist of all time, or do the other thing. Attack the box that he’s been placed in and delve deeper into the secular Hip Hop world eating dinner with the sinners before recording tracks with them. The mixtape Church Clothes 2 is the second in the series overseen by Don Cannon but feels a lot different to Church Clothes 1. We see Lecrae reflective on his position more so than ever and for the first time ever he shows signs of the burden of his celebrity status and the criticism and close up zoom on all of his actions. From the co-sign intro his testimony of self defence begins and the song “If I Die Tonight” has a feeling of escapism as the artist yearns to go somewhere where his decisions and mistakes aren’t held up under a spotlight and thrown in his face. It’s also the first time there’s been a mention of Lecrae passing on the torch and what would be left behind if this was his last ever album. He encourages those around him to keep pushing on unashamed without him and takes comfort on the signings to reach records he’s already made and that he’s looking to sign more. “Let it Whip” willing be the song that triggers the most moaning as it explores the car culture on Texas and features secular rapper Paul Wall who would have been a long shot to be featured on a gospel album, but then I guess Lecrae isn’t gospel. Can someone please mind a label for this genre we can agree on! While we’re on the topic though, the Hip Hop on this album is quite pure. It doesn’t feel like the album’s been made prettier than it needs to be so that it can be played on radio, it also doesn’t depend on RnB or Pop chorus’ to make songs hits. “Round of Applause, The Fever” and “I’m Turnt” stand up as hits and the Album art looks impressive too. It’s worth noting B.O.B’s version of Round of Applause doesn’t actually appear on the album, but really I’m tired of the argument about Lecrae and his actions. We all know Christians have a history of being hard on their Saints and men of God, if you don’t believe me ask Jesus. Listen to the album and make your own mind up. You can download it on Datpiff.com which maybe tells a story in itself.
Lion Track: The Fever
Best Feature: Papa San
Rating: 4 Crosses