Corey Paul hails from Houston where he is both a rapper and a ministry leader. He lived most of his life without God; his father was a drug addict and his mother separated from both his father and stepfather. Corey’s teen years involved mostly partying, girls, and drinking. He was told about Jesus when he was seventeen years old, and he would later accept Christ. Corey is now a church leader and states that his reason for rapping is to let everyone know what Jesus did for us. His debut album Grace Love Mercy focuses on the grace, love, and mercy we receive from God. The young rapper’s goal is “through the strength of Jesus…for us NOT to see convicts, strippers, or drug addicts as who they are but WHO’S they are.”
Corey opens the album with the title track “Grace Love Mercy (Intro).” He raps about his past and the importance of God’s grace, calling himself the “living proof” of the grace, love, and mercy that comes from the Lord. In the interlude “Exodus 20:13,” Corey remembers his grandfather reciting to him the verse from the Bible that says “Thou shall not kill.” It leads into “Black Hearse” which features Dre Murray. Corey and Dre use the powerful track to reflect on the fact that too many people die before they accept Christ. In the upbeat “Ridin Round My City,” Corey raps about his mission to share the gospel and lead people to truly know God, saying, “There’s a difference between knowing Him and knowing about Him.” “Chop It Up” features a similar message along with another strong beat.
“Picture Perfect” tells the story of a woman, who has been living in sin, whom Corey prays for. Corey raps that “It ain’t bout where you been / I don’t care where you’re from / Mistakes that been made or the damage that been done” because God still shows grace to us sinners. Corey again talks about salvation in the short, upbeat track “That’s a Trip,” saying his confession is the same as other sinners but that he is now saved. In “Young King/Queen,” Corey reminds us that we representatives of Christ. “You may be the first time someone sees Him in their life.” “Tears Roll” features Anthony Silas and fellow Frontline Movement artist Reconcile. It is a slower track about going through hard times and waiting for an answer from God. Reconcile joins Corey again in “Kinfolk,” an upbeat song that Corey uses to reach out to his kinfolk.
Following “Romans 1:28-32 (Interlude),” which features a speaker preaching on those verses, a piano intro leads into one of the highlights of the album. Thi’sl accompanies Corey in this track “Body in the Trunk” which focuses on sin and the change that occurs in one’s life when Jesus enters it. In the emotional song “What Do You See,” Corey raps that he sees himself when looking at other sinners, reminding us that God sees us all as sinners. He says this to get us to look at non-Christians in a different, less-condescending way. The album closes with “Stand” in which Corey raises more awareness for the non-Christians around us.
Through Grace Love Mercy, Corey Paul proves he has talent, and fans that loved his mixtape will be very satisfied with Corey’s debut album. He puts a lot of emotion into his voice (sometimes too much) and he chooses a good topic to rap about. Corey reminds us that we are all sinners, and that convicts, strippers, and drug addicts are also God’s creation. This should make us have greater compassion towards these people and want to join Corey in sharing the gospel with them. Yes, there are areas of the album that could be improved, but with his debut album, Corey lets us know that he has potential.
Categorical Ratings Breakdown:
Originality/Creativity: 3 out of 5
Lyrics: 4 out of 5
Delivery: 3 out of 5
Beat Selection/Production: 3 out of 5
Concept/Arrangement: 3 out of 5
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