After a five-year hiatus, and released on the day of the Feast of Trumpets, Hazakim comes with a long awaited new project titled Son Of Man that reminds believers and whoever else listens of the return of Jesus. The phrase ‘Son of Man’ refers to Jesus and has heavy divine significance, making this a timely subject. A lot has happened since their last release of Theophanies, including a scary life and death medical situation with Tony, one half of the duo. Thankfully, by God’s grace, things have worked out and they have come with a very strong offering!
The album starts with “Kingdom Come,” which features J. Williams in the chorus, and it gets right into the whole purpose of the album. This was the single that came out, which along with it, Hazakim and Lamp Mode put a hashtag campaign together called #yearn4HisReturn where videos were made of people speaking on waiting for Jesus to come again. When I first heard it, I was excited to hear new music from them, but it was also really encouraging and timely considering recent world events. The production, as you will see in the rest of this review, fit very well with them. If there’s anything I would have changed (it’s REALLY minor) is how J started off the chorus, because when he says, “Long to see His face” it sounds mumbled. I get the melodic effect, but it should’ve been clearer.
The next track continues the focus on His return, but as the title “The Other Side” suggests, it speaks of the side most don’t know, remember, or even want to care for. When it comes to waiting on Jesus to return, there is a very real hope in our hearts, but the other side to this is that the whole world will be judged by Him as well. God has ordained Jesus to be the judge of the living and the dead, and it’s not going to be a fun time; His reign will be fully manifested for all to see. The low chords in the beat fits with the feel of such a sobering topic, and it reminds us of who He is in the midst of everything that would make you think He won’t do what He has said.
The next song appeals to those who haven’t believed yet again, in the track “At The Door,” and with this track, I was in for a surprise with how Mike and Tony switched up the pitch and tempo of their flow! I loved the vibe, and how they stretched themselves as artists to rap in that way, yet it wasn’t forced or out of synch at all. It stuck out to me because Hazakim has a unique flow, which is amazing in itself considering how mainstream artists can influence artists in the CHH genre. This wasn’t the only track where they switched it up a bit. In “Strong Tower” featuring S.O., you could hear a little southern tempo in a section of Tony’s second verse (for those who don’t know the difference between the two, Tony is the one rapping with the more heavy tone).
A track that really stood out to me on this album was “Grace and Supplication,” which gave a powerful description of the similarities between the relationship of Abraham and Isaac and God the Father, and Jesus, the Son. There’s also mention of the relationship of Joseph and his brothers and compares to how Jesus was rejected by His own brethren (Israel) and as King He will return and Israel will repent (ref. Romans 10). Not only is the chorus in Hebrew, but you get to see what made their past album SO powerful. Theophanies dealt with the literal appearances of God throughout the Old Testament and how Christ was central to this, and on this track in Son Of Man, you see the foreshadowing through two very important people in the history of Israel and God’s plan. This song most clearly showed the strength of Hazakim’s ability to lay out a story, and with the kind of subject matter these Messianic Jewish brothers touch on, it’s so necessary to have it.
There’s a point in the song where Tony mentions Israel as it exists today and why God is still behind it, the lyrics go like this:
Jerusalem falls, the people are scattered, the Temple’s in ruins, and their dreams have been shattered/the ones that been grafted in are believin’ the chatter/”God is done with the natural branch, ain’t no need to regather”/they forget that He would scatter them for sin, but swore to restore them back from the four winds/but when He does, you ain’t so much as crackin the door hinge/so clearly if Israel is back, then it’s all Him/if He can use the pagan Romans to scattered ’em/then He can use secular Zionists to regather them.
The amount of depth that this song contains, and what it addresses is what makes me love Hazakim so much! In the “times of the Gentiles” that we are in, there’s such a necessary need to recognize what God has made known in the Scriptures through Jewish eyes. Often times as Christians, since we aren’t under the Law and the need to observe all of the festivals, we really lose sight of the depth of what God has communicated through those feasts, stories of men like Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Abraham and more. This is sad considering that God used Jewish men to write the whole Bible. There’s a reason why our faith is called the “Judeo-Christian” faith; they’re forever connected. When Jesus rose from the grave and met two disciples on the road, He opened up the Scriptures in the Old Testament and testified of Himself and how He was in the midst of it all. Hazakim has a gift of making things like that known in Hip-Hop, and the way I see the story of Joseph has tremendously been expanded because of it.
In an age of singles, and quick output, Son Of Man stands out for its cohesiveness, depth, sincerity, passion, originality, and truthfulness. They were able to experiment and stretch themselves with different flows and didn’t force anything or make it weird. The production was classic east coast yet relevantly present, and considering the resurgence of east coast production in the game, the timing is impeccable. You would think with a span of five years going by that it would be difficult to come strong, but like fine wine, the longer wait brought a higher valued product. Hazakim has never tried to be anyone else. They’ve always been themselves, and they’ve always worked on their craft, which anyone should appreciate. Jesus, the Son of Man, is coming back. As we yearn for His return, let us continue living our lives not on our time, but His time.