Back in 2009, I was introduced to M.P.H. aka Man Praisin’ Hard and reviewed his album “Universal Disturbance” for Dasouth. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed with it, yet I saw glimmers of talent in the midst of my disappointment and hoped he would come a lot better the next time I heard him. Literally three years and a couple weeks later, I’m here reviewing a new project, (I’m sure he’s been doing stuff in between of course) a mixtape called “Critical Condition” hosted by DJ Touchscreen and many good things showed forth on this project.
The purpose of the mixtape illustrated a place where many people find themselves, on the edge between living for Christ and rejecting Him and he portrayed this on the mixtape. As a result, he starts off with his intro track and the chorus says, “I know God real, but He hatin’ on me” and as immature as this sounds, knowing the background allowed me not to toss away the track as something foolish. Then, near the end of the track, he’s speaking to a 911 operator of how he wants to commit suicide. The beat, produced by Dimes, was a great start-off to the mixtape; the only thing I would’ve changed is the amount of singing in the verses because it started to drag.
As it goes to the next track, I start to hear the things that disappointed me in my first review of his music, which is the boasting, and in the midst of all the growth I hear in this mixtape, this was a drawback for me and of course the track felt out of place to me. Once I got past that track though, I immediately found my favorite track from him as an artist period with the next one.
On “Blame It On The Devil”, DA produces a really nice East Coast track that MPH just rides so well to! This is a great topic to speak on as MPH speaks on it not always being the Devil being the issue, but ourselves and our sinfulness. He goes through the ways in which he preaches Christ to the block, and even how the Lord heals people where he goes to speak and pray for them. I loved the fact that he refers to the love of the Lord being the reason for the power being shown in healing. He touches on everything from how people believe the Bible is the white man’s plan for their slavery, which is still a heavy belief in the Black community and is something that needs to be dealt with, to how God will allow us to make our choices and think we know everything. The song focused on us taking account of what we do and how we cheat ourselves. The song gets through very clear which I was grateful for. Also, side note, the DJ sounds like Wade-O when he says “let’s be clear”, that had me laughing haha…let’s move on.
He continues his charge on preaching to the streets he goes too in the song “On The Block”, and while I would caution against the pride of feeling that no one else is ministering there, I feel his heart is definitely in a good place and God is using him as I can hear, and the charge to not forget these people is always a good reminder. The production by Yung Maj was a great template for what he was saying as well. There were some short tracks on here as well, and they did not disappoint. The next track, “For The Love Of”, has MPH just laying it out there on what he could’ve done if not for his relationship and love to Jesus. For some it may seem extra descriptive, but I didn’t feel that way, it was authentic yet not too overbearing and it was needed I feel.
Another highlight on this mixtape was the song “Love Me Tomorrow” produced by Flight Dreams, and the wisdom God has given MPH shows here in relationships. This is another short track, a little under two minutes; yet speaks on patience, examining yourself, and being worked on as an individual to be prepared. Sometimes the emotions of the moments give an idealized picture that overlooks the realities of everyday life that require everything I just mentioned, and if not led by the Lord you can end up tossed to and fro from person to person.
MPH really has a gift and it’s very easy to see, even with the last album I reviewed, he used his various talents despite me not liking it. The potential shows even more so than ever before and as he continues to do music and live in Christ, the things that used to matter in topics like boasting will more and more cease to be and I look forward to it. The production matched him well, even though the mixing could’ve been better, with certain songs being higher than others and even some of the beats sounding a bit compressed, but overall I believe it’s something that can be listened to and will bless on the majority of the tracks. If it wasn’t for the grace of God, our condition would’ve remained critical; may we be concerned with those struggling to live this life, there’s many temptations but Christ can bring us through.
Categorical Ratings Breakdown:
Beat Selection/Production: 3.5/5