I know that this review may seem out of pocket. But it has been in me for a while. We are going to look at Sean Slaughter’s Prototype album. I will say that this was quite an undertaking. The first major hurdle for me is that Sean Slaughter does a great job making everything excellently clear theologically. So trying to pull hidden gems out has been a challenge. Since I am a What in the Ham Sandwich?! podcast listener I know a lot of Sean’s thought patterns and mind sets. So I had to put a lot of my assumptions to the side and look closely at just the content of the album. So let’s get into the meat of it shall we?
The first song we are going to look at is “Trust In I AM.” Elohim and Yehovah are in the Genesis text but are established historically in terms of interaction after Moses’ burning bush encounter. But I AM is the only descriptive name God gives himself. The beginning of the song introduces us to the American pop vision of success. Sean has fans, nice clothes, awards, and status but it is all a delusional dream. The Ecclesiastical text of the Preacher indicating that all is vanity under the sun hits home. The pornographic effects of sin that are seen common to adults are seen to be corrupting children in the song. Proverbs says teach up a child in which way they should go. But the thing we rarely consider with that passage is that it works with destructive mindsets as well. What happens to a child who digests entertainment that celebrates murder, pimping, and drugs on the regular?
The strongest point of the second 16 bars is to reveal that before we give alms and charity overseas we need to think about our own local injustices. How can we say we love our neighbor who we have not seen and not show love to the neighbor we do see? In the end, to trust in I AM is the solution. The name use is a strong theological statement. That name of God implies whatever is needed, in full perfectness, God is it. The name I AM is God not just in being, but in action. It is a superb theological element when you look at the song as a whole.
The second song we will look at is the “It’s A Reynolds” hidden track. I know it sounds weird that I would focus on a hidden track but it has value because it directly attacks the commercialism-focused world we live in. This cut really hits to the core of the secular hip hop scene for the pure fact at the beginning of the track, Sean is blasting off and encounters this silliness of Flow-zone indicating that he is separate from it. He is not just a peculiar person to the culture, but a literal alien. Sean abides by the text of 1 Peter 1:13-16.
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Remember Holy means to be “set apart unto God.” That is displayed by the literal space depicted in the song. When Sean lands on this world he sees the dysfunction. His journey directs him to the leadership of this foreign world. To do so he has to put on the clothes of the people. His line about the attire looking like a “hoochie” is priceless. Sean clearly points out that all the style in this world doesn’t make one “clean” and the lack of vision of what matters is apparent. This is one of the songs I had to play about ten times to get the most out of it.
The last song we are going to look at is “The Light.” Pure and simple, Sean summarizes the Gospels in 16 bars. That is a great achievement. The progression to his personal reality and experience with Christ is great. You see a direct and personal reaction to the gospel in these verses. I do have to laugh about the line in the song about “turkey bacon” on two fronts. The first is that it is a Kosher food. The second is that he is Mr. Ham Sandwich. It is a simple song with the basics of who Jesus is.
I will tell you that this is a very rich album that touches on a lot of Biblical elements. You see high concepts in practice and accessible theological rhyme work. Check out Sean Slaughters’ “What In The Ham Sandwich?!” show and pick up Prototype if you haven’t already. It is a real blessing. Next time I hope to bring you something above par. Hopefully I have it out before we start talking about Pilgrims and Puritans.