Canon, as of late has, been pulling hype-man duty for CHH’s golden child, Lecrae, but in the midst of his service and discipleship he has been preparing his latest release Mad Haven.  I was eager to hear whether there would be growth or recession from his previous project, Loose Canon.  Canon is known for his machine gun delivery and charismatic flow and those attributes remain.  In addition to his energy, he brings a bit more vulnerability and creativity this time around.

Lyrics: “Walk With Me” tells of the comparison of walking in sinful flesh, a Godless country, and dangerous regions.  Canon mutters lyrics like “People get murdered, you’ll find bodies that float here/ cause the burner will turn a thoroughbred into toast here.”  On the title track, “Mad Haven,” Canon and SPZRKT give us the tour of his residence figuratively speaking.  Canon spits the opening line, “Welcome to my crib where I stay, it’s only a place where I lay/Where good is sabotaged and turned bad that’s Wale.”  These are only a few of many dope lines on Mad Haven.  Canon delivers consistent, impressive gems throughout.

Delivery: “Grow Up” shows off Canon’s vocal control, harmonies, and timing.  Tragic Hero sounds eerily similarly to Frank Ocean, nevertheless, he crushes the hook, making this one of the more stylish tracks on the album.

Production/Beats: Canon enlists some of CHH’s elite when it comes to beat making.  Most notably, Wit of Collision Records, and the winner of Flavor Fest 2013’s beat battle, Dirty Rice.  Canon also made beat contributions to Mad Haven as well.  In fact, he is responsible for “Mind Vomit,” one of the more impressive tracks on the album.

Concept/Arrangement: “Out of Tune” is layered with pop, rap, and a bridge that includes harmonized female vocals that musically enhance the moment.  “Out of Tune” explains that the world sees us as being disharmonious with them, but instead of tuning up, we take joy in living life off-key.

Originality/Creativity: “Full Plate” tackles the topic of stacking up biblical knowledge without life application.  In an era where there is division over whose doctrine is right or wrong, we rarely ask who’s actually walking out the doctrine they are so quick to fight over.  Canon relates it to someone having a full plate of food and still wanting more.

Mad Haven certainly has much more to offer than the songs mentioned in this review.  Though I’m sure Canon enjoys serving as a hype-man and supporting cast, I’m sure this project is going to propel him into the forefront very soon.  This project shows growth, confidence, and straight skill.  All the tools one needs to be successful in music and ministry.

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