A couple of months ago, Jam The Hype acquired DaSouth.com, making it the largest and broadest media platform in Christian hip-hop. It is best known for its #1 syndicated radio show, Jam the Hype LIVE with Chris Chicago, which airs on over 40 FM stations and reaches thousands of listeners weekly. Since the merger, Jam the Hype has shifted from being mostly music based to being a Christian lifestyle based website that has videos, devotionals, movie & TV reviews, spoken word, sports, and much more. With that being said, Jam the Hype is trying to impact the culture in a big way, and being the first Christian lifestyle website to release its own compilation album is one of many ways it’s doing just that! Jam the Hype: Volume 1: Life Turned Up compiles some of the best emcees and vocalists in Christian hip-hop and places them on one album.
This compilation does a great job of keeping in the theme of Life Turned Up, as most of the songs keep in with the theme of life and life issues. The production of the album is solid throughout as every artist offers different styles and present the message in their own fashion. Here are just some thoughts of a few tracks on the compilation:
FLAME – “Don’t Go Back”
FLAME warns against the ills of going back to sin and turning away from Christ over dirty south synths and drums with a syrupy style hook. The Clearsight Music CEO always does a great job of being evangelical in his message while still maintaining his lyrical prowess. “I see you stressing over them kids/ errbody got nerves, and they getting on yours you better keep your mind on that word/ I know it’s frustrating, irritating, trying to throw you off track/ just maintain, don’t snap, too far to turn back/.” While many artists in our genre are on the mission to reach non-believers, this song is a clear reminder that current believers need to be encouraged in our walk as well.
SPEC – “Make Em Think I’m Bad”
The Clearsight Music producer offers a creative song that goes in on the issue of Christian rappers doing collaborations with well-known secular rappers. The song is concept based as he raps from the perspective of the Christian rapper trying to blow up and from the perspective of the secular rapper that features on their song. On the first verse he raps from the perspective of Rick Ross: “I be selling them drugs, I be whipping them cars/ so who better than me to come and give you the nod/ I spit on your track, people will think that your mean/ but it won’t be a sin, cuz ill keep this one clean/ they all fans of me, now they’ll be fans of you/ they should be fans of Christ, but we can skip that dude/.” This song is very creative and humorous, but I cannot help but wonder if this song is talking about a certain Christian rapper who has rumored collaborations with mainstream rappers on an upcoming mixtape…
SICILY – “Bully Central”
In the past year, there has been a lot of headline coverage on the issue of bullying as many victims of bullying and hazing have tragically taken their life. One of the most talented female emcees in the genre, Sicily, tackles this issue head on, as she has been open in her experience with this issue. This song tells a story of two kids, one who has a speech impediment, and one who is overweight. “She was overweight and the kids at school would just spark jokes/ she runs to the bathroom and force her fingers down her throat/ trying to cope with herself hugging on a toilet bowl/ now she’s grown and it affected her more than you’ll ever know/.” This song does a great job of shedding light on this issue and is one of my favorites on this album.
V. ROSE – “Stickup”
V. Rose is one of my favorite worship artists; her contribution to this compilation gives it a great change of pace and diversity. It has a pop/worship mix to it and its message is simple, to worship and reach your hands up high like it’s a stick up.
Overall, this very good album features some talented artists. The beats, production, and lyrics are on point. Out of the 20 songs, there are about 3 songs that I wasn’t really feeling, but for the most part, this is a must have to add to your collection. The album has down south, east coast, west coast, worship, and neo soul songs that are sure to reach everyone, regardless of what style you prefer.