Mr. Del, the self proclaimed “God’s hip-hop apostle,” has dropped numerous albums in his duration as a Christian hip-hop artist. One thing that I respect about Mr. Del is that after he gave his life to Christ and left Three Six Mafia, he continued to do what worked for him. Three Six has a distinct rap style and chants that are common to Memphis rap music. Del didn’t try to change the formula; he has built his career using that same style, but incorporated it when he decided to go to Christian hip-hop. It has been about 2 ½ years since his album Tennman was released. On June 18,, he dropped a brand new project entitled Faithwalka. This album boasts 13 tracks with some notable features from artists such as Canton Jones, Heesun Lee, & D-MAUB. For this review, I will look at a few songs from this project.
Da Moneyc – The album opens up with some dark synths over drum and bass. Mr. Del analyzes the love of the money and how it destroys people. Del laments, “I’m bout my father’s business. I rep Him till I die. Put that on my unborn children, rappers chasing them millions. Got money to the ceiling, but tell me what would it profit if the devil’s going to milk em?” While I like this song, I feel like people who are not fans of Memphis style hip-hop may not feel it.
My God Remix feat, Andale, D-MAUB, Canton Jones, & Breev Easy – This is another down south crunk style song. The beat is comprised of strings, bells, and a sick bass line. I love the concept and the beat is real dope too. While I think that this is a dope record, D–MAUB definitely steals the show with his signature rapid-fire flow.
Addicted feat, Heesun Lee & Senoj – “Addicted” slows down the pace and takes a break from the hard down south crunk sound. The track has a neo soul feel to it and actually Mr. Del delivers some of his best lyrics. He laments, “My love used to be so basic. World like lust instead of giving I would take it. I guess for a while I was chasing but face it. But deep down love is what you make it.” Heesun Lee, an artist known for her lyricism, follows with a stellar verse, “It’s almost unexplainable, I can’t imagine it. To live a day without His love, I couldn’t handle it. The gospel is real, I’m more than just a fan of it. I’m firmly planted in His word, watch me stand in it.” I love the concept of being addicted and totally dependent on Christ and musically, I like that he switched up the tempo so it’s not just all crunk songs but takes some time to praise and exalt.
Grateful – Anyone who is familiar with Mr. Del’s music before he knew Christ knows that the Lord truly did an amazing work in his life. “Grateful” briefly chronicles his testimony and why he is grateful for what the Lord did in his life to save him. This is one of the standout songs and one of his most heartfelt. The soulful feel of the song and the production along with Mr. Del’s delivery put the listener into the heart and mindset of Mr. Del. I love the pain and raw emotion in his lyrics, “I never had no guidance. Streets got me swallowed up while I’m riding. Tell me why my momma cryin, and why my daddy gone and why I’m dying.”
While I feel this album had some great highlights, there were a few songs that I feel didn’t fit the overall concept and lacked some creativity. The songs “Sunglasses” and “Easter Fresh” came off as somewhat cheesy as they both were on the topic of being Christian and dressing fly and cool. On “Forcefield,” he raps on the topic of God being his forcefield. The beat was the cliché trap beat and the hook came off as cheesy again. There were a few songs that the mixing sounded a little off and I could hear some cracking and distortion. Overall, I feel like Faithwalka has some good songs, but there are some that miss the mark. With that being said the album is definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of dirty south hip-hop music.