You know, I really appreciate when an artist isn’t afraid to say it as it is.  When I took this review, I’d not yet heard of Witness.  So I figured – hey, let’s see what this guy’s got!  It’s always a treat discovering new artists and getting to know them through their music.  I am always drawn in by the music first but anticipate the potential of an artist sharing their story and authenticity.  I was not disappointed with Witness’s album God Is Good.  Witness’s lyrics throughout the album tackle life, struggle, pain, victory, God’s greatness, and issues we don’t “normally” talk about to name a few.  I know one of us will relate to his messages and feel understood, comforted, and encouraged.

Who is Witness?  From Chicago, Witness was the oldest of four siblings.  His childhood was spent diving into music to keep him away from the drugs, gangs, and crime around him.  He dedicated his life over to Jesus Christ during his senior year of High School and then was given a scholarship to a North Central University (NCU) in Minnesota where he was able to hone his skills as an emcee.

Whenever Witness is not writing or recording music, he is home in Chicago where he is a Youth Leader at his father’s church.  When asked about the goal for his music career Witness says, “I don’t know if I am going to make a dollar from my music.  I don’t know if I will have as many fans as the next rapper.  I don’t know in what direction my career is going to take, but what I do know is that God is Good.  He has always been faithful, and He will never fail me!”

God Is Good starts with a similar beat in the first three songs.  They almost had an old school feel to them, which is fun and nostalgic.  However, I wasn’t immediately drawn into the album musically in these first three songs.  In fact, some of the beats felt “done before.”  On the other hand, the other beats were good and the production and overall sound was fantastic.  But what intrigued me was Soulja’s Cry and the lyrics of that song.  It’s some of the rawest, real, and in-your-face lyrics about struggles and sin that I’ve heard in a while.  Yet, it gives hope and a promise of redemption by the end of the track so as not to leave you feeling defeated.  I was so drawn into “Soulja’s Cry” lyrically, that I had to listen to it again to catch everything I thought I heard!

By the fourth track, “God Is Good Interlude,” I took an audio double take wondering if iTunes had switched to a different album on me.  All of the sudden, I’m hearing Don Moen singing “God Is Good.  All the Time.”  Obviously, the title of the album is “God Is Good and the apparent theme centers on this truth.  As a result, Witness does a unique cover of God Is Good and the album starts to take an impressive musical and lyrical journey that ranges from a slow R&B feel to a fun Latino flair.

Witness shares his story and it’s an incredibly honest and powerful look into who Witness is, where he’s been, and where he’s at today.  He’s authentic and transparent about what he’s gone through, including struggles, failures, and victories.  He attributes who he is today to Christ’s redeeming power and love.  This album is powerful lyrically.  Very powerful.  However, some of the songs are tough to get through.  While they are very real, honest, and powerful, they give a very intense look at life and how difficult and painful it can be at times.  Many of the songs feel very “heavy” at times, although the tracks do offer hope at the end of each song and my hope is that those listeners who have gone through these particular life struggles will be encouraged by Witness’s album.

Is the album worth getting?  I ALWAYS say yes unless the album is just in need of some serious work.  I love and support rap artists using their gifts for our Creator and sharing them and their stories with us.  With that said, absolutely, positively get God Is Good by Witness.  Even though I have to be critical in my review, I was blessed by the lyrics in this album, and I wouldn’t trade that.  They are worth hearing.  It’s a well-crafted and produced album that deserves attention and the opportunity to bless others.  Witness is obviously the real deal and God is using him greatly.  I might recommend playing the album in order and then ending with “God Is Good” after you’re finished as an uplifting reminder of the theme of the album and the fact that YES!  God IS Good!

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