Former Reach Records rapper, Sho Baraka, along with J.R., Swoope, and Suzy Rock, have formed a rap super group of sorts called High Society Collective. Hearing this group of people were banding together to release an album was extremely exciting, but they excitement quickly turned to disappointment before the album finished playing through even once.
The first track, which is spoken word, "This is High," explains what high living is by saying "...we create with a greater purpose. We live with a greater purpose and we use our funds and resources and our talents with a greater purpose. This is high." The second track, "One Moment," will have you looking at the album with serious promise, but the feeling doesn't last as the next track starts. "#High" is a song based off the opening track. As the song gets going, it starts to feel as if the group thinks they are better than the world; almost a sinful pride seeps through the words. Lyrics like, "Homie we, we live high, stay high, pass on anything that ain't fly," or "Yeah momma I'm so high; can't remember the last time I was this fly," seem to glorify self. The track goes on to talk about how good and "high" they are but never even hint at how you can become "high" like them. The only positive to be drawn from the track is that it proves Suzy Rock can bring it as a rapper and not just a vocalist as she is usually used.
The album goes downhill from here. "Mad About" crosses a line both politically and lyrically. The group make racial profiling and abuse of power from police seem like the norm and strongly push their views on immigration indicating that those who believe something should be done about illegal immigration are, "Ignorant, racial discriminants." They go on later to question capitalism as a national policy as they make other complaints on our "corrupt" government, including gas prices. On top of this anger, which has an extremely unrighteous feeling that nearly borders on hate, the group feel the need use the word "p*ss" on more than one occasion. As the song finally starts to take a better direction while they express their discontent for pedophiles and prostitution, it quickly takes another turn to questionable lyrics as Suzy Rock, from the view of a stripper, proclaims, "I give 'em heart in these bars, but they rather me get 'em hard, give 'em a little manaj."
Overall, the album features some decent beats and some good raps, as should be expected from this talented group of individuals, but the whole thing seems to be a bit hypocritical. "High" is supposed to be how they are above the things of the world, but it really almost feels like they are saying they are better than others are. As humans we are all scum; as Christians we are simply saved by grace but no better than any other person. They go on with a thinly veiled message of God that never really shines through what seems to be their own personal agendas. Then after saying they are so "high," they use some questionable lyrics that really have no place in Christian music. Perhaps this album could shed some light on Sho Baraka's departure from Reach Records and their ministry. I recommend passing on this one and waiting to spend your hard-earned money on the new Trip Lee record releasing in April.- Review date: 2/3/12, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Lions & Liars / Syntax
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