Derek Minor is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable rappers in the Christian hip hop industry. The artist has gone through some name changes, switched labels, and is now back to dropping tunes via Reflection Music Group. So with this, his eighth full-length release, most rap heads are stoked to see what Reflection has in store and to see if Minor can keep the standard that he has set for himself.
This album starts off with "Look At Me Now," a perfect beginning track. Its funky beats and focus on how great our God is sets the tone that Minor will speak on for the bulk of this album. Up next is your typical Derek Minor rap joint with gritty in-your-face words laid over hot beats, while "You Know It" follows and is easily going to become one of my favorite Minor tracks ever. The song is head-noddin goodness with lyrical gems such as "Reflect God, reflect greatness - that's the movement" and "Just remember who made it. Remember who hung every star in the sky." Later on, similar tracks will drive home this theme of reflecting God and His greatness with examples such as "Change the World" (featuring Hollyn) and "Greatness 2.0." In the former, the rapper challenges us to not let today slip by but to use it to impact the world now, and the latter finishes the album with another strong message that we were made for greatness.
Other standout tracks are "Until I'm Gone" (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid), which carries a nice old school hip hop flavor and beautifully speaks to the struggles of this life; "Believe It," where Minor actually samples a little Red Hot Chili Peppers to make the perfect track to bump in your car stereo; and "Judo," the perfect combination of clever and aggressive. Of course, there are a few small missteps along the way, but nothing really is omit-worthy on this release.
All in all, this is a very solid album that should be owned by all rap fans. It may not be as great as Dying to Live or Empire, but Reflection is still an excellent album. The focus and thought process is delivered in such a straightforward manner that Minor's point can't be missed. Do I wish there were a few more banging rap tunes? Sure, but this is still the kind of album that I'll be bumping for a long time to come.
- Review date: 10/19/16, written by Kevin Hoskins of Jesusfreakhideout.com