Ever since I listened to Trip Lee's guest spot on Lecrae's "Jesus Muzik," I knew I'd heard a new entity to be reckoned with in the future of Christian rap. Little did I know that Trip had already released a solo effort titled If They Only Knew. So, 20/20 is actually the second full-length release from the Dallas-born, Philly-turned rapper and it is a very strong release indeed.
The album starts off with the ever present "Intro" that can be found on any given rap release. To my delight, the track is filled with godly lyrics, tight beats, and a bright hope of what is to come. "Superstar (Eyes Off Me)" follows, which is a song about not idolizing famous people (Trip Lee includes himself in that category), but looking to Christ instead. With lyrics like "Most cats just can't fathom that, that I don't want the spotlight. It's not right, I'm not tight, I rep Him when I rock mics. So don't be looking at me, you see me just look on past me. I'm nothing special, just a vessel, service makes me happy" coming through some seriously good production, it's easily one of the best tracks on the album. Those sweet beats and solid lyrics just keep getting better as you continue to listen. Songs like "Who Is Like Him," "We Told 'Em," and "Behold The Spirit" all follow suit and bring together a strong message for today's generation.
Lately, I've been coming across a lot of hip-hop albums that try to blend a classic rap sound with some smooth R&B. Unfortunately, most artists seem to fall short with this mix, but Trip Lee pulls it together perfectly on 20/20. "Who He Is" showcases the smooth vocals of Cam as a backdrop to Lecrae and Trip Lee's verses, "Eyes Open" delivers JR's vocals, while "Cling To You" tells the listener about what to do when life gets too hard to handle. Trip Lee also hits on some specific spiritual themes on 20/20. "Real Vision" gives the idea of seeing God for who He is and trying to know Him better. "Satisfaction (Hedonist)" speaks on getting our pleasure in life from God alone, while "Inexhaustible" describes the complexity of God and how hard it is for us to even catch a glimpse of who He actually is.
With tracks like "Come Close" and "Hip-Hop" concluding this album, one can't really love hip-hop and not love 20/20. It delivers a strong positive message to the listener while sending home some seriously good hip-hop. The beats are tops, the guest appearances are great, and the solid Biblical front makes it feel like you're sitting in church on Sunday morning. While our focus should always be on Christ, 20/20 makes our listening ears more in tune to doing just that.- Review date: 12/1/08, written by Kevin Hoskins of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Reach Records
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