As requested, I just added the lyrics from my first cd, The Solus Christus Project (released in 2005) It's been interesting to notice how the passage of time has split my listeners into two camps: 1) Those who heard TSCP first and 2) those who heard The Atonement first. Interestingly, based on the feedback I've received, most people like the cd they heard first more than the other one. I guess that makes sense. You can never replace the feeling you get when something (or someone) strikes you for the first time. Also, the two projects have completely different feels, so I can understand being drawn more to one or the other. Sometimes, in order to understand a work, it's important to know the artist's intent. That may not necessarily mean that you will enjoy the work more, but it will at least give you some insight into the artistic choices that were made.
For many, TSCP was the first introduction to my ministry. At that point, I had done a few features and a song here and there on compilations. Lampmode was still new to alot of people. My dear brother timothy brindle had released The Great Awakening and we had also put out the Grassroots EP. I had some specific goals with TSCP.
1. I wanted to affirm and rejoice in the essential truths of the Christian faith, while continuing to establish and run in a unique lane for Christian Hip-hop at the time. What I mean by that is the combination of complex lyricism, explicit doctrinal teaching and production that had a jazzy, raw, underground feel reminiscent of my favorite era of hip-hop, the mid-nineties. I wanted to continue what dj essence, tim and I had begun with TGA.
2. I wanted to introduce people to the idea of lyrical theology. When I use that term, I'm speaking about lyrics that are either expositional or didactic (serving a teaching function) in nature. The goal of lyrical theology is to glorify God by communicating the truth of Scripture in a song, primarily for the building up of God's people. This is what we see happening in the Psalms. I did not (and do not) want to waste the potential that rap has as a medium to communicate large amounts of information in a relatively short amount of space. It's not that others hadn't already been doing that, but I wanted people to be able to easily identify it when they heard it, as well as distinguish it from other kinds of lyrics.
3. I wanted to glorify the Lord by expressing a wide range of emotions- joy (Solus Christus), intimacy in worship (My Portion), anguish over sin (Dark Night of the Soul), deep reflection (Heart First), etc. The album is intentionally broad in that sense. I didn't want to do a whole cd full of one type of song my first time around.
4. I wanted to expose our audience to the great truths of reformed theology- particularly what the Bible teaches about God's role and man's role in salvation.
Some have commented that TSCP is a more "fun" album and I agree. There are definitely "brighter colors" on TSCP than The Atonement. Part of this has to do with where I was in my walk at the time. Some of TSCP was written when I was still a relatively new believer, basking in the new found joy of my salvation. I think I was more care-free back then, in the sense that I hadn't walked with the Lord long enough to experience deep heart break, severe trials, and extreme brokenness over my sin- all of which transpired in profound ways between TSCP and The Atonement. The Cross became increasingly glorious to me as the Lord showed me more of His Holiness and my filthiness in light of His perfections. And I wanted more people to see these truths without being distracted by the production style or vocal delivery- which is why The Atonement has a darker, more sober sound to it musically and vocally.
The new album, Storiez, is a combination of the two cds, imo. If I had to say, I think it sounds closer to TSCP than The Atonement. It definitely has brighter colors and is probably more emotional than both of the former projects. The idea for Storiez came from the response to Angelz on TSCP. I got more comments from that song than any other. To this day, people still ask me about that song. Ironically, Angelz is probably the heaviest song doctrinally on TSCP. Yet it was received well, I think, because of the digestibility of the format- narrative. So I thought, "Why not do a whole cd of nothing but narratives?" 3 years later, voila! Storiez (spelled with a "z" to pay homage to the song that sparked the idea)
Ok. I've gone on long enough. Two blogs in one week? What in the world is going on?
grace and peace,