Man Up is the exciting new project from Dallas, Texas area crew 116 Clique. Featuring some of today's top Christian MCs, this audio and video package includes the seven song album alongside the Man Up film, written and directed by Sho Baraka.
Good intent, Mixed results
This is hard for me to do, but I have to give this project an average review due to the fact that it is a CD-DVD set and I must review it in that respect. The CD is short, but has seven songs that touch on different moral aspects of life as it pertains to men being men (preferably, of God). The production is good, the songs well done (I like the 116 clique rapping together on the songs), and the message of men manning up is well needed. I particularly like the message about temptation; an exhorting song about a weakness men have, even those in Christ. I give the CD four stars, but the DVD falls short because it shows aspects of the seven song titles very realistically, yet doesn't do a good job of the redemption found in Christ. Yes, the teaching segments at the end of the DVD touch on it, but it's missing in the script. In fact, the very things warned about in the DVD are somewhat glamorized. There is drinking, sex, violence, and too many examples of being "street" and not enough gospel-centered correction from those engaging the main character. Yes, there are bible studies and Lecrae's character reps Christ, but no one truly has enough discernment in the film to see that the main character is blatantly faking the Christian life. I know the intent is to show the "realness" of the urban community and need for men to step up, but without the Gospel front and center, it's just promoting good morals and slapping God on top of it. I would've enjoyed a scene where this young man was given the Gospel clearly because his failure to man up had to do with the fact that he was not born again by the Spirit and that was missing in this film. It's worth a look, but it doesn't completely succeed at what it's trying to do.
February 24, 2012