A PREMIERE WORTH GETTING IN LINE FOR
Theres something about party rap that scares Christian emcees. Im not sure if its the connotations of being a mainstream party rapperdebauchery, misogyny, egocentrism, et al.but the fact remains: there arent enough bona fide pop rappers in urban gospel circles.
Sensing the void, hip-hop veteran Todd Collins signed Soul P. to fledgling rap label Beatmart Recordings. Collins certainly knows a thing or two about party rapKJ-52, John Reuben and tobyMac all have ties to the man.
But what Soul P. attempts with The Premiere far outperforms any of the above practitioners. While other emcees treat pop-rap as a distraction to their
otherwise self-serious outputor are simply too suburban to pull it offthis Seattle-native makes it the foundation of his entire national debut.
Soul P. has a knack for getting downand getting down harda quality thats palpable from the first few seconds of blazing opener Im Here. The joint sounds like a Missy Elliott leftover from 2002, but its still a banger of the highest order.
The rhythmic streak continues through the majority of the set and is particularly noticeable in romps such as Step Clap, Im Grindin and Whoa Whoa! The beats are on-point, the beats-per-minute consistent and the hooks aplenty.
His flow is tough to compare. At times, the brother sounds like Kanye West (Goodness). At others, he boasts the nasal qualities of Chingy (Do My Thang) or the laziness of Fabolous (You Make Me). Whatever the style, hes confident at the microphone, tempering the levity of his tracks with well-worded ruminations on uncertainty (We Dont Know), the lure of riches (Money More) and following Gods lead (Do My Thang).
Its nothing super-profound, but eloquent enough to prepare the ground for the more introspective moments. They come late in the game, but Im the Street and Hold On paint the emcee in a new lightin these, he goes from loquacious party host to ominous street preacher, sounding in-command at either camp.
But those detours are the exception. The Premiere is, on the whole, a pop-rap album through and through, a rhythmic affair that isnt afraid to be lighthearted on the dance floor, while still keeping a straight face in its delivery.
ANDREE FARIAS- CCMMagazine.com