Album review - Heads Up by Jahaziel
Jahaziel, the UK based Christian rapper, has been keeping the individuals who love his music in suspense. Clearly committed to producing quality sounds garnished with truth, we have had to be patient with the artist, eagerly anticipating what he would share next.
From the rapper's 2008 gospel hip-hop album "Ready to Live", to the release of his single "Broken" and "The Still Livin' Mixtape" in 2011, the time has finally come two years later, with the release of his new album "Heads Up".
True lovers of Jahaziel's previous projects will have a great appreciation for this album, taking note of the artists consistency in style and content. He has incorporated similar sounds, drawing on genres such as grime and heavy hip hop beats. An element of Jahaziel's music, which I believe is to be commended, is the way in which he brings in sounds from the Caribbean context, a trait which can be seen in songs such as "I said yeah" (featuring Ram 1) and "Hold On" (featuring Dwayne Tryumf and Chordroy), which both have elements of reggae and dance hall.
From the debut album, we can see that the rapper has clearly evolved and grown as an individual, while maintaining his openness and beautifully displaying God as Father, a God who lavishes grace and mercy upon the repentant heart.
Songs such as "Better" (featuring Donielle Rodwell), "I said yeah" (feat Ram 1) and "Falling Stars" (featuring TJ Pompeo Michelle John), demonstrate this perfectly, imploring the listener to dwell on the joy which is to be found in salvation through Christ.
The listener is introduced to an array of gospel artists who make a beautiful addition to the album. These include the likes of UK Christian rappers Guvna B, A-Star, S.O. and Dwayne Tryumf, as well as artists from the USA such as Christon Gray who featured on the track "Numbers Game", which addresses the inner battle of being validated by men within ministry.
One thing Jahaziel has maintained as an artist is the truth of his state - a sinner saved by grace. This has continually come through his music from songs of old such as "Broken" to the new material featured on this album. Jahaziel has been open in addressing his weakness and has captured the attention of his audience by his continual reference to the strength and might of Almighty God in His ability to alter the desires and heart of a man.
We, as the listeners, are refreshed by the following reminder: that God is abundant in mercy, a truth which is echoed throughout scripture and can be seen in chapters such as Psalm 103 and is a strong theme in this project.
The album is to be found on iTunes and is most definitely a great treat for those who enjoy UK rap, are fans of Jahaziel's previous productions, and have a high regard for artists who beautifully display transparency, honesty and vulnerability.