Still with us? Good. Eshon Burgundy is one of those emcees who is blurring the lines between Bible thumping and hip-hop music. Building on Lecrae and Sho Baraka's strong work, "The Fear of God" is full of surprisingly strong production and rhymes that don't batter the listener with Old Testament until they admit that celebrating Christmas is the only time they consider themselves Christians.
Having heard countless tales of violence and sex throughout my years listening to hip-hop, I'm almost numb to rhymes from people raised through crime and poverty. Numb to the opposite end of the financial spectrum also; champagne-wasting parties and rap stars owning cars Jeremy Clarkson wishes he could drive daily. Both backgrounds are fascinating to average listeners, but are certainly well-tread paths that have become a part of hip-hop whether we like it or not. Rags to riches, rags to further rags, riches to rags (surprisingly rare) and of course, riches to further riches.
This album from Eshon Burgundy is the perfect example of how to make a hip-hop album with Christian values that sounds accessible AND street.
The song that caught my attention before approaching this album was the single "Higher Learning", which benefits from a fist-pumping production you could imagine Lil Wayne getting ign'ant over. There's even a sly dig at Wayne with the line "one day you made it rain, on a shorty huh? But he made it rain for forty days like a bottle of OE". Production is remarkably consistent throughout the album, thumping hard as it can on "Respect, Power and $" with beat drops becoming a key part of the instrumental. "Bloody Money" highlights the conflict between Eshon's two passions - his faith and his music.
This album reflects the adulation, thankfulness, and respect for God that the hundreds of rap albums have hinted at in the liner notes, and it is time more people chose to fear God rather than Christian hip-hop, especially when it's executed this well.
Originally posted: March 31, 2015