The idea of Christian rap really only excites a core group of people, and even Christians can be leery of the genre. But Columbus, Ohio’s Taelor Gray isn’t a Christian rapper by genre, he’s a rapper who’s Christian. His latest full-length project, The Love Don’t Last Long, is a very Christian record—he’s a pastor, after all—but it’s accessible enough for listeners of all religious persuasions.

It’s not a very preachy body of work, Gray isn’t really trying to convert anyone. Although there are times where he speaks to those in need of help, offering Christ as a way to the light, it’s not overwhelmingly religious. He definitely gets a little arcane here and there, dropping Biblical names, particular sermons, and intramural debates that require some strong Google skills for the majority to understand. But it’s also populated with light-hearted pop culture like comic books, anime and Game Of Thrones references. Even a little weed is apparently okay with the Lord.

The project is mostly concerned with lyricism in the classic sense of dense, multi-syllabic rhymes where the verses reign supreme. In the world of Gray, an emphasis on hooks and genre-hopping are insincere ploys for mainstream success. The hookless “Keep Dreaming” is probably the most dogmatic in this respect. It’s a stream of consciousness, full of random one-liners, but he gets in some thoughtful bars, spitting, “All in my subconscious turning purpose into profits/ If you think I lost the gospel cuz I say I seek to prosper/ This the economic posture that prepares you for adoption.” There’s also a jab in there at Lil Uzi Vert, who he apparently blames for school shootings.

While it’s very clean and chaste with no sex talk or cursing, it also has a sense of fatalism; a theme that pervades his work. (See the chanting “This won’t last forever” on the track of the same name.) In one of the verses, he expands on it: “This the one I wrote when I was giving up the music/ This the one I wrote cuz I ain’t really built to do this/ Ain’t nobody left to still inspire me.” Read More Here