What I'm Listening to Now! Fedel - ‘Church Trap’, Sareem Poems - Black & Read All Over, RMG - Whole Team Winning, NF - The Search, NF - The Search, Sareem Poems - Black & Read All Over

Fedel -  ‘Church Trap’

Jam The Hype Jam the Hype

“Fedel is an artist who loves God, who loves people, and is here to bring hope.”

On August 22nd, Fedel released an EP called Church Trap. The Dallas, Texas artist considers it to be the best representation of his story, growing up both in the church and the trap. 

Though his father was a minister, Fedel explained that the dangerous neighborhood he grew up in made more sense than his home. “My home was so toxic.” His parents were constantly arguing and eventually split. Living in Memphis, Tennessee, known for having one of the highest murder rates in the nation, he was often facing the fear of violence.

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“It was scary at home and scary in the streets. It wore on me a lot over time.”

He describes his upbringing as confusing and depressing, “but on the flip side, it was a lot of lessons I couldn’t learn any other way.” Fedel says that by God’s grace, he was able to make it out and do so with hope. “My heart for people came out of the turmoil and tension of growing up between those two worlds.”

With the EP, he explains the trap to not only be a part of town but any dark place a person may find themselves in. He wants to counter that with the hope of Jesus Christ and the Church. Church Trap was produced in conjunction with D-Hood, except for one song that was produced by JuiceBangers.

Six of Church Trap’s nine songs have been released as singles since December 2018. Fedel decided that due to the songs’ common theme, he wanted to put them together and created three more to go with them. “I felt [like] all of the songs represented a similar hope that I wanted in my music.”

Church Trap’s introductory song, “Church Zoo,” was inspired by Fedel’s high energy concerts. The artist loved listening to energetic trap music growing up and considers it the greatest influence on his own style. He described the song as saying,

“I’mma turn the church into a zoo. It just means that everybody is gonna get crazy, mosh pit in the church. We’re going to go out of this church and be brave.”

When people come to his shows, he not only wants them to have fun but also to receive hope and seek to later share that with others. 

“In My Bag” comes from the term which Fedel explains expresses the thought that when a person is having a great day, “you say I’m in my bag today.” He wants the song to make listeners feel good and be confident in themselves.

Fedel’s song “Fear” is largely experienced by his youth. As a child, he suffered from nightmares and also was a victim of bullying throughout his years in school. “In life, you come across things that are scary, and that never ends.” Understanding that fear can be related to countless causes in individuals’ lives, he wants to use this song to uplift listeners. “My hope is that this can be a source of relief when anybody is in that space.”

Church Trap’s fifth song is “God Drip” and is meant to provide listeners with confidence, “knowing that God is in us, and God is for us.” Fedel’s confidence is inspired by his suffering. “For me, going through a really deep depression, things that were hard. I think that in the middle of your darkest times is when you’re the to hope.” He said that during his most difficult days, he was able to hang on to the Gospel message, explaining,

“I believe we should place our value in what God has done for us on the cross. I know for a fact that when you’re numb [and] callous, anxiety has you frozen, those are the times when you’re not thinking straight, and you need something to grab.” 

This post Fedel Gives us an Inside Look at His New EP, ‘Church Trap’ was seen first on Jam the Hype.

Black & Read All Over (Deluxe Edition) By Sareem Poems

Sareem Poems is not your typical rapper. While others in hip hop celebrate sinning, he raps about living righteously. You could almost call him a Christian rapper, given that he is Christian and a rapper, but that seems like too constraining a label, especially since "Christian rap" isn't exactly a quality cue. You could call him a conscious rapper, and that description fits better. However, he doesn't sound like a conscious rapper, or at least the mellow, bohemian variety. They all smoke pot, anyways. Sareem has a authoritative, commanding flow that is one part preacher, one part Chuck D., and one part Black Thought. It gives his rhyming a gravitas and a sense of anger. Even when he is rapping about love or other positive things, he still sounds slightly ticked off.

He's gone by Sharlock Poems performing with the LA Symphony (the rap group, not the orchestra group), and he released an album as Poems in 2008 on the Hip Hop Is Music label. "Black and Read All Over" originally came out in July of 2009, but it is being rereleased as a digital "Deluxe Addition" with instrumental versions of the songs and a handful of remixes.

Poems is a passionate, fierce rapper. He raps about things that are important to him, and does it in a commanding, uncompromising style. While he does sometimes show a lighter side, he doesn't really crack jokes, and he doesn't mess around. There's a trade off with this. One one hand, it's nice to hear a rapper addressing serious issues and taking a strong moral stance. However, Sareem sometimes comes off like a stern father upset with his son for hanging out with the wrong crowd. Just as your dad had reason for hating your stoner buddies, Poems has reason to be upset with a lot of things in his community. Still, there are times on the album when Sareem's raps feel uncomfortably like lectures. And this from someone who doesn't smoke pot and is generally in line with Poems' opinions. His style is equally unrelenting, and begins to feel limited in the course of the fourteen tracks.

Most of the production is handled by Theory Hazit, who offers vibrant beats that jump out of the speakers. Hazit is clearly not a fan of the "less is more" philosophy, and crams sounds together. "Come Get It," mixes ringing bells, a spaghetti western whistle, and a chugging beat; "Hard Labor" layers wailing ograns over booming drums with some background noise for good measure;  and "Shake It Up" works a loop for all it's worth. Done well, Hazit's beats are energized, exciting, and loud. Hazit can also veer into noisy and cacophonous, and he doesn't always find harmony in the different samples and sounds he mashes together.

Hazit's work is contrasted with a few tracks produced by Oddisee, the D.C. beatsmith who worked on this year's excellent Diamond District album. Oddisee's beats are more soulful and restrained than Hazit's, and he demonstrates the value of a few carefully placed samples on "She's So So." His tracks provide a nice foil to Hazit's beats, and showcase why Oddisee is one of the best producers of the year.

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RMG - Whole Team Winning Featuring Derek Minor, Canon, Byron Juane, & Tony Tillman

Whole Team Winning by Derek Minor and his label mates at Reflection Music Group, includes 12 anthemic, team-oriented hip-hop/trap songs perfect for sports placements. After the success of Derek's previous album Going Up, clients from the NBA, NFL, and NCAA requested an album that focused on themes like teamwork, training, and domination, specifically for their summer training camps. Tracks like "Who Gon Stop Us", and "Get Out The Way" are perfect examples of fulfilling that need. Lyrics focused on words like "we", "us", and "team" give this album its unique place in the sports world.

Source: RMG


NF - The Search

Over the past few years, Michigan rapper NF has achieved an unprecedented degree of success in both the Christian and mainstream markets. His third (record label) LP, Perception, ended up charting at #1, going on to receive RIAA Platinum certification. Despite the album’s financial success, it was difficult to argue that most of its material was little more than a rehashing of prior albums. One of the underlying issues has been the fact that NF has released his albums in a rapid, yearly succession, offering less time for developing new content, personal growth, and fresh topics. This time around, thankfully, NF has chosen to wait nearly two years before releasing his newest album, The Search.

Stream The Album Here!

This has indeed given the rapper some breathing room, but this improvement is partially undermined by the sheer amount of content. Coming in at a bulging 76 minutes, the 20-track album is a gargantuan beast. The fact that The Search doesn’t open with “Intro IV” signals that NF is preparing to head in a slightly different direction. Rather, he opens with the exceedingly reflective title track (and first single), “The Search.” This piece, along with the lion’s share of the album, brings a stripped-down atmosphere, à la Dr. Dre, with lyrics offering an inner-monologue regarding NF’s recent successes and struggles: “The sales can rise / doesn't mean much though when your health declines / see, we've all got somethin' that we've trapped inside / that we try to suffocate, you know, hoping it dies.

Gone is much (though certainly not all) of the braggadocious lyricism and anger which once permeated nearly every single NF track. In their place is a slower, more thoughtful pacing, with a healthy addition of reflection and humility. This helps smooth out the album, preventing The Searchfrom acting as a codename for “Mansion 4.” This also represents a lot of growth for the rapper, seeing him move past his imitation of KJ-52 and other similar artists. “Leave Me Alone” contains some smart pop-culture references (see: IT), and the par-for-the-course push against the critics and marketers (“I hate when they debate if we're underrated / we're so overlooked that they're lookin' over our numbers, Nathan”).

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Here are the best five songs off The Search

5. “Like This”

NF is the master of mixing eerie instrumentation and classic trap drums with heartbreaking lyrics, and “Like This” doesn’t hold back from that at all. There’s no rising action to the profound lyricism, either—it starts with immense emotion and stays that way until the end. In the first verse, NF hits listeners with the pitiful, relatable line, “I feel more together when I am a mess.” NF is reflecting on his relationships, himself and how he can’t get over the past: “Why do I waste so much time on things that I can’t fix? / All these things I hold inside I just can’t forget / Thought that I could let this go.” It’s raw, intense and a reminder of how much power our minds can have over us.

4. “Nate”

“Nate” opens with signature NF strings and a recording of people singing “Happy Birthday” to a much younger NF. This track’s theme is revealed quickly: This is NF’s advice to his younger self on how to deal with every wretched event he’s about to encounter. Perhaps the most powerful lyric of the track comes early: “I guess the point of it would be to tell that little kid that he’s gon’ take a lotta hits.” The lyric is ambiguous: first, this lyric is literal in that NF was abused by his mom’s boyfriend and did endure several hits; second, NF experienced several metaphorical “hits” throughout his childhood, with all of the suffering he went through. In the outro, NF admits he thinks he grew up to be the person he tried to avoid: “Sometimes I feel like I’ve become what you were scared to be / Which makes it really hard to look at you with sympathy / ’Cause if I’m feeling bad for you, then I have to feel bad for me.” This track will inevitably give you chills, and it begs a rhetorical question: If you could, what advice would you give your younger self?

3. “Let Me Go”

The beginning of “Let Me Go” sounds like the music that signifies an epic cinematic battle is about to occur—and rightfully so. What follows is a fervent conversation between NF and his fears, as he is battling with his own mind and questioning if he’ll ever escape. He makes it clear he’s never felt hopeful: “I pray to God to ask if hope’s real / And if it is, then I was thinking maybe You could introduce us / We ain’t met still.” The lyrics only become more potent: “I’ll teach them a lesson, I pick up the weapon / Aim in your direction, shoot at my reflection / Shatter my perception, hate it when I’m desperate.” The emotions are evident all the way through, and that’s part of what makes NF so special.

2. “Leave Me Alone”

This track exemplifies why NF is the perfect rapper, because he can combine impassioned lyricism with intriguing instrumentation and absolutely absurd flow. The song’s meaning is straightforward, where NF is acknowledging his fame, and he doesn’t like it. He opens up even more about his mental health, disclosing he has OCD and how it affects even his simplest thoughts. One of the themes of the album is black balloons, which seem to represent the obstacles in his life: “Hold up my balloons and cover my face / I can feel them weighin’ on me every day / I should let ‘em go and watch ‘em float away / But I’m scared if I do, then I’ll be more afraid.” This track prompts listeners to realize that even when it seems people with fame have it all, that’s not always the case.

1. “Trauma”

Just when you thought NF couldn’t tug at your heartstrings any more, “Trauma” comes in and proves you wrong. Desolate, Adele-esque piano keys and strings help convey NF’s emotional state in this ballad—a form of song rarely seen in the rap industry. NF takes this track to admit he needs a special connection to help him survive, but he can’t find one: “Grab my hand; I’m drowning / I feel my heart pounding / Why haven’t you found me yet?” He goes on to say this connection isn’t helping him, but he needs it more than ever: “Scream and yell, but I feel speechless / Ask for help; you call it weakness / Lied and promised me my freedom.” The track is bound to make you fall in love with NF’s music if you hadn’t already, and it’s the best on The Search.

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NF - The Search

This is not 'The Night We Called It A Day' part two. Whereas their first album was superb, but had a melancholic atmosphere running through it, 'Unique.' is more musically aggressive, mature and diverse. Lyrically, staple hip-hop topics are balanced by more in-depth and passionate subjects, while the lesser MCs last time round have improved their styles tenfold. My highlights are "Axe To Grind", which can be described as a God-ordained, Braveheart-esque war cry for the hip-hop generation, the raucous "Mechanical Advantage", where the manic energy of the beat threatens to overwhelm, but is handled with skill by each MC, and the strangely endearing "They Say", featuring a campfire-style guitar-led track that could have easily been turned into a cheesy Carman/KJ-52-lite youth group friendly song in the wrong hands, but becomes one of the wittiest, tongue-in-cheek tracks on the album. 

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YP aka Young Paul Minute Vol.1’

"Give Me A Minute" is a mixtape I decided to put together for all my supporters who been rocking wit me. This is my token of appreciation! I took all my "Saturday BaRtoon" verses and turned into a mixtape. Hope y'all enjoy it! Real hip hop with a message!


P4MH (Pray For My Hood) "the Collection" 





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