Propaganda & Odd Thomas 'Art Ambidextrous'
'Art Ambidextrous' is not for the faint of heart. This album dives in, rushing pass the surface immediately heading towards the deep things of faith and life. Propaganda is a mindless rap listener worst fear. He is an artist who makes music that pulls you in with style and then force feeds you substance. I hope you bring hungry stomachs for songs like "Inheritance." This is a song that paints an amazingly detailed portrait of a heart broken father battling for custody of his only child. You can almost here the protagonist pounding on the pavement as he pleas for God to not take away the most precious thing in his life. This song is a tear jerker to say the least. 'Art Ambidextrous' is not for the faint of heart. This album dives in, rushing pass the surface immediately heading towards the deep things of faith and life. Propaganda is a mindless rap listener worst fear. He is an artist who makes music that pulls you in with style and then force feeds you substance. I hope you bring hungry stomachs for songs like "Inheritance." This is a song that paints an amazingly detailed portrait of a heart broken father battling for custody of his only child. You can almost here the protagonist pounding on the pavement as he pleas for God to not take away the most precious thing in his life. This song is a tear jerker to say the least.
Since Humble Beast's formation in March 2010, the label has quickly established themselves as one of the go-to-sources for heart felt, cutting-edge music. 'Art Ambidextrous' is a continuation of this growing legacy. Propaganda and Odd Thomas purposely took the road last traveled while crafting this album. In the process they definitely added a building block to their legacy. Read More Here
Sometimes music is hard to listen to. The complexities of multiple layers of sound, overly charismatic vocals and wordiness can clutter an album to a point of self-destruction. Artists choosing this route are typically hiding something - insecurities, low convictions, boredom with their genre - the list is endless. And then there are songs that are overtly simple, hinging on the desires of a fanbase rather than what would hold the greater benefit. Listen to your radio for two minutes and you will see what I mean. With "Excellent", Propaganda delivers the middle ground, an album with a complex message yet easily accessible in terms of sound (courtesy entirely of Beautiful Eulogy). Diving from subjects of parenting to what it means to be a good husband, Propaganda expands his Christian telescopic lens to uncharted territories like the Puritan explorers he so rebukes on track number seven. Read More Here
Sonically, Crimson Cord gives the hardcore Prop fans exactly what they want; that classic Propaganda sound. Historically with Prop you’ll get the “boom bap” (or at least some hard drums), with a soft or more experimental melody. Crimson Cord is more of that. It’s a sound Prop fans are used to but it is the perfect sound for him. It is also the perfect production for this record because it never once steals the show. That is important with a message as eloquent and vital as the one Prop delivers. Though it didn’t steal the show, the production was still great. It supported Prop and gave a smooth backdrop for his message. A great message in a song is much easier to consume when the music is good.
Crimson Cord did have a traditional Propaganda feel to it, but that doesn’t mean that Prop did push himself musically. Tracks like the Lecrae assisted “Daywalkers” and “How Did We Get Here” that featured Andy Mineo and JGivens, provide the perfect change of pace for the album. Both tracks carry a more up tempo feel, which is a great contrast of the traditional Propaganda sound. Both tracks are well done and Prop maneuvered them well. These tracks show another side to Propaganda’s seemingly endless talent. It also gives Crimson Cord some much needed sonic depth and round’s off the record out perfectly. Read More Here
Propaganda's Crooked is a face-melting, hot-pot masterpiece of an album that weaves comedy, history, self-reflection and the Gospel in an exotic stew of beats and sounds that are mixed just right. With fellow Humble Beast artist Beautiful Eulogy in the producer's booth, Crooked simmers with lyrical and musical energy, and immediately rises to the top of the list for album of the year.
The epic, six-plus-minute title track mixes a history lesson on life as a minority throughout American history (including life as a Native American, Hispanic and African-American), and needs about thirty listens to capture all the references. But the best part of all the historical commentary is the balance that Propaganda brings in reflecting on his own fallen nature against the sad weight of history. Thankfully, the album ends the "commentary" narrative with the hopeful "Made Straight" that features a grace-centered answer to the wrongs of history, and features a truly haunting vocal refrain by songwriter Audrey Assad. On Crooked, Propaganda is equal parts compelling, hysterical (listen to "I Hate Cats" at least five times for a side-splitting and profound take on racism and stereotyping), and convicting, and there is enough lyrical and idea density on the album to fit in three other ones.
In the perilous present day, where believers are inundated with false ideologies and confusing and confounding political and social times, Crooked is a handbook for how to ask the hard questions of faith in humility. There is a lot to unpack on the album, and listeners should be prepared to google all the historical references that Propaganda throws down at a dizzying pace. But those who dig in will find their perspectives challenged and minds sharpened. Crooked is an album of such lyrical and thematic quality that it transcends both its genre of Hip Hop and music in general with its cerebral take on what being a "thinking" follower of Christ looks like in a 21st Century context. Read More Here
Out Of Knowhere
Hailing from the multi-member rap group Tunnelrats comes the debut album from a man otherwise known as Propaganda. Propaganda has got the signature Tunnelrats sound down pat, for example, "We Are" has a 40 second intro of the actual beat used for the song, before raps are laid down, which is a common thing for the Tunnelrat family.
The second track on his debut album, Out Of Knowhere, "Keep It Live," really sets the mood for the project. Using the piano in the back of the beat, and throwing a little electric guitar in the chorus, really makes for an enjoyable track. "My Life, My Music" has a Latin flavor, which works well, with the entire chorus spoken in Spanish. Macho of New Breed keeps the Tunnelrat flavor alive even more, with his spit-fire raps, thrown in right where they can work.
"Don't Let Us Lose It" talks about Propaganda wanting the rap game not to be lost in the shuffle of mainstream and Christian. He reminds us that hip hop was made to display skill, and how well you can rap. The track loosely reminds me of newcomer Manafest, with his track off his debut album Epiphany, "Skills," sans the rock elements.
Overall, this is a noteworthy addition to the Tunnelrat line of rap and hip lhop music. Read More Here
Listen Watch Focus
With thirteen bangers featuring a wide array of concepts, topics and time signatures, Propaganda s project truly lives up to its name. Propaganda brings to the table insight stemming from one of the most diverse backgrounds in music today. His experience as a Teacher in the inner city, a drug counselor, a Youth Pastor, a Visual Artist and a Dancer all lead to the creation one of the most well rounded, and relevant albums the world has seen in ages. Look for clever word play and powerful verses from Propaganda and others such as Dax, Poems, Zane, New Breed, and Tshaka One to name a few. In addition, expect hard-hitting beats produced by Tunnel Rat member Donovan Luke Henry. Tracks from STRO of The Procussions, CHOICE 37, Apakalyps, and Canada s own Motoe Blizid complete the project. Expect sounds ranging from soulful cruising music to neck breaking Hip-Hop that California is known for. This is an Album any real Hip- Hop fan must add to their collection. It is fun, insightful and truly inspirational. The world definitely should Listen, Watch and Focus on Propaganda and this album. Read More Here