Listen to the full mixtape below!
The last mixtape that I did a review on was JR’s- Murray Grammar and it received the coveted “5 Bottle Rating”. JR is an unconventional singer that has no problem stepping outside of the box which definitely adds to his star power and relevance in the world of Kingdom Music. It is somewhat ironic that my first review after taking a break goes to another artist who falls into the same category as JR I personally discovered Ron Riley when I heard him on Yaves song, “How Great Is Our God”. I knew there was something special about him then and after listening to his mixtape IC XC NI KA, my initial thoughts and feelings have been confirmed. Ron Riley is an amazing artist!
The project starts off with the song, Red Diamonds, Dark Rubies. Ron Riley definitely had me at hello. Production on this track is out of this world. It definitely breaks the mold of what “Christian Music” should sound like. Lyrically not many people can match the skills of Ron Riley. He perfectly masters the craft of metaphors on this track which leaves the listener tuning in to each and every word he sings.
The next track, Help Is On The Way definitely changes the mood after the previous somber track. While listening to this track it immediately had me tapping my foot and moving my head! It is a great reminder to us that no matter where we find ourselves there is help on the way! This song is definitely an encouragement to those who think they have no more hope. Ron Riley reminds us to hold on because help is on the way. This is a song to get you through the storm. Once again production is amazing and a perfect complement to Ron Riley’s infectious voice!
Ron Riley doesn’t miss a beat as he moves on to We Rocking! The song starts with slow strings and flute sounds that are inspired by the oriental culture. As the track progresses we are introduced to more sounds from the orient, 808’s, guitar and a pretty nice chorus of what sounds to me like “ninjas” saying HEY. (LOL. I’m a Kung Fu nerd). But the message is awesome on this one. This is a praise and worship song thanking God and giving Him all of us. This is one of my favorites and the kids will truly love this song! And did I mention Ron’s vocals on this track are bananas? Listen for yourself!
The next song Transform is pulled from Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Once again we are captivated by the sensational vocals of Ron Riley. But what is more special than his vocals is the message. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds which comes from our Father. This song will bring you to your knees in total surrender. Ron Lyles adds his vocals to this already great song and it compliments Ron Riley’s style perfectly. This is a great track!
Ron Riley continues to etch a masterpiece with King Of Hearts. He declares, “I’m taking a step, I want to be closer, I want to dwell in your presence forever!” This should be the desire of all of our hearts shouldn’t it? I love this song! It perfectly picks up where Transform left off. One he transforms our mind and hearts he becomes the king of our hearts. It’s a process that we all should embrace and never let go!
This track ends with the Ukulele Surround Me. This is a perfect way to end a perfect project. The message is clear. We need to be surround my Christ arms and He will never let us go! When we are in His arms we are safe! There’s not much left to say about this track other than it speaks volume to this project as a whole!
In closing I’m sure it’s not a surprise that this project warrants the coveted New H2O 5 Bottle Rating. Even though there are only 7 tracks Ron Riley proves that quality is far better than quality! This is a project that needs to be pushed. I challenge you all to share this with everyone you know. Congratulations to Ron Riley on the AMAZING mixtape! Can’t wait to hear more from you!
God Bless and Keep It Kingdom,