Bar Exam: C-Micah – Reverence (Album)
A One Listen Album Review
I remember when C-Micah dropped “Mic’d Up.” It was back in the days of myspace, and when I reached out to him to tell him how much I dug his music, he responded and asked me if I’d ever want to sing hooks for him. Nothing ever came of that, but fast-forward 15 years and I’m anticipating the first listen of his newest project “Reverence.” The artwork includes a head shot of C-Micah appearing to be looking up, behind this portrait is a city scape. It’s a good depiction of the business around you, but also the challenge to continue to look up and beyond what we see in the temporal. I’m excited for my first listen today. Let’s jump in.
The first track is called “Ready” and talks about Jesus coming back. References to Revelations 13. C-Micah is talking about rocking the boat and pleading with Christians to not be silent about what they believe. The beat is nice and the sample used works well with the concept. This is an above the bar opening track.
Living Good is the second track, featuring Roy Tosh. There’s an interesting instrumental here. Synthetic saxophones at the top of the song. The music progresses though, as does the production on C-Micah’s voice. Roy Tosh jumps on a verse and exudes confidence and swagger all over it. The more this song is played the more I like the music. It’s intricate, and really busy but it grew on me.
Moving on, we’ve got “Cast Party” featuring Lil Thee. C-Micah issues a challenge in this song to let go of those things that grab hold of your life. The goal is to “cast” these things on the Lord. I’ve never heard Lil Thee before, but his flow isn’t bad. The concept of this track is a little too on the nose for me. The play on words for a “cast party” wasn’t as thoughtful as it could have been, but sonically it’s an alright track.
Copycat Feat. Aleon, Yung Titan, Jon Jefferson – “Stay super long like a salt mine/I’m on my romans 5 like it’s a hot rhyme/Convicting words that’ll snap you back like a cracked spine… once was blind but now I see though.. on my Tebow” This song is about imitating Christ with your life. All of it is terrific with top notch production, above the bar flows, and a catchy hook. I’ll be revisiting this one.
U Mad Or Nah is heavily club influenced. Doesn’t seem to fit with the feel of what I’ve heard so far. I’ve lost some energy here.
Reverence – “Grippin wood like Donatello”… I am here for the Ninja Turtles rhymes. On this song there’s a hook that’s said, then the same thing is sung. I thought that was maybe a little overkill. I thought it was good without singing it. The features throughout this project so far are all above the bar. C-Micah has a great crew of rappers to pull from it seems.
A Little Kick Start
Far As I Can See Feat. Rob Redeemed – The quintessential southern track here. It’s a laid back instrumental of organs and horn samples, with a dope bass line. “Far as I can see there ain’t no other God this good.” We were flying up above the bar until we hit this verse from Rob Redeemed. It took a couple of bars before he took off. It was like Rob needed a kick start. The first line was just a little clunky for me, “God is so good to me I give Him worship” is an okay line to say, it was just the pause in the middle that may have been unnecessary. Regardless of that, this track is Above The Bar.
One thing throughout this project is the inherent Gospel message. There’s no one like our God, so “We Lift Him High.” (WLHH) Brinson comes in on this one asking questions about why Jesus has been removed from raps, noticing that we lose power when we exclude the Gospel from what we do.
The next track is entitled “Count On Me,” describing how Jesus promises He will never leave. C-Micah is great at switching up flows from track to track. He knows how to match what he articulates with a beat. This beat has a few different layers to it. The verses lay some staccato strings out with some big bass, and the music behind the sampled hook feels like it’s gonna bust out, but it never really does. It’s not predictable which is good, and it stays laid back, but I might be losing some energy again in this spot.
Blazing The Tracks
“Remnant” starts out sounding like a freestyle beat with a little boom bap and heavy chords. “Staying rooted in the word and abstaining from strife.” I feel like there’s some overtones on each of these tracks where C-Micah has a bone to pick with how the CHH culture is rollin. Regardless, he’s intentional about saying how he won’t water down the truth or remove Christ from what he does. The genre goes left, but he stays right, focusing on saving lost souls. An “under 5k” artist for newh2o, Read B. verses bats cleanup on this track and blazes it up.
I Swear I’m Good Feat. Rachael Elizabeth sounds like we’re going to church. The piano chords paired with Rachael’s melody before the beat comes in is great. This song is about remaining persistent and maintaining faith in a difficult world. The world is full of people who don’t understand and would rather hate. C-Micah stays on point and implores us to fulfill the great commission.
We close out the project with “TGSET” Feat. Anthony Meyer, Noelle Jones. C-Micah starts out here storytelling about the fall of man, moving into some buttery vocals on this hook. Those vocals seem a bit too tucked back in the mix for me. Second verse tells the story of the passion of Christ. The greatest story ever told – Jesus Christ forever reigns.
In my mind, C-Micah is heavily under appreciated. His lyrical content, flows, production is all above the bar. Through the years he’s been able to surround himself with top-notch artistry and bring other less known artists along. He’s always an enjoyable listen, and is intentional about staying Gospel-centric in his music. “Reverence” is no different. He brought us a solid album from top to bottom here. While there’s nothing that is super flashy and awe-inspiring here, there’s also nothing that’s done badly.
Overall Rating: At The Bar