Rhema Soul’s fourth full-length album, Red, offers a wide range of genres, variety, and diversity speaking on everything from perspective to growth through struggle.
Favorites: Need an Answer, Off the Edge, and Stop the World from Spinning (feat. Shonlock).
Best Production: Red, No Walking Away, Need an Answer, and Stop the World from Spinning (feat. Shonlock).
1. Red (feat. This’l)
“Sound the alarm!” Rhema Soul gets the album started with their title track, Red. From start to finish, they share a message of a holy anger. They make it clear that, as Christians, we should not be okay or indifferent with the sin of this world. We exhibit righteous anger when what angers us and what angers God becomes one in the same. With the right attitude and motive, anger is a tool for righteousness. The key is that, if our outrage results in bringing others into a loving and restorative relationship with Christ, a deep, holy anger is extremely beneficial. We are called to share the Gospel with all, showing people their true worth. I absolutely love the This’l feature and the dynamic he brings to this track. All four artists spit well on this track and the production was high quality.
2. No Walking Away
Rhema Soul urges us to look at the big picture in No Walking Away. Perspective is the key theme of this track. They prompt us to keep fighting. There will be a day when we no longer have to go through the toils of this world (Revelation 21:4). Living with the end in mind helps us to put the present into proper perspective. As I listened to this track James 1:2-6 and Proverbs 18:2,10 came to mind. You never know who is watching how you react to opposition. You never know who’s life is being impacted because your faithfulness and obedience. As Rhema Soul transitions from the first track to this one, they show off their diversity and range as artists. Following Red with this track was a very good strategy.
Rhema Soul gets pretty aggressive in Danger. They are upfront in stating that different shouldn’t automatically be labeled in a negative light. People are oftentimes afraid of what they don’t understand. Rhema Soul is embracing their unique identities and talents on this track. It’s really difficult walking a fine line between strength/confidence and humbleness. There are many moments in this track that feel self-exalting, but honestly, I think that’s kind of the point. Let me be clear in explaining why. We know where our real power comes from. That is the only reason we can stand so confident in who we are and what we are capable of. By the power of Jesus Christ, we are dangerous. Rhema Soul, as should we, recognizes their identity and potential in Christ.
4. War (feat. BenJah)
War pushes us to seek the Answer to our problems. Today’s world is lined with a lot of sin and destruction to say the least. I love how K-Nuff starts off this song. It’s a beautiful picture representing that we are all in need of a Savior, in need to be rescued and elevated to a higher land. Juan Love continues on to state that all of us at one time were lost and none of us are too far gone for His life-changing grace and mercy to penetrate. “Where all my ladies at?!” Butta P is so needed in hip-hop today. Men simply cannot proclaim a message to the women like a woman can. Butta P spits a 16 that all women can relate to in some form, shape, or fashion. BenJah fits in well in this style of song and added a good feel to the chorus.
5. Need an Answer
Rhema Soul announces that they’re “all in” with Need an Answer. I really like this track. The members of Rhema Soul show a lot of transparency, honesty, and personal need in this song and, for that, I respect them. That’s not seen a whole lot in today’s culture. They show concern, uncertainty, and an overall need for clarity and answers. I was reminded of Mark 9:24. We do believe, but sometimes we need the Holy Spirit to help us in the areas of our lives where we struggle with unbelief and doubt. We must rely on Christ because there are so many pressures put on us. Butta P describes this by speaking on being an example and pushing others back to the Reason we are who we are. Need an Answer is one of my favorite tracks on this album. The production is on point and I love the overall sound and full-circle feel of the vocals in correlation to the music.
6. Off the Edge
Rhema Soul doesn’t have to sacrifice good hip hop just because they want to rock out. They show this talent off in Off the Edge. I could make a lot of comparisons to other artists because of this track, but it wouldn’t do Rhema Soul justice. One of the first things I noticed about this track is that there are a lot of small aspects of the song that make it really good. I thought they did an excellent job with background vocals on this track. I love the anthem feel they produce by singing the chants throughout the chorus. They also did an excellent job of balancing singing and rapping. Off the Edge is one of those songs that I just bobbed head to furiously with my scrunch face on. It made me want to take on the world. Leggo!
7. So Beautiful (feat. Jai)
We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). We are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). When’s the last time you looked in the mirror and reminded yourself of that? Rhema Soul and Jai remind us of our beauty in So Beautiful. Jai has grown a lot and she seems to be better every time I hear her on something new. Thank you Butta P for leading our young ladies and reminding us all of who we are and how God sees us (men, this is for you too). Again, I love the vocals at the end of the choruses. Rhema Soul did a good job at focusing on not neglecting the details of their tracks.
8. On My Way (feat. Ryan Stevenson)
Rhema Soul revisits the journey that is pushing through struggle with On My Way. They really left me wanting more of the same after the verses start with that steady snare. It’s obvious that Rhema Soul wanted to relay the message of endurance and growth through trials. While the message is always needed and can never get old, another track of such similarity wasn’t what I was looking for at this point on the album. I must say, Butta P pushed me through this song. Up until her verse, I wasn’t feeling this track as much as I had the previous ones. It’s not that she said anything drastically different from the theme of the song, but she’s just so good at what she does. Her lyricism and delivery kept me engaged and raised my intrigue in this track.
“Airybody jump around! Airybody jump around!” I celebrated within the first couple seconds of Celebration when I heard that Rhema Soul was transitioning back to hip hop for this track. This track was needed to change things up a bit. Butta P…enough said. Listen, if your first couple bars have a MJ reference in them, you’re already winning with me! But seriously, Butta P is fierce! K-Nuff seems to excel on more hip hop-oriented tracks. He has a nice sound to his delivery and persona. If you’re not careful, you can miss the message while listening to the rhythm K-Nuff spits to on this beat. He rallies the troops to community and you can’t spell community without “unity”. I love what he relays in saying that basically, yes, we are called to be great at what we do, but our accomplishments are not ours to own. The beat was dope. The lyrics were nice. And, while I don’t usually like hooks that repeat so much like this one did, it was fitting and worked well. Nice track. Now, one more time, “Airybody jump around!”
10. Break Out
Rhema Soul calls us to progress in Break Out. “Life is a process and I couldn’t agree more. With a lot of progress, there comes a lot of detours.” Dope lyric by K-Nuff. In life, we can’t be afraid of the process that requires patience. The key is not staying stagnant, but continuing to grow. K-Nuff continues to speak on not allowing sin to hold us back. We have to break out of those boxes of lies and condemnation that the enemy tries to trap us in. We have to move on and stop looking back.
11. Not Forgotten
Another reminder is issued to us with Not Forgotten. I thought Butta P worked well on this hook. The beat was nice too. I specifically liked the way it opened up in the beginning and then how it changed subtly in K-Nuff’s verse. The harmonizing of the different vocals at the end of the track was a cool touch. Not Forgotten reminded me of Psalm 139 and how intricately He knows us and thinks of us. We can never escape His presence. He has a well-crafted and intentional plan for our lives that holds true even in the moments where we feel forgotten and unused or even when it seems like God is using everyone else in amazing ways but not you. I enjoyed how Butta P split her verse up into more of a story. Sometimes it takes less effort to simply relate than to learn. Psalm 25:6-7 reads, “Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.” You are not forgotten!
12. Moment in Time
Moment in Time has a unique feel to it. The way the beat hits, I was almost hoping they’d just spit all the way through without a chorus. It’s one of those beats that an artist can really go in on. Juan Love opens up with tackling the issue that it takes a lot of hard work and grind to be successful at what you do. K-Nuff goes in on what he’s learned on this long road, his growth, and an encouragement to keep pushing. Butta P comes in with her usual energy and attitude. She’s phenomenal at bringing a fresh, different mood and delivery to each track. This track was personal. Each artist shared something a little different.
13. Stop the World from Spinning (feat. Shonlock)
Stop the World from Spinning is another favorite off this album. I was very interested when I saw that Shonlock was featured on this track and quite anxious to see how they would use him and what he would bring to the song. He was a perfect fit for this track. He absolutely killed this hook. Stop the World from Spinning exhibited Rhema Soul at their best. The way both Butta P and K-Nuff entered the song was smooth and fresh. Stop the Word from Spinning was also my favorite track for Juan Love. I thought his delivery and message in this track was his best of the album. Rhema Soul threw a sick little dubstep section in there with Shonlock and Butta P. The only complaint I have on this track is that I was totally waiting for Butta P to come back in on this track and complete it with a killer 16. But, that’s just personal opinion! This track was a great way to close out the album. Nice work!
Rhema Soul’s fourth full album, Red, shows off a wide range of style and music. I personally like how they arranged the tracks. The album went back and forth from hip hop to the rock/pop sound with a nice flow as to not get burnt out with one genre. The album had good features with my favorites being This’l on Red and Shonlock on Stop the World from Spinning. I really like the blend of different talents this group possesses. Every artist in this group brings something unique to the table. That was quite evident on this album. If I had to critique this album in any way, the only aspect I would bring up is that a few of the songs were very similar in message. However, this was probably not an error, but intentional on Rhema Soul’s part to contribute to the overall theme of the album. Rhema Soul’s Red is a really good album and they will only get better in the future. The future is quite bright. Let’s all join together in prayer for this group, that God continues to bless and use them for the Kingdom!