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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

After the Music Stops

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Aug
After the Music Stops
Sounds like … Da' T.R.U.T.H., Ambassador, Phanatik, Flame, and other representatives from the Cross Movement familyAt a glance … music and ministry continue to walk hand-in-hand on After the Music Stops, Lecrae's impressive second albumTrack Listing After the Music Stops Jesus Muzik (feat. Trip Lee) I Did It for You (feat. Diamone) The Truth Run Send Me It's Your World (feat. Redeemed Thought, Sho) Grateful (feat. J.R.) King Intro The King (feat. FLAME) Invisible (feat. Diamone) Get Low Prayin for You Nobody (feat. Cam) Death Story Unashamed (feat. Tedashii) El Shaddai Jump

In 2004, we said Lecrae's independent debut, Real Talk, was just as good as something from hip-hop veterans GRITS or The Cross Movement. Little did we know that shortly after that article ran, Lecrae was actually asked to become part of the latter's record label, which re-released his first album nationally. Not bad for someone who didn't find out about faith-based hip-hop till he was in college. And the first album he bought in the genre was Heaven's Mentality, by (you guessed it) the Cross Movement.

Lecrae has come full circle, and with After the Music Stops, he continues to make his benefactors proud. If Real Talk was a case study on how to combine hardcore hip-hop and ministry, this sophomore outing expands on that notion with an effort that's fiercer, better produced, and more outspoken about the gospel than ever. A good chunk of Christian hip-hop is afraid to mix party beats with bold expressions of faith, but Lecrae doesn't care.

The blazing "Run," for example, is a reggae-infused romp that would sound irresistible on the dance floor, but Lecrae uses it to make a statement about running the race and fulfilling God's commission. Then there's the self-explanatory "The Truth," a frenetic, fast-paced banger containing line after line about what it means to stand up for Christ. Every song is like that—an on-point beat merged with no-holds-barred declarations of devotion.

Some are less hard-hitting than others—the cooler-than-cool "Grateful," alongside label mate J.R., is one of the smoothest reflections of gratitude in hip-hop ever—but they all do justice to the fact that ministry-focused hip-hop needs not skimp on quality or production values to be effective. After the Music Stops is a more than apt communicator to youth thirsting for an alternative to the decadence that reigns supreme in mainstream rap.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.