Trap music is everywhere. Even if you're unfamiliar with the term, you've no doubt at least heard the music itself. All it takes is spending some time watching funny videos on Facebook or Vine (RIP), and you'll surely come across it. It's an easy genre in which to write songs, so it's being done to death. It's also one of the lowest forms of rap music, which makes it all the more puzzling that Lecrae of all people would release a full album's worth of trap music. But teaming up with producer Zaytoven, that's exactly what he did on his latest release, Let the Trap Say Amen.
Looking back through his discography, Lecrae has certainly had songs that had trap influence, which makes sense, considering that Lecrae has said that he has always had a soft spot for it. But those songs have always been done in a more artistic way without going full trap. Let the Trap Say Amen is just thirteen tracks that mostly sound the same and that use all the tropes of every other trap song. The same flows, the same robotic, auto-tuned vocals, the producer putting his watermark on every track (literally every track, in case we forgot who produced it or whose name is on the album cover). There are also plenty of miscellaneous vocal sounds, like "yeesh," "woo," and "skrrt," accompanied by a host of artists well-known in the genre, including the nearly unintelligible Waka Flocka Flame. Even a lot of the lyrics are similar, though the drugs, sex, and money lyrics are flipped around and presented as a waste of time, because after all, it is Lecrae, and the Gospel is still his first priority.
Now, in all fairness, there are some positive things to say about this album. For starters, the entire reason this album exists is because Lecrae's intent was to explicitly make a trap album. And with the influence that he has in the mainstream at the moment, making an album of this nature, in a genre that is, quite honestly, a language of the current culture, is a really good method of reaching out to people who need to know that Jesus is real and that He can save anyone willing to accept salvation. So Lecrae accomplishes what he set out to do here, and for that, he deserves some credit. On top of that, despite the fact that trap is not very demanding as far as rapping ability is concerned, Lecrae does find opportunities to flow a little. It isn't often, but his verses in "Get Back Right" are better than I expected. And of course, he presents the Gospel in a way that's accessible but still tells the truth about the destructiveness of a sinful lifestyle.
Last year, we saw Lecrae finally take his first official step into the mainstream with his first album on Columbia Records. Let the Trap Say Amen may not be a strong album in an artistic sense, but it's a strategic next step for him. Your take on this album will obviously depend very heavily on your tolerance level for trap music; if you detest the genre, you won't make it far into this before giving up. Otherwise, you might find yourself getting some enjoyment out of it.- Review date: 6/24/18, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Reach Records
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