This is not a gospel album as some would naturally associate with any music based on Christianity. It's rap being used as a channel to spread the gospel of Lecrae's faith. There's not an issue he doesn't touch here; violence, drugs, poverty and phony rappers are all included. A feature from BIG K.R.I.T. on "Mayday" shows he also isn't afraid to tip-toe in other areas of the rap world.
The BoomBox has an exclusive track-by-track breakdown of Gravity. Based on the warm reception to Church Clothes, this LP is set to stir the pot further in the realm of both of hip-hop and Christianity.
1. "The Drop" (Intro)
Lecrae arrives with confidence making a memorable entrance that no one can stop. The Heat Academy and Joseph Prielozny-produced record is led by violins and guitar rips. The rapper lets the listener know he is serious about letting his message be heard. "I won't be a slave for the chain/ And why stay the same for the change/ Let's talk bout change for a change," he raps. This prefaces the entire album, which touches on our greatest downfalls as a culture and encourages a life surpassing the surface thinking and living through Christ. Lecrae is the messenger and he plans to do this well.
2. "Gravity" Feat. J.R.
"Gravity keeps pulling me back down. But I can't stay here forever," sings J.R. The percussion-filled J.R.-produced "Gravity" is a serious walk through the topics of police brutality, murder, the government and all the weapons formed towards people on a daily basis. "Reality is really just cheap/ Your eyes open, but apparently your sleep," Lecrae states. He isn't blind to what's happening around him, yet he's still optimistic in knowing there's freedom beyond this world where we walk.
3. "Walk With Me" Feat. Novel
On this track produced by The Watchmen, Lecrae isn't coy about shedding light on his own personal afflictions throughout his life and what's troublesome to him. He speaks on working at jobs he hates, to raising a daughter, losing his grandfathers and asking God to stop him from turning to drinking as a way to solve his problems. "Tempted to empty and throw em off in the wind/ Devil's lurking round the corner waiting for me to sin," he rhymes. But Novel gives a ringing reminder of who he will call when he needs protection from the pitfalls of the world. "Jesus come walk with me," he says with his wide-ranging and grabbing vocals.
4. "Free From It All" Feat. Mathai
The price of fame and living for other people's thoughts can literally kill someone inside. "Life is a cage and a prison of everyone's approval/ Fight for acceptance and struggle so you don't ever lose it/ But living for their acceptance is kind of stressing," Lecrae raps. Because he's living for God and not people, what people think about him and his progress isn't a factor. "Should I fall, I'm still free from it all," Mathai sings. Dru Castro and Uforo Ebong create a head-nodding track with powerful guitars.
5. "Fallin' Down" Feat. Swoope & Trip Lee
This is a warning. The world's systems are falling and the The Watchmen create a war-inspired track. "It's going down" is repeated throughout the effort, which heightens the alert. "I ain't gon lie, you may go down in history/ But everything will go down eventually," raps Trip Lee. On Swoope's verse, he says people are too distracted to pay attention. "What's so psychotic, we're still partying like we're not sick," he says. Lecrae then raps further about the party lifestyle and how it leaves you unfulfilled: "All these drunken nights are empty like the bottles like we break, and we can't get high enough to escape." You either listen up or you're going down when it's too late.
6. "Fakin'" Feat. Thi'sl
Produced by Heat Academy, "Fakin'" has a southern beat borrowing a trap-like feel. However, Lecrae is nowhere near the trap, but rather calls out rappers, mocking the lifestyles of drug dealers and gangstas when it's not their truth. "I'm ridin' around and I'm gettin it, they ridin' around pretendin'/ I been had it/ I been done it/ I promise that it's all empty," raps Lecrae. Thi'sl goes even farther and states the consequences for these storybook lifestyles. "He think he Scarface, guess he ain't see the movie/ Keep on fakin till you're face down in the jacuzzi/ With some killas in your room with some real guns/ That don't make noise and they blast ya but they real guns," warns Thi'sl. All in all, if you're not about that life then come out of that character now.
"Violence" takes on East Coast rap influences with a resounding bass and reggae sample produced by Tyshane and ThaInnaCircle. Lecrae also puts to use his patois accent here and there. "War, crime, violence should stop," the sample repeats. With the uproar of violence in this country, Lecrae says we're heading down a path of destruction for all those who are participating: "Highway to hell and we're fighting for the best seat." Violence is a dead end and Lecrae believes God's message of forgiveness is a better path than revenge.
8. "Mayday" Deat. Big K.R.I.T. & Ashthon Jones
Here, Big K.R.I.T. opens the track by reminiscing about his grandmother, a trending topic in much of his music. He also places his lack of strength on God, instead carrying burdens. "I was warned that heaven ain't the only place to go/ I'm doing what I can cause there really ain't much time/ I leave this in the Lord's hands/ I'm tired of crying," K.R.I.T. says. Lecrae co-signs him: "When I hear K.R.I.T. confessing, I respect him/ Because most of us be lying like our lives don't need perfectin'." Ashthon adds the wrapping to this package on the DJ Khalil-produced record, with her angelical voice singing, "Help is just one call away/ Don't be afraid just say mayday."
The old saying "money can't buy you happiness" isn't further from the truth for Lecrae, who raps about companions who have the game twisted about what's really important: "They don't believe in karma/ But they believe in commas." The dramatic, slow-tempo beat, created by Zach Crowell, Joseph Prielozny and Dirty Rice, keeps pace as Lecrae rhymes, "You gain the whole world but lost the only thing own/ 'Cause everything else is just a temporary loan." In the light of much of what's happening in the entertainment industry, his statements in the song ring true.
On this Heatwave Academy-produced track, Lecrae never looks to sound like a perfect man or husband but he know where his heart lays. "I know sometimes that I'm selfish/ But I jump in front of your bullet/ Because you're everything that I pray for plus a little bit extra." The hook is sung by a female singer who responds to Lecrae with, "Though you push my buttons, I ain't going nowhere." No relationship is always sweet but the love never runs dry for his woman.
11. "Power Trip" Feat. PRo, Sho Baraka & Andy Mineo
Similar to "It's Going Down," Lecrae is assisted by fellow rappers who spit about the blown-up egos of the world. "It's hard to see the light when you never listen/ Our whole life's blacked out/ Power trippin'," raps PRo. "Pride comes before the fall/ I seen it in the script," Lecrae warns on the eerie, DJ Official beat marked with gongs and opera-like voices. In the end, Sho Baraka knows his relationship with God is going to keep him in check: "I know the Lord's going to save me when I'm power trippin'."
12. "Lord Have Mercy" Feat. Tedashii
On this bass-heavy, ferocious, chopped-and-screwed beat, produced by Heat Academy, Lecrae continues his recurring message of the ineffectiveness of drugs bringing out the funks of life. "Can't lean on the lean, Already way too screwed up," he raps. This type of mercy he speaks of has nothing to do with Lamborghinis like Kanye West's popular song this summer. Tedashii calls to the one above to help with his battered soul and save him from his own darker ways. "Now ya boy turned up, free from all those chains/ Volume on 10, you can call it unashamed," he rhymes.
13. "I Know"
Lecrae turns up on "I Know" but of course for the Lord. The Watchmen built the track with claps and a bouncing beat. The rhymer celebrates being saved from all his sins and being free from what others think about the content of his music. "Hey what you think you doing putting hope in your line?" he mocks of those who question his work. "Even when I do the right thing, they still want to stop me." He has no time for skeptics and critics and he is in tunnel vision mode.
14. "Tell the World" Feat. Mali Music
Like much of the album, Lecrae doesn't hold back on expressing his love for God and "Tell The World" embodies that message further. Mali sings, "Like a hero in a dream/ Christ came and He rescued me." Lecrae wants to tell the world that he is brand new because of God's grace. And he doesn't take it for granted. "What is a man that you're mindful of him?/ And what do I have to deserve this loving?" The slow-tempo track produced by Heat Academy is led by a playful piano.
15. "Lucky Ones" Feat. Rudy Currence
Rudy leaps off the track floating with his voice, singing, "We are the lucky ones/ We are here." The Watchmen-produced effort has a heartbeat-pumped feel with violins and pianos stirring up the background. Lecrae is forever grateful for the gift he's received from his faith and he's absolutely sure nothing else can match up to it. "Through faith I'm changed/ And I don't have a reason why he loosen up my chains." To him, the kind of grace he has experienced is immeasurable.
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