REVIEW: Reblah x Cerose release dual EP “The Cross vs The Switchblade”
Cerose & Reblah join forces to give us the hard hitting Gospel EP! Both from South London & both previously popular names on the secular music scene before becoming Christians, after collaborating on Reblah’s song “Blood of the Lamb” the chemistry between them was evident. So the pair felt lead to put their talents and contacts together to produce this body of work.
This is a great project with a variety of different musical styles from hard Hip Hop to Dancehall/Afro beats to contemporary pop, there’s something for everyone on this. The two artists different sounds really compliment each other not leaving out there are some amazing beats from very talented producers around the world.
“The Cross vs The Switchblade” is like a musical experience of urban life & culture through the eyes of a believer but also has the ability to cross over to the secular scene, as it deals with many “real” issues, still very clear when it comes to communicating the core message. Christ.
Let’s dig into the tracks…
We kick off with the Intro, an underwater audio effect and erratic bass-line which sets the stage for a phone call or discussion going on, some type of gang related dealings, the picture in your mind is being painted, to which Reblah hits out in the opening line,
Switch blade with the word God…
who deliberately wordplay’s the title with the intention of this EP, somewhat showing who this EP may be for. With the audio stabs representing what it is like for those stuck in the gang-life, it cooks up a good way for them to start off, what many would see fitting to the title of the EP. Cerose ends the track with…
..to love and teach is vital.
Intention is something important that lyricists must make clear in their music, and so far this intro has the right balance to set you up right for what is coming next on this EP.
The vibe changes as I hear a dance-hall vibe on Jesus My Saviour, something promised by Cerose & Reblah, a difference that will show a diversity in styles showing that everyone can listen to this EP. They both show how versatile Rap is, the flexibility of the style. You can’t stay still when this ones drops, even the auto-tune works with the different sounds on the track, straight this one a jam! To God be the glory!
Unashamed of the Gospel has a hard edge to it. I say that because you expect the “cheesy-ness” that so many associate with Gospel sounding, themed or worded tracks. Cerose breaks that with the lyrical content displayed here, putting scripture directly inside of the bars, in a relevant and artisitic way.
…go hard with the Gospel, no apology…
J Williams drops some smooth vocals on this number, given that old skool 90’s rap vibe. Both Artist talk about hustlin’ the Gospel on the same block they use to sell drugs and promote that culture, they brings the hope of Salvation in Jesus.
Revival Riddim, brings a lot of expectation because of the features on this one, a track that you would hit on repeat lyrically. The bars need to be digested time and time again because it’s heavily packed with good and well written content. I do think the track is loud and noisy which presents some distraction to the content, a bit heavy on the beat on this one. Maine, Skye & Dwayne Tryumf feature on this number.
Its been some time since we’ve heard Dwayne Tryumf on a track, and its good to hear him back to some effect. He ends the track with something that captures the reality of this EP regarding both the Cross and the switchblade
…what you gonna do fight or run.
The Cross vs The Switchblade tackles pressing topics like knife & gun crime, promiscuity and drugs, coupled alongside salvation, the Bible and the pending return of Jesus Christ. A black sheep effect, as not too many if any at all, are talking like this. But halfway through this EP, you begin to appreciate these artist who are emphatically championing the banner for them topics.
Reblah brings in track 5 Street Life, which shows the aggressiveness of the streets where Reblah was heavily involved with. Bringing some really challenging lyrics and a message that goes beyond inspiration, but a change of heart! This is a jam here, the chorus by feature M Dot E slides in effortlessly which convey’s a crying out effect with the bass removed from the vocal, which is well placed and memorable. Cerose talks about a transformation from when he first believed, and there’s no confusion to who and what he believes in.
Not the Street Life, which he calls fake, but the Gospel of Jesus. You’re getting a sense of the realness of the testimonies and experiences of Reblah and Cerose here. The skit towards the end has some relevance, but I would have expected a bit more from the artist here, especially on a topic so close to their lives.
Tune! Give Him Praise is an Afrobeat vibe. There’s no excuse that this one here is a banger in both ways! Dwayne Tryumf switches up the style and delivers a secure feature. After hearing that there are heavy influences not just from the past lives they’ve lived but the backgrounds ethnically they have come from. A nice touch to the EP.
…What’s good charlie, God’s good charlie…
On I’m Ready I was excited to hear a track starting with a piano, expecting a deep track lending to more diversity on this EP. The vocals from Karlashi sounded off at points, but the message she’s conveys gets across. this ends the EP with a calmness that you appreciate and leaves the message to get ready, if not or if you’re ready to step out in faith. Cerose says
…trying to fill the hole, trying to numb the pain…
I think the message of the last tracks is slightly lost, with the skit. The points raised are important and crucial, but not sure how in ties in with this, evangelistic project.
Download this free EP from Christian Rappers Cerose and Reblah from the Kingdom Culture Store. Add it to your playlist and let them take you on a musical journey with eclectic beats and hard bars, that will not only have you celebrating the gospel but amazed at how Jesus can change the heart of these ex-gang members, who spent time in prison to new life and hope him. Not just a new heart but evidence in their lives. I’m sure you’ll grab something of you own. What beats positive sounding messages? The Gospel of Jesus Christ!