REVIEW: WE CHOP UP NEW EP RELEASE ‘LIGHT WORK’ FROM US RAPPER BIZZLE
Now, before we begin, I have a confession to make.
This is the first Bizzle EP I’ve actually listened to from start to finish. I know; it’s shameful.
And yet, Bizzle’s been on my radar since his controversial response to Macklemore’s “Same Love” in 2014. His depth, passion and skilful lyricism arrested my attention and made me take notice. Even so, whilst I continued to follow his work, I had yet to give his catalogue an honest listen…but all that changed with “Light Work.”
The title is a double-entendre, referencing the “lighter” content of this EP compared to Bizzle’s previous work and also that, as believers, our work is to bring light to a dark world; hence, “Light Work.” In his own words, it’s now down to us to take an EP like this and use it as a middle ground to bridge the gap between the church and the youth who are more influenced by trap music and the wiles of this world. His intention is to try and be a “Jew to the Jews” and a “Gentile to the Gentiles.”
In speaking to Jam the Hype, Bizzle described the project this way:
“I wanted this project to be easy to digest and still be able to give people the gospel. I wanted the messages in this one to be easier for the nonbeliever and the new believer.”
In this, Bizzle very much succeeds. Though easier to digest, the content is no less hearty, filling and thought provoking.
Two of the stand out tracks in this regard are “Ok, Fine” and “Down”, featuring searing vocals from Joey Vantes. Bizzle describes a common, but no less painful, battle we all face when sometimes the one’s who hurt us the most are those in the faith. We expect the Body of Christ to be a place of love, understanding and safety, but at the end of the day, people are people. The struggle is to continue to work and toil in love for those people even if that love isn’t reciprocated. It’s no doubt a reflection of the very cross Jesus had to bear when He came to His own and they didn’t receive Him.
Though, like the psalms, “Down” starts with lament, it nevertheless rises above the hurt to a place of hope and faith in the faithfulness of God. Despite the schemes of the wicked, Bizzle will keep his head up. Where the objective of “Light Work” shines through is that these themes are instantly relatable whether you’re a non-believer, a new believer or a veteran in the faith.
“Stay With You” strikes an almost perfect balance between lighter content and thought provoking reflection whilst remaining up-beat in tempo. The song addresses the desire to get away and spend some time in the presence of God rather than hit the town for a night out friends. Sometimes the rhythms of life tear us away from consistency in our fellowship with God and we need that time to reconnect. Whilst some may see it as peculiar, Bizzle doesn’t feel he’s missing out on anything by doing so. The song offers an alternative perspective without being too heavy handed.
Though these tracks are personal stand-outs for me, the rest of the album still shines. The opening track, “Way Up” features God Over Money label-mate Sevin, showcasing the trap sound Bizzle was going for with the album. Clever lyricism on “X” elevates the second track, bolstered by the appearance of Datin and K. Allico. “Lit Lit” is probably the most forgettable track on the album for me sonically, but Bizzle’s mastery with the pen raises it above the level of mediocre.
“Warriors” is catchy, but notable more so for it’s accompanying video featuring Steph Curry. What’s clever about the track is that it serves both as an anthem for those in the Kingdom putting in work as warriors for God, but also as an anthem for the Golden State Warriors basketball team (with professing Christian, Steph Curry, on the roster) whilst bringing light to that audience.
The album wraps up perfectly with “The Gospel”, tracing the motif of the Lamb of God sent to die for the sins of the world all the way from Abraham & Isaac in Genesis, through the Passover in Exodus up to Jesus on the Cross. Though we can’t expect a song of 4 minutes and 29 seconds to cover all the bases, Bizzle weaves together a compelling narrative.
All in all, “Light Work” has been on rotation in my house and in my car for the whole week which is a sure sign that it’s something special. Whether as an introduction to Bizzle and Christian Hip-Hop or as an album to bump and nod your head to whilst out on a drive, I believe “Light Work” succeeds on every intended level.
Get your copy of ‘Light Works’ from Bizzle now! – Stream or Download it here
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