A Breath of Fresh Hip-Hop | Posted July 02, 2012 Staff Reviewer
It was said in a song that "it ain't nothin' like hip-hop music." That is a statement I agree with, but sometimes it seems that the creativity in hip-hop is lagging, and too many rappers are sounding alike. Portland's Beautiful Eulogy should not be accused of sounding like anyone in mainstream or even underground hip-hop.
Consisting of rap veterans Odd Thomas, Braille and producer Courtland Urbano, Beautiful Eulogy released their first album titled Satellite Kite on Humble Beast Records. This album consists of fine melodies, hooks sung by the rappers, thought-provoking, Bible-inspired lyrics and out the box beats by Urbano.
"An Open Letter to Whoever's Listening" is a good opening as they explain their purpose and mission. Urbano adds eerie sounds and a light beat as the backdrop. To hear the song "Covet" would be to journey into the lives of many Christians who fight the temptation to covet the lives of those are experiencing the finer things in life. Each emcee speaks of the struggles of barely getting by at times and wanting to provide for their wives. The song ends with a chant proclaiming that Jesus died for all our sins and issues.
These guys could have "sold out" and been a status quo group who would fall in the same vein of rappers who make simple songs and hooks to draw the applause of society. Instead they make songs that will cause you to have many holy moments. Thankfully, they include the words to each song within the booklet.
Even with the fast, electro/alternative style, "Entitlement" is a song with a heavy message. What's the message? We often feel like we are owed certain things even though Jesus's sacrifice saved us from what we really deserve. They use the rapid-fire delivery that is also used on the fun track "Take It Easy" featuring Catalina Bellizi. Urbano brings strings and even a subtle horn sample to go along with perplexing percussion.
"Wonderful" is a "banger" without having a beat that actually bangs. The beat is still infectious; be amazed at how the "sampled vocals" are actually the vocals of the group. Nod your head and even worship God as Beautiful Eulogy proclaim how great God is. Propaganda delivers some great poetry. (If you are not familiar with Propaganda, please look him up!)
The term "Beautiful Eulogy" may seem like a paradox, but it is actually a very beautiful song that will have you celebrating the joy of living with Christ forever. Please check out the "String That Ties Us" interlude by Beautiful Eulogy's pastor, Art Azurdia, and it will give you a greater understanding of what the album is all about.
Beautiful Eulogy is a group that definitely has its place. Those who love theology made into music will love it along with those who love experimental hip-hop. Satellite Kite is an album that serves as a breath of fresh air with the way it causes one to examine their life. They are doing this to encourage people to put more reliance on God and make him the center of their lives.