Songs of Zion
Those of you who’ve been following me for a while know that I’ve been a bit driven to find good LDS rap. This is not so much because I’m a rapper myself, or even that big of a rap fan. It’s because I am very passionate about diversity in LDS popular culture, especially in music. I really want to find a wide variety of LDS artists, and I’d like to see the scene grow and expand.
I do, however, find myself really getting into the few good LDS rappers I’ve found. I think I dislike most rap for the same reason that I dislike the Beach Boys. The tunes aren’t about anything I can relate to.
But LDS rap, or at least raps by LDS artists, have the thread throughout the music that I can connect with, so I find myself listening even when I’m just spinning tunes for fun, or when I’m working out.
The most recent one I’ve found is a guy street-named Arhythmatik. A while back he sent me his EP, entitled “Pre-Algebra” (available at http://arhythmatik.com), and I’ve been spinning it ever since.
Unlike the previous rapper I reviewed, TJ Fredette, Arhythmatik doesn’t approach religion in his raps directly. There are a couple of brag and battle raps, and he deals with his own passions (like the lack of deep meaning in so much popular hip-hop). “Absolute Values” has a fun string quartet background looping with the beat, and is an exploration of personal creativity.
“Using wits as weapons
We drive devotion and direction
Determination and changed perceptions
Dedication and good old fashioned hustle
We learn to learn from these modern struggles
And survive in these asphalt jungles…”
The production is great. The process of creating rap is different than the process of making a rock tune, and it fascinates me. I’m not able to think in terms of loops and layers, rather than chord progressions. Some say it’s not as artistic, but I say it’s just a whole other paradigm of creation.
Anyways, check him out.