Review Date: 02/17/14
Review By: Christopher Johnson
Release Date: 02/18/13
Some hip hop artists approach the mission of spreading the good word through catchy hook based “pop” style rap. However, Rkitect takes the approach of peeling back all the layers found in the more heavily produced alternative, and delivering decidedly more exposed bars that provoke introspection.
Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the fifteen plus year veteran of the hip hop industry got his start as a member of the well regarded group “Elementz.” Even with the group’s growing popularity and success, Rkitect felt that he was being called in another direction, so in 2008, the “subterranean super soldier” was re-born. Rkitect’s stellar albums The Language Art, Dear Everyone and Revolution Doctrine belong in every hip hop fan’s library, regardless of where they stand with their Faith.
The original Mars Barz is an out and out assault on the hip hop industry, with the secular and CHH sub-sections both getting ensnared in his net. Rkitect denounces the status-quo paint by numbers approach to putting out music that in his opinion so many appear to be following.
Mars Barz 2 picks up where the first track left off, albeit with a bit more of a direct focus on the Christian music industry specifically. On the track, Rkitect reinforces his commitment to his method of putting out God centered quality music vs. the label controlled formulaic albums. The background music and beat are par for the course with Rkitect’s music. While the track is certainly supported by quality production by himself, the instrumentals are, by design, secondary in focus to the lyrics. “I have too many things to say so I don’t waste time with hooks” is perhaps the best line to pull from the track to explain Rkitect’s description of his approach to music.
Closing out the initial portion of the track, Rkitect spits “all I know is every where I look, I am seeing people hurting, If I were you, I wouldn’t be so concerned with who I’m serving.” It is clear that, much like many other faith centric hip hop artists, Rkitect is feeling a bit fatigued with the need to validate his Christ centered foundation.
At the 5:30 mark, Mars Barz 2 turns into a question and answer session where Rkitect waxes poetic both about the direction of Christian Hip Hop as well as the use of that term. All told, the track clocks in at an “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida-esque” 8:17.
One’s interest in Rkitect’s music will likely parallel their level of sensitivity to challenging the Christian faith itself. Those Christians that treat Christianity as a club with a secret knock to get in the door of the club house will not support Rkitect’s stance. Christians that understand that we are called to reach all who are lost and help them get to know God will be much more likely to align with Rkitect’s approach and delivery. While his approach to making music and attempting to minister to those without knowledge of God’s love is certainly not the only correct approach, it is absolutely a necessary one. Mars Barz 2, much like the rest of his available tracks, is well worth the download (https://soundcloud.com/rkitect/mars-barz-2).
Other Downloads From Rkitect: