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777 (Mark of the Peace) is a wonderfully unique album that draws on influences outside the sphere of the usual Christian rap album. The production is inspired, it drawing on a multitude of instruments and beats that would feel out of place with anyone else on the track. Dwayne Tryumf draws the unusual elements, from strange samples to flutes, with ease through his skilled lyricism and his style.
Dwayne Tryumf is a Jamaican by way of Britain and his accent is amazingly subtle, which should not be an issue for a rapper but it stands in the way of the vast majority of British rap artists. He raps in an American style for the most part ignoring the cockney rhyming slang that many American listeners struggle with.
777 (Mark of the Peace) is 16 tracks long and none of the tracks feel like fillers. It feels like a major label release in a very good way, all the featured artists are top notch and the production is on another level. Every beat feels like a radio quality beat but with a unique twist, be it an unusual instrument selection or an unusual sample leaving the whole thing feel a bit more diverse.
I Don't Pack a Matic has been making the rounds for a while and is still one of the best tracks on the album. It features an unusual hook that is simple but addictive. I don't pack a matic, but I pack a Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Overall the track has the feel of What if Tricky did a Christian rap song? and that is not a bad feel for a track to have. The beat is simply ferocious, the hook is ridiculous and the lyrical content goes from boisterous to serious.
Our God Is, featuring Copeland Green and Liane, is a nice ode to gospel music, fusing pieces of Delirious I Could Sing of Your Love Forever and Matt Redmans Better Is One Day into the mix. Normally, the use of worship songs by Christian rap artists ends up sounding cheesy and/or gimmicky. Tryumf manages to make it work.
The first half of the album seems to be dedicated to the requisite slick bangers before effortlessly slipping into the R&B and gospel-tinged second half of the album. Not sure why Tryumf chose this particular method of setting up his project, but it doesnt feel disjointed at all or offensive to the ears.
The inclusion of comedian Chris Williams on the interlude tracks is pretty funny, reminiscent of the late Bernie Mac on Kanye Wests debut album or the comedic interlude found on Sho Barakas Why So Serious? mixtape.
777 (Mark of the Peace) is sure to be one of the best Christian rap albums of the year. Dwayne Tryumf offers listeners what few British rappers can, an exotic but easily digestible sound. He maintains a wonderful style and flow that is British but even at his fastest he is understandable. His style is an obvious fusion between Jamaican and British (he is from Jamaica), but his sound is something different and unique. This is a long album, at 16 tracks it is ambitious and is remarkably good, nearly perfect.
Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed are from the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Rapzilla.com staff
Label: Tryumfant Records
Release Date: March 9, 2010
1. 777 Intro (ft. Steve Allen)
2. Never Be The Same (ft. Copeland Green & Muyiwa)
3. He's The King (ft. Crazy Ric)
4. I Don't Pack A Matic
5. Roll Out (ft. Pilgrim & Gamma)
6. African Drum
7. 777 (ft. Reign of Fire)
8. Sons of God (ft. Reign of Fire)
9. MC Hate Alot Part 1 (ft. Comedian Chris Williams)
10. Proverbs 31 Woman
11. Our God Is (ft Copeland Green & Liane)
12. Jesus Is Alive (ft. Tony Momrelle)
13. Find My Way (ft. Ryan Carty & Frank Ademoye)
14. Trust In Me (ft. Sister Jones & Tyrone Henry)
15. This Is For You (ft. Jahaziel)
16. MC Hate Alot Part 2 (ft. Comedian Chris Williams)