After the first 3rd Coast Fiyah Mixtape, I noted that DJ D-Lite has now become a reliable brand for consistent, quality holy hip hop whether it is through radio podcasts, live shows, or album collections under his banner. The same is true here with Volume 2: Redeemed.
I’ve got a gripe though. And while it may see minor and easily remedied, it still deserves a voice.
The beef: This isn’t a true mixtape – at least not to me. The songs don’t bleed into each other and there are no chops. In fact there is very little turntablism on display despite two other DJ’s (Skillspinz and Wade-O) appearing in the tracklist of 21 songs.
I believe this is due to two factors with the second probably being a natural outgrowth of the first.
The reason: At this point in the game, the 3CF series is dependant on artist donations of tracks and audio drops. D-Lite gives them a thumbs up or down, but he’s not actually executive producing their creation. As such, he may not always get separate vocal and instrumental tracks that would better allow for blends, cuts, remixes, and callbacks.
Secondly, D-Lite has said that he’d like to make these albums into the WOW! “best of”-type compilations that provide maximum exposure for Christian artists. But it is less of a mix-feel and more of a portable library of tracks.
The solution: Drop the word “mixtape.” Or add a merge of sounds, replays of hot lines, cut sessions or exclusive freestyles. Just make it the 3rd Coast Fiyah product line and provide a more precise description of the content.
Okay, soapbox over – on to the music.
In a sentence: Redeemed retains the scorching temperature of the freshman joint. It takes a moment to warm up, and then benefits from an overarching theme connecting the subject matter of its varied spittaz.
Contributors include those well known throughout the HHH world (Theory Hazit, Pettidee, Knine, Excelsius, Mark J, Tre9) and those with a more underground, indie rep (Jesus Instead of Gangs, Kaleb Starr, LouiSerlo, D-Maub).
The first handful of songs can be considered kindling. The fire gets started but doesn’t provide the same high temp as those that follow. Things really get blazing when drum kits of Oldhead’s “What It Is” start throbbing with a guttural beat.
Our Mr. Hazit also provides a stellar effort with his “Live From the Bricks” that recalls Ice Cube’s classic “Once Upon a Time in the Projects.” Here, Theory hits some of O’Shea’s same vocal patterns and line structures and reinterprets them with the “redeem” theme. He also throws in references to temporal trends with a dance rap title name drop and slow screwed line.
Another misnomer of the album’s title would be its reference to the Third Coast. While that is where D-Lite and several artists reside, the sound is less Derty and more on commercial/radio rap. Not a slam, a fact. I already told ya the thing was entertaining.
There’s also a nice moment of purpose toward the end with DJ Wade-O’s “Outro” in which he gives a shout-out that turns into an altar call. The cool thing is it’s not overdrawn or forced and, at the same time, guileless.
According to an interview between the two on Wade’s podcast, it was just supposed to be a drop spot and Mr. Ohio State simply felt the Spirit move him to extend a listener invitation to become a follower of Christ. That type of honest response to heavenly direction leaves you refreshed. The ‘lude is immediately followed by a soulful praise “Bonus Track” from Jay Poole that smoothes things out upon exit.
The bottom line: DJ D-Lite is a solid swinger you can depend on for choice cuts and timely hits. The Redeemed session doesn’t disappoint or vary from that.
I just wish it was more mixtape, with accurate title.
Release Date: 2007
Record Label: Indie
02. Whole Wide World
03. Step Ya Game Up
04. Service To They Hood
05. All About
06. Cool Of The Day
08. What It Is
09. Lost Gal
10. More Fam Shoutouts
11. Live From The Bricks
12. There's No Hook
13. What Does It Profit
14. Move! (Gimme My Space)
15. No Time
16. Wita Combination
17. We Hot Now
18. Bottom Of The 9th
19. Heatwave Outro
20. BONUS TRACK: Just A Myth