At ESPN we use the term "Instant Classic" to define games that provide timeless, extraordinary, edge-of-your-seat entertainment. It's no stretch to use that phrase to describe Japhia Life's new album, 'Nazareth.'
It's gritty, soulful East Coast production hearkens back to the Golden Age of hiphop, yet with a freshness that keeps it from sounding dated. And anyone who's ever heard Japhia spit knows the combination of his flow plus a sick beat automatically equals hip-hop at the highest level. But "Nazareth" is more than a great listen. Its reality rap that addresses the challenges, struggles and joys of life in the hood – from the harrowing dysfunction found in "Crack House Blues" and "Pain", to the inspiration and strength gathered from being in "Mama's House." Japhia explores relationship issues everyone can relate to in "Think What We Have" and in "Does Anybody Know," he wonders why the proliferation of so many churches, megachurches and celebrity pastors hasn't led to an improved quality of life or even the role models and mentorship so many young men long for. Raw, thought-provoking and just plain dope, 'Nazareth' is a must-have for all headz yearning for real hip-hop, an instant classic you'll be vibing to a decade from now.
Follow Chris on Twitter.
Purchase 'Nazareth' on iTunes.