There are many absolutes in life. You will absolutely pay taxes. You will absolutely fall into some sort of temptation. You will absolutely die. However, what comes after death is not an absolute unless you make a choice. For some the choice is uncertain, for Davis, it’s absolute.
Christian emcee Davis Absolute recently released his first commercial EP, Absolutes. The goal was to give the listeners a sense of decision and choice in determining the difference between serving God and serving self.
“The concept of the record is, there are just absolutes in life. There is no gray area,” said Absolute. “At the end of the day, you are going to be with God or you are not going to be without God. Don’t be lukewarm, don’t sit on the fence, there are absolutes in everything that we do.”
He continued, “I wanted each song to communicate the message but also want each song to have these absolutes.”
The opening title track further pushes this narrative. The cover image for the track features a golden calf in a picture frame.
The idea here harkens back to Exodus when Moses climbs Mount Sinai and returns to the Israelites worshipping a false god.
“They said this is right, and whatever God had to offer them was wrong,” he said. “They made an absolute choice.”
The first lyrics of the song, “What is right or wrong, what if I twist an L, write this song, scribble on the page to give praise up to the most high.”
“If you smoke weed and write music for God, where is the absolute in that? What’s really right or wrong and who’s going to define that? I wanted to wrestle with that idea in the music and also use different perspectives.”
The next track, “Last Supper,” is talking about the end times.
“The first verse describes where we are in the world,” said Absolute. “Second verse is breaking it down into the idea of, ‘Who are you breaking bread with?’ You gonna break bread with the Savior or break bread with the world?”
The artwork for this track features the golden head of Judas. Davis said the idea behind this was that Judas replaced Christ with himself. “Judas made himself into a God,” by putting himself first over what Jesus was out to do.
“Wolves” is clearly about there being a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing. “You are taking this ego and this person you pretend to be, and you are placing it as a prized possession on the wall.”
The image is a gold wolves head on the wall, almost like a trophy. “This is what you’ve captured.”
“Why we ain’t real, why we ain’t real with each other…We were supposed to be brothers.”
The song “American Hebrew” is about the idea of walking through the desert of modern times. It’s a play of America being like the Israelites wandering the desert in search of the Promised Land.
“The desert is spiritual. Everyone is trying to figure out what’s different about you,” said the rapper. “Why are you better than me? Why are you spiritually in a better position?”
The picture is a golden Statue of Liberty. “We make this world of America into our God. entertainment, a life of luxury, indulgence, we’ve become inundated with this desert.”
“My Life” takes a look at ourselves. Davis says that as humans we all have the ability to make idols of ourselves.
“We place our desires and satisfaction about all else. What are we really willing to sacrifice?” The image is a dripping golden skull. Our flesh is coming off the bone in the form of drug abuse, fornication, and other sins. It asks, “Would we stop all this for God?”
Some of the lyrics in the chorus ring powerfully: “There is nothing that we can’t do, if we all look like You, then we write Your truth.”
“AOTV” has nothing to do with calling out at a TV. It’s an acronym that stands for “Anthem of the Valley,” and it’s the story of King David.
Perhaps no person embodied the highs and lows of serving God like David did. This makes him a relatable central figure in the Bible. He’s an example of loving God with all his heart, but also failing miserably just like everyone else.
“The people looked to David and created an idol of him,” said Absolute. “He was honorable and noble, but he had his flaws. We turn them [flaws] into an idol and worship them.”
The image for the song is Michelangelo’s emblazoned in gold.
Absolute revealed that much like David’s time stuck in the valley, at the time of writing this song, he was trapped in his own valley.
“I’ve been in this place for long, escape everything I know, why my highs are so low? God, I don’t see it but I know You know,” Absolute sings in the chorus.
The last track of the EP doesn’t necessarily fit the theme of the rest of the songs, but if we were to try and make a connection, one can say there is absolute strength in the body of Christ getting together.
“The Body,” which in a few years may be regarded as a classic Christian hip-hop collaboration cut, features a bunch of Christian rap’s most promising up and coming emcees.
“The project needed an anthem,” he said.
Davis said he hit up a bunch of guys, some got back, some didn’t. Brother 3, nobigdyl., Lawren, and Mogli The Iceburg answered the call for this record.
The track was the last one done, and completed in May. However, from September through October, he was fighting to get ownership of the beat.
In fact, this entire project almost didn’t happen at all. Without going into too many details, Davis Absolute was in the process of leaving a label. There were a few hiccups along the way that pushed this record to a release in November instead of much earlier.
Absolute admitted that because of this, the release did not get the proper push it deserved. “It was really poorly done. It could have been better on my end,” he said, but in the end, it was the catalyst he needed to get back in the game.
Last year, he did a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the record, and he knew this project had to come out, and come out with a price tag, to fulfill those who pledged money. He kept the price point as low as possible with each song only costing 69 cents on iTunes.
Overall, Absolute is very proud of this effort. The production was also superb as Daniel Steele provided most of the beats, along with a track by a close friend, Khompono. Absolute lent his hand to production by creating the title track’s mood setting atmosphere himself.
“Everything came together really nicely.”
In 2017, Davis said he’ll be making a lot of new music. He already has producers lined up, smaller projects in mind, and is hoping to have a full-length by the end of next year.
“See where God takes [Davis Absolute]. Do music the way He wants me to do it. Make sure I’m consistent and refine the approach.”
Stay tuned to Rapzilla, to read part two with Davis Absolute, where he talks about Christian rap in the mainstream, and how his friendship with others in Christian hip-hop keep him grounded.
Purchase Absolutes here.