Faith, Hope & Love (Deluxe Edition)

Faith, Hope & Love (Deluxe Edition)

On his debut solo album, Christian rap auteur Je’kob Washington builds on the innovative hip-hop/pop fusion of his former group Souljahz with nods toward electronica, dubstep, and radio-friendly rock. Faith Hope Love combines tracks from three previously released EPs (along with three remixes) to create a unified work exploring brokenness, self-empowerment, and grace. The album ignores genre boundaries to lay insistent grooves over musical textures that range from the satiny to the abrasive, bringing to mind everyone from Prince to TobyMac and Justin Timberlake. Taking his cues from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Je’kob offers lyric testimony that’s both confrontational and compassionate. “Make Me Over” (featuring rapper Conscience and singer Nena Lockhart) and “Can’t Have My Soul” particularly stand out for their urgent messages and unrelenting beats. Crowd-rousing dance cuts like “Don’t Let Go” and “Boom Shaka Laka” are counterpointed with soaring pop numbers like “In Your Hands” and rap showcases like “Love Is All” to keep things sonically interesting (and spiritually uplifting).

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