Released November 7, 2013
Reviewed by Anthony Peronto
How does Lecrae follow-up the most groundbreaking mixtape in CHH? By releasing an entirely different beast with Church Clothes Vol. 2, which feels more like a full length album rather than the straightforward mixtape sound that Vol. 1 offered and is better off for it.
“What would it take you to make you believe? More fire from the sky? Another partin’ the sea?/ The honest truth is you ain’t got the power to see./Well let me take you on this journey…”
After those powerful verses from the hook on “Believe,” Lecrae literally takes you on a journey, switching up musical styles while bringing in some surprising mainstream artists and producers while also bringing along an equal amount of friends and labelmates from CHH. After the adequate “Devil In Disguise,” which finds Lecrae telling a story of someone from a different perspective (which is obvious but got a needless disclaimer on Instagram to calm down any over-sensitive Christians) comes the Jamaican-tinged banger “The Fever” with Andy stealing the song with his line, “We the children of the light, you know what I mean/ That’s why I’m hatin’ on the darkness like Paula Deen.” A godly song about celebration, “I’m Turnt,” will definitely grow on you if you were skeptical when it dropped as a single a few months ago. After the solid slow-riding track “Let It Whip” comes something we haven’t heard from Lecrae before- humor. Lecrae has gotten more than his fair share of backlash with terms like “sell out” and “hypocrite” when it comes to his associations with secular artists and lyrical maturity. So with “Sell Out” and its companion track “Lost My Way” the first half of the album ends with Lecrae successfully poking fun at selling out and examining the effects of it on other artists in the mainstream.
Though the first half of CC2 was high-quality material that you’d expect from an artist like Lecrae, the second half is where the mixtape truly shines and it begins with “Misconception Pt. 2” which honestly can’t stack up production-wise to the Courtland Urbano-produced Pt. 1 but WLAK brings it around with their demolishing verses. The next highlight is “Round Of Applause,” which is not just a graduation song but is a heartfelt crowd-pleaser for anyone that has a legal job or beat the odds. It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes an artist touches you with their lyrics in such a way that it feels like they’re saying what’s in your head. This occurred when Derek Minor touched my heart on the relatable “Was It Worth It,” a convicting track on fathers who didn’t stay around and is further proof of how far Minor has come from his days as PRo. After the solid “Finer Things” is the underground hip hop track “Hands Up” with Propaganda exercising his emcee skills after his poetic perfection on Excellent. The mixtape closes with the testimonial banger “My Whole Life Changed” which is a hard-hitting track that all Christians can relate to, the powerful “If I Die Tonight,” and the transparent “Hang On” which is partly Crae’s letter to a friend in prison and an examination of his own problems as he asks his grandma for prayer.
While Church Clothes was (for the most part) chock-full of underground, east coast, and throwback hip hop, Church Clothes Vol. 2 has the variation and quality of a full-length and that is what separates it from becoming a repeat of Vol. 1. Lecrae has lived up to the expectations and provided a shining example of hip hop as a ministry tool. While we can assume everyone is already eager for his next full length album, let’s sit back and enjoy both volumes of Church Clothes and pray that many hearts are changed with these free mixtapes.
- Co-Sign Pt. 2
- Devil In Disguise ft. Kevin Ross
- The Fever ft. Andy Mineo & Papa San
- I’m Turnt
- Let It Whip ft. Paul Wall
- Sell Out
- Lost My Way ft. King Mez & Daniel Daley
- Misconception Pt. 2 ft. W.L.A.K.
- Round of Applause ft. B.o.B.
- Was It Worth It ft. Derek Minor & Crystal Nicole
- Bun B Speaks
- Finer Things ft. Tedashii
- Hands Up ft. Propaganda
- My Whole Life Changed
- If I Die Tonight ft. Novel
- Hang On