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Json - City Lights - Review

Json - City Lights Artist: Json
Album: City Lights
Released: July 20, 2010
Overall Sound:Down South/East Coast
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Json - City Lights - 9.2 out of 10
Album Summary for Json - City Lights:

Its been nearly two years since Json released one of the greatest albums ("Life on Life") to ever grace the Christian Rap scene, so you can imagine just how badly I've been anticipating Json's latest release, "City Lights".

While "Life on Life" primarily focused on encouraging believers to pour their lives out into other Christians in order to strengthen and edify the body, "City Lights" zooms out a bit and encourages Christ's followers to be glimmers of hope in a dark and fallen world - particularly in their own cities.

This theme is Biblical (Matt. 5:14-16) and is a timely message for today's ever crumbling society.

The project gets off to a great start right away with "City Lights" - this song has it all: a strong message, a good beat, and a solid chorus, sung by Json's fellow St. Louis native and friend, Flame.

"Hustle City' is a gritty song featuring a screwed and chopped beat. Anyone who holds to the false stereotype that Christian music is soft needs to give this a listen.

"Peep Hole" is another genuine banger. The beat is very rhythmic and is laced with skillful touches here and there (the guitar rift at 1:27 for example) that make it shine.
The song's title refers to how people from all walks of life are able to catch glimpses of the majesty and power of Christ through everyday life. As Christians we eagerly look forward to the day when he will be revealed to us in the fullness of his glory.

"Goon" has been one of the most promoted tracks from the album and its easy to understand why. Json and Thi'sl - perhaps two of the grittiest rappers in the genre - rip the beat apart with style, while the memorable vocals of AD3 round the song out. The message of the song is simple and effective: God didn't create you to be a goon, a thug, or a lawbreaker; but instead he created you to bring glory to his name.

"Parent Me" is a very touching and heartfelt song which demonstrates Json's versatility as an artist. In this piece Json puts himself into the shoes of several different children and expresses their feelings of neglect and abandonment due to parents who are simply not there for them. Particularly convicting is the song's tale of a pair of parents who have invested all of their time and energy into the needs of a local church, leaving nothing remaining for their own child. Wow. There is a reason that the term "Pastors Kid" or "PK" often times has negative connotations.

"Love Like This" pairs Json and Thi'sl up once again, this time with the help of Jai on the vocals. Overall it is a very well put together package, though I couldn't help feeling like the chorus has a way of slowing down the overall momentum of the song each time it occurs. Jai is undoubtedly a very gifted singer, and I suspect that it has more to do with the timing of the beat than anything else.

"Crank It Up" is packed with energy and I love the way that Pro's aggressive line was chopped for the chorus. The song fits in well with the overall theme of the album and challenges us all to let the light of Christ shine through us.

In closing, this album is one of the years best and I would have no reservations recommending it to anyone with even a remote interest in Rap & Hip Hop. Go ahead and Crank It Up!

Download 'Json - City Lights' in MP3 Form:
Json - City Lights MP3 City
Order a Hard Copy CD:
Json - City Life CD

Json - City Lights - Gold Medal Winner

Song Score
1. Intro *
2. City Lights Ft. Flame, Trubble 10
3. Hustle City Ft. Boxx 9.5
4. Snapshot (Interlude) *
5. Peep Hole 9.5
6. Goon Ft. Thi'sl, Ad3 10
7. Parent Me Ft. J.R. 10
8. What I Am Ft. R-Swift 8.5
9. Hope U See 8.5
10. Love Like This Ft. Thi'sl, Jai 9
11. Unexpected Happenings 9
12. I Am A City Light (Interlude) *
13. Crank It Up Ft. Pro 9.5
14. Pray For My City Ft. Rio, Future, Saved, etc. 9
15. Bout To Go 8
16. Heaven's Runway Ft. Fitzgerald 8.5
About the Rating System
* = Intermission or song that is too short to rate.