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  Tunnel Rats present , Underground Rise Vol. 1 Sunrise/Sunset
Label:Uprok Records
Time:19 tracks

Imagine all the best Christian hip-hoppers in the underground hip-hop scene together for a huge album with nineteen bouncing and thumping tracks. Thanks to Uprok Records and the Tunnel Rats, that album has arrived. A person can finally find a good lyrical CD with a sound that doesn't disappoint. There is good Christian hip-hop out there.

The lineup is as impressive as it gets with hip-hoppers such as L.A. Symphony, Tunnel Rats, Playdough, manCHILD, among others. This phenomenal combination of hip-hoppers stands as a big statement for not only the mainstream market, but also the Christian hip-hop market. The form and lyrical message is here to stick. For those who arenít really fans of Christian hip-hop, this CD should build appreciation for this form that is rising fast.

Len Nash 6/8/2003

Rap and hip-hop aren't normally my game. I know what I like but I can't tell you what particular style a given piece is or tell at a listen even WHO is performing a given piece.

That being said, this is an immensely enjoyable disc from beginning to end. The Tunnel Rats, one of the premier groups in the burgeoning Christian rap scene, has assembled a top-flight group of underground emcees, as well as some names already known around the scene, for a tight collection of nineteen tracks that combine fresh beats, clever hooks, and outspoken lyrics.

The high point of the album comes when Sekou the Misfit raps with God, a la Job, in "Devil's Advocate." Sekou asks, "Why you gotta treat me the cruelest? Why you gotta do this?" God's answer is simple and direct: "How you expect to get stronger for great things if you don't wait?" The song may tread the same ground that DMX once did in "The Convo" but it's still an amazing track with a concept that sticks in your mind far beyond the end of the disc.

The packaging is clever here too: a CD printed to look like a CD-R lends the image of music straight from the streets. All in all, this is a solid disc; it will serve well as an introduction to anyone who is new to the Christian rap scene.

Josh Marihugh  8/31/2003


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