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Artist: Fiti Futuristic
Whoever said Christian rap was cheesy hasn’t heard Fiti Futuristic. Any fans of today’s top 40 rappers could find common ground with Fiti… stylistically. That all changes once you notice the lyrics:
“I’m the Steven Curtis Chapman of this rap game!” With a claim like that, I knew Fiti Futuristic was going to be more than just another John Reuben.
Watch What Happens is the second full-length album from this Indianapolis-born rapper. His name may be “Futuristic”, but much of what Fiti delivers has a sweet aftertaste of old skool. Tubas, cow-bells, drum machines and Disney-esque intstrumentals create something strangely familiar, but completely new.
Fiti has an in-your-face confidence that keeps up with his secular counterparts, but he does so with a great gospel-based flavor. He’s got a harder edge than KJ-52, but ia a little calmer than the Tunnel Rats. Fiti takes on morality issues such as girls dressing too adult, and makes fun of materialistic rappers pretending they have more stuff than they do.
I would love to hear “The Game is Shut Down” as the first single on the radio (secular or Christian). It’s high-powered and is a non-cheesy anthem meant to “stick it” to skeptics of Christian rappers. The hooks were really easy to sing to, and I was singing “Just because we love God don’t think we’re soft” all night.
“Promised Land” is pretty much a choir of rappers together in a jumbled mix. One of the voices sounds like a growl, and while that’s a bit scary, there’s something really exciting and appealing in this song. The background vocals from Deanna Dixon are really powerful and haunting. She sings, “Get ready for the promised land.”
There’s one slow jam on the album. “Me & My Best Friend” is as close to a praise song as a rapper can get without needing a good R&B voice. It’s a bit out of place with the rest of the album, but it shows removes any of the hard walls Fiti may have put up, showing his soft spot for the Lord.
The album has great messages while not compromising the edgy appeal that today’s top-40 rappers have. Fiti has wit and a great rapid-delivery style in his raps. With 17 total tracks on the album, everyone can find a couple of songs that they really connect with. For the ultra-conservative, watch out… you may be taken off-guard by the way Fiti preaches. The message is rough around the edges at times, but the message is taught with no-nonsense Biblical truth. Fiti would probably have it no other way.
Marcus Hathcock 2/29/2004