Style: rap crossed with hip-hop; compare to John Reuben, Eminem

Top tracks: "Take on the World," "It's a Movement," "You Can Be"

After a troubled upbringing that included abuse, struggles with suicide, and a hard-partying lifestyle, Steven Cooper, better known to fans as Lyrycyst, came to Christ through a friend. Now free of those demons, he's still got his old street-savvy edge while making a career of recording and touring.

With his third full-length album, Revolution, the rapper is at the top of his rhyme and relatability game, pumping up those struggling with self-esteem and other challenges by using his own road to recovery as the forefront example—all with hip-hop rhythms that draw parallels to Eminem, John Reuben and KJ-52.

"It's a Movement" and "Take on the World" are calls to action for believers, but pack enough production smarts to appeal to secular listeners. Acoustic hip-hop reflections like "You Can Be" come across like Mat Kearney's early material. Lyrycyst is by no means derivative, but a developing artist who keeps sharpening his songwriting. 


Others worth noting:

Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee
4 Stars

Style: classically-inspired Christmas music

Top tracks: "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "What Child Is This?"

Near operatic vocals jell seamlessly with inventive string and piano arrangements of several traditional tunes, with a handful of original instrumental interludes to usher in a prayerful atmosphere. More:

Dan Rubright featuring Lydia Ruffin
Christmas Café
3 Stars

Style: acoustically framed Christmas music

Top tracks: "Mary's Solitude," "Backstreets of Bethlehem"

Self-penned, unplugged tracks centered around holiday themes trump well-performed but generic covers ...

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Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Average Rating
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Release Date
April 8, 2009
Kikstart Records
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