Style: Rap/hip-hop/pop; compare to KJ-52, John Reuben, TobyMac, B.o.B

Top tracks: "Who I Am," "Forever Loved," "Paid Dues," "Be Free"

After nearly a decade operating under the moniker Lyrycyst, this Kansas City-based rapper switched to his birth name, and in turn introduces a more personal side to his songwriting. Though he touches on a broken childhood of abuse and depression, along with recurring seasons of doubts and letdowns, Cooper never tries to drum up sympathy. Instead, he extends forgiveness, encourages perseverance for those encountering similar struggles, and focuses on refining his faith journey. Add hip-hop grooves that ooze with pop sensibility, supplemented by pulse-pounding production, and there's just as much culturally-informed style behind the lyrical substance.

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Release Date
August 14, 2012
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