Sunday morning, it’s time to step into the pulpit. Coming from the gospel of hip hop, Josh Adam uses relatable lyrics surrounded by pop melodies to minister to his listeners about following their dreams, success, and faith.
His unwavering and deeply rooted faith is a reverberating topic. Praying to God to cover him, he doesn’t forget those surrounding him who has forgotten about their dreams. “Dear heavenly father / Do you hear me praying. I need a savior / The dreams are dying, the hearts are closing.” His success is in what he raps. Somewhat bubbly yet synth driven, he compares himself to John the Baptist. ”Joshua the Baptist / Preach that thing. If I ever set a goal imma reach that thing.” Josh is not about failing, but rather living out his dreams while spreading the gospel of real music. “This is the Genesis / The Revelation comes when I leave. The only rapper with the holy power rapture is me.” He believes he’s the beginning of the second coming of music.
Pop rocking and drummer friendly, Josh rhythmically declares his status like he’s already made it big, “Sitting on top like a winner should.” Switching to acoustics and feelings of hope he remembers a friend who was taken away from him prematurely. Unlike Josh a big visionary, his friend was on the other side of the dream scale. “Dreams were too big for him to hold / So he dropped it / Buried it in the cold.” Josh uses his friends’ death as motivation to embrace life.
A common denominator throughout the album is manifestation. He reveals his life’s purpose in spreading good music, while trying to remain true to his foundation. However, he’s remembering to keep his Judas’ disconnected from his plan to avoid betrayal. “Be careful who you let up in your circle / They try to bite the hand that feed ‘em off.” When you’re on the battlefield, you can’t have any stragglers keeping you down and hindering you from living out your dream. “The only reason I was put on this earth is to fight the negativity and then we write it off.”
Like a preacher finishing his jaunty Sunday morning sermon, Josh aimed to paint a picture of following your dreams with broad brushed strokes of faith, sans the superfluous flamboyance and lackluster delivery. Rise Of A Dreamer might have a few songs containing Auto-Tune, but there are songs that feature sounds from underground to club banger. It is a compilation of dreams and whimsical sounds juxtaposed with hard-hitting drum lines, articulations of significance, tolerable haughtiness, and thankfulness.
Tracee Ellis Ross is pure perfection. If it’s not her doe-eyes, it’s her voluptuous natural hair. Considered a natural hair icon, Ross never ceases to amaze with her luxurious locks. However, she’s not alone. Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi wear locs and they’re far from dreadful. Within the last few years there has been a boost in women espousing their natural hair, especially within the African American community. They’re trading their weaves for a twa (teenie weenie afro), flat irons for curl formers, and the relaxers for curl defining cream. While many women have experienced backlash for coiffure liberation, there is the same amount, if not more people who have fist pumped as a sign of solidarity. Right on!
Brown Audio, a Hip Hop duo from Chicago, recently released a video for their song, “Miss Natural.” Looking at magazines and television, there is somewhat of a marginalized view of beauty. Fair skin and long hair is praised while cocoa brown skin is seen as less beautiful, and natural hair is deemed unprofessional. While the song is primarily about natural hair, Brown Audio is also imploring women to embrace who they are, without filters. In the words of Marcus Garvey, “Don’t remove the kinks from your hair. Remove them from your brain.”
Check out the video for “Ms. Natural.”