Copywrite of the Columbus, Ohio crew MHz combines his battle rap style with his newfound Christian beliefs on his fourth studio album, God Save The King.Over the last 10 years Copy has released albums of varying success with critics and fans in The High Exhaulted (released in 2002 and re-released in 2010), Ultrasound: The Rebirth EP (2009), and The Life And Times Of Peter Nelson (2010.) On his most recent and most well-rounded release, Copywrite returns to his battle rap origins that he shied away from on The Life And Times of Peter Nelson, supplying tracks packed full of punch lines, metaphors, and quotables.
Copywrite doesn’t ride solo on GSTK, as the album includes guest appearances from MHz members Tage Future and Jakki Da Motamouth as well as Illogic, Rockness Monsta of Heltah Skeltah, Torae, Casual, Evidence (of Dilated Peoples), Roc Marciano, and more. The seventeen-track project features diverse range of beats from nine producers including two tracks from Wu-Tang affiliate Bronze Nazareth and four from Stu Bangas, among others.
As the album title suggests, faith and spirituality are a big part of Copywrite’s lyrical content. Listeners are given a look at his internal struggles and experiences. Copywrite attempts a range of styles over the course of the album. The album opens with a track called “Post-Apocalyptic Request Box” which serves as a theatrical introduction to the theme of the project. Copywrite’s MCing abilities really shine through on tracks like “Swaggot Killaz” and the Khrysis produced “Union Rights.” “Swaggot Killaz” takes a few jabs at rappers who constantly use the phrase “swag” while the MC effortlessly flows through comical punchlines (“hoes keep me on my toes like ballerina tights/think your on fire, Ricky Bobby, Talledega Nights“). On “Union Rights,” Copywrite drops quotables in double-time, while taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to discussing how hard he works and how seriously he takes his music. He mentions the need to consistently put out material to hold his place in the game, which is probably his thought process behind releasing four projects in the last four years.
Tracks such as “J.O.Y” and “Yo! MTV Raps! (Money for Nothing)” featuring and produced by Copywrite’s label mate Jason Rose may appeal to a broader mainstream audience than a majority of his past works. “Yo! MTV Raps!” is a remake of the 1985 Grammy Award winning single, “Money for Nothing” by British Rock band, Dire Straits. Copywrite’s 2012 version of hit includes a verse that runs through the titles of popular MTV shows with lines like “I birth MCs when I preach the message, so my MTV RAPS are SIXTEEN AND PREGNANT.” “Golden State (Of Mind)” featuring Casual, Evidence, and Roc Marciano offers both a visitor and a resident’s point of view of the state of California, while the politically charged “White Democrats” featuring Mac Lethal is not far off sonically, as both songs stay in the vein of classic hip-hop. “Synesthesia” is another thematic song and also the sole track produced by long-time collaborator RJD2. It describes some of the sensations felt by those who have the neurological condition and even suggests that Kanye and Q-Tip are synesthetes themselves.
Recently in an AllHipHop.com interview, Copywrite explained that his future recordings will not contain foul language and will fall in the category of Christian music. He implies that this album represents a change in his beliefs that began when he was 16 years-old. Copywrite’s newly expressed beliefs are most clearly demonstrated on tracks such as “Sorrow” and “Talk With Jesus.” “Sorrow” featuring Illogic and Don Jaga expresses Copywrite’s contemplation on the meaning of life and the loss of his parents. The project comes to a close with“Talk With Jesus.”The track is reminiscent of Joe Budden’s “Pray For Me” in that it illustrates both sides of a conversation between the rapper and God. Copywrite’s serious lyrics and deep content over Poetiq Beatz’ upbeat production, which includes a sample from Notorious B.I.G.’s“Juicy” (“born sinner, the opposite of a winner”) makes for a powerful final track.
Overall, God Save The King is a strong album, but it’s likely that a great deal of hip-hop fans may never have the chance to hear it due to the lack of mainstream notoriety surrounding Copywrite’s solo-career. It won’t have a strong impact on today’s culture, but the lyrical content is extremely entertaining and well written. I definitely recommend giving the project a listen as it appears that Copywrite will soon be changing his style to appeal to a very specific fan base. When asked why he is releasing an album that bridges his old content with his new beliefs, Copy stated “I feel like all of those fans I’ve built up over the years won’t just listen to me talking about God if I just came out with an album like that. I needed a bridge album.” God Save The King surely finds a comfortable middle ground, making the album a well-rounded listening experience. Who knows; with Christian rap growing in popularity, Copywrite may be able to find more commercial success in the future. Then again, who knows if Copywrite will truly be able to leave behind the style his fans have become so accustomed to.