Album Review – “Rehab: The Overdose” by Lecrae
Just three months after releasing the 17-track Rehab, Lecrae comes back strong for another round with Rehab: The Overdose! If Rehab aimed to get us off the bad stuff that gratifies but then drops us hard, the Overdose is designed to encourage us to get hopelessly hooked on the Source of true satisfaction. While this sequel is notably shorter than the previous album, I’ve found that I bump it much more frequently, and not simply because it is newer. The hard-hitting beats, the intensity of the flow (reminiscent of early ‘Creezy), the wordplay, and the scriptural references all come together well to convey the idea that one finds incomparable satisfaction in God.
1. “Overdose” – Lecrae decided to come hard from the gate. This beat knocks. I immediately noticed that his flow and the style of the beat very closely resemble that of Rick Ross’ “B.M.F.” (Blowin’ Money Fast). However, Lecrae very intentionally engages the secular arena in this song, stating at the beginning, “I heard they tryna blow money fast, right? We ain’t tryna diss nobody but…if they gonna talk drugs, let’s give ’em that overdose.” He then spends the rest of the album showing why an “overdose” of God is superior to any other high.
2. “More” – First time I heard this song, I literally was like – “YES!”This song conveys this sense of desperation for more of God that I hope will characterize the cry of my own heart. Great hook, blunt lyrics, ill beat.
3. “Battle Song” (ft. Suzie Rock) – Suzy Rock did her thing again. Plus, yooo this intro and the changeover is sooo ill. I’d describe the experience as follows: you’re listening to the corniest exercise chant ever until suddenly the beat drops out of nowhere and your ears are hit with anthem music so hard you’ll wanna turn to your neighbor and punch him (in Jesus’ name of course lol). Tony Stone production – ‘nuff said. (You also should check out my song “Gon’ Give ‘Em” – I got that beat from T. Stone).
4. “Anger Management” (ft. Thi’sl) – The Thi’sl line, “dog keep on barkin’, I’ma bust ‘im in the head” had me literally “lol” the first time that I heard it. Stylistically, this is music to turn all the way up in your car stereo while riding with your boys (or if you’re like me, to blare in your stereo ‘phones on the train until people start giving you dirty looks). However, don’t miss the song’s main idea that, as we look at Christ on the cross, we should see two important things. First, we have to recognize that we are just as guilty for his death as the Romans and Jews that actually mocked, beat, nailed, and murdered him. Second, Christ’s amazing forgiveness in the face of that brutal and unfair treatment provides both the means and the model for us to let go of our anger towards others and forgive.
5. “Blow Your High” (ft. Cannon) – The feel of the beat and hook are almost trance-like, fitting the theme of the song well. Cannon brings that crisp ra-tat-tat, machine gun delivery that complements Lecrae’s slower flow in this one.
6. “Strung Out” – Thematically, I think this song might serve as a fitting sequel to the song “Killa” on Rehab. However, I feel like I’ve heard variations of this song several times in CHH already (I felt the same way about “Killa”). While autotune shows up in various places on The Overdose, this song is an example of one where I got a little tired of it. Solid song, just didn’t stand out to me as much as some of the others.
7 – 8. “Chase That (Intro)” & “Chase That (Ambition)” – Love, love, love this song. From an artistic standpoint, I feel like it has just the right balance of theology, punchlines, and illustration from real life. As I mentioned in an earlier post, personal details really can help the listener to relate to the song. That, combined with a catchy hook, solid production, and a crucial message about going hard for God’s glory and not our own, makes “Chase That” a beastly song in my book. As a Christian emcee myself, it challenges and encourages me on a very personal level.
9. “The Good Life” (ft. J. Paul) – Chill beat provides a backdrop for stories that invite the listener to re-evaluate how our culture, and more importantly, how we as individuals define the “Good Life.” J. Paul is solid on the vocals.
10. “Like That” – Catchy, radio-friendly song encouraging women to seek God and commit themselves to Him first and foremost, and to recognize that they deserve a man who will love them the way God intended.
11. “Goin’ In” (ft. Swoop) – YES! You can’t talk about true satisfaction without talking about heaven, spending eternity after death with a perfect God. I love this beat, especially the percussion. Swoop murders his verse (and I’m not just saying that because of his “Denzel” line at the end). Swoop has been a solid contributor on every feature on which I’ve heard him so far, but CHH artists beware: if you’re gon’ have this boy from Ohio on your track, you better be ready to go hard to keep up. Check out Swoope HERE.
Cop this album. I have this and Captured by Flame in that heavy rotation right now. I don’t think numbers are everything or even the most important thing, but Rehab and Rehab: The Overdose each sold over 21,000 copies their first week, which is a major feat for a CHH artist (http://www.rapzilla.com/rz/news/38-backstage/2582-lecraes-rehab-making-a-home-on-the-charts). While the Overdose is only 11 tracks long, I am very impressed and pleased with this project. First of all, considering that Lecrae put out another full-length album only 3 months earlier, this is a beastly follow-up. More than that, the project easily stands up on its own artistically. Finally, I believe it will definitely challenge you spiritually, leading to a reassessment of what we crave and what truly satisfies.