Alex Faith & Dre Murray – Southern Lights: OverExposed [Review]
The masses may call it trap music for its production and style. I call it Southern street hop imbued acumen for stimulation of the mind.If dumb it down lyrics that paint fictionalized portrayals of people of coloryet reinforces inferiority of blackness in America is what is expected from the duo Alex Faith and Dre Murray, one is setting him or herself for disillusionment. Expect the Joey Bada$$ in theme of‘Christ Conscious’ –ness at a time where young African American men are targets of hatred and racism, Black Lives Matter, churches are burned to the ground, and where media crucify and dehumanize Blacks and poor Caucasians. The lyrics to “Wake Up Music” describe such nature, “I woke up black in America just trying to find my way/ No compass for the day/ Beast roaming through the jungle on the prowl/ Got me feeling like the prey/ Can a congregation pray? Sly fox on the tube infuse what to think and what to say/ That’s the games they play/ Eastwood in the hood and he yelling out make my day/ That’s why the sky so gray”
Southern Lights: Overexposed sheds light on the internal and external struggles one deal within and the environment one dwells; concentrated on Southern perspectives over heavy bass, glorious horns, and celestial keys that serve opposite of the archetypal Southern hip-hop sound. Yet, they overexposed their existence on songs without being too overly bearing in their preaching in delivery. The duo refrains from being labeled as preachers and come forth in their musicas community activists and leaders.
“Overexposed” is critically acclaimed as a Nas kind of genius in storytelling. It depicts two masked men going inside the house to terrorize the homeowner. The other man tries to prevent a homicide from happening only to find out it’s a relative behind the burglary. The song’s intense ending leaves listeners on the edge as a shot goes off. The theme of repentance and for the masses to seek God in all things is cleverly weaved in this musical opus with much intricacy.
Alex Faith and Dre Murray exchange verses like Mobb Deep in conveyance in “All Around The World”, a song that has an underground East Coast Alchemist type of vibe. This summer-cruising-the-streets anthem with the stellar lyric, “You know what I’m about, reppin’ my king when I open my mouth” is confident about themselves as they acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The hip-hop duo often compared as 8 Ball & MJG, Ludacris, and UGK in flow, cadence, and delivery can throw listeners off as each track begins slowly, but progresses immeasurably throughout their discography. The soulful “Money” is one illustration. It lyrically builds suspense around the theme of immorality as it fine details how money is the root of evil where if not careful in handling the Benjamin’s might lead to his or her demise: incarceration and death.
The edgy “Takin’ Time” and the intense, obscure in tone “City Of Nightmares II”tackle everything from race, faith, love,forgiveness, to restoration. Southern Lights: Overexposed is a UP channel miniseries within an album. The album is deep in ministry to those seeking a rebirth in life after being traumatized by the streets of darkness or haunted by the street life. Alex Faith and Dre Murray are ministers of Southern hip-hop that dig deep in roots of obtaining salvation to lyrically spread the gospel through inexhaustible rap hymns- a kind that make thugs, hip-hop heads, and lost sheep crawl on their knees and ask the Maker of life to break the chains of bondage!
-Hector De La Rosa