Album Review: Collision Records – WLAK (We Live As Kings)

Over the past year no label or artist has made as
much noise in Christian Hip-Hop as Collision
Records. They are everywhere, and with good reason.
They exploded onto the scene about this time last
year with Swoope’s classic offering “ Wake Up.” From
there we were introduced to Alex Faith and Christon
Gray, and their stellar projects “ Honest 2 God” and
“Body Art.” By this time Collision Records was
becoming a household name. Then they signed Dre
Murray late last year, and that took the label to a
whole new level. Shortly after, they announced their
new album We Live As Kings would release March
2013 and dropped a stunning single “Imagine,” which
created a Reach Records type of anticipation to their
upcoming project.
With the Collision Records star shining as bright as
ever, they release their highly anticipated album
WLAK. This is a tough environment for Collision to
drop their group album, because anticipation is
always tricky to deal with. It can either elevate you to
super-stardom or drop you completely off of
everyone’s radar. Fans of the record label probably
don’t feel the latter because of the stellar resume that
the label has built over the past year. They shouldn’t
because Collision Records is a fantastic record label.
It’s ran by solid brothers and it’s artists are equally as
solid. So with a strong label and top notch artists,
WLAK promises to exceed everyone’s high
expectations.
One Thing That Surprised Me
Like most fans of CHH I have listened to a lot of
music from Collision over the past year, so I didn’t
think there was anything they could do that would
surprise me. I was wrong. WLAK had beautiful
continuity and chemistry. I was surprised by this
simply because it is hard to do. Groups can work
together for years trying to get great chemistry. In
less than a year, Collision has developed a level of
chemistry like that of a seasoned group.
Chemistry is easily the most important aspect of a
group album. If a group doesn’t have good chemistry,
it’s very noticeable and can bring down the whole
record. In the same way, great chemistry can elevate
an album. WLAK was elevated by that chemistry.
Each song flowed well and nothing seemed forced.
They worked together to create a sound and direction
for the entire album. It wasn’t about individual
performances, but about working together to make
art. They used each artists’ specific skill set
beautifully on this record. All of those things aided in
making this record great.
Two Things That Made WLAK Special
Collision Records is a special record label. Unlike
anything I’ve ever seen in CHH. There are several
things that make them special but there are two that
have always stuck out to me, and continued to stick
out to me on WLAK. That is their lyricism and
creativity. There are a lot of strong lyricists and
creative artists in CHH, but none combine the two
with the excellence that Collision has. Those same
things that make the label special, made WLAK
special.
Collision is made up of four of the strongest lyricists
in all of CHH. Individually Alex Faith, Christon Gray,
Dre Murray and Swoope have all made noise because
of their lyrical prowess. They all brought their A
games for this album. Each artist will leave you with
multiple jaw dropping moments. The double
entendres and metaphors that fans have come to
expect and love were also on display. The album was
also incredibly deep lyrically. There is enough
theology on here for a bible college student, but it’s
cleverly matched with the application so you never
get overwhelmed. Lyrically this record is nothing
short of amazing.
Collision isn’t just made up of some of CHH’s best
lyricists, they also carry some of CHH’s most creative
artists as well. That creativity shined all throughout
WLAK. It’s most seen in the song making. Each track
is like it’s own individual experience. Almost like a
movie, each track pulls you in, and you’re with them
in that moment. It then builds to a climax that will
leave you speechless, and by the end of the track you
are begging for more. Those small experiences then
turn into one fantastic experience by albums end.
This experience is created through amazing
production and each artists’ individual ability to fit
what they do to the song. There is versatility in
sound, flow and some clever lyricism that showcases
their dynamic creativity.
One Thing I Wish I Would Have Heard More
Of
There weren’t many missteps on WLAK, it was pretty
much a perfect album. I enjoyed listening to every
second of it. But there was one thing that I wish I
would have heard more of, and that is Christon Gray
rapping. He did a lot of singing throughout the
record but he only had a few appearances as an MC.
One of the times that he blessed us with his MC skills
was on the track “Broken Kings,” where he spit this
gem:
“We’ve been battling ourselves like forever/ dog fight,
jackals with their tails tied together
all types of Christian churches and world views/ but
what about the church that the world views
they see a perils voyage into/ the dead sea with some
pear-less oysters”
This is exactly why I love him as an MC, but there
wasn’t as much of this as I hoped there would be on
this record.
Chris is an insanely talented MC with a lyrical ability
that is matched only by a few. I was hoping to see
him take that talent and run it instep with his label-
mates more often than just a few times on a 13 track
album. However unfortunate that was for me not to
hear it, it still wasn’t all in all a bad thing. Chris is
just as talented a singer and song maker, as he is a
rapper. He also provided exactly what each song
needed with his singing ability. Chris had a
phenomenal performance on WLAK. But because I’m
a fan of Christon Gray the MC, I wish I could have
heard a little more of that.
WLAK a Classic?
I don’t want to be the guy that goes around calling
everything an “Instant Classic” after a few listens.
Classics are built up over time, because a lot can
change as time goes by. So I’m not going to call
WLAK a classic right now, but I will say that this
record does deserve to have that question asked
about it. WLAK has all the makings of a classic
album, the only thing left to do is wait. If their prior
music is any indication then we won’t have to wait
long to add WLAK to the classic list.
Question
Do you think that WLAK is a classic?

I Am TholhuGospel

One thought on “Album Review: Collision Records – WLAK (We Live As Kings)

  1. I enjoyed readin ur blog but i think it would be much better if you didnt directly quote so much from Rapzilla & other sites. Also there is big interest in Nigerian christian hip hop at the moment so you might wanna diversify. Nice work all the same. I wouldn’t mind working with you tho. I’ve been followin CHH since I became born again so i know a few things… You can mail me thru tolaoladiji@gmail.com. God bless your work.

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