Album Review: Testifi | 2 the World

Testifyi | 2 The WorldTestifyi
2 The World

There’s a lot of recording artists now that give credit to God for their success, but their music has nothing to do with religious themes. Testifyi takes a different approach: There’s nothing but religious themes on “2 The World.” Testifyi has mastered the style of modern hip hop; if you don’t listen to the words it could be mistaken for mainstream hip hop. If you do clock the rhymes, it’s a trip to Sunday meeting. The lyrics are a continuous sermon on the healing power of Christ with a generous side helping of free-floating positivity. The beats are always well-produced, and Testifyi’s flow is tight. More than just technically on point, the sincerity and urgency he brings to his message is stamped on every syllable. He even cites chapter and verse for every track. His message is perfectly tuned to the Christian audience.
My favorite track is “God’s Property {Get Off}” for two reasons, it’s ruff Dancehall beat and the call and response chorus. “Armor” has a criminally down and dirty beat and some hilariously clever rhymes, like “Devil’s halitosis tryin to make me lose focus/i need a pain killer, Jesus is the right dosage…Supercalifragelisticexpi-Holy Ghost is.”
But many tracks get bogged down in their own righteousness. When I think of great religious music I think of Mahalia Jackson, Marian Anderson, and J.S. Bach. Their music raises goose bumps, and even if you aren’t a believer you are lifted up by the spirit of the music; they’re fearless and completely free in their expression. There are hints of that on “2 The World,” but when Testifyi delivers standard pulpit talking points, it lets the air out of the track. I want him to make the great Christian Hip Hop album — why should pretend pimps get all the attention? — but he isn’t quite there yet.