All Things Work Together: A Review

All Things Work Together: A Review

Introduction

Lecrae is one of the most talented rappers in the industry. It makes sense why Atlantic Records wanted to sign him. Lecrae debuted his first mixtape Real Talk in 2006, prior to starting his label and releasing his first album After The Music Stops the same year. He returned in 2008 with Rebel, followed in 2010 by RehabRehab: The Overdose came in 2011, followed by Gravity in 2012, his Church Clothes mixtape in 2013, Church Clothes Vol. 2 in early 2014, Grammy-winning Anomaly in 2014, and Church Clothes 3 in 2016. His label features some of the most versatile talent in the game including Andy Mineo, KB, Trip Lee, Tedashii, GAWVI, and Aha Gazelle. After spending eleven years climbing the ranks and managing his own label, Reach Records, he finally hit the big time. Will his music continue to have the same impact and appeal that it did the past 11 years? His latest release, All Things Work Together, will tell.

1. Always Knew

The opener song features a more shiny sound, despite getting into grimy details. The first song features some auto tune on the hook, but that doesn’t hurt the song. It’s really a check up song that brings up to speed on his life and on topics that are important to him. It’s a solid track, but it seems a little empty compared to the tracks from Anomaly.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: A-

2. Facts

This second song hits very hard. This song launches very theatrically and ominous. It’s a great song that fires back at the people who criticized his more political tone on Church Clothes 3. This sounds more like classic Lecrae than his singles released to promote the album did. This song tackles some huge themes and topics and does a great job of leveling the playing field. The beat is straight forward until we hit the last fourth and then it changes and totally kills it. He dismisses every criticism or doubt that changing labels had changed him. While “Already Knew” was supposed to calm fears, it’s “Facts” that does the job.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

3. Broke

The last single released before the album was already great and sounded like classic Lecrae. The song talks about being rich in Christ rather than cash. It’s a very sleek song that totally kills it and works on multiple levels. His flow pattern is solid with a fire hook.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

4. Blessings (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)

I did not like this single when it was first released. I am not a Ty Dolla $ign fan. I still don’t like it. It’s too mainstream rap, complete with wail-rapping, mumble rapping and auto-tune drenched hooks. It’s such a sweet beat wasted on mediocre lyricism and substance.

Track Rating: 6/10

Grade: B

5. Whatchu Mean (ft. Aha Gazelle)

The only 116 member to appear on Lecrae’s newest album is their newest recruit and he’s got some talent. The track starts off with a swan lake tinkle feel, but they come in hard. This is the “Say I Won’t” of this album. The hook is fine, but the verse kind of a sping style. It’s very high energy, yet laid back. The vocals are fun. Aha is fine, but he has that wail-rap style. While he tones it down on this track, he’s solid anyway. Lecrae really brings it home with his final verse. It’s a solid jam.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

6. Hammer Time (ft. 1K Phew)

The most mainstream song on the album is one that I detested upon hearing it originally. However, upon revisiting, it’s really fun with some fun hip hop vocals. It’s one that’s perfect for working out or just jamming. It’s a fast-paced solid jam, there’s not much substance, but it’s fun.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

7. Come and Get Me

Again starting mischievously ominous, it breaks down into a groove. It’s classic Lecrae from the outset. He comes out hard and absolutely crushes it. It has a vibe that’s reminiscent of Will Smith meets Hamilton. Featuring some of Lecrae’s best lyricism yet it’s easily the best song on the album.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

8. Lucked Up (ft. Nija)

This track picks up with some very nice vocals from Nija. From the outset, it feels like a mix of “All I Need is You” and “Good, Bad, Ugly” with some original elements that elevate the track. It’s a solid track that displays some of Lecrae’s top notch lyricism.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

9. Wish You the Best (ft. Verse Simmonds)

This track is funky jam about growing up and reconnecting with old friends and lost love. It’s Lecrae’s “Hear My Heart”. Verse’s vocals are a perfect fit for the track. It’s reminiscent of “Special” off of his Church Clothes mixtape. T

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

10. Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination)

The first single was released over a year before this album released. I always liked this one. It’s very real and a great confessional about life on the road and religion vs politics. The vocals are very dreamy and features a great brass section. I enjoy this track a lot.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

11. I’ll Find You (ft. Tori Kelly)

The first single for the album released this year features incredible vocals from the underrated Tori Kelly and some wonderful lyricism of Lecrae. The song is a beautiful song that deserves a Grammy.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

12. 8:28

This song has a Sunday morning feel to it. Featuring some great vocals and messages, this track is perfectly in Lecrae’s vain. The song is hopeful and inspirational and really harkens back to the classic Lecrae.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

13. Cry For You (ft. Taylor Hill)

This is a beautiful song featuring some of the best vocals on Lecrae song. This is a really honest song that truly brought tears. This song features the best lyricism of the album. It’s a beautiful song that addresses some real issues involving popularity, religion, piety, and suicidal thoughts and depression. It’s a wonderful and important song.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

14. Worth It (ft. Kierra Sheard and Jawan Harris)

This Gospel-inspired song is inspirational and comforting. The closer of the album inspires and provides hope for the listener as we depart for the album. It’s a great display of Lecrae’s powerhouse lyricism and songwriting. Our Southern Gospel artists own the vocals on this chorus and really calms the listener and creates a sense of hope and safety.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

Conclusion

The fears the fans had that Lecrae would change with the label were completely ungrounded. Of course, the style changes slightly moving from indie rap to mainstream rap, but the fact of the matter is that this is the Lecrae we all know and love. It’s the Lecrae from Anomaly and Gravity, from Rehab and After the Music Stops. Lecrae creates a powerhouse album that stirs the heart and stimulates the mind, while also southing the soul. The vocalists and features, for the most part, are incredibly chosen and work perfectly. Overall, this album is a display of his lyricism and sheer talent. This is one that will go down into the books as a high ranking album. In fact…

 

  1. Anomaly
  2. All Things Work Together
  3. Gravity
  4. Church Clothes 3
  5. Rehab
  6. Church Clothes Vol. 2
  7. Church Clothes
  8. Rebel
  9. After The Music Stops
  10. Real Talk
  11. Rehab: The Overdose

Album Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

 

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Fall Preview: 20 Movies I Can’t Wait to See

20. American Madeamerican-made-movie-poster-2017-20003055-1280x0

Following the adventures of a CIA drug runner, American Made intrigues me. This film seems like it’s the Tom Cruise movie we’ve needed to see for a while from him.

  • Release Date: September 29th
  • Director: Doug Liman
  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhall Gleeson, & Sarah Wright
  • Written By: Greg Spinelli

19. Battle of the Sexesomyvigfmyc082ay8fv6-o

Battle of the Sexes tells the story of Billie Jean King and her infamous Tennis match with former champ and hustler Bobby Riggs.

  • Release Date: September 22nd
  • Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
  • Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carrell, & Elizabeth Shue
  • Written By: Simon Beaufoy

18. Blade Runner 2049zz4f1c300d

Set 30 years after the original, a new younger blade runner is set on the trail of a long buried secret that leads him straight to the missing Rick Deckard.

  • Release Date: October 6th
  • Director: Denis Villenueve
  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, and Jared Leto
  • Written By: Hampton Fancher and Michael Green

17. Geostormgeostorm-trailer-700x300

This movie sounds so bad that I have to see it. Global warming versus the world? Wow.

  • Release Date: October 20th
  • Director: Dean Devlin
  • Starring: Gerard Butler, Talitha Eliana Bateman, and Abbie Cormish
  • Written By: Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot

16. Leatherface

Following a group of youngsters who have escaped from a mental institution, they begin being picked off by the young boy who will become Leatherface.

  • Release Date: October 20th
  • Directors: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
  • Starring: Finn Jones, Stephen Dorff, and Lili Taylor
  • Written By: Seth M. Sherwood

15. Flatlinersflatliners-remake-release-date-summer-2017

After an experiment goes wrong, a group of college students are haunted by the side effects of their attempts to play with death.

  • Release Date: September 29th
  • Director: Niels Arden Oplev
  • Starring: Nina Robrev, Ellen Page, and Diego Luna
  • Written By: Ben Ripley and Peter Filardi

14. The Snowmanmaxresdefault

A detective hunts for an elusive serial killer who’s MO is decapitating bodies and leaving a snow head in their place.

  • Release Date: October 20th
  • Director: Tomas Alfredson
  • Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, and Val Kilmer
  • Written By: Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan, and Søren Sveistrup

13. Marshallmarshall

Thurgood Marshall’s life is an interesting one. As a history nerd and film lover, biopics are my favorites and it doesn’t hurt that there is Oscar buzz surrounding the film.

  • Release Date: October 13th
  • Director: Reginald Hudlin
  • Starring: Dan Stevens, Chadwick Boseman, and Josh Gad
  • Written By: Jacob and Michael Koskoff

12. Happy Death Daymaxresdefault1

A woman awakes every day after being murdered and must prevent her death to break the cycle.

  • Release DateOctober 13th
  • Director: Christopher Landon
  • Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, and Ruby Modine
  • Written By: Scott Lobdell

11. Darkest Hourdarkest_hour_gary_oldman_images

Darkest Hour tells the story of Winston Churchill and his ascension during World War II.

  • Release Date: November 22nd
  • Director: Joe Wright
  • Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James and Ben Mendelsohn
  • Written By: Anthony McCarten

10. Daddy’s Home 2daddys-home-2-slice-600x200

The sequel to 2015’s surprise comedy hit, the film follows Ferrell and Whalberg’s characters as they must deal with their fathers going through what they did.

  • Release Date: November 10th
  • Director: Sean Anders
  • Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Whalberg, and Mel Gibson
  • Written By: Sean Anders and Brian Burns

9. Kingsman: The Golden Circlekingsman-the-golden-circle-logo

The sequel to 2015’s breakout spy hit, Kingsman: The Golden Circle looks to expand the universe by introducing an international plot and bringing the Kingsman into direct contact with their American counterparts: the Statesman.

  • Release Date: September 22nd
  • Director: Matthew Vaughn
  • Starring: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, and Channing Tatum
  • Written By: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman

8. Itit-movie-2017-pennywise-bill-skarsgard

The second adaption of Steven King’s most popular novel, It follows the Losers’ Club as they are terrorized by their greatest fear: Pennywise.

  • Release Date: September 8th
  • Director: Andy Muschietti
  • Starring:  Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, and Finn Wolfhard
  • Written By: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman

7. Suburbiconsuburbicon

Set in the 1950s, a quite suburban community is rocked by a violent home invasion. I’m mainly excited for this film based on the story and the writers involved. I love the Coen Brothers.

  • Release Date: October 27th
  • Director: George Clooney
  • Starring: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Issac
  • Written By: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, George Clooney, and Grant Heslov

6. Wonderwonder-cur

Based on the bestselling book, the film tells the story of a socially anxious kid who deals with bullying and characterized by the helmet he wears.

  • Release Date: November 17th
  • Director: Stephen Chbosky
  • Starring: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay
  • Written By: Stephen Chbosky, Steven Conrad, and Jack Thorne

5. Brad’s Statusmv5bn2e2yjaxymytyzjhys00owu2ltkwntetm2u0mgfhymzmyjawxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjm4oti2mtu-_v1_

The latest film from Amazon Studios, the studio that made Manchester By the Sea and The Big SickBrad’s Status sees a father and son travel to tour colleges, which leads the father to reflect on his life and what he’s done with it.

  • Release Date: September 15th
  • Director: Mike White
  • Starring: Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, and Jenna Fischer
  • Written By: Mike White

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri239293_146_news_hub_198282_677x251

After the disappearance and probable murder of a young girl, the police investigation slows, leading to her mother to take action, attracting the attention of another sheriff.

  • Release Date: November 10th
  • Director: Martin McDonaugh
  • Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Peter Dinklage
  • Written By: Martin McDonaugh

3. Thor: Ragnarokgallery-1469440016-logo-thor-ragnarok

When Hela arrives to start the apocalypse of the gods, Thor is thrust from Asgard without his hammer and must battle his old friend The Hulk, before enlisting him, Loki, and Valkyrie in their quest to save Asgard and find the only person who can stop Ragnarok: Odin.

  • Release Date: November 3rd
  • Director: Taika Waititi
  • Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Mark Ruffalo
  • Written By: Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost

2. Justice Leaguebg

Following the death of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman begin assembling a team of superpowered metahumans to defend the Earth from an incoming invasion of the forces of Apokolips, lead by Steppenwolf.

  • Release Date: November 17th
  • Directors: Zack Snyder and Joss Wheadon
  • Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Ezra Miller
  • Written By: Chris Terrio and Joss Wheadon

1. Murder on the Orient Expressew_website_2700x1800-murderexpress

Based on the classic novel by Agatha Christie, a man is murdered on a train stuck in the snow and it’s up to the world’s greatest detective, Hercule Poirot, to solve the mystery before the train reaches Istanbul.

  • Release Date: November 10th
  • Director: Kenneth Branagh
  • Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe
  • Written By: Michael Green

 

Kaleb Koho’s Corner: Ranking the Summer Movies (May-August 2017)

Kaleb Koho’s Corner: Ranking the Summer Movies (May-August 2017)

Summer is the time for swimming, going to mall, and, of course, blockbusters. This summer has been full popcorn flicks, some better than others. Before I begin my rankings, I must say I didn’t see every movie this summer. Some notable omissions include DunkirkDetroitThe Dark Tower, The Emoji Movie, & The Hitman’s Bodyguard. 

17. Alien: Covenantalien-covenant-wallpaper-10

The Alien franchise has felt played out since the third film. After the awful “vs Predator” movies and the Prometheus prequel, Ridley Scott returned to the director’s chair to set the franchise back on track, even going so far as to pull the plug on Neill Blomkamp’s Alien sequel to make this film. The inbetweenquel is boring and confusing and follows Scott’s tired methods of Alien scares. The birth of the Xenomorphs should be fun, and this is just dreary and boring, with awful performances by everyone, save for Fassbender, who shines as always.

16. The Mummythe-mummy-2017-movie

The Mummy is a terrible summer action flick and an even worse remake. Tom Cruise is utterly unbearable and the cast is passable at best. Russell Crowe is the only redeeming thing about this film. His Jekyll & Hyde are stellar and keep any excitement for the Dark Universe.

15. Transformers: The Last Knighttransformers-last-knight-poster-optimus-prime

The Transformers franchise should have ended years ago. The cast is passable and the action is okay. It’s better than the previous installment, but it’s still really bad. Optimus Prime’s subplot is weird and hard to follow. The editing is atrocious, the aspect ratio changes constantly and is very jarring. A terrible film.

14. Atomic Blondeatomicblonde-2

Atomic Blonde is a kind of generic spy movie. The plot has a generic motivation and ultimately overcomplicates its story for the sake of being a spy movie. I can honestly say that James McAvoy was solid and that the action was incredible. Outside of that, the film fell flat for me as being incredibly boring.

13. Wind Riverwind-river-movie-poster

Wind River is an important film but it isn’t one that I’ll be watching again. I found the story weak and the performances as a whole lacking. The cinematography was the highlight of the film for me, but overall, it wasn’t what I was hoping to get from the film.

12. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Talespirates-caribbean-5-movie-posters

The Pirates franchise is a great one. The fourth film is terrible, but the original trilogy is great. This film connected wonderfully to the original trilogy and, while not the best of the franchise, served as a great slate cleaner and sets up another swashbuckling adventure. The supporting cast is fantastic.

11. Despicable Me 3despicable-me-3-2017-after-credits-hq

This is a fun animated film. It’s really entertaining and features a great villain in Trey Parker’s Belthezar Bratt. The minions play a minuscule role, which works, and the main plot is simple. It’s entertaining and surpasses the snooze fest that was Despicable Me 2 or the cynical cash grab of Minions.

10. Cars 3au_rich_large_cars3_nr_b9e5af7c

This is the best Pixar film of the decade. A tribute to racing itself, Cars 3 beautifully constructs a story about growing old and legacy. It perfectly couples thematically with the original Cars‘s message of slowing down and enjoying life. It’s a great film.

9. War for the Planet of the Apeswarofplanetofapes

The conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies of all time is good. It may be the weakest of the three, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a huge accomplishment in film. Matt Reeves is a visionary director who has done a great job crafting this world. It’s a great film.

8. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planetsmaxresdefault

This film was very mis-marketed in the fact that they presented it as an action film. In reality, it’s a sci-fi mystery thriller. Visually it’s very stunning and incredible, while performance-wise, it’s pretty lacking. It’s a great film and a thrill ride.

7. Death Notedeathnote

Death Note was a manga and then an anime. I have never read or seen it. So to me, this movie had a wonderful premise, some good performances, and excellent visuals. I enjoyed every minute of watching this film.

6. Spider-Man: Homecomingat6khn8b

The 16th film in the MCU is great. It offers a personal, smaller story for the franchise that accurately depicts modern day high school. The film has a great cast and features one of the best villains in the franchise in Michael Keaton’s Vulture.

5. Logan Luckymaxresdefault1

Logan Lucky was a thrill ride with a wonderful cast, fantastic story, and every minute of this film had me laughing and engaged. It’s a wonderful film and a fun time.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-wallpaper

The original Guardians of the Galaxy is the best Marvel movie to date. Volume 2 does a fantastic job of further developing the characters and storylines. The film also includes one of the best villains of the franchise in Kurt Russell’s Ego. Michael Rooker & Dave Bautista turn in incredible performances that are very understated. The soundtrack is also fantastic.

3. Baby Driverbaby-driver-et00040794-14-03-2017-09-05-24

Baby Driver is an amazing, original film. Edgar Wright is a great director and writer who has crafted fantastic films in the past with Shaun of the DeadHot FuzzScott Pilgrim vs The World, and The World’s End; his latest film is no exception. The cast is stellar with amazing performances from Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, C.J. Jones, and Elis González.

2. The Big Sickbigsick

This indie movie was fantastic and real. It’s by far the best romantic comedy I’ve ever seen because it’s so real and fun. Kumail expertly writes the story and performs with such real emotion. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are fantastic, as well as Zoe Kazan. It’s a must-see for the year.

1. Wonder Woman1491990205555-1

This is the best film of the summer and one of the best superhero movies of the century. Gal Gadot is the definitive Diana Prince with great performances from Chris Pine and the ensemble. Patty Jenkins does a masterful job of directing the best film in the DCEU.