Introduction:

C-Los is a CHH rapper who has been around since 2011. Debuting with SonRize in 2012, which he released in partnership with former band member Echo II, Carlos Williams followed it up with his singles Come in 2014, Show N’ Tell Remix (ft. Empty Vessel, Reschad Oliver, and MyzBeatz) in 2015, Give Me a Chance (ft. Benjah) in 2016, the award-winning Together (ft. MyzBeatz) in 2016, and New Me Knew Me in 2017. He also works as a producer under the name Beats By C-Los and has produced many projects including Phenom4Eons by MyzBeatz, Onomatopoeia by Kaleb Koho, and Reminiscent by SW. To conclude the series of reviewing members of The Forks’ solo projects, here is SonRize, plus some mini bonus reviews of the individual singles that he released subsequently in this special edition of #MusicMonday, releasing exclusively to you on the Thursday prior to the release of The Forks’ debut album Shoot For Teams.

1. Catch Tha’ Vision (Intro)

C-Los flows well on this techno style beat. His urgency is felt and hypes up what we’re about to hear throughout the album. It’s a marching anthem to move us to action while also setting the tone of the entire project. It’s an effective intro.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B+

2. Live for Christ (ft. Empty Vessel)

This synth-style pop beat is really cool and different from what we hear in rap traditionally. The song is a mission call to allow your life to represent the ideals of Christ. The song is very well produced and the feature from Empty Vessel is nice addition. It’s a little cheesy, but overall it’s a solid second song.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B

3. Bass Pound

The bass on this song is the highlight, but the production is really groovy. C-Los’s performance is on point and his lyricism is great. The hook is very catchy and infectious. This is best track so far on the project.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

4. Walk It Out

This song has a higher energy to it, from the busy production to the urgent lyricism. The call to live out what you say in public is captured in a three word hook that infects the listener with a need to dance.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

5. Faithful

Another pop-style beat that is truly smooth and synthetic. Echo II raps in Japanese and English. Despite the different languages, the sentiments and emotion carry and present an amazing song. The hook is great with stellar vocals. C-Los takes verses two and three and kills it. The lyricism is fantastic throughout. This is the best song so far on the album.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

6. Purpose (ft. Nancy Williams)

The intro is a little long but it shows off the sleek production and sets a mood. C-Los spends the song contemplating about his purpose and relationships. We are introduced to his wife Nancy in this song and her vocals are absolutely splendid. They contribute to the mourning and introspective atmosphere greatly. This is my new favorite so far.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

7. Breathe (ft. Bleef, Katsu, and Jim Dostal)

The production changes enough to distinguish it’s a new song, but it flows directly from the last song. The production is amazing. Bleef goes first and delivers a verse with amazing lyricism and performance. Hope Church worship pastor Jim Dostal sings the hook and his voice is haunting and an incredible addition. C-Los goes second and continues to salvation themes of the album, presenting the idea of reading and obeying the Bible as being as important as breathing. Katsu raps in almost exclusively Japanese, but he delivers his sentiments and emotions well. It’s a great sequel to last song.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

8. Dead to Sin

Things pick up a bit with this track. Things get intense and epic in the production as the brass horns and strings signal a war song. C-Los’s performance is great. His vocals are on point. Echo II delivers an equally solid performance. It’s not a song I’ll revise a lot, but it’s a solid track.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: B+

9. Fire (ft. Reschad Oliver)

The synths in this song are on point. The production is electric and groovy. C-Los rides the beat like it’s nothing. His lyricism is absolutely stellar. Reschad also delivers a solid voice. Overall, this song lives up to its name: straight fire.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

10. This Is a War

Sampling a very intense speech, the song is a war song. It’s very loud and amped up to eleven. The song really backs up the title. It’s urgent and the production is really great and backs it up. The lyricism is good. Overall, it feels like it’s a trying a little too hard, but it’s still a good song.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: B+

11. My Song (ft. Yashi and Nancy Williams)

Yashi’s vocals are unbelievably good. It’s a very well produced song, giving off sunny and fun vibes. Nancy’s vocals are great too, very complimentary of the piece. C-Los’s lyricism is absolutely on point. It’s a really fun song and is easily one of the best of the album.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

12. Nothing Without Him

The synthetic and groovy production, led by pianos and strings, is what really sets this song apart, along with C-Los’s performance and vocals. His lyricism is absolutely stellar. The song captures his story and his reliance on God in a really honest and organic way.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

13. Heat It Up

The production throughout the album has been phenomenal and this one is no exception. It’s C-Los and Echo II’s lyricism and performances that really set this one apart as one of the best of the album.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

14. Show N’ Tell

The song is long, but it eats up every second of playtime. The production reaches an all-time high, along with the lyricism and performances of both C-Los and Echo II. This is easily the best song of the album, if not of C-Los’s catalog.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

15. Go

This song is a solid follow-up to what we just heard. It’s a really hype and well made. The performances and lyricism are straight fire. There is a lot going in the production which becomes my only issue with the song.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: B+

16. Sonrize (ft. Da’ Light and Nancy Williams)

This techno finale drives the point of the album home hard. Nancy’s performance is absolutely great and her vocals add a ton. Da’ Light delivers a really solid verse with a performance similar to that of Kendrick Lamar. Echo II rounds out the album and the group drives it all home. It’s a solid mission song and a good finale.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

17. Hold On (ft. Nancy Williams) [Bonus]

This beautiful epilogue serves as an anthem of hope to the people of Japan after the hurricane that rocked the nation. Nancy’s vocals are great and Sonrize’s performances are emotional and genuine. It’s a very human song.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

Conclusion:

The album is full of really great ideas and some really fantastic songs. C-Los really stands out as a great producer and rapper. His lyricism and performances are consistently really good. The only real issue I have with the album is that it’s very long, but it makes up its length by having a ton of really good songs. Overall, it’s a high ranking album for me and a really impressive debut album.

Album Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

Bonus Reviews: The Singles

1. Come

This song is so well crafted. From the production to the lyricism to the performance, C-Los paints a picture of a broken heart that needs Jesus and his conversation to save him.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

2. Show N’ Tell (Remix) [ft. Empty Vessel, Reschad Oliver, and MyzBeatz]

Any reason to revisit this song is a good one. The song changes just a little bit production wise, but C-Los and friends go in and have fun with it. Myz & Los deliver knockout verses. The overall lyricism is great. The performances are solid. While it isn’t better than the original, it’s a worthy sequel.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

3. Give Me a Chance (ft. Benjah)

This song is an emotional plea against abortion and man does C-Los paint a realistic and emotional picture. He even brings in hip-hop vocal legend Benjah! It’s a really emotional piece that lands just right.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

4. Together (ft. MyzBeatz)

This important song is an earnest call for peace and healing in a race war that’s been permeating the police vs citizens battle. Each offers an honest perspective of the situation and work together to tell the story. The production is fantastic. The lyricism and performances are what really shine.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

5. New Me Knew Me

The most recent solo release from C-Los is very groovy and fun, with great production and solid lyricism. The premise is solid, but it feels just a little flat to me. It’s not my favorite of his catalog, but it’s certainly not a bad song by any stretch of the imagination.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B

 

 

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