Let me start my review of Sojourn’s “Sojournalism: The Summer Articles” by saying this: rarely, if ever, have I heard a new release that sounds dated, yet comes out of the oven fresher than a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Confused? Yeah, maybe not the best analogy, but I think you get the picture…somewhat, ehh? Now, the “Hip Hop Is Music” label is run by Braille of Lightheaded, but prior to this release along with Braille and S1′s collaborative effort “CloudNineteen” I have yet to notice anything else that has emerged from the camp in quite sometime. It goes without saying that with the release of “The Summer Articles” and the aforementioned “CloudNineteen” it appears as if the label is back to it’s old form when it churned out releases such as THIS. Sojourn, of Future Shock is far from a new jack in the Hip Hop Game, he’s had numerous collaborative efforts with the likes of Cas Metah, JustMe, Solseekers and a host of other notable acts in the “Christian” Hip Hop scene.
One look at the production line-up for “The Summer Articles” and it’s hard to see how this album avoids all likelihood of a possible fail. With the roster of Theory Hazit, Dert, Oh No, Choice 37 and Sojourn himself behind the boards “The Summer Articles” features a nice blend of beatsmiths who all have different production styles that mesh together effortlessly. The healthy variety of beats and lyrics on this album make “The Summer Articles” a pleasant listen from the opening moments of the fittingly-titled “Welcome” to the close of the album’s title cut. The album offers a little something for everyone and there’s really not one stagnant moment where you even have to consider hitting the “next” button on your Ipod. You have your “almost required” posse cuts, songs comprised of honest lyricism and heaters that are filled with battle raps, especially on a track like “10,000″. Featuring label-mates Braille and Theory Hazit, with production from The Strange Fruit Project’s S1, all three emcees “go in”, individually killing each verse. Yet, the track that truly got me open was “Human Resources” featuring Big Rec of Mass Reality and get this, on this go round’ “Human Resources” finds Sojourn on the beatbox…yes, the BEATBOX. You can’t help but fall in love with this track simply based on the nostalgia factor, but lyrically dude just rides the track like a roller-coaster as the beatbox picks up and slows down the pace meter at different moments on “Human Resources”.
There’s more, the ride just doesn’t stop there. “Definitely Special” my favorite cut from the album, features neck-snapping production from Dert and is a must-hear for all those married folks out there as the track really hit home for me and I’m certain it will for you as well. Also, it didn’t hurt matters for Dert’s brilliance either, when you account for the De La vocal-slice from “Breakadawn” thrown into the mix for good measure. “Expectations” has me scratching my head vigorously attempting to figure out which “golden age” track it most resembles, while “Civil War” matches the funkiness of “Definitely Special” with superb backing from Theory Hazit.
Honestly, I’ve never been one to search out “Christian” Hip Hop whatsoever, but an album such as this, one that doesn’t drop f-bombs every other bar or gun-clapping on every break, is somewhat refreshing. Sojourn proves that “keepin’ it real” isn’t necessarily “keepin’ it real” in certain instances and it’s almost inevitable when album’s that feature the quality that “Soujournalism..” does..well, sometimes they just end up finding you.