C-scripture is one of the rappers that have been around for a while, one of the first reviews I ever did was his since then a lot has happened. If you follow him on social media, perhaps you’ve ever wondered what happened to him, this album perhaps will give you some answers. C-scripture explained the concept of South of Heaven as “South of heaven is a metaphor for hell, something far less than heaven where nothing good resides. South of Heaven is a positive way of saying we are living in hell” He explains that the album is in 3 phases, the first one being his struggle as a Christian, his frustrations as a human being; education, the economy and Malawi as a country and lastly the album address his struggle with depression, suicide and mental health.
C-Scripture was kind enough to give us listen to South of Heaven before its online release, the first impression I had was how true he stayed to his style. From the start C- Scripture has been committed to the Boom Bap classic style of Hip Hop and this album is nothing different. We hear a lot of that sound in Paid in Full which is the second track after the album where he makes it clear that he is sticking to his style but also shows off his lyrical skill.
Options is where he expresses the struggle of being a young person in Malawi, “I’m looking at the system and I’m feeling really stranded/I don’t see the future even though I went to college” and “I always put the trust in my faith/Only going to church doesn’t fill my plate”. If you are a young Malawian, you understand the pain that is being spoken of here, it’s a lamentation that we all bear. The track features Emmanuel, Sarah and Genetix, the chorus brings a lighter mood to the song which at the same time communicating exactly what this track is meant to communicate.
C-scripture has some honest words, he pours his heart on this track that features Zambian singer Regina Mwanza, he shares his experience often being hated by people, being lonely, hating God and only having his writing to take comfort. He also talks about how much things didn’t change after becoming a Christian, still not being liked and even things getting worse but this time around he is writing it all to God.
Another heartfelt track on the album is through my eyes which features the one and the only Third Eye, this track also addresses the struggle of being in “third world no cash in it” both rappers sincerely talk about the reality we all go through. But as Third said, “Once you make it through the hard days you are going to shine”.
Battlefield sounds a lot like a sequel to ‘through my eyez’ the beats sound very alike except this one features a chorus by Emmanuel. As the title hints, the tracks is about life being a battlefield, from struggling with losing friends to sin, life is a battlefield but not just for him but his friends as well.
This album is nothing short of honest, on Coldest day which features the OG Perfect Marvel, both the rappers talk about those seasons where fighting is hard and God feels the distance. But as C-scriptures says “even on the coldest days, his love will sustain”. In this track he addresses his own struggle with faith, and that even he wants to give up the fight God is still there fighting for him. Which is what happens with believers when we struggle, God holds on to us.
A song that fans of C-scripture will remember is better days, which has been out for a while now. Here he also addresses what it feels like to be down, struggling with being depressed and no one around you understanding the struggles that you go through. The song is essentially about looking for a better day in God, and him being the only one that can save him from his brokenness. The song features Kalista and Shammah, who add to the song a beautiful melody and help in fully communicate the song. They help take this song from being an average song to a good one.
The singer Emmanuel makes his third appearance in this album on personal, which is “as personal as it gets”. C-Scripture shares about his struggle with not only depression but suicide. If you have ever struggled with depression and suicide, you know how hard it is to fight hard not to throw in the towel. C-scripture doesn’t hold back from explaining how he feels to fight to not lose his mind, he says he has “fight twice as hard just to make sure I don’t lose my mind”.
C-Scripture honours some of his heroes Lusayo and Wanangwa on one moment, as someone who knows him, I know how much Sayo and Wana meant to him. It’s not hard to pick up the depth of his relationship with them, and he rejoices in their lives because he has hope that he will meet them again in heaven.
The album comes to a close with a spoken word poem titled Nebulous, which addresses the struggle of being authentic. In this case, I believe being authentic in sharing your struggle as a Christian and being as honest as possible while doing that.
This review is not the easiest to write because this album is deeply personal and addresses some very difficult topics. One can’t help but applaud him for his bravery, especially in a country where mental health is hardly ever talked about, albums like these are needed. The features made this album what it is, especially the ladies, although the beats on the album lack diversity. The album needed more range musically while at the same time staying true to his Hip Hop style and the message he is trying to deliver. In a nutshell, South of Heaven is an album that Christians who struggle will appreciate, it is honest and authentic. It is honest about what it looks like to struggle with depression, suicide and life in general while also trying to hold on to God, who in the end, is really the one holding on to us. I believe he is holding on to C-scripture, I look forward to seeing how God writes this story and uses him to spark honest and authentic conversations.
You can find his music on all online music stores as well as for free download on http://www.kountapoint.com/kp/downloads/compilations/377-c-scripture-south-of-heaven, you can find him on social media as @scripture39 on Twitter and Facebook C-Scripture.
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