Review | Allen W Brown, “Ministry Over Business”

By Darius Mullin @iamdariusmullin | April 29, 2019

‘Ministry Over Business’ is the latest album from Virginian CHH rapper Allen W Brown.

Brown focuses on different aspects of putting “ministry over business” throughout the tracks on the album, drawing on his own first-hand experience with ministries (including one he helped start).

New Wave (feat. J-Dubz) – “Surfboard over sin – and I can do it with a grin.” Allen W Brown sets the tone for the album, stating that he’s “on a whole new wave” and that he’s “in Christ, walking in the Spirit.”The song is very chorus-driven and thrives on this fact due to a very catchy, well-cadenced chorus. The instrumental stays very similar throughout and starts to lose my interest towards the end of the song. However, the rapper compensates for this by switching up his flow to a more melodic scheme in the final verse.
The Definition – This short interlude offers insight into the meaning of “Ministry over Business” and acts as a good intro to the next track.
Ministry Over Business – Here, Brown relates his own struggle between using the CHH “business” for his own gain instead of focusing on the Lord and His “ministry.” The instrumental is upbeat and attention-holding. Although I wish the lyrics’ execution could be a little more precise, the song is engaging and chock-full of meaning, especially to those listeners that are directly involved with CHH. “I love CHH. We just asking for Your grace for all the times … we tried to take Your place.”
Not Giving Up (feat. King Chai) –  “I ain’t givin’ up, imma do whatever it takes … I’m a soldier in the army of the Lord standing on the Word, that’s my sword.” “Not Giving Up” immediately grabs my attention with a fittingly forceful beat and a compelling and catchy hook. Both Allen W Brown and King Chai kill their verses – King Chai in particular really fits the feel of the track, making him the perfect feature. The acapella repetition of the first two lines of the chorus at the end of the song serves to drive the point home and makes for a very cool ending.
I Choose to Live – On “I Choose to Live,” Allen W Brown declares his dedication to the Lord. “I choose to live, no, I will not die.” The words are meaningful and transparent – however, nothing about the song really sticks out to me. Although Brown’s choruses seem to often be one of the stronger points of his songs, this one doesn’t resonate in the same way. Overall, the song is good, but I find myself thinking that I’m unlikely to come back to it later.
Why I Love You – The artist brings us to a more chill sound with this one. The song is very contemplative. Brown doesn’t just state why he loves the Lord – instead, he walks us through his thought process on the matter. Additionally, the song serves as an encouragement to the listener. The subdued feel to the instrumental dovetails masterfully with the lyrical content of the song.
“God’s love everywhere I go. God in me every breath I blow. God in me every seed I sow. God with me every open door.”
Unashamed (feat. J-Dubz) – Allen W Brown and J-Dubz go with a more pop-ish sounding vibe on “Unashamed.” The artists have written a turn-up anthem that seeks to unify “all my unashamed believers” across the globe. The song sounds like it would be pretty dope live, but doesn’t quitedo it for me as it is.
Do It for the Lord – The bass on “Unashamed” bleeds smoothly into the next track, “Do It for the Lord.” The emcee immediately launches into the rapid-fire hook, followed by some more impressive lyricism on the verses. The beat is less interesting to me than a lot of others on the project, but the lyrics more than makeup for that. The artist ends the song by encouraging listeners to “do it for the Lord” and put “ministry over business,” as one can’t serve to masters. “Real talk, more than a rapper – I rap sermons kinda like a pastor.”

Salvation vs. Inspiration (feat. Azrealthapriest) –  “I don’t just want to inspire people to be better people – I want to preach Jesus to the world! I want to see the whole world saved through the power of Jesus Christ!” Continuing in his theme of focusing on what’s really important, Brown and Azrealthatpriest emphasize that, while there’s nothing wrong with inspiring their listeners to be better people, what really matters is transformation.

“Salvation vs. Inspiration” has an orchestral sound to it that is unique among the songs on this album, which adds to the feeling that this is really important stuff!”

“Yeah, I want to see you inspired, but I’d rather see you saved.”

Clean (feat. J-Dubz)
The unique beat immediately grabs my attention, with funky samples that keep me listening and 808s that make me want to play it loud in the car. The song is a celebration of God’s work in the artists’ lives and is the perfect note to end the project on.

“Thank God I’m clean on the outside, clean on the inside.”

Overall, I found “Ministry Over Business” to be a very solid project, both sonically and conceptually. Allen W Brown’s beat choices and utilization of features was commendable. Brown presents an album that is well done, but still allows for a lot of room for growth, and I’m excited to hear more from him in the future!

My favorite tracks:
1. Clean
2. Why I Love You
3. Not Giving Up

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