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Review: Zae Da Blacksmith, ‘Irons in the Fire’

By Eric N. Boston @EricBoston3 | July 22, 2020

Guest Contributor: Srrvant

Zae Da Blacksmith has just released his new project Irons In The Fire which is a 13 song, almost hour-long Christcentric Release.

For 2020 that is almost unheard of, but Zae does not seem to care about that nor does he seem to care about how popular the boom-bap style is or is not as it is on full display throughout the record.

He discusses this very idea on the opening track “Go Do!” in which he states his love for lyricism and boom bap and not caring about its relevance…

“If it is for you then it is for you.”

“Unga Bunga” makes this more clear as Zae states that he “wants tough beats and hard bars without singing to praise the Lord.”

This approach is as refreshing as his no hold barred honesty throughout the record.

In a world full of Spotify singles, Zae has stated on his Instagram that he preferred you to listen to the record from start to finish and not simply pick out tracks. Another rarity, but when you follow the instructions, there does seem to be a narrative that he is trying to point out.

“Go Do!”, “Tactics”, and “Back in Babylon” seem to be tracks calling for action of being uncommon, nonconforming and considering Christ in everything all the while pursuing more devotion to Him.

“The Hand of God” discusses Zae’s failings as a good worker and the Lord’s providence through that. The track also gives the history of the forming of The Collective in which he inserts the exciting possibility of a reunion.

“Unga Bunga”, “Brown Sugar”, and “The Label” discuss Zae’s musical journey.”Unga Bunga” discusses the style in which Zae prefers to communicate even if it may make him seem old, outdated, or a caveman.

“Brown Sugar” has a love song feel to hip hop itself and how he fell in love with the music, his need to step away, and then his call to return. “The Label” discusses it’s formation.

“Pity Fool Pt.1” is probably my personal favorite as Zae goes in-depth about his failings and flakiness as an artist.

It would be easy for someone to run from this or defend himself against the accusations, but Zae owns it and asks for forgiveness. “Have pity on me, Lord, I’m a mess, I’m not deserving of your goodness Lord, I’m unworthy to be blessed, I’m a grace abuser a straight-up loser” He raps with sincerity.

From this point, the record takes another turn in the narrative and “Invoked”, “Moving In”, and “Passport” all deal with Zae’s personal relationship to Christ.

“Invoked” discusses Zae’s zeal and strength coming from scripture and his maturity coming from the spirit, all by the work of Christ.Off the mic, Zae is a firefighter, “Moving In” and “Pity Fool Pt.1” deal with some of his struggles between that and music.

“Moving In” especially deals with the immediate danger of being a first responder, but in a more “the Lord only knows how we will go” sort of way. It is a somber track, but a great reminder that ultimately the Lord guides all of our actions.

“Raices” is a completely Spanish track as is the final verse on “Invoked”, which Zae has discussed as something in which he is particularly called to do. My Spanish is no longer fluent these days so I will not try to dissect these.

“Platoon” discusses a topic that is close to my heart as well.As a husband, you are the leader in a family. Zae unveils how self-sacrificial and serious the calling of being a family man is and how ambition is found from scripture and money is not simply for ourselves. Christ is the model man and we are to exemplify that.

“Passport” has a very missional feel to it that we are called to follow Christ no matter where He may call us.At the end of the day, you can tell that this is a Christcentric record.

Great theology with grimy beats and quotable bars. Zae made us wait a long time for this release, but it was well worth it.

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