Being an active member of the music industry and recording community for 30 years now, I’ve watched tables turn and tides shift.

Sounds and trends progress and regress (and not necessarily in sequential order), but one constant has remained through all my years of examination: NEW.

People love new things, even if those new things are recycled versions of predecessors that the presenter prays either no one notices they’ve seen before, or that consumers are so enamored with the product that they won’t care about running it back. One of the more glaring absences I’ve noticed in that same time… artists not knowing how to let their art breathe.

In pursuit or prioritizing of new, we neglect the growth or life of old.

That long diatribe was necessary because today’s review of 2nd Samuel 151’s Now Born Again: The RetCon is a strategically genius move in that the East Coast artist released revised, updated takes on a previous project.

This is actually cutting edge and really honest.

Most artists I know, even when putting out great projects, can still hear twists and turns and highlights and tweaks that could have been added the first go-round.

Deluxe albums don’t count because those concepts mostly consist of reissued projects with songs that either didn’t make the first cut or new records that come up in the residue of that offering and the artists decide to make them inclusive.

But listen: 2nd Sam put out the entire same project AGAIN, but with polishes and upgrades making it new.

Because the music we make as Christian artists should not include an expiration date (especially if we’re not trying to ‘ride the wave’ of current currents), this idea is a gem. What’s dope about the RetCon is that you wouldn’t know it was a reboot.

2nd Sam has ‘it’.

From the opening lines of Wh0 Am I?, the Staten Island, NY native lets you know he belongs in this space. 2nd Sam is a musical vet with years of experience under his belt. His ability to navigate confidently around the featured production is not surprising. The production itself could be seen as dated considering the current musical landscape, but the vintage late ’90’s early 2000’s feel works for this project.

The bars are relevant (and there are actual bars, here), the features hit, and the well put together interludes give the project a fluidity that’s missing in a lot of today’s full-length endeavors.

The Beautiful Bride Records release sees very vulnerable bars from 2nd Sam on records like Beaut1ful Bride, Go Ther3 With U, I 5urrender All, and the Tone Jonez produced Forgive M3. The RetCon even features 2nd Sam’s son, along with others, on the Church Boys & Girls Remix

After listening through to the consistency of a project, that only seems to sputter when it comes to a few of the album’s choruses and hooks, you come to appreciate Now Born Again: The RetCon for the body of work it conveys and the solidifying place in the CHH marketplace that it should readily afford 2nd Samuel 151.

And then the project ends with Lov3.

The perfectly sampled chorus and melodic production create a highlight at the END of the album. That an already dope, and fairly detailed, project ends with arguably one of its best records speaks volumes about 2nd Sam’s strengths as an artist. 

For those who favor artists deliberately keeping the Christ in CHH, a sincere Gospel message, and professional execution – Now Born Again: The RetCon by 2nd Samuel 151, strong start to finish, should be on your list.

You’re welcome.

What do you think of this project? Hit the comments and let us know!

The 2nd Single Off The Recently Released Album “Now Born Again (The Retcon)”. Track produced by Marv4MoBeats

Some will call this a remix album. Others will call it a revision. 2nd Samuel 151 just calls it a new beginning…

A Retcon is a shortened form of “retroactive continuity”, a reference to a literary device in which the content of a previously established narrative is changed.

In 2019, 2nd Samuel 151 released his full-length, debut album.

The album was created like a movie – an intro, followed by intricate storylines and backdrops, leading up to a climactic ending.

The debut was titled ‘Now Born Again’, inspired by the nickname of his neighborhood in his hometown of Staten Island, NY. It was also a representation of his newfound life in Christ.

With calculated features and production, the message that 2nd Samuel was trying to display was achieved and shared with the world. It proved to be a critical success.

Mainstream and independent artists all agreed, the project was a Christ-centered, brilliantly put together work of Gospel art. Fans of Christian Hip Hop and music, in general, were not disappointed.

2nd, Samuel however, felt like something was missing.

Something that may have been missed the first time around led Samuel back to the studio in order to tell his origin story from a different perspective. A new project was birthed, a reintroduction of sorts.

‘Now Born Again – The Retcon’

What 2nd Samuel 151 is trying to accomplish with this new album is to go back and restart the life and times of a character. The tracklist is the same, but the content is not. Some of the original cast returns, some will be replaced. The musical score will be familiar but will take you to another place you haven’t been to before.

In the end, the project is still Christ-centered, the message is still the same.

The Gospel Truth is still represented.

Some will call this a remix album – others a revision, a reboot. 2nd Samuel just calls it a Response.

Dropping October 3o, 2020

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