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The DIVE Series: Redtips, "Nino Brown"

Welcome to the tenth installment of The DIVE Series*. It is an honor to have written ten consecutive articles for FiveTwenty Collective. I am your host, DJ Expander. If you are new to this series, thank you for tuning in! I genuinely appreciate all of the support this series has been receiving.

If you are a recent or consistent reader of the series, you will have noticed that last month I went over Ty Brasel’s latest and most complete album, TRANSCENDENT.

I recently came across a relatively new song by Red Tips. The music was so good that I could not pass up the opportunity to write an article about this single called Nino Brown.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ‭‭- Psalm 119:105


About the Single

Red Tips‘ single Nino Brown was released on July 24th, 2022. This track is easily one of my favorite tracks from Red Tips. That is saying something. I will extract and cover only the most important meanings of the track to clarify what Red Tips is attempting to convey in the single to the best of my ability.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 1)

The most critical “meat” of the first verse is as follows:

“I got that Bible on me like a kilo. Leave the devil with a stitch like he Lilo. I got the sauce like Hoshino. Had to cut off the dead weight, keto. Momma told me, ‘Don’t do nothin’ illegal’. I’m pushin’ the Word on my name Benny Siegel. Get out or lay down! Bad and I’m brown like Nino. Holy one with the chips like a Cheeto. Lawyer called and he told me I’m free ‘to. Satan thought he won’t get hit wit a veto (Ha!).”

Here, Red Tips makes it clear that he often keeps the Word of God (the Bible) by his side. As a follower of Jesus, this is essential to his walk with God. He speaks about leaving the devil with a stitch (or leaving the devil in the dust) like he’s Lilo, referencing the 2002 Disney film “Lilo & Stitch.” Next, he talks about how he has charisma and cuts off his dead weight like he was on a keto diet. This “dead weight” line is likely a pun because he probably means he lost weight physically and cut some ties with toxic people.

Red Tips implies that his mom raised him right and he’s genuine about publicly conveying that he follows God’s Word. He is unashamed of the Gospel and isn’t afraid of being known to be deeply rooted in the Bible.

He also conveys that it is good to be holy and have money to provide. (Note that he is not saying the love of money and material items is good. The love of money is the root of all evil, but having money and material things to provide for yourself and others is alright). Lastly, he mentions how he’s free (likely referencing what Jesus did for him on the cross). Satan thought he wouldn’t get shut down by Red Tips, but Satan ended up getting rejected by him due to his faith in God.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 2)

Red Tips’ awesome pen game continues with this in the chorus of the song:

“If that’s what you want then go get it. All my dogs gotten straight out the trenches. Penthouse we ain’t gettin’ no mentions. In the game, we ain’t ridin’ no benches. Get out of yo’ feelings, get out of yo’ boss. Start wheelin’ and dealin’. My life raisin’ up ’cause I ain’t got no ceilings. My neck and my wrist the only thing that’s chillin’. You only want me, you can’t call up a feelin’ (Woo woo woo). Shinobi out there hittin’, live how I’m feelin’. I been kickin’. Give me the disc, I’ma throw it like krillin’. It’s nothin’ to me. I step in and he parted the sea. He told me that he livin’ through me. That mean I got the heart of a G (Yeah). It’s nothin’ to me.”

Based on everything that I understand in the chorus of the track, Red Tips is likely expressing:

  • How important it is to have a good work ethic to achieve your goals in life
  • How important it is not to feel sorry for yourself and get to work on your goals and dreams (hence the term “wheelin’ and dealin’)
  • How he’s going nowhere but up due to his hard work
  • How has an icy neck and wrist (neck and wrist with jewelry on them)
  • How he lives authentically and hangs out with friends in contentment
  • How God directs his paths
  • How God lives through Red Tips, meaning he has the heart of a G (someone who is not fake)

The entirety of verse 2 is the following:

“I’m goin’ for bro, I’m takin’ all of the risks. When I shoot now it’s shot like a wrist. Ball, like I’m ’bout it, get signed with a niche. Lash on the bread like I’m takin’ a pic yeah. It’s a movie, how we do it. Ratatouille, I get to it. Got a cross on my back I can’t lose it. I got the gospel of peace I’ma use it. Quick fast, quick pass. Hit hard so I got whiplash. How you bring that thing back with no tag? How you pushin’ the whip with no gas? I put faith in the tank and I dash. Read the word, and I pray, and I fast. Goin’ Hulk in a hole and I smash. Satan, I’m kickin’ yo’— (*Beep*).

In this verse, he indicates that he is not afraid to take risks, shoots his shots willingly, and has his niche in the Christian Rap space. Red Tips mentions how his life is like a movie, giving the movie “Ratatouille” as an example of his work ethic.

He speaks about having a cross on his back (referencing how Jesus carried the cross to Calvary to die on that same cross for our sins). He also mentions how he has the Gospel of peace (otherwise known as the story of Jesus Christ) and is not afraid to use the Gospel to help others find their way to Jesus.

I want to address five consecutive bars that end the second verse. He asks how people can drive a car with no gas and then proceeds to make the analogy that driving the vehicle is living a fulfilled life. That the gas needed to live a fulfilled life in Christ is faith in God. He continues by saying he reads the Bible, talks with God, and fasts (which are all fundamental Biblical principles). He goes on to say he’s “goin’ Hulk” or going “beast mode” against Satan and hits Satan with a burn saying, “I’m kickin’ yo’ [behind].” Let us make sure that we understand how he’s “kicking Satan’s [behind].” Red Tips has made it clear that he wants nothing to do with Satan’s schemes and rejects Satan’s temptations with the help of the Holy Spirit.

The chorus runs one last time and then the song ends.


Conclusion

Today, this record has over 110,000 Spotify streams, making it the third most popular track on Spotify for Red Tips. Just behind HIT MY LINE and STUFF BACK.

Based on the given information, Red Tips’ primary point he is attempting to convey is likely the following:

He has worked hard to achieve his success; rejects Satan’s temptations and schemes; frequently prays, fasts, and uses God’s Word as a light to guide him through his life.

As stated in Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” This is an excellent theme verse for this track, given what Red Tips is likely attempting to convey to his audience.

It is important to Red Tips to make a positive difference in his audience’s lives. It is equally important to him to make that difference by unashamedly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help lead others to God.

In the same way, God’s people should reject Satan’s temptations, pray without ceasing, frequently fast, and ultimately use God’s Word as a light to guide us through our lives.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full Nino Brown single at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


The DIVE Series: Ty Brasel, 'Transcendent'

Welcome to the ninth installment of The DIVE Series*. I am your host, DJ Expander. Today, for the first time, I will cover a Christian Hip Hop album!

If you read my last article about “SET IT OFF”, you probably remember that today is the day that I will DIVE into Ty Brasel’s latest and most complete album, TRANSCEDENT.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ‭‭- John 16:33‭

According to Ty Brasel in Season 5, Episode 2 of Southside Rabbi, the story of the album stems from Ty Brasel’s life from late 2019 to late 2022.

TRANSCENDENT covers him ascending into success within Christian Hip Hop, going through heartbreak, trials & tribulations, and becoming lost in sin and pride. When he lost his way, he realized that he needed to repent since God’s mercy knows no bounds.

Sit back and enjoy the coverage of this album!


Basic Credits for TRANSCENDENT

Here are the basic credits for each track on TRANSCENDENT. I have compiled this list to the best of my ability based on thorough research:

TRACK #1: CELESTIAL (ACT 1) –

Produced by: Juice Bangers

TRACK #2: RIGHT ON TIME –

Featuring: Parris Chariz
Produced by: Dirty Rice, Juice Bangers, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #3: ON THE RUN –

Produced by: Dirty Rice, Juice Bangers, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #4: MAD 2 THE MAX –

Featuring: Jay-Way
Produced by: Juice Bangers, Dirty Rice, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #5: SET IT OFF –

Produced by: Juice Bangers and Dirty Rice

TRACK #6: IN THE WEST –

Produced by: Juice Bangers, Dirty Rice, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #7: PRICELESS –

Featuring: Foggieraw
Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #8: LOVE? –

Featuring: The WRLDFMS Tony Williams
Produced by: Dirty Rice, Juice Bangers, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #9: TERRESTRIAL (ACT 2) – 

Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #10: HOLLYWOOD LIFE –

Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #11: LOST –

Produced by: Dirty Rice, Joseph Prielozny, and Juice Bangers

TRACK #12: CROSSROADS –

Featuring: Aaron Cole
Produced by: Dirty Rice and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #13: FAITH –

Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #14: GOD IS THE BEST –

Featuring: 1K Phew
Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #15: SHINING –

Featuring: Aha Gazelle
Produced by: Dirty Rice and Juice Bangers


Interpretation of the TRANSCENDENT’S 1st Act: CELESTIAL

I will now DIVE into each track’s clear and potential meanings in the first act of TRANSCENDENT:

CELESTIAL (ACT 1) –

‘TRANSCENDENT’ starts with an interlude informing the audience that they are entering the first act. This leads us to RIGHT ON TIME.

RIGHT ON TIME –

The album’s second track is about overcoming (or transcending) stress and anxiety by submitting to God’s will and staying faithful in prayer. This track leads exceptionally well into the next…

ON THE RUN –

Following “RIGHT ON TIME” is a genre-bending song.

The first of three tracks in a row that are the most hype and fast-paced of ACT 1. Not only well done individually, but they play exceptionally well together. Ty Brasel talks about his success in the music industry and how he is blessed, but the best is yet to come. This is an excellent follow-up to the previous song.

Let us make sure we grasp the story of the album so far:

Near the beginning of the three-year period in which this album takes place (late 2019-late 2022), Ty submitted to God’s will and stayed faithful in prayer (as conveyed in RIGHT ON TIME). He conveys the story’s beginning of how he entered success (particularly in the Christian Hip Hop space). This leads us to MAD 2 THE MAX

MAD 2 THE MAX –

Hype and fast-paced, just like “ON THE RUN” and “SET IT OFF”, MAD 2 THE MAX also speaks on Brasel’s rise to success. There are differences in this track that I would like to point out.

Ty mentions him and his team being on the rise. Then Jay-Way, featured on this particular track, mentions being showered with blessings. This track’s primary purpose is to convey Ty’s highs when he reached tremendous success as a CHH artist and Gospel singer.

SET IT OFF –

The second single off TRANSCENDENT, SET IT OFF released after the lead single “GOD IS THE BEST”. This track serves as the end of Ty’s story about reaching tremendous success. Like the last track, he conveys the high he feels when reaching such a high level of success with his music.

Brasel makes it clear that he made it through his previous tribulations and only has his success because of God’s amazing grace. He also makes it clear his goal is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Being a genuine follower of Jesus and a CHH artist means showing God’s love to others and sharing the Gospel’s message and testimony with people.

For more information about “SET IT OFF” by Ty Brasel, click here!

IN THE WEST –

This is the first track on TRANSCENDENT where Ty mentions feeling stressed over the three-year period in which the story of the album takes place. It is also the first track in the album where he describes a heartbreak.

He mentions how it’s a cold world and a cold life. At this point in the story, he’s feeling a lot of pain due to a lost life. This can be found in Verse 1 of the track. Here he mentions how bullets were flying and how there aren’t any pain medications for a lost life. He also describes how he dealt with idols during his life. In the chorus of the track. he talks about being stressed yet blessed. In Verse 2, he mentions how God blessed him with another day and he gives God praise because of it.

It is unclear to me in what way(s) Ty experienced heartbreak during this time in his life. Whether it’s heartbreak with his significant other, a loss of a loved one, or both, I am not entirely sure based on all the listening I have done.

It is, however, evident at this point that this is the beginning of the part of the story where he starts struggling with stress, heartbreak, and sin.

This leads us to the next track, PRICELESS

PRICELESS –

During PRICELESS, Brasel continues talking about his struggles with stress. However, there is a twist.

This track is more or less a message to his significant other. He talks about how going anywhere together will be priceless. Foggieraw even steps in on Verse 2 and speaks as if he’s sending a message to his former significant other about how he moved on and loves his current significant other.

What does this mean for Ty Brasel’s love life at the time? I am unsure. I care more about how God helps him through what he is dealing with in this particular season of his life (stress, heartbreak, and sin).

LOVE?

LOVE? is very similar to the previous track as it is a message to Ty’s significant other. Here, he makes it extremely clear that he is undoubtedly in love with his significant other. He mentions that he is sorry for his pride, lies, and jealousy. Seemingly describing that his significant other wasn’t calling Ty anymore and she wasn’t around. He asks, “What’s left to show now?”

This part of the plot within the album may just be going right over my head, but I’m unsure what this means for Ty’s relationship with his significant other during this season of his life. I will not make a wild guess and risk being wrong about something I don’t fully understand. I am merely here to analyze this album and give you the meaning to the best of my ability.

It is, however, extremely evident that he still loves her. A great way to end this part of the installment!


Interpretation of TRANSCENDENT’S 2nd Act: TERRESTRIAL

I will now DIVE into each track’s clear and potential meanings in the second act of this album:

TERRESTRIAL (ACT 2) –

Beginning with TRANSCENDENT‘S second act, TERRESTRIAL (ACT 2) conveys that to transcend things like despair, anxiety, and depression, you must be honest with yourself. To be willing to redirect the time you spend with God.

HOLLYWOOD LIFE –

On this track, Ty kicks off the musical meat of ACT 2 by talking about how “Hollywood life” and fame have affected him.

He lost his way during this season of finally reaching the success he prayed for. He talks about his struggle with lust.  Brasel also makes it clear how he struggled with intrusive and evil thoughts throughout his life, such as blowing all his money on drugs or jumping off a building to escape his pain.

He lost his way and had a tough time struggling with sin. This leads us nicely into LOST

LOST –

Ty asks God to watch over him and keep him strong while he’s struggling in the deep end with his mental health. Through the storm and through the fire, he looks to God for direction. This is very important for the story of the album because he is now feeling low in his mental health, but he is faithful to God by looking to Him for direction and peace.

CROSSROADS –

Here, Ty continues what he was saying in the previous track by describing how he’s been in the deep end with his mental health but still asking God to lead him down the right path (hence the name CROSSROADS). He is at a fork in the road. Brasel asks God for direction, which is important for any Christian’s walk and relationship with the Lord. 

FAITH

At this point in the album’s story, Ty praises God for helping him transcend and overcome his pain. He previously lost his way, but now he has returned to God. Transcending his previous sin and pain, finding peace in Jesus.

GOD IS THE BEST –

On GOD IS THE BEST, God is highly praised and Ty is thankful that God led him out of his previous pitfalls, sin, and pain. Ty and 1K Phew both give the glory and praise to God on this track.

SHINING –

This particular song was the second follow-up single of the album that dropped before the entire album. After the lead and first follow-up singles, GOD IS THE BEST and SET IT OFF, respectively. A great way to end the album, this track speaks on how grateful Ty is to God that he made it out of his previous trials and how Ty will continue shining.


TRANSCENDENT: Conclusion

TRANSCENDENT is a genre-bending and otherworldly Christian Hip Hop album created by IVAV artist Ty Brasel, with high-level features in Parris Chariz, Jaw-Way, Foggieraw, The WRLDFMS Tony Williams, Aaron Cole, 1K Phew, and Aha Gazelle. The production of the tracks ranges from Dove Award-winning engineers such as Dirty Rice, Joseph Prielozny, and Juice Bangers.

This album is ultimately about transcending limits and overcoming obstacles with God’s help and direction. These limits and obstacles can range from mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual problems.

This DIVE reveals the primary purpose of this album is to tell the story of Ty Brasel from late 2019 to late 2022 and show people through this story that it is possible to transcend obstacles through God’s direction.

Today’s Verse of the Day is John 16:33, which reads‭, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In context, Jesus is talking to his disciples here about why he’s teaching them. John 16:1 – He tells His followers that he is teaching them so they may not fall away or lose their way. John 16:33 – He tells His followers that he teaches to give them peace. That there will be obstacles they will have to transcend, but He has overcome the world.

Submitting to God’s will, through prayer and staying rooted in God’s Word, is of the utmost importance for followers of Jesus to transcend the obstacles of this life as so elegantly conveyed in Ty Brasel’s TRANSCENDENT.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to DIVE into the true meaning of their art.

I recently became a Genius Contributor, primarily for contributing lyrics for a total of four songs on TRANSCENDENT. I plan to continue contributing to the Christian Hip Hop community on Genius. Check out my Genius page here!

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of DIVE on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Check out the full TRANSCENDENT album on Spotify!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the full series here.

The DIVE Series: Hulvey, "Closer"

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of The DIVE Series*. My name is DJ Expander. This installment is the sixth I have done so far. I must say that I am enjoying being a part of the FiveTwenty Collective writing team!

Earlier this month, I reviewed SLEEPIN! by nobigdyl. Nearing the end of the third month of The DIVE Series’ run, I will study Closer by Reach Records artist Hulvey.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” ‭‭- Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬‬‬


About the Single

Dropped on October 14th, 2022, the track Closer features Torey D’Shaun. Production is by Joel McNeill, Carvello, and Ace Harris. The song’s overall theme is Gospel-centric.


Interpretation of the Single

Closer has a lot of Biblical meat, so I will attempt to cover it all concisely.

Let’s dive right into this track. The intro of the track beautifully starts the song off with:

“I wanna get closer to Your heart. I wanna get closer to Your heart. Close, closer to Your heart.”

The song’s intro indicates that the track is about the want and need for followers of Jesus to be closer to God through a relationship with Jesus.

Hulvey starts off the first verse by saying,

“Uh, I’m tryna be a disciple, that’s showing my rivals Your love over givin’ ’em hatred/I’m tryna be a disciple, that’s living revival, my life is a whole conversation/I’m tryna be a disciple, that follow Your will whenever the trend is Jada/I’m tryna be a disciple, that put on Your armor whenever I know I can’t take ’em.”

Hulvey indicates that his ultimate goals are to:

  • Be a disciple (follower) of Jesus that shows people (including his rivals) the same love Jesus showed him
  • Act in a way that shows he is renewed through Jesus
  • Follow the Will of God even when the culture is unholy
  • Use the Armor of God whenever he knows he’s experiencing spiritual warfare (See Ephesians 6:10-20)

He mentions that the Body of Christ needs to stand together. Missionary work is dangerous since Christians all over the world are subject to persecution for their faith in God.

He continues,

“Yeshua, He walked on the Earth, He was on His own turf and His own people left Him hanging/What if we seen Him in-person without no rehearsing, man, tell me would we even claim Him?”

Hulvey is making his audience wonder if they would have denied Jesus the same way the Jewish people denied Jesus when He was on Earth. He says Jesus was on His turf (Israel), and his people (the Jewish people) left Him hanging. He’s referring to the majority of the Jewish people, most especially the Jewish authorities that denied Jesus and utterly rejected Him as their Messiah.

He finishes off the 1st verse by saying,

“I know I’m the one that need Him/Man, I found my freedom when I found out they hit and beat ’em/And He hung on the cross, that’s how they chose to seat Him/You don’t need a seat at the table when you got a seat in the Kingdom/I can’t help but be humble whenever I think of the day that I’ll see Him.”

These four bars were a great way to end the opening verse of this track.

Hulvey admits that he, like everyone else, needs Jesus. He also acknowledged his freedom when He learned about the love that Jesus showed us through the sheer amount of suffering that Jesus endured, to save those who believe in Him from being in Hell for eternity. This suffering includes His dying on the cross, which is how the Jews chose to kill Jesus. The Romans carried out the crucifixion because the Jewish authorities insisted. He finalizes this verse by talking about how humble he is just thinking about the moment he meets Jesus when he passes away and goes to Heaven.

The second verse is briefer but still has a good amount of Biblical meat.

Hulvey mentions he used to be dark, which in this case, means he used to be spiritually dark without his belief in Jesus and the Holy Spirit inside of him. He continues to sing to God, asking Him to open his heart and telling God that he has faith as a child of God. He said he’d rather have Jesus than fame here on Earth. Jesus is more than worldly fame or riches will ever be because we can’t take those things with us when we die. He also asks God to open the door to Jesus for the rich and poor throughout the world.

He continues the second verse,

“Top-down, He done paid my sentence, huh/I’m a drink this juice in sin remembrance, huh/Yeah, I’m from the Wick where it get wicked, huh/I guess that’s the reason that He sent Him, huh.”

Hulvey indicates to his audience here that Jesus paid his sentence, to Hell, before he accepted Jesus into His heart. He also says he’ll drink juice (grape juice typically used in communion) to remember Jesus and what He did to wash away our sins. Hulvey mentions that he’s from the “Wick.” Here, he pays homage to his hometown of Brunswick, Georgia.

As of the writing of this article, he has created two songs about his hometown (the “Wick”) called “This Pain We Feel” released in May 2020, and “Back In The Wick” released in January 2021. He then goes on to say the “Wick” can get wicked and that the wickedness of man is the reason God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.

Torey D’Shaun ends the track with a beautiful refrain where he praises God about how He’s always been close and there for him even in the darkest times.


Conclusion

Closer is a track by Hulvey featuring Torey D’Shaun and produced by Joel McNeill, Carvello, and Ace Harris. At the time of this writing, this track had over 64 thousand streams on Spotify, while it dropped less than a week ago. Hulvey and Torey D’Shaun have done good work conveying the primary two purposes of this song:

To sing praises unto God for what He has lovingly done for us and to convey the artists’ faith in Jesus, and Biblical knowledge so that the audience may consume this content to help improve their spiritual health by becoming closer to God.

As mentioned in the verse of the day, Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬‬‬, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Putting on the whole Armor of God is extremely important for Hulvey and Torey D’Shaun. This includes staying rooted in God’s Word and the way, truth, and the life that is Jesus Christ.

In the same way, it is important for these Christian Hip Hop artists to aim to be closer to God, it is equally important for us as followers of Jesus to want a closer relationship with Jesus as we follow Him.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full Closer audio at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out my previous article now!

DIVE series: nobigdyl. "Sleepin'"

Hello everyone, my name is DJ Expander, and welcome to yet another edition of The DIVE Series*!

Last month we went over two consecutive tracks by Andy Mineo and Lecrae called “Coming In Hot” and “Been About It”. This month, I am going to switch it up a little bit. I will not be going over mutually complimenting tracks this month. However, today I will DIVE into the brand new single by artist and musician nobigdyl. called SLEEPIN!

“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” – Proverbs 22:4


About the Single

Dropped by nobigdyl. on September 30, 2022, STEPPIN! has over 49,000 plays in about 5 days. The song is doing very well statistically and is expected to rise in streams as the weeks pass by.

The first line in the track’s intro goes, “Eli got it jumpin’, Eli, alright.” It is a slowed sample from nobigdyl. ‘s verse on indie tribe’s “HOLY SMOKE!” track from their album ‘UPPERHAND’. The intro conveys that the Christian Hop Hop producer Wow Eli is a producer on this particular track. The second line, “Hol’ up, Wop, you made this?” is the official beat tag of Christian Hip Hop producer Scottie Wop. Later in the song’s outro, Wow Eli’s beat tag, “Wow Eli, can you be a little more serious?” is featured.

These lines show the audience that this track was co-produced by legendary Christian Hip Hop producers Wow Eli and Scottie Wop.


Interpretation of the Single

While I will not go over the entire song and its details, I will attempt to extract and analyze the lyrics to show what nobigdyl. is most likely trying to convey.

Diving into the chorus of the track, nobigdyl. says:

“Everybody keep on sleepin’ on Dyl. Blood, sweat, tears, man, look what I spill.”

Based on the other lyrics in the song, it seems like nobigdyl. believes he has a good enough work ethic to be less slept on by people than he currently is. (For context, “slept on” means when the greatness of someone or something is ignored or not appreciated). In verse one, he mentions how sometimes he’s “way too obsessed with [his] legacy.” He ends the chorus with, “Industry kill or be killed. And e’rybody just keep taking they pill.”

The overall premise of the hook is potentially that nobigdyl. wants to impact more people’s lives by becoming more known within the music industry and less “slept on.” This potential premise not only arises as a result of the chorus itself but also nobigdyl. ‘s overall belief and faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

There are some Biblical references in this track, a popular trend in nobigdyl’s records. The following is the Biblical reference that stood out to me:

“I think I won my fight with God. Came away limpin’. They think I’m pimpin’.”

He uses the slang term “pimpin’,” which means looking cool and is typically popularized by Hip Hop culture.

The Biblical reference in these lines is in Genesis 32:24-32, which tells the story of Jacob wrestling with God as a representation of nobigdyl. ‘s conflict with God. Jacob ended up winning, but there was a significant consequence. He gained a severe hip injury, causing him to walk with a limp.

nobigdyl. was born in Oakland, CA, but was relocated to and raised in the backwoods of Tennessee in Bell Buckle to be with family.

In the second verse, he compares these roots to Christ and His physical roots, who was born in Bethlehem but raised in Nazareth. He does this by saying, “Online, it say he from Tennessee. But really I come from Nazareth.”

I noticed that, in the second chorus, nobigdyl. slips the line, “This is a song about ego.” This gives the audience a clear indication that the song is at least partially about his struggle with his ego and how it affects his relationship with God.

nobigdyl. finishes the second verse off by saying:

“Can’t play with God like that, rather be hearin’ him out. I’m fearin’ him now. Spent years out here chasin’ things that now I don’t even care about. I’m here and devout.”


Conclusion

SLEEPIN! by nobigdyl. co-produced by Wow Eli and Scottie Wop. It has over 49k streams on Spotify in less than a week. While this track is not one of nobigdyl’s most listened to tracks, he has put together an astonishingly well-written song that:

  • Conveys his struggle with his ego
  • His want for fame
  • The desire for his legacy to be great
  • How His relationship with God helps him to overcome these struggles

As mentioned in the verse of the day, Proverbs 22:4, “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

Having a healthy fear of the Lord and a strong sense of humility is very important for nobigdyl.

As a follower of Jesus, in the spotlight of the Christian music industry, it is of the utmost importance to have and show humility on a daily basis.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full SLEEPIN! music video at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out my previous article now!

DIVE: Andy Mineo & Lecrae "Coming In Hot"

Hello, and welcome to today’s DIVE edition with DJ Expander*.

This month I will be diving into two different songs by Andy Mineo that compliment each other in multiple ways. Keep FiveTwenty Collective’s website saved for the 20th of this month, when I will go over the second song!

Today, I will DIVE into a song from 2018 called Coming In Hot by Andy Mineo featuring Lecrae.

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all His work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that he had done in creation.” – Genesis 2:2-3


About the Single

On October 1st, 2021, Reach Records recording artists Andy Mineo and Lecrae dropped Coming In Hot.

Being produced by SAK PASE, who has worked with artists such as Kanye West and JAY-Z, this song had a significant chance of being playlisted and used in many ways. As if having Andy Mineo and Lecrae on it wasn’t enough!

This song is currently on multiple platforms and the official Reach Records’ Summer Eighteen playlist.

The Coming In Hot music video dropped on September 13th, 2019. Footage includes Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Wordsplayed, and the dance crew known as Kinjaz.


Interpretation of the Single

In Coming In Hot, Lecrae and Andy Mineo amazingly rap about multiple topics.

Being a follower of Jesus, American politics, and the Reach Record’s 2018 “Better Late Than Never Tour”. While I won’t go over every line, I will go over the seemingly most essential bars based on the primary topics of the song.

In the song, Andy states, “I testify, don’t need a subpoena.” Here, he is using court lingo to likely reference that he is unashamed about willingly testifying and witnessing to people about his faith in Jesus (See Romans 1:16).

In the subsequent line, he hits us with a banger bar saying, “They want my soul, better go to Korea.

Andy uses play-on-words with “soul” and “Korea.” He puts a double meaning on the word “soul” by also talking about the capital of South Korea, “Seoul.” Artists who sell their souls for notoriety and wealth, while at the same time ditching their morals, are typically called “sellouts.” “Sellout” is commonly used for Christian artists who sacrifice their morals for the world. Biblically, being a “sellout” in this particular sense is not good (see Mark 8:36).

Lecrae comes into the song in Verse 2 and kills it.

Yeah, I know I know I’m rachet, but I’m really saved.

Lecrae is known for mixing his Christian beliefs with the culture of Hip Hop. In his 2017 interview with 97.9 The Box, he explains how he is “rachet” and “saved” by the grace of Jesus.

The final few bars in the single I would like to speak about is when Lecrae says, “Even Trump gotta take a knee. When the horn blow, y’all gon’ see. Make the wall fall down like, ‘Yee’!

Regardless of our opinions on these few bars, let’s look at this objectively to avoid taking sides on the issue. Lecrae is referencing former President Donald Trump’s views regarding former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. Colin is known for kneeling during the national anthem in NFL games. His goal was to bring attention to racism in America toward African Americans. Trump has spoken about Colin kneeling for the anthem by saying he shouldn’t disrespect America, the American flag, or the US Anthem.

Lecrae attempts to convey that Trump may not take a knee, but everyone in the world (including Trump) will “bow and confess that Jesus is Lord” when “the trumpet sounds” for Christ’s return. (See Philippians 2:10-11). In the last bar I mentioned, he notes Trump’s border wall proposition by directing his audience to Joshua 6 and nods to the Wall of Jericho. The Wall of Jericho fell. Lecrae uses this imagery to convey what might’ve happened to Trump’s wall after its construction.

Looking at this objectively from a Biblical point of view, Lecrae is correct to demonstrate that there is racism in America that we should address. He also accurately emphasizes that everyone will bow before Jesus when He returns, even those who don’t believe.

However, I think there is something to be said about people’s differing opinions on the subject.

Some people believe Colin was disrespectful to Americans by kneeling for the anthem and flag; some say he was respectful to the black community by raising awareness of racism; some even think somewhere in the middle. Regardless of your opinion on the subject, it’s safe to say that objectively racism, unfortunately, exists in America and that every knee will bow when Jesus returns.


Conclusion

Coming In Hot by Andy Mineo and Lecrae, produced by SAK PASE, is a song with over 91 million streams on Spotify. It was certified Gold by RIAA on August 19th, 2021.

In this single, Andy Mineo and Lecrae use similies, metaphors, and the like to emphasize their Reach Records tour, their political sentiments on racism in America, and, most importantly, Biblical references to their faith in God.

Four primary takeaways we, as believers, can take from this song are:

  • to be unashamed of the Gospel at all times
  • to not sacrifice our Biblical and Godly morality for fame or fortune
  • that racism, unfortunately, exists in America (and across the world)
  • that every knee will bow when Jesus returns.

For everyone—even those who are not believers—one takeaway from this song is that Andy Mineo and Lecrae care deeply about justice and their relationship with God.


*About the DIVE Series

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meaning of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

Check out the previous installment here!

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full Coming In Hot music video at the end of the article!**


"444+333 (God Is Perfect)" Artwork

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of DIVE with DJ Expander*.

Today, I will dive into a song from 2018 called 444+333 (God Is Perfect) by Ty Brasel.

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all His work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that he had done in creation.” – Genesis 2:2-3


About the Single

On March 30th, 2018, Memphis-born, and 4 Against 5 recording artist, Ty Brasel released Side A of his album ‘Destined for Greatness’.

Following that release on December 7th, 2018, Ty Brasel dropped the entire album. Side B contained the single 444+333 (God Is Perfect). He created this single with Grammy award winner Kenneth Christian Mackey (also known as Kenneth Chris Mackey) being the writer of the outro and Dirty Rice being the producer.


Interpretation of the Song

This song primarily came about due to Lil Uzi Vert’s “444+222,” equaling 666, Satan’s number. In response, Ty Brasel’s 444+333 (God Is Perfect) is a sharp contrast to “444+222,” cheerfully honoring and glorifying God.

Ty Brasel’s 444+333 (God Is Perfect) official music video has two counters. One is on the top left corner and one on the top right corner. The counter on the top right counts how many total words are in the song. The other on the top left displaying the number “4,” shows how many times “4” is in the song.

At the end of the video, the total word count of the song is 333. The total amount of times Ty Brasel says the number “4” is 44. Remember, the 44 follows the number “4.” Therefore, you have “444+333,” which equals “777.” “777” is Biblically the number of God, fullness, perfection, and completion. It represents critical Biblical concepts. One crucial concept that this number symbolizes is the Holy Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). Two verses in Genesis convey the perfection of God’s creation by explaining what happened on the seventh day; immediately following the six days He spent forming creation. These two verses mention “7” seven times, making the number “777” (See Genesis 2:2-3).

While repeating the number 7 three times represents not only the perfection of the Holy Trinity (who is God three-in-one), it also emphasizes the perfection and completion of God’s design.

This number represents that God formed creation in a good and whole way. Meaning God created all of us fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14). We can start to see what Ty Brasel aims to convey to his audience in this song. Especially considering the name of the album the single is on, ‘Destined for Greatness’. We, as God’s creation, all have a purpose given by God through His will. Since we are all wonderfully and fearfully made by God to serve a purpose here on Earth, we are all destined for greatness.


Conclusion

444+333 (God Is Perfect) by Ty Brasel, Kenneth Christian Mackey, and produced by Dirty Rice is a song having well over one million streams on Spotify. In this single, Ty Brasel uses numerical significance and some of his experiences to show that we are all destined for greatness, God is perfect in all His ways, and God has a plan for each of us.

Believers can walk away from this knowing God loves you and has a plan for you that corresponds with His will. Trust and believe God will put things in motion for your best interests.

For absolutely everyone—even those who are not followers of Jesus—this means that God loves you and has a plan for you! He created us all. His love for us supersedes anything we could imagine.


*About this Series

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meaning of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).


God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full 444+333 (God Is Perfect) music video at the end of the article!**

Want more news on Ty Brasel? Check out this article now.

"Church Gone Wild" Artwork

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of DIVE with DJ Expander*.

Today, I will dive into the single Church Gone Wild by 1K Famo.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians‬ ‭3:16‬


About the Single

On October 18th, 2016, Georgia native and Reach Records artist, 1K Phew, released his single Church Gone Wild. It features the Atlanta-based rapper Tonio (currently known as Don Tino) and is produced by Zaytoven.

As seen above, the single’s cover has the “Girls Gone Wild” franchise logo with the word “Girls” covered up by the word “Church.”

On February 8th, 2022, 1K Famo (a collective of the artists known as 1K Phew, 1k Pson, Don Tino, Chris Elijah, and Chozen) rereleased Church Gone Wild.


Interpretation of the Single

1K Famo’s Church Gone Wild is about bridging the gap between enjoying life and loving God. 

The song mentions the “old church” by saying, “Tell the old church that we don’t play.” 

In context, “we” means the “new church,” which promotes a healthy relationship with God. The song emphasizes having fun worshiping God with thankfulness rather than advancing the idea that you need to be “religious” to be a follower of Jesus.

Being a part of God’s Church (otherwise known as the Body of Christ) does not mean being someone who goes to church and then proceeds to live sinfully the rest of the week, just to come back on Sunday to ask for God’s forgiveness. Nor does it mean that to be a part of God’s Church, you must be “religious” by partaking in artificial church traditions. Artificial traditions such as unbiblical practices that many churches promote.

Released on July 8th, 2022, 1K Phew’s single “New Church” contains similar meanings and ideals to Church Gone Wild and references it multiple times.

This song primarily promotes having a healthy relationship with God by having fun praising him with gratefulness in our hearts.


Conclusion

Church Gone Wild is a song with the rereleased version having over half a million plays on Spotify.

In this single, 1K Phew and Don Tino put a fun—yet Biblical—twist on having a relationship with Christ. He mentions the “old church” and the “new church.” The “old church” that he speaks of are churches that see themselves as “religious” rather than having genuine relationships with Christ—tending to value artificial traditions over truly Biblical practices.

The last point I noticed the song conveys is to have fun worshipping Jesus. The “new church” is about promoting a healthy relationship with God. Fellowship with fellow believers in Jesus. Singing praises to God with thankfulness in our hearts. (See Colossians 3:16).


*About this Series

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meaning of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).


God Bless,

DJ Expander

Want more news on 1K Famo? Check out this article now.