‘Anomaly’ is the 2014 release from Grammy Award winning rapper Lecrae. This release serves as his seventh studio album and his fourth body of work in the last 3 years. Despite the minimal features compared to his last album, Anomaly performed well commercially, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 and listening to the album in its entirety, one can understand why.
The album has an underlying theme musically, taking you on a journey of big production and orchestration which you can pick up from the first track ‘Outsiders’. It entices the listener in with symphony of violins and the grand piano right before the hip-hop beat comes through, something any rap fan would appreciate. The fusion of the two brings the best of both worlds. ‘Outsiders’ has to be one of my favourite songs. ‘Fear’ also follows a similar path with the chorus bassline.
Lecrae has always been one for messages that make you think and ‘Welcome to America’ does exactly that. It is a thought provoking narrative into the idea of “The American Dream” seen through different eyes. It’s a song so relevant to the times with the current Western social, economic and racial tensions.
“Say I Won’t” featuring label-mate Andy Mineo and ‘Nuthin’ are what I’d call “Turn-up tracks”. Every rapper has one. From the sweet bass to the fast-slow alternating flows, these are the sorts of songs you could play anywhere; cruising in the car, at the gym, in the club.
All I Need Is You is the one song on the album dedicated to his one very special lady. A modern day rappers serenade, the steel pan-like sound gives it a summer feel. You could play at your barbeque.
‘Good Bad Ugly’ is Lecrae at his most vulnerable and transparent. He details his imperfections and his story of struggles with abuse, dealing with abortion and promiscuity. All through emphasising the no one is perfect, especially Christians, and no one has to be in order to be a good person. More than the emotion portrayed in the musicality, he becomes more than just a rapper but a man who we all can relate to.
‘Messengers’ featuring for KING & COUNTRY is a great final song. It rounds off the album with a send-off vibe reminding listeners about ‘The Great Commission’ and the marching vibe created through the song with the drums is very uplifting.
You can tell that a lot of thought and planning had gone into the creation of ‘Anomaly’, musically as well as lyrically. It justifies its chart performance and the Grammy, Stellar, Billboard and BET Award wins. The lack of features and big names makes it more personal. You get more of Lecrae the man as opposed to Lecrae the rapper with his Church Clothes mixtapes. Church Clothes and its sequel served its purpose in generating discussion and Anomaly is now setting the tone for future talk.