Ill Seer Doxological Freestyles Vol. 1

It's been seven years since Ill Seer last dropped an album, his awkwardly titled debut, Phosphatidylserine, and in that time the Delegates of Culture MC has become a professor, pastor and father, so he's obviously been just a little busy. Although known for a vocal delivery that can only be described as "angry and fed up," Ill Seer's intelligent wordplay, thoughtful theories and attacks on injustice were always informed by his Christian love and spirituality. On his new album, Seer sounds less angry, delving much further into the "liturgical use of freestyle lyricism," a passion of his ever since he presented a paper on the subject to the American Academy of Religion in 2003. Each of the songs on Doxological Freestyles Vol. 1 is a public prayer recorded live either at the final benediction of the weekly service at the church where he's senior pastor or at the opening invocation to the theology and philosophy classes he teaches. The album is made more interesting than it sounds thanks to the addition of experimental production by DJ Clutch, with a collection of beats that runs the gamut from the minimal simplicity of opening track "Or To Beats" through the groovy, Golden Age jazz of "Philosophy of Religion" and epic club jam "Freshness of the Son" to acoustic guitar rock closer "Easter." Some of the vocals also get a little tweaking. While Doxological Freestyles Vol. 1 is definitely much more Christian than most rap fans are usually willing to embrace, Ill Seer's presentation and off-the-cuff wordplay should serve as ample compensation for any freestyle rap fans. It's a definite must for Christian rap fans. (Prophetic Poetic)