A while back I wrote an article about little known Christian rappers. In it, I featured the Dream Junkies. They consist of John Givez, Beleaf Melanin, and the artist of today’s album, Ruslan. This group’s sound is different than the “hardcore” rap I’ve loved over the years. It has a West Coast vibe to it, but stays true to Hip Hop basics.
Ruslan introduced me to that sound himself when he released his debut album Carry On in January 2015. One thing you will notice from him here is that he knows how to get his points across. He made it very clear in the introductory track, “Wasn’t Supposed To Be Here” , that he really wasn’t supposed to be in this country. During the intro of the song, he mentions that in 1990 he and his family were religious refugees who moved from Russia to San Diego, California, and he fell in love with Hip-Hop. The accompanying horns on the track gives off a triumphant vibe. It was an excellent way to portray God’s victory in musical form.
The next song is “Dreaming.” I like how Ruslan, and the rest of King Dreams Entertainment uses the word “dream” in much of their music. In this particular song, Ruslan speaks on his own dreams and how he is making them a reality.
He cleverly states:
“These dreams of mine, became lucid
I began manipulating they movements
No, laws of gravity, physics wasn’t a factor
Was it really reality, guess that didn’t matter
Got people on my dreams and it felt like real life
Guess what, over time, it became real life”
I believe he means that there is nothing that can stop him from reaching the top, and he has had big dreams that are becoming real. The music video for the song was executed well too, making this an all around good track.
We skip a little further ahead to the album’s first single, “In My Heart.” I feel this song did exactly what it was meant to do with its nice upbeat tune, exposure for his fellow Dream Junkie, Beleaf Melanin, and strong lyricism,
What stood out to me in particular was the hook:
“Jesus Christ in my heart, SD on my back, Baku/Baltimore on my mind, and a pretty girl on my lap… WIFE!”
It was not only a catchy hook, but when I first heard it, the ending part caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting a Christian Rapper to talk about a pretty girl on his lap, but the delayed, and exaggerated “wife” made the line acceptable. Like “Dreaming,” this song had a nice music video too.
The last song I would like to mention on this album is “Ready for the World.” It featured Grammy Award winning Lecrae, and the talented Chris Lee Cobbins. This song hit me hard. The first time I’ve really thought about the song was during a drive to my sister’s house. I was at a point of my life where I really didn’t know if I was ready for the world, and this song gave me a confidence boost. I felt inspired. It was more than the nice old-school feel beat and Ruslan and Lecrae having a tag team-style verse, it was just the fact that I was able to actually think about taking on the world.
Carry On is a simple, yet exquisite album that one might enjoy most on a nice, chill day. It’s not too heavy, but it has a lot of substance.
Ruslan is coming out with a new album soon. The first single released for it is called “Out Of It.” If the rest of the album can match the level of this single, I have no doubt that this album will be just as good if not better than Carry On. Check it out.