With a pellucid singing tone and an appreciable theme, Mike B Berry from Houston, Texas, invites the audience to surrender all of their pain and struggles to the Lord on his gorgeous, hybrid record, We At War. “We (are) at War against life challenges such as sickness, hate, ourselves, heartaches, and pain. We can trust God to help and guide us by strengthening us in every aspect of life. We already won by trusting in God!” shares the artist exclusively for Blue Rhymez Entertainment. If there’s one thing we can extrapolate from 2021, is that Gospel and Christian music generally, is reinventing itself and being led to new summits by illustrious talents like Mike B Berry.
As if cousins with the 1982 hit, Eye Of The Tiger, We At War commences on the same note of solemnity and gravitas. Mike B Berry means business. And yet, at 14 seconds in, the joyous piano struts in nonchalantly stealing the spotlight from the synth. And then in a beautiful unison, the keys, organ, and drums, announce the final version of the instrumental. The two female vocalists, sisters too by the way, smooth out the introductory sequence of We At War. The back-and-forth melodic speech amps up the atmosphere letting the public know that Mike B Berry is charged up and ready to blast fire. Not your typical Christian rapper or Gospel singer. The very reason why he stood out to us.
“We at war, we don’t wrestle with flesh but principalities/ We at war (God is my shield) no spirit of fear but God’s power/ We at war (x4)/ (In the midst of your battle, You gotta know the battle belongs to God)/ Through the mix we going to what?/ Praise the Lord (That’s how we gon’ win no matter what)and His mercy endures forever (x2),“ reverberates with astounding strength the mosaic chorus of We At War. This was unexpected structure-wise but mighty ingenious for the given genre: give the people the earworm first, pull them in, then do your thing. And Mike B Berry did just that. Consider it a neat overture for the record.
In true modern artist manner, Mike B Berry changes direction and now starts rapping fulfilling the initial expectation of the first seconds: “Trouble comes unexpected/ No signs, no predictions/ Some make plans for it/ But it’s not what you expected/ Money can’t save you/ You can’t bribe death/ Someone sick with all the wealth/ Would trade it for your health?” Point taken. Death is the only guarantee we get in this lifetime. The rapper’s flow is somewhat upbeat but remains vocally relaxed at all times not stressing the enunciation one bit. Gen Z is gonna love this one. Also, a lot of supporting curt voices can be overheard making the rap bit fit the Gospel construct. So if the chorus bestowed us the pleasure of delving into the two sopranos’ vocal ability, the verse grants us a contemporary Rap experience but still rooted in the chorus’s style production-wise.
After redefining success through God’s terms, admitting to not being able to see God’s plan at all times, and questioning whether there are greater forces against humanity or if it’s humanity itself that is perforating through moral values and conduct, Mike B Berry concludes his part with a firm message: “I used to stress over the things I couldn’t control/ Until I really learned that God is in control/ His ways are not our ways/ His days are not our days/ Age to age he stands with all power in his hands/ The battle is not yours it belongs to God/ and if God is for you who can be against you praise?” The parallel perspective between the sinner and the Lord is wonderfully used to draw the finish line of We At War.
A superb outro consisting of enumerating some of the gravest reasons that kneel many of us (We at war against cancer, We at war against diabetes, We at war against poverty, We at war against generational curses), Mike B Berry first shouts “we at war” then calmly, just as he began, he ends on “we already won.”
We At War is twofold remarkable for it is a combination of Christian Rap and Gospel choir singing. And Mike B Berry brought to life, probably unknowingly to him, a new hybrid genre to the table for all believers in the world to relish.
Song Credits: Michael A. Berry (Mike B Berry) – Artist, Singer, Songwriter; Leola, Esther Berry McCardle, Marcus Jackson – Supporting Vocalists; Rodrick Dowling – Music Producer, Sound Engineer.
Written by Mariana Berdianu
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