L.A Symphony present Composition I (Composition I Review)

L.A Symphony has been around for quite a while and even though they’re broken up now, what they left behind was a legacy of hip hop. A debate that usually comes up in Christian Hip Hop circles is what kind of group L.A Symphony is. If I’m correct I believe they’re all Christians, but it doesn’t always show in their lyrics. Anyway I digress, L.A Symphony’s debut album Composition #1, is an interesting approach to a debut album, one that I would like to see future groups do. It’s only fair that I point out that the L.A Symph crew is a group of groups and individual emcees. The Eternals (Cookbook and Uno Mas), The Brainwash Projects (B-Twice and Pigeon John), Halieyoos Fisherman Crew (J-Beits, Sharlok Poems, Coy?) and individual emcees Joey the Jerk and Flynn. Composition #1 has tracks that feature all the groups that are in L.A Symphony and the individual artists and different combinations of everyone. This works to a certain extent, what I noticed is that some emcees are featured more than others, B-Twice (my favorite member of the group) is only on two tracks while Pigeon is on six tracks so the mike time between artists isn’t balanced (this problem is fixed on their future albums).

The album starts with the title track where every emcee in L.A Symphony gets about a verse and a half (around 12 bars), except J-Beits who isn’t on the track. The group shows from the get go that they’re one to be reckoned with and mesh real well together. The only problem with this track is the slight production error where the beat in the background sounds really soft (may remind some of the Lord Fire by Theory Hazit production problems). This is basically the intro track learning exactly who the L.A Symphony crew is.

“Heartfelt Rhymes” is the follow-up track to “Composition #1” and it’s your “mainstream hip hop is bringing down the overall image of hip hop in general”. Sharlok Poems and Coy take this track and the beat has an old school party feel to it with the guitar playing a part in the background.

What makes L.A Symphony a great group is the fact that their music is just fun to listen to. “San Diego” features The Brainwash Projects (B-Twice and Pigeon John), this is one of my favorite tracks on this album. The thing is the Christian lyrics are no where to be found and that’s one the gripes I have with this entire album. But Pigeon John and B-Twice show how well they work together as duo.

“Sea Breeze” has one of my favorite beats on the album, the beat is reminiscent on any vacation/beach beat. Flynn takes this entire track and it’s the chorus that shows the message Flynn is trying to convey.

“Here’s to sunshine, sea breeze and Jesus Christ
I may not have much but I’m living a good life”

Like I said before it’s hard to place L.A Symphony into a distinct genre because, they have few songs with Christian lyrics and some songs that have that underground feel to it. A perfect example is that fact that the n-word is used quite a bit on this album by numerous crew members, which in my eyes isn’t really a good thing.
Now with the religious aspect if you really follow L.A Symphony you know that most of the members of the group have solo releases (except B-Twice and J-Beits). And for most of the members their Christianity shines more on their solo releases.

My favorite song lyrically is “Soljourn” which features Sharlok Poems and basically his life journey to where he is now. I think the reason I like this song so much is that people who weren’t exactly living the Christian life and went through that change can definitely relate to this song. Sharlok’s track is a testimony to the work that God does in all of our lives.

L.A Symphony’s debut album was a solid effort and fans of the history of Christian Hip Hop should like this release that sounded well for an album released in 1999. With only a couple of setbacks this album is a fun listen!


The group is just fun to listen to
All the emcees sound like they’ve been together for years
Production is solid


The n-word is used quite a few times
The Christian lyrics are barely there
Lord Fire sounding production

Rating: 4/5 (Solid Release, Pick It Up)

If You Can’t Buy The Album Download These Songs

Composition #1
Sea Breeze
Heartfelt Rhymes
Night After Night (remix) feat. Sup The Chemist

~ by Michael Stover on July 31, 2009.

One Response to “L.A Symphony present Composition I (Composition I Review)”

  1. Glad to see LA Symphony get some love, I feel as though they’ve really flown under the radar outside of LA….but they’re poised for a larger audience, and really deserve one, too. One cool thing I did see was that Pigeon John’s “Brand New Day” is featured in an HBO tv promo that’s out right now (check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuAoq2G04pM)

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