Gallery Drive “Scratching the Surface” Review

Gallery Drive came up with a good title for themselves “The Super Group of Tomorrow”. They are the newest group to come out of the Christian Hip Hop camp, the group is made of Sinai, TruthBTold, Benjamin D (of Insufficient Funds), Ruslan (of theBreax), Afaar and Nomis. These aren’t the first songs that the group has done together in fact, they’ve appeared on numerous efforts by the members, including the Forgotten Heroes ‘Forget What You Heard’, Afaar’s ‘Write to Live’ and more. Both releases from 2007, so here we are three years later with an LP from the group called “Scratching the Surface’.

What makes this group a bit different than the others is their production, most groups have certain producers that produce the majority of the tracks on the group’s album. Scribbling Idiots with Theory Hazit, DeepSpace5 with Dust and Beat Rabbi, Lightheaded with Ohmega Watts. Gallery Drive however has almost a different producer on every track.

The group is introduced on the first track with a song saying that “Gallery Drive is finally here”. Each emcee gets eight bars and they all destroy it. The album progresses with the single of the album “Psycho” which caused Gallery Drive to blow up when it was first released. One thing with this group is that they all have been working with each other on separate releases and you can hear the chemistry in the group. Ruslan has my favorite verse on this track.

“I’m monstrous, psycho with light bulbs
Armed taking His word to the Gentiles like Barnabas
I used to be Saul but you can call me Bar now
Touched by a Holy God who made me fall out
So I’m going all out, could care less what you think about it
Speak about it, read about it, bottom line is we devauted
Oops I mean that we’re devouted to a God who’s speech is golden
Read his word because he wrote it…..”

My favorite track on this album is “Change My” which is produced by the same guy who did Braille’s ‘Cloud Nineteen’ album and is a producer for The Strange Fruit Project: S1. All the members of the group rap about themselves being flawed and not being perfect knowing that they have things that they need to change. It’s a humbling song and it’s always nice to hear that artists go through the same things as we do. We’re all human.

“Don’t Sleep” is a pretty self explained track, let’s be honest here people, a good portion of society sleeps on Christian Hip Hop. This track is just a track of lyrical prowess from all emcees involved.

My second favorite track on this album is ‘Hem of His Robe’ it’s another track that’s kind of like ‘Change My’ from earlier in the album. Major killed the beat and gave it an epic feel which fits perfectly with the lyrics. It’s a heart on your sleeve track you can hear everyone on the track crying out to Christ with the pain that they’ve dealt with and felt. And also the battles of temptations that they all have gone through, it’s a super-relatable track.

Gallery Drive made a solid effort on this release there was a good balance of types of songs, from lyrical massacres, to honest deep lyrics. Production-wise there a lot of bangers on this one and makes it perfect for those rides to work. Gallery Drive is just getting started, with solo releases coming from the group soon. Gallery Drive is here!

~ by Michael Stover on September 6, 2010.

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