KB's latest album is definitely political - but not in the way one would expect. Throughout his latest collection, he sings not about the affairs of the nations and the kingdoms of this world, but of the work of the Savior and the kingdom of God. Without hesitation, he tackles many topics on all sides, taking on ideas like race, freedom, temptation, and salvation while boldly proclaiming the Gospel in light of these themes. Thanks to KB's unapologetic stance, Today We Rebel is a fiery, relentless album with incredibly strong convictions and an even stronger dedication to the King of kings.
"Monster" is a powerful song that combines KB's testimony with intense and engaging sounds. Percussion and electronics build a melody with a steady beat that provides the foundation for both KB's and guest Aha Gazelle's vocals, with background voices accenting the choruses. The lyrics describe a former life without Christ, beautifully summarized in a recurring verse: "Boy, I used to be a monster … yeah, you probably wouldn't believe it, if it hadn't been for Jesus, I'd be still runnin' around like I'm a gangster." The blatant honest of this track is its greatest strength, painting the before and after of a life dedicated to the Savior.
Two tracks intertwine to create a moving and personal story: "Art of Drifting" and "Art of Hope." Together they tell a story as KB laments a friend who drifts from his passion for Christ to a passion for the music. The second song brings resolution as KB declares a message of hope - that redemption is possible and Christ gives us the chance to "pick up where we left off." If anything, this is the point where the focus of the album shifts from a first-person view to one heavily based on the goodness of God. "I Am Not The One" hammers this point, where KB declares God's protection in times of opposition, how He fights the war on His terms and protects His own. There are so many great tracks and fantastic lyrics across this album with so many themes in play.
One of the best songs on the album is the upbeat and engaging "Not Today, Satan." Just as the title describes, it serves as a statement of God's protection against the enemy. Andy Mineo joins KB for some creative and inventive wordplay amidst brass, drums, and background vocals that create an energetic sound crossing a church worship service with gospel vocals and prominent trumpet notes. Where many similarly themed songs give off an arrogant and cocky tone, however, "Not Today, Satan" puts the devil's demise entirely in the context of Christ's victory instead of assuming we have the power. Altogether, the song is fantastic - and the added sound bite of a church regular shouting "not today, Satan, amen!" is nothing less than the icing on the cake.
If there's a track that captures the themes of the album, certainly it is "Bring You War." Heavy drums and background vocals create an engaging, if not paradoxical, juxtaposition of war and peace, resolve and calm. Light piano carries the verses while the volume picks up across the powerfully projected choruses. KB alternates between rap vocals and singing, delivering a warning to those who demand silence regarding Christ and the truth.
Without dispute, the best track on this album is "New Portrait," a powerful song so charged with truth and biblical wisdom that it's worth reading the lyrics as you hear the song. Light keyboard notes and percussion provide a foundation for a brutally honest song that tackles two important questions: who are we, and above all else, who is Christ? The lyrics describe how God created us all different - including our ethnicities - but our nation's obsession with race and identity has blocked us from realizing our identity in Christ. To finally answer the second question, KB fires with blatant and transparent lyrics. "Christ that the Lord knows, Christ that was foretold, Christ that's sure to come back in His war clothes" KB fires,"Which Christ do you believe? You gotta know before you leave."
In a genre so often under fire for pride and arrogance, politically-charged anger, and rebellion, Today We Rebel undertakes the complete opposite - and stands all the better for it. Few rap collections this year can match the fiery energy for the Savior and the perspective of mankind that this album offers. In the technical sense, KB is a fantastic writer and artist, but his passion and sincerity drive the album to new heights. Without reservations, Today We Rebel is a must-listen for those who love good rap, good lyrics, and life-changing themes.