Viktory - R4: Relentless 4Ever
Posted by Lamar Gibbs on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 6:16pm EST
(7/4/12) Reviewer's note: I purchased Viktory's album on iTunes and the mix is very well done, I must have received an earlier copy to review for Dasouth than the final mixed one. I apologize to Vik for this happening, the mix is fine and there's no need to worry about it when thinking on purchasing the album.
Coming with his 5th studio album, Viktory illustrates what his music career has been like, how his business ethic has played out, and most importantly how his faith in the Lord has defined his life, which is summed up in one word..Relentless!
The album starts off real strong and commanding with the song â€śBe Relentlessâ€ť, as well as with a good mix of the song, which I want you to keep in mind as I go in more with this review. Getting back to the song however, this is a needed anthem because apathy/procrastination is one of the biggest killers of purpose and dreams. If there is one struggle in life I constantly go through, this is the main thing for me, so the issue of being relentless hits home for me for sure. If one puts biblical principles to work, whether they believe in the Bible and Jesus or not, it does end up working, however the issues Vik touches on in this song that hit him(Christians in general) enough to be relentless is an area that takes God opening our eyes to the tragedies spiritually and physically manifesting around us in order to take that charge.
The next few tracks continue that southern vibe, including one track that was a little catchy called â€śThe Fa Realerâ€ť, however with these next few tracks the mix ended up being starkly different from the first track. This issue was no less than shocking for me to even hear on a Viktory project, since good mixing and Vik seemed almost synonymous to me from what Iâ€™ve heard. The glaring issue ended up being the songs sounded low and while you can hear the kick and bass, you donâ€™t FEEL it hit like in the first track. Many of these tracks had a great feel and subject matter, yet felt cheated by the lack of volume on many of them, which had to be turned up to the max on my iPod in order to hear a semblance of normalcy to them.
As much as the mix took away from my listening experience, it did not remove the amount of tracks that were good in and of themselves, one in particular being â€śUnstoppableâ€ť which featured Bizzle and T. Haddy. Vik brought his fast flow which he has been bringing more into the forefront since his last album â€śBirth of a Legacyâ€ť and the first verse was a real strong one from him, the same from Bizzle with that â€śidol fornication and foreplayâ€ť line and the fast flow which blew me away! The next song, â€śGod Over Everythingâ€ť after featured the now highly sought after singer, ZG, who definitely added to the song with his chorus. In the first verse I wished Vik didnâ€™t stretch out some of the words he was speaking, the effects were fine, but drawing out words on a verse usually doesnâ€™t go over well when I hear it. This song really shows a relentless stand regardless of whoever tries to come in between him and the Lord, and if there is anything that would be a foundation for a life relentless forever, itâ€™s the fact that God MUST be over EVERYTHING or else the drive will fade. God is eternal, so it stands to reason that you can never be relentless forever without your trust in the One who is forever.
ZG again comes with a catchy chorus, which reminds me of Chris Lee in his ability to craft chorus well, in the next song â€śGod Is Amazinâ€™ â€ť. While the previous song proclaimed position, this song proclaims the description of the God who holds that position. Iâ€™m a bit surprised with KJâ€™s verse because of how short it was, because I felt if he would feature there should be some more bars given. The next track that stands out to me AGAIN features ZG which is â€śMaydayâ€ť, and I enjoyed the beat from this track, because it provided the right environment for Vik to spill a bit on where weâ€™re at today. A funny thing I thought of about the track though is that one should not blast this song on a plane; you might get kicked off, just saying haha! This track brings into detail what the intro track expressed in that there is so much confusion, destruction, and breaking down of humanity that it burdens those in Christ to be relentless so that we can draw those from out of the fire, or in this case, a downed plane.
One of the albums true highlights for me was the track â€śInside Lookâ€ť which featured JR and Sho Baraka. It was great to hear the heart of Sho and where things are with him, and also shows us that we must be quick to listen and slow to speak, because many times what we think we understand we end up misunderstanding entirely. This even ties into the relentless theme, because without the wisdom of God, relentless pursuit can turn into blind zeal. Viktory even shows how that can be the case when pursuing the goals and dreams set before you by God placing His vision for you to complete. He says, â€śNobody wants to be treated like a zero/but thereâ€™s a thin line between faith and ego/trusting in God or hustlinâ€™ hard/trusting in Him or gettinâ€™ it in/I stay in overdrive to remember where that line is/be relentless but still tuck my pride inâ€ť If itâ€™s not apathy that prevents us from being relentless, it ends up being pride in the work of the Lord, instead of humility towards the Lord of the work. As we are relentless in the will of God, we must be relentless in discovering where we fall weak and seeking Him to know how to move as Christ moved, who is the ultimate example of relentless pursuit and humble wisdom.
There are many other gems on this album, from â€śDo It For the Cityâ€ť to the groove hitting â€śGo With Meâ€ť and the title track â€śR4â€ť. There were also tracks that were halfway okay to me and missed the mark in other areas, such as PRoâ€™s verse in â€śU Knowâ€ť which disappointed me greatly in the repetition and weakness of it which took away what could have been a greater song. The way Viktory placed his features on this album, especially with the sheer amount of them, helped me appreciate even more how he crafts his albums. I had great expectation for this album, few exceeded them, the mixing surprised me in the negative direction, but overall there were good offerings from him on this album. This album if nothing else, is a call for us to be relentless and move in the power of His might, may all forms of apathy and procrastination be defeated in Jesusâ€™ name...Lord knows Iâ€™m one of many who need these reminders!
Categorical Ratings Breakdown:
Beat Selection/Production: 4/5
Concept/Arrangement: 4 /5
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