Need of You
(pre-orders begin April 26, 2021)
By Robert M. Marovich
Bishop Lawrence Hancock’s new Christian hip hop release, Need of You, emulates his summer 2020 album, Who I Am, more in musical vibe than in message.
For his seventh album, Hancock focuses less on uncertainty and more on praise and gratitude. “God’s Been Good,” a praiser with a slowed-down Gap Band groove and punctuations of synare, is the single, but “First Love” is more compelling for its melody and lyrical longing to return to the initial rush of happiness that happens when one discovers Jesus. As if in answer, synthesized angelic voices join a thankful Hancock on “This Moment.”
“Let Em Know” is Hancock’s call for everyone to worship the Lord. He summarizes his gratitude to God during “Joy,” and prays for God’s constancy in his life. It’s the album’s most energetic track because of a heavy, propulsive bass line.
“Home” and “The King is Coming” are odes to the glorious final day, when the faithful can finally look upon God’s face. The latter cut finds Hancock at his most emotionally expressive. “Champion” exemplifies another common theme in the album—that of the Lord’s never-failing support. The title track puts the desire for grace in a personal context.
Hancock’s vocalizing—he often serves as lead and background—has a Peter Gabriel ruddiness to it, especially when he moves into his higher register. His voice complements the beats, guitar, and keys, all of which swirl around than drive the tempo. The lyrics are like recitatives; Hancock sings far more than he raps. The melodies are so similar that Need of You feels like an album-long track instead of fourteen individual cuts.
In addition to his music ministry, the Toledo, Ohio, resident Bishop Lawrence Hancock was called to the ministry in 1999 and founded Final Harvest Church in 2005.
Three of Five Stars
Pick: “First Love”