Let’s get one thing clear: Eshon Burgundy is one of the best artists in CHH. Period. When he drops songs and projects, people flock to them like moths to a well-lit flame. He is one of the most consistent and humble artists in the Christian Hip Hop scene. He is in this writer’s top five emcees and he has been listening to him since 2009 or 2010. The first time he experienced this artist was on the Cleaning Out My Closet Mixtape and the song that touched him was “Evidence of Things Not Seen (100 Bars).” Eshon spit bars for almost 10 minutes straight and he didn’t lose the listener, it’s been a wrap ever since then. Last March, he dropped the classic album The Fear of God, and shortly after he and Humble Beast parted ways. When he announced that he was dropping an EP that evolved into a full length LP, people wondered what his new music would sound like. The three singles “Gunz x Rosez,”” Pray,” and “Can’t Tell Time” gave some insight as to the sound and content of the upcoming project. After months of waiting, Eshon Burgundy’s The Passover is finally here.
The Passover is a holiday celebrated by Jews celebrating the departure from Egypt during biblical times. It is called Passover due to the blood of spotless goats painted on the door post of the Israelites, as a signal for the Lord to Pass over this house hold instead of striking down the first born child. Eshon’s album is a slight throwback to that and how the Lord has been in his life protecting him and allowing him to leave the projects. Eshon’s “Intro” sets the tone for the project talking about how the Lord was with him and how he changes men and women. The intro is a simple soulful track but how Burgundy flipped the word Passover three different ways (I’m passed over, my past over, the Passover) lets you know he’s not slacking in the lyrics department.
If there’s one thing Eshon is not here for it’s cats calling themselves god and attempting to claim the one true God’s throne. This has been a consistent theme for Eshon (see For God’s Sake mixtape circa 2013), and he is consistent with that on this album. On the second track “Bless Ya Name,” Burgundy enlists Queens Battle rapper and crooner Th3 Saga to bless the name of the Lord and rebuke those who dare lay claim to His name or throne. The next song “What I Prayed For” finds the NFNTRY forerunner talking about the world’s ills as he prays to the Lord to fix them. He starts of the song with lines like “still got issues with almost being murdered/ at times still tryna justify a pistol purchase” and just goes in from there. The record scratches and the keys help this feel like a gutter record akin to something from the nineties and with Abiv on the hook, the song can’t miss and it doesn’t. Burgundy follows up with “Dead Letter,” which seems to be a letter from a dead man seeking answers from a living God. It’s a very reflective and introspective song. Next we find Eshon Burgundy arguably flowing at his best on “The Great Exchange (Currency)” feat. Jeremiah Bligen and C.H.R.I.S. Eshon flows effortlessly on this soulful saxophone assisted beat speaking of his old life that was exchanged through the blood of Jesus for a new life. Burgundy spits lines like “The bigger the bag, the bigger my respect/ these blue face hundreds look like they hold their breath” but by the end of the song realizes those things are vanity in the face of eternity. The album closes out with the third single “Can’t Tell Time” a song about time and God and “Smoke and Fire” featuring Stef Silva. The last track is a head nod to when God literally led the people of Israel by a cloud in the day and by a pillar of fire by night. The song sounds like Eshon really pleading to the Lord to lead him in such a visible and undeniable way as he seeks to lead his family in the things of the Lord.
This album is a much needed album in today’s Christian Hip Hop scene, an authentic album talking about God and what He has brought you from and to. Eshon never disappoints and for those worried about the quality of his music dropping after leaving the label, you can relax. Eshon worked with a handful of producers to craft a sound and direction for The Passover and it was executed perfectly. If you want high quality music that lives up to a set and consistent precedent, then The Passover is a must have project in your collection.