The year 2017 was monumental, a lot of great God glorifying music was released almost all the way throughout the year. On December 29th at the brink of 2017, Ohio based emcee iNTELLECT dropped an album titled ‘The Mandate’ where he encouraged the listener to go hard after the Lord. In preparation for 2018, you may have skipped over this project, but you did yourself a disservice. Follow along and see why ‘The Mandate’ is definitely worth your time.

The album opens up with “The Mandate” where iNTELLECT speaks about what his mandate is, and that’s to go out and speak the truth and live it. Nice record scratches. Very fitting first song for the project. The second song is “State of The Union” and starts off with past President Barack Obama getting ready to do his State of The Union Address and then iNTELLECT jumps right in. This beat is nice and has a real serious feel to it and iNTELLECT skates on it to point out the state of America as he sees it, how America has turned from Jesus to follow wicked ways of the flesh. He implores, “look in the mirror America” and it’s an important song for the project.

The third song “Contact” starts off with iNTELLECT speaking like he’s on a radio asking was there anyone out there. He was foreshadowing what this song was going to be about. iNTELLECT is trying to speak the message of Truth to anyone who will listen, trying to establish “Contact.” Get it? He talks about all the obstacles that the Believer will have to deal with, but yet and still iNTELLECT will continue to try to establish contact. Next is “Taking Shots” (feat. Swift and DaLomonze) has a real epic feel to the beat. This song has very clean production and a great hook sung by DaLomonze. iNTELLECT and Swift both talk about how even though the enemy is constantly taking shots at them they still will stand for the Lord. This is a nice departure from the rugged boom bap sound that iNTELLECT has show us so far, proving that he can flow on more than one type of beat. This song “Legacy” ( feat. DaLomonze) may be one of the most transparent songs on the album. I love the strings and cymbals on this track making this song sound very somber and introspective. iNTELLECT pays homage to those who paved the way for him in his life. People like grandparents and parents that push us to be the best we can be. iNTELLECT thinks back on the times where he was pushed to do well in school and then go on to college. This is a really good song and should hopefully remind us to always thank and give praise for all those who paved the way for us.

As we turn a corner on ‘The Mandate,’ we arrive at “Sky High.” This track starts off with what sounds like an airplane captain preparing for takeoff. The strings and guitar add a more somber feel to this track and we have more scratches and cuts on this track. iNTELLECT speaks about getting sky high and how he raps to get folks high on something other than drugs. This may be one of the best sounding songs on the project. iNTELLECT turns it up a notch with “Winning.” This beat instantly gets your head to nodding with some hard hitting drums. This is one of iNTELLECT’s better written hooks and it has some nice scratches as well. “You can never say we underrated, if we on the same team as the Son of David” was a nice line. iNTELLECT lets the listener know that even though it looks like Christians are losing to the world, but by staying faithful to Jesus and His mission, we are actually winning. This is definitely the anthem song on the album and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. iNTELLECT transitions to “Wake Up,” which is another banger as he implores the listener to wake up from the lies and distractions of this modern world. This hook is NASTY (in a good way) and is probably the star of this track.

Heading in to the final couple of songs on the album we land on “Make A Way.” This song starts off with some record scratches and then jumps right into the song. iNTELLECT spends the first verse talking about his children and how he wants to live right in front of them and reach them to survive this wicked world, and that him chasing God will lead his children to know the Lord for themselves. iNTELLECT on the second verse acknowledges that even though he says he knows he loves his children, it’s probably hard for them to believe when his words don’t match his deeds like when he shows his temper. iNTELLECT is very honest and open on this song and it is much appreciated. Some artists spend so much of their album preaching to the listener they never preach out loud to themselves or are honest about their lives. This song was much needed on the album and much appreciated. Song ends the way it began with some record scratches and the drums carry us out. iNTELLECT ends ‘The Mandate’ with a song titled “Go!” iNTELLECT makes it clear that the Mandate of Jesus Christ is to “Go!” out and tell the world about Christ and that’s exactly what iNTELLECT plans to do. iNTELLECT raps,“That’s why I gotta keep it moving/ pushing this product but this is more than CD distribution” was a nice line and speaks to the emcee’s purpose in music and ministry.

In conclusion, iNTELLECT really upped the ante with ‘The Mandate.’ iNTELLECT stayed true to his boom bap roots but he also added another layer of instrumentation to this project. I’d love to see him switch up his flow pattern a bit more, switch up the tempo of his beats, but all in all this was a great step forward in iNTELLECT’s discography. If you love boom bap and Jesus, then ‘The Mandate’ is the album that you need in your life.