Made New

  • 流派:RAP/HIP HOP嘻哈说唱
  • 语种:英语
  • 发行时间:2012-09-29
  • 唱片公司:Never Fade Records
  • 类型:录音室专辑


The "Made New" Album is James Julius' first official release. He began working on the project in 2010 with producer and friend M.I.C. of Never Fade Records. Although James Julius' vocal work was completed in early 2012, post production pushed the album release to late 2012. The title of the album represents ones transformation through Christ. The process of being "made new" is depicted in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" The entire album is truly a journey from beginning to end. The opening track "Everyday" sets the stage for the audience to understand the need to be made new. James Julius writes, "I wake up kicking and screaming.." painting a picture of torment and utter brokenness. Throughout the first few songs, the need for a brand new start is apparent. The remainder of the album contains the meat of a believers transformation. Profound truths and wisdom combined with catchy but witty lyrics to deliver a gospel centered message to the listener. Finally ending the album with "Break 'Em Off" which serves as a reminder of the Great Commission that Jesus gives us in Matthew 28:16-20. Album Cover Meaning: The album cover represents being "made new" as well. On the left you see James Julius dressed in ripped clothing, wearing one sock, unshaven, depressed, and begging for money. Yet he is surrounded by worldly success. On the right you see James Julius wearing a nice suit, happy, praising God, but in a slum with no possessions. The way he is dressed represents his soul. On one side you see him rugged, dirty, and in need of transformation. While on the other you see a clean and new creation full of peace and joy. The surroundings represent the world in many ways. In one way the money, car, and mansion represent a life you could possibly have but still be broken and lonely inside. While the contrast of the slums and nice suit represent the completeness you receive from salvation though Christ no matter what physical situation you are in. Also the world view of how following Jesus is the ignorant and unsuccessful choice compared to the riches and lavish lifestyle you are "supposed" to chase. All tracks are recorded, mixed, & mastered by executive producer M.I.C. of Never Fade Records. Continue reading below for a detailed description of each song and an exclusive written commentary from M.I.C. 1. Everyday Featuring Raely Elle The temptation of sin is an every day struggle that we all must endure. Some claim that when we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, that we are finished with this temptation. That we are currently made complete through our salvation and sin has no power to tempt us. This is simply NOT true. The bible has many things to say about very real and current temptation for the believer. Including: Matthew 26:41, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Ephesians 6:11, Galatians 5:16-17, etc. This song depicts someone who is struggling with sin and can't seem to get past the walls that enclose him. In each new verse the person gradually realizes their need to seek Jesus daily and put their sinful desires to death. Producer's Note: The whole plot of this album is introduced with this concept of being enwrapped in a fallen world of sin. We immediately see the need to be made new. We chose this song as the introduction to the album to set the stage for this journey and process of being made a new creation in Christ. This song is special to Raely Elle (my wife) and I because it is the means in which God originally brought us together. 2. In His Own Time Featuring M.I.C. & M.K.J. In the darkest of times it may seem like giving up is the only choice. It may seem like God has forgotten you and doesn't plan on coming through to renew your spirit. Know that God is there. Listen to these testimonies of how God's perfect timing is trustworthy. He always provides, it just may not be at the time or in the way you think is best. Let's put our trust in Him even when situations look bleak. "But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 Producer's Note: Sometimes you just know how a song is going to end up, even in the earliest of stages. James Julius started writing shortly after I laid down the first few elements of the instrumental. I could already feel the weight of this songs emotion. I had written my verse to a jacked beat from youtube a week prior and it fit nicely in the open slot. Originally a member of a semi-famous secular rap group was featured on the third verse. But through struggles that proved to definitely be spiritual, we decided to cut the verse and seek an equally yoked brother who could fill the spot. In God's perfect timing I ran across M.K.J. online. M.K.J. is such a driven & God Fearing individual. We are blessed to have him be apart of the project. He sent me his vocals right after I sent him the instrumental. Everything was pieced together nicely and mixed/mastered in house @ NFR. 3. Never Let Go Featuring Raely Elle & The Music Miss "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand." John 10:27-28. These verses are only one of many places God's word promises that He will never let go of His children. His word repeatedly says He is always with us. God's grace & mercy is so deep, that we could "drop the ball" a thousand times and He would still love us and not give up on us. That's an unconditional love better than any love that exists here among people! Do you have His love that will never let go? Producer's Note: I met "The Music Miss" online and discussed a collab for James Julius. She lives in The United Kingdom, so we were unable to provide a proper studio for her to record in. She sent us her vocals recorded on her laptop microphone. Long story short, it needed some filler. We had Raely Elle lay down her vocals over the hook, and the chorus became somewhat of a hybrid of both girls' vocals. I hadn't planned on adding a dubstep element to the instrumental, but with the robotic-trance feel of the chorus, it accented the mood quite nicely. Other than The Music Miss' vocals, everything was done in house @ NFR. 4. For A Long Time In most peoples life, there comes a point in time when they realise, "I've been doing this same old destructive thing for a long time." Fill in the blank for whatever that may be for you. In this song, James Julius takes it a step further and compares that "destructive thing" to an entire life without walking with Christ. At what point will we allow God to break down those walls of sin that imprison us? When will we accept Him as our ultimate joy and begin walking in the light instead of darkness? Sometimes our hearts are so hard that He must break us all the way down to rock bottom in order to build us up again. God is always waiting & willing to set us free from our old ways, and give us a new life in Christ! If you feel like "I've been doin' this for a long time" then maybe today is the day to let Him break it down! Producer's Note: I love how James Julius presented brutilly raw & honest lyrics to such a mainstream sounding instrumental. Thus making it catchy but heavy & heart piercing. I vibed with this beat from the get-go, and came up with the hook halfway through production. I pitched the hook down & it reminded me of a 90's southern-feel. Everything came out clean, no re-recorded vocals or remakes of the beat. 100% NFR. 5. It All Burns Featuring M.I.C. Don't get it twisted. This song isn't a message of fire and brimstone. It is about waking up to this reality: All of heaven and earth will disappear but God's word and promises will NEVER FADE! So put your trust in HIM! Producer's Note: James Julius came to me with half of a song worth of lyrics and a jacked beat. I wrote my verse while he finished his second. Then we recorded our vocals. Over the next month or so I constructed an original beat around the vocals and threw the jacked one out. Very pleased with the outcome, we decided to release it as the first single of the album, as well as the very first release of Never Fade Records ever. This song goes hard, and represents a huge milestone for NFR as a label. 6. What's The Word Covering multiple topics and history points, James Julius addresses the often asked question, "What's the word?" This phrase is commonly used to replace greetings such as, "What's goin' on?" or "What's new?". Also, Jesus is referred to as "The Word" in John 1:1-4, as well as the bible being described as "The Word of God". This double entendre offers quality spiritual food for the believer as well as an "alter call", if you will, for the curious unbeliever. Producers Note: I enjoy working with James Julius for many reasons. Notably, in this case, for his diverse style and ability to change his flow to match the mood of the beat. This song was written & recorded very early on, but endured many refinements including re-recording vocals & an overhaul on the instrumental making it a fairly recent addition to my iPod playlist. James Julius displays his singing talents only a few short times on this album, making "What's The Word?" that much more unique. Recording/Mixing/Mastering done in house @ NFR. 7. Free From Sin With it's catchy and dramatically crunk pace, you could rightfully call this song "the anthem". The story takes place in a courtroom. James Julius is the defendant, satan is the accuser, and God The Father is the judge. When satan thinks he finally has J. Julius proven guilty, JESUS CHRIST, the defendant's representative, turns the whole situation around! This song is a high-energy celebration of The Truth that saves! Producer's Note: We knew from the beginning that this song would really stick out. We wanted to push it as far as possible and started looking into making it a collab' with some bigger named artists. After narrowing down to two different rappers, both fell through. One was out of our budget and the other wouldn't return our emails. Haha! So James Julius added a bridge in the third verse slot and we ran with it. It ended up being our most popular track! I remember this song sounded so fresh even unmixed and recorded to a simple loop. I added some synths and breakdowns, and after the mastering process we were left with what is definitely one of the best songs on the album. All done in house @ NFR. 8. You Ain't Get It From Me James Julius transforms the common drug dealer track into a witty metaphor for the Holy Spirit & great commission. This song in no way condones the use or sale of drugs. Listen closely and understand the references and comparisons to grindin' hard for the gospel! Say whatever you want, but when they ask you where you got it, you ain't get it from me! Producers Note: The feel of this song definitely went through a journey. The instrumental changed three times before landing on the final beat! From grimy experimental, to dark club, and finally the current west coast vibe! I really wanted to capture the picture James Julius was trying to paint. The difficulty was in balancing the drama vs. feel-good-hype moods of the track. This was a must to accurately represent the sarcastic jokes & cold reality of his lyrics evenly. Through trial and error, mission accomplished! The whole album has a predominantly "Down-South" feel, if you will, so this song is special due to its "West-Coast" vibe. The whole process was completed in-house @ NFR. 9. Made New In our society many are chasing things of this world that are constantly being outdated by the "newest" or most current technologies, brand designs, fads, etc. James Julius breaks down the true definition of what it means to be made new in Christ Jesus! "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 Producer's Note: What first caught my attention about this song was his clever wordplay and references. I thought it was catchy, but I didn't know it would end up being the title track for the album. After the entire song came together, it became worthy of such a position. It almost became the fourth single, but through careful consideration we decided to release "It Won't Be Rushed" instead. However, we did release it on an exclusive concert demo before "It Won't Be Rushed" was released. James Julius' live performance of "Made New" could also be found online before the release of the fourth single. "Made New" has a unique instrumental, containing very little hi-hats compared to the rest of the album. This may seem insignificant but is actually fairly crucial in picking up the pace of the beat. I chose to leave them out to emphasize James Julius' vocals. I think it does a nice job of directing the audiences attention to what he has to say. 100% NFR powered by Christ! 10. Never Fade Me Even under severe persecution we are called to stand firm in our faith and proclaim the name of Jesus. "And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved" Matthew 10:22 Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." So have no fear in the face of persecution and always remember that God is in your corner. "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" Romans 8:31 Producer's Note: "What does 'Never Fade' Records stand for?", you may ask. Long story short, one night James Julius & I were walking to the grocery store. We were talking about persecution we had endured that day. It was a passionate conversation to say the least! I felt that even though we endure persecution, if we have God on our side we can't be faded! (In an urban context, to "fade" someone means to murder them. I know we can still be murdered physically, but I am saying we can't be faded spiritually in the context of our eternal lives hidden in Christ.) The phrase goes on to carry many other meanings such as Mathew 24:35 "Heaven and earth will disappear, but my (God's) words will never disappear." This is simply an explanation of how the phrase began. A few months later "Never Fade Me" emerged from this concept. James Julius wrote the song to a mainstream instrumental. We then transferred the lyrics to an original beat and added the bridge/outro. 100% NFR produced. 11. I Get It In Jesus commanded that we "go and make disciples of all nations." There is work to be done and no time to waste, so let's get it in! Producer's Note: This is the very first song we did together after James Julius signed to Never Fade Records. The instrumental began in a spare room of my sister's house while I was transitioning living situations. It was finished a few weeks later in NFR's first official and proper recording studio. You can definitely see how far James Julius has progressed since then, but this song is still great and represents a turning point in both of our careers. I love working with many genres and styles of music. I used to specialize in "West Coast" type beats, which fit perfectly with E-Sential. Working with James Julius forced me to grow and expand my "Down South" beat skills. The "I Get It In" instrumental highly reflects the Tennessee sound that James Julius was accustomed to, which was something new for me. I also experienced a similar growing period working with Raely Elle, who primarily gravitates toward soulful, R&B, and dance type beats. "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13 12. It Won't Be Rushed Featuring Kristi Elizabeth This song confronts the issues of premarital sex and relationship abuse. We hope that this song will help reveal the true meaning of Love, defined by God's Word, and help people of all ages apply it to their lives. Jesus IS Love! God Bless! Producer's Note: Kristi Elizabeth is a good friend of everyone here at NFR. She was featured twice on E-Sential's first album "Spirit Led" as well as a few other songs with both James Julius and E-Sential. We decided to release this song as the fourth single. This was contrary to the "popular norm" of having only three singles, as well as primarily releasing catchy upbeat bangers as singles. I truly felt this was a message people NEEDED to hear, as opposed to what people WANTED to hear. Similar to many other songs on the album, James Julius wrote & recorded his verses to a simple drum & piano loop. It was in post production that most of the meat was added to the beat. Kristi came through and laced her hook and bridge early on as well. The whole process went smooth in house @ NFR. 13. Dancing In The Rain Featuring E-Sential, Raely Elle, & The Unknowns "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." James 1:2-3 Rejoice in the midst of the storm, knowing that God can use trials to strengthen your faith and endurance. Cling to The Lord and let Him be your strength! Producers Note: The Unknowns (TRUe & Great Dem) are good friends of NFR and have written quite a few songs with both James Julius & E-Sential. Everyone wrote their parts at different times and places, but the whole track came together nicely. The chorus underwent many revisions and transformations before landing on the current version. James Julius' four bar bridge right before the first chorus was the original hook. We agreed that it wasn't what we were looking for. TRUe came through and laid down a hook, but we decided to snip it and let Raely Elle finish the second half. Overall a very clean collaboration all done in house @ NFR. 14. Break 'Em Off Individuals who are the most intimidating need the gospel message just as much as anyone else. People in the roughest neighborhoods are often feared and neglected by, not all, but many Christians who are spreading truth. This song encourages believers to have courage when ministering to people in all areas. It also serves as a reminder to how urban ministry is so influential in reaching lost sheep in places beyond our "comfort-zone". "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh." John 6:51! Let's Break 'Em Off a piece of that living bread! Producers Note: I had very little creative interaction with James Julius during the lyrical process of this song. He came to me with the track completely ready to record. We often go back and fourth with collaborative efforts to fine tune his flow and delivery, but in this case there was no need. Concerning the instrumental, James Julius originally left the studio to write the song with only a drum & piano roll loop. As I recall, the song was also recorded using the raw loop. It was in post production that the life of the instrumental actually came to be. This is one of the only songs that contains sound effects, primarily because I'm not completely fond of them unless used correctly. "Break 'Em Off" should inspire people to pursue the lost no matter how scary it may seem. That is exactly why we chose to end the album with this song, to leave people on the same note that Jesus did when he said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20