Json – Growing Pains

By JoshLLR on September-19-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , | Share

Json – Growing Pains
Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/53
5.0 (1 votes)

Artist: Json
Title:  Growing Pains
Label:  Lamp Mode Recordings
Release Date: 2/21/12
Reviewer: Josh Burkey

Buy the Album:iTunes/Amazon


  1. Intro
  2. Making Me Over ft Ad3 and Tedashii
  3. 2 Human ft. Lecrae
  4. GP (Interlude 1)
  5. Held It Down ft. Butta-P & Ron Kenoly Jr.
  6. It’s Alright ft. Mikeschair
  7. I the Beast
  8. Brand New ft. Steve-T & God’s Servant
  9. GP (Interlude 2)
  10. My Joy ft. Jai
  11. Behind the Clouds ft. Chris-Lee
  12. We Not Folding ft. Trubble and Blacknight
  13. Secrets (Interlude)
  14. Secrets ft. J.R.
  15. Credit Roll ft. Benjah
  16. GP (Interlude 3)
  17. Goodbye

One of the funniest conversations that can ever actually happen among guys is the subject of pick-up lines. Probably one of the most infamous of them is, “Where have you been all my life?” Hearing it, we giggle and laugh. I can almost see a guy testing that line on a girl in the club and her giggling and just walking away. However, this pickup line of “Where have you been all my life?” was something I asked myself while listening to the new Json record, Growing Pains. I haven’t been into Christian rap entirely too long and usually when I started it listening. It was stuff that my friends were familiar with: Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii and pretty much anyone on the reach records family. However, I have to kick myself because I didn’t listen to Json sooner.

It seems that what was destined by man to be the year of our apocalypse, actually turned out to be the complete opposite. I believe this will be the closest this world will get to bowing in awe of God’s true glory. Json, just maybe a messenger to prove this point; that this world will bow before apocalypse. The album, Growing Pains, focuses heavily on how even though we’re going through pain. God has a purpose for the pain He is making you endure.

Look to the album’s opener appropriately titled, “Intro”. The album opens up on soft piano that is only heard briefly before the instrumentation of guitars, drums and beats kick in with Json soon to follow. In one point of this song he tells the listener, “Suffering has a purpose”; to follow it up a few seconds later praying to God. This album is very personal and showcases Json’s humility as a rapper and furthermore as a man of God to let us in on the season of pain he endured to grow closer to God.

The album continues with gems, “Making Me Over” and “2 Human”, both of which have impression guest appearances. Really showcase his talent as a lyricist and really to be honest again heavily shows his heart in making this record. The album hits a snag over the next few tracks which include what sounds like a song to his wife, a testimonial track (first of three) and a track that has an overplayed chorus, attempting the chorus of Carly Rae Jespen’s “Call Me Maybe” a run for its money. He attempts to showcase his roots in “I the Beast” and succeeds but he doesn’t really start to shine until “Brand New”, which just so happens to be his next track. Again, you will hit a dry season over the next few tracks until the listener arrives to the anthem, “We Not Folding.” The Secrets tracks (“Secrets (Interlude)” + “Secrets ft. J.R.”) probably deal with the heaviest subjects on the record and could be sure to break even the hardest of hearts. The album finishes up over the course of three more tracks.

We’ve discussed the tracks lyrical content and the heart behind them. In the world of music, it is the musicianship that serves as the melody and beat that serve on these. In some cases on Pain, the beats are fresh, hot and original. “It’s Alright”, “2 Human”, & “Credits Roll” just to drop a few titles. However, then we get to the typical ‘I’ve heard this from so-so last week’ kind of beats; the ones that seem familiar to us. “Making Me Over”, “We Not Folding”, & “I the Beast” are just to mention a few.

OVERALL:  This record is really personal. I see it as being a hit or miss with his fans. Take A Plea for Purging’s last record, The Life and Death of A Plea for Purging, for example: an extremely personal record from those guys. I know people who thought it was their best record, but I also know devoted who hated it. For me, Growing Pains, will be the same deal. To be honest, I completely loved this album. It definitely leaves an impression upon the listener. Granted, there are a few songs that track on and feel out of place. Sometimes in sharing your heart, you have to be open about all things, even if it’s not what people want to hear. Pain is solid in its deliverance, honest in its lyrics and contains a mixture of beats from young and old hip hop.

Json - Growing Pains, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Click here to list all the current reviews by JoshLLR

About the author JoshLLR

I'm a complex individual. I'd watch cartoons in my spare time. I'm a metalhead but listen to artists like V.Rose, & Lecrae. My heart belongs to the field of missions and carrying out the Great Commission, Jesus gave us in Matt. 28 is my destiny. I am a ministry director of the suicide prevention music ministry, Love Like Rain. This is and IVM are just the beginning steps to moving the kingdom. View all posts by JoshLLR

7 Responses to 'Json – Growing Pains'

  1. Jeremiah Holdsworth says:

    I’d give this a 4 but not as good as City Lights.

  2. stevo says:

    3 outta 5 is not ALRIGHT …is not OK …5 is what this record needs…

  3. Chandler A. says:

    I only have one track off of ‘Life on life’ and one track off of ‘City Lights’, so I can’t really compare this to those albums very much, but I’d give it a 5 too. In fact I would go as far as to say that this is the best hip-hop/rap record on my ipod. There is so much stylistic variation between every song, and I feel like it’s all done to perfection. best song on the album imho is “Behind the Clouds ft. Chris Lee Cobbins” too happy & beautiful! :) Got this the day it came out in February, and still listen quite a bit! After this record, Json definitely became my favorite rap artist.

    On a side note to say that “It’s Alright” is as annoying as Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe is a really big stretch. I understand opinions blah blah blah but really? C’mon now…

  4. Chris says:

    It’s a 4 (and I rarely give out anything above a 2.5), Stephen the Levite a 4.5, Shai Linne’s “Attributes” 4.7, and Timothy Brindle’s “The Restoration” 5.

    It’s funny that even when the Lampmode crew releases an album with a rapper whose lyrics and style are similar to mainstream hip hop, they still do it better than mainstream hip hop.

    “We Not Foldin'” is a fun car anthem, “It’s Alright” is catchy, and those are the weakest songs on the album. Json undoubtedly worked very hard to make an uplifting album about trusting God through struggles and clinging to His truth in good times and bad.

    As Chandler mentioned, Json also was DELIBERATE in bringing in NEW SOUNDS. Monk-like chants on “Goodbye”, guitar beats, etc. So – while his music may not be as aggressively theological as Shai or Timothy Brindle – I think this album represents a great personal journey and is great for a lot of activities and several different moods.

    You can listen to this record on bandcamp:

    Don’t forget to check out the Beast Mode tour.

Comments closed.