Blessed Beyond His Stature

Lil IROCC Williams (Forefront Records)

Lil IROCC Williams

By Kory Wilcoxson

While Christian music has made some strides recently in catching up with mainstream trends, it still tends to lag behind significantly. Case in point: Christian music is just getting around to mimicking pint-sized rappers Lil Bow Wow and Lil Romeo with a "lil" of their own, Lil IROCC Williams.

It's obvious that Lil IROCC is entering this game in the middle innings, being sure to hit all the right formulaic buttons (spoken skits, shout-outs to girls, a song about his momma). He struggles to develop an identity of his own, instead borrowing from the likes of Montell Jordan ("How We Do It") and imitating the first "lil" rappers, Kriss Kross, on "Lunchtime": "Lil IROCC is takin' over lunch, lunch!/If you feelin' this just jump, jump!"

And yet, despite the lack of much new, I couldn't help but like this album. Lil IROCC has a certain innocence that is beguiling and the positivity of his message on songs like "All My People" and "That's Why" needs to be heard by more kids like IROCC.

It doesn't hurt that the beats backing up IROCC are absolutely slammin'. The posse of producers who put these songs together have given IROCC top-grade material, catchy beats and backing vocals that make IROCC's undeveloped rhyming skills sound better than they really are. IROCC is blessed even more than he knows.