“I was birthed one night to worship Christ / Devil, my soul’s not for sale, no purchase price / I’m a rebel, a wordsmith, nice, my mom’s angel sing / Keep my baby in your prayers, God save the King,” spits Columbus, Ohio native Copywrite on the introductory track to his latest release, God Save the King. Yes, it’s true, God and faith are pervasive themes on Copywrite’s first album since 2010’s The Life and Times of Peter Nelson, but you’ll find yourself hard-pressed to throw it in the “Christian Rap” pile or even find comparisons with early Kanye West. No, C-write’s project is something entirely unto itself.

Fellow MegaHertz rhymer Tage Future joins on “Love,” as the duo casts aside haters over thumping percussion, but “Swaggot Killaz” is where it really gets hard-hitting. A great Notorious B.I.G. vocal sample serves as the backdrop for Copywrite and another MegaHertz member, Jakki Da Mota Mouth, as the duo laces the track with smooth and precise flows: “Fuck all that rappity-rap shit / I’m in the back of the lac with a stack of these fat chicks / Askin’ where the skinny ones at, I got the pentium stack / …you’d think I fucked Lauryn Hill, finish the score / If you let me finish a fuckin’ sentence, kill ‘em for sure.”

When he isn’t shooting the shit, Copywrite deals with heavier topics. On the appropriately-titled “Sorrow,” he addresses lost ones, vices, religion, and personal growth. The message found on that cut and others like “Man Made” are accessible rather than preachy, despite their spiritual subject matter, an achievement attained largely in part by Copywrite’s usage of self-reflection rather than platitudes. If Copywrite gets away from his battle raps at any point, it isn’t for long. A few bars dedicated to Asher Roth find their way on the Mac Lethal-featured “White Democrats,” and there is always an undercurrent of aggression present. That’s part of what makes the repeatedly-utilized theme of religion so fascinating.

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Really, the biggest complaint one can have about God Save the King is that, at a whopping 17 tracks, the LP stood to shed a bit of excess. “Yo! MTV Raps” for example, really doesn’t fit the album’s aesthetic – thematically or audibly. Nothing here is particularly bad, per se, but this project would be a notch better at a leaner 14 cuts.

A combination of irreverence, charisma, and outright technical ability are what make God Save The King a treat. Fans of honest-to-goodness emceeing will eat this one up – Copywrite is clever and knows how to cover a gamut of topics with equal parts humor and intensity. The oft-minimalist production allows Copywrite to remain front-and-center the entire way through – an outing which proves to be quite a show. Carefully-chosen guests such as Torae and Roc Marciano and a strong, cohesive theme really bolster the project and make God Save the King one of this year’s strongest outings thus far.