While an impressive rapper and storyteller, independent rapper, Gencade, doesn’t quite fit the labels given to his major label brethren — the poignant and introspective, R&B-influenced Drake; the confident and aggressive street persona of Jay Z. In a genre littered with colorful outspoken personalities, Gencade at times rests in the shadows, shrouded in his own struggles.
Until now, he’s been generically very good. On his new release LiL Prayer (Pray For Me)[feat. Alicia Renee] however, the Spanish Harlem, New York City native attempts to carve out a clearer niche for himself—and succeeds, as well as shines.
There are a lot of people that have succeeded in life, but they’ve forgotten about their small-time lives because they feel like their new lives are better. LiL Prayer (Pray For Me)[feat. Alicia Renee] is an attempt to keep Gencade anchored to his humble beginnings, while at the same time wanting to reach for the stars – its part struggle story, part tale of triumph.
For a start, Gencade doesn’t ‘try’ to make a radio-friendly single. It just happens naturally with LiL Prayer. The slightly somber, almost hypnotic start, quickly clicks into motion with the words “I’m about to embark on this journey that is my destiny”.
If the track itself is a journey, the opening contains the thoughts of an embryonic Gencade, outlining his hopes for the future as well as warning himself about the pitfalls that may await ahead. His narrative skills are put to work in great fashion here, and he comes out shooting without sounding heavy-handed or preachy.
On this new record, Gencade appears even more self-assured, as if his own motivating statements spurred him to play the role of the confident artist reaching for the top. Again, he pulls this off brilliantly, without sounding more than humble and able.
He never uses ego-stroking exercises, or unapologetic clever wordplay just to impress. No doubt, with production by All Rounda, LiL Prayer (Pray For Me)[feat. Alicia Renee] will fit in nicely with his existing catalog, and the production here is more layered and sophisticated than what he’s had before.
Like Gencade’s earlier releases, at first listen it appears to be a borderline classic, with a sense of depth, faith and nuance. Continuing in his forward motion “towards the stars”, it won’t be long before Gencade hits full-on classic!