It’s good to hear Nigerian-Texan Moses Uvere bring Dallas, the city rappers P.I.D. and D-Boy Rodriguez once called home, back into holy hip-hop prominence. On his third record The Motive, Uvere, the latest emcee on the rise, makes eminently commercial tracks that take their cues from the controlled wobbles of post-dubstep pop, the wooziness of his home state’s chopped and screwed style and the overall Cash Money-influenced Southern-ness.
In terms of flow, Uvere’s spitting approaches that of Wiz Khalifa in simplicity and directness, but with more self-awareness and less hedonism — even though he’s not averse to a good, clean party, either. Uvere keeps his faith integral to the artistry that encompasses his lifestyle. He doesn’t rely on evangelical exhortation and this combination is likely the key to his crossover success; he’s shared stages with artists like Trey Songz and Paul Wall, having learned how to not alienate the non-saints in attendance.
Unlike some of the self-referentially reformed, minimalist, underground-level sound among current righteous rappers, Uvere sounds ready for general market radio. That may be a mixed blessing for hardcore hhh/rr (holy hip-hop/righteous rappers) listeners, but even at his most confessional and theological, he’s smooth on the ears. And that’s bound to take The Motive places nether Shai Linne nor Lecrae have gone.