An ominous tidal wave of an intro is shattered into a million pieces by an epic melodic drawl and a bulging bass spitting out grooves as big and bold as they come. In a sweeping sonic shift of the spotlight, our attention is redirected towards a fluttering vocal that seeps through the speakers subtly at first, only to become as mammoth as the music accompanying it is.
Without warning, we’re transported to the center of a battlefield where The Cofields are warring for our affections in the name of Jesus Christ, and in all of the chaos, there exists a singular beacon of hope that the sonic titans will find some reconciliation here. That beacon is the harmony that they’re cultivating together out of all of the abrasive white noise being manipulated into mountainous melodies in the background. This is “Royalty,” the new collaboration from the aforementioned The Cofields, and it’s got critics from one side of the country to the next abuzz at the moment – for good reason, I might add.
To say that “Royalty” isn’t your typical melodic hip-hop/gospel crossover song might be the understatement of the century, as it contains so many layers in its master mix that one is inclined to think of both the fiercest and most intricate elements of both genres when breaking down its structural complexities. Both Calvin and Kimberly bring a wealth of experience to the recording studio, together forming some of the most incendiary rap rhythms I’ve heard from a couple between the two of them, and it’s all utilized brilliantly in the execution of this tempo.
There’s a sophisticated edge to the construction of the beats, but it’s countered by a streamlined vocal element that is immensely palatable to whatever damage the bass can try inflicting upon it. A big part of the reason why I like this track as much as I do is because of its compositional enormity, which translates epically in the lumbering percussive track that chases after the humble verse leading the song. I’ve heard plenty of hip-hop material that was this moving instrumentally before, but I can’t tell you the last time that I heard a gospel single that possessed even a fraction of the physicality that “Royalty” has in droves.
I highly recommend getting your hands on this track from The Cofields this month, if for no other reason than to see what all of the fuss being made by the gospel music world is about. I’ve always been hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of acts that have as much hype as this one has been enjoying lately, but in the case of The Cofields, there’s just too much panache, too much passion presented to us free of the annoying self-righteousness that has become a plague in modern music, for me not to fall in love with their sound. They’re bringing some serious heat in “Royalty,” and as far as I’m concerned, gospel and hip-hop fans won’t do much better than the grace and grit that it brings to the table with every listen.