With his sophomore album, Uncomfortable, Mineo is out to make a point. As the title implies, you’re probably not going to feel comfortable listening to this album. It is full of lines to make us all look inside ourselves. He’s questioning society and even all of us Christians. This is an album that not just CHH, but Christianity in general needs to hear. Mr. Mineo doesn’t sacrifice his New York swag for meaning though. The bar has been set very high for this one, and I’m excited, so let’s get to the music!
When Andy released the title track, “Uncomfortable”, as a single, the already large hype went through the roof. I think if any track is showing how amazing of a talent he is, it’s this one. Not only is the production on this one absolutely on point, but Mineo’s lyrics and delivery are fantastic. He slows down enough to ensure the lyrics remain the focus. The beats, ranging from trap to a piano, mesh perfectly with the delivery as well. This track pretty much explains where he’s going with the album, and he’s calling people out. I could pull every line from this one. Andy’s lyrical ability is absolutely amazing. To him, both he and society have become too comfortable with the world’s sin and our own problems. We ignore the problems of others and only worry about ourselves. He’s getting straight to the point, and this is a fantastic start to the album.
Mineo keeps the styles changing through the next few tracks, and “Desperados” (feat. Mali Music) is the next one to really stick out. First of all, Mali Music does not normally feature on tracks with this kind of quickness and upbeat intensity. He’s a great addition with the refrain though, and Andy takes it from there. The wild west metaphor works magic for this one, as he compares his career as a positive Christian Rapper to that of an old west desperado. The mainstream rap culture is fighting against him, and it’s a struggle. Andy has his focus elsewhere though, “I ain’t tryna be liked, I’m tryna be a light, bang! I ain’t tryna make a livin’, man, I’m tryna make a life, bang! Alright, now we some desperados, Livin’ by the motto, If I die tonight, man, I’m ready for tomorrow”. “Desperados” is really a new feel of production for him, but he absolutely kills it. If this track is an old west duel, Andy is definitely the quickest on the draw with his delivery showing off his skill yet again. This album really shows how versatile Mineo is as he breaks out of his own comfort zone a bit, and it’s really paying off.
Another song that is a bit of a change is “Hear My Heart”. This one was released as a single as Andy apologizes to his deaf sister, Grace, for never learning sign language when he was younger. It’s a softer track, and it definitely isn’t the best sound wise, but it’s a touching one that couldn’t have been easy for him to make. He’s openly admitting his mistake to the world, and he’s trying to fix it. The hook, “hear my heart beat”, is a reference to the fact she could never actually hear his heartbeat, but he wants her to metaphorically be able to as he learns her sign language. Part of the Uncomfortable theme is Andy looking at himself as well, and he’s willing to admit he’s far from perfect. I’m always impressed by Andy’s humbleness as an example for the young men listening to him, and this song is a perfect representation of that.
While most artists fight over being the best or most popular rapper in the game, Andy and his friends won’t run their “Rat Race” (feat. Jon Bellion). The chorus states it pretty clearly, “Tell ’em we don’t wanna play, yeah, yeah, We’re so okay with last place, We already won the game, yeah, yeah, No, we won’t run your rat race”. Like his Reach label mates have said, they don’t need to be number one. They’ve already won, because they know God and his saving grace. This one is in part a continuation of “Death of Me”, as Andy is aware of the pressures and potential killing factor of fame. It’s not about competing for him, it’s the mission of sharing Jesus to people through his music. And he’s making really good music while he’s at it.
Things return to classic Andy in the final pre-release single, “Know That’s Right”. He’s got his favorite trap beats, and he works with them like he always does, on point. The refrain has a good mix of calm, leading up to the bass drop. He is no doubt one of CHH’s and maybe all of the rap game’s biggest talents, and the terrific production just adds that extra touch of greatness to his music. That’s not what matters to him though, as he’s got his plan, and he’s not out to please everyone. God is his focus, and Andy is following his plan.
Andy has addressed society in general, the rap game, and even his own problems. Now he’s addressing the “Ghost” in his life. These are the people who he’s lost touch with over the years. Everybody has people who seemed to care but eventually leave. He still isn’t confident in people staying, “My worst fear in life is that my wife would have the urge to leave, Like everybody else start desertin’ me, I know we made vows, but I cannot believe when I see divorce rates, You know why I got doubts, Fear takin’ control”. Andy may be a big name artist, but he still fears rejection like anyone else. It’s another open-heart track by him, and it’s amazingly smooth. This style is far from Andy’s M.O., but he does a great job with it.
Two of the final tracks on the album, “Love” and “Make Me a Believer” (feat. Mac Powell) discuss different loves in Andy’s life. The first is his song about his first year of marriage, and he continues to open his heart to his audience. The second is his relationship with God, in which God gives his love freely, but Andy doesn’t give it back enough. This one also has a deeper meaning through David’s sin being exposed by God through Nathan in 2 Samuel 12 and David’s response in Psalm 51. These passages are also a deeper meaning in “Uncomfortable”. Andy’s ability to place the Bible passages as the basis for the song is terrific, and he winds it all up by relating it to his life. These tracks finish the album of on the right foot as Andy keeps a solid Biblical base to his music.
It’s the job of musicians and artists to question both society and themselves. We become too comfortable in our culture, and we need reminders to look into the mirror and see the truth. Uncomfortable is an album that makes you do exactly that. Every song makes you think. The lyrics and meaning are the focus, but he doesn’t sacrifice sound. Andy even leaves his comfort zone with some new styles apart from his usual trap beats, and the result is an album showing how versatile of an artist he is. Part of me misses the style he’s used in the past, but this album was something we needed to hear. Take some time to really listen to this entire album and reflect. Does it make you a little Uncomfortable? It should. It’s a reminder that we’re not perfect, and that God is. He’s a loving God despite our imperfections though, and that is comforting.
Uncomfortable is available for purchase on iTunes and other digital retailers.