I happened to discover Richard Dauphin the very day he released his latest album, Vanguard Talk. Upon first listen, I was immediately hooked by the heavy beats and catchy flows. As I kept listening to the lyrics, I was moved by the message. I knew immediately I needed to share it with someone. And who better to share such an album with than my fellow Devoted Geeks?
With a total of seven tracks, Vanguard Talk isn’t quite as long as one might expect an album to be. Even so, Dauphin makes the most of it. From the beginning to the end of this album, he presents his message loud and clear: Christians have an active mission. “Vanguard Intro” puts this then front and center as Richard states, “I ain’t writing songs just trying to build a catalog, but every song is a sword swinging at Babylon.” As he so eloquently puts it, each song on this album has a purpose.
Further in the intro track, Dauphin states, “As vanguards, we don’t talk about it, we be about it. Vanguards don’t wait to participate; we initiate.” “Vanguard Talk (feat. Nyth Inning)” is a call to action for the Church to act as the hands and feet of our savior, taking the initiative to seek and save the lost, love one another, and serve our neighbors. In “What We Doing,” he drives this point home, asking, “If we ain’t trying to make a difference, then what we doing?”
In between such imperative tracks, Dauphin presents the goodness of God in his life with “Forever (feat. Reneé Ashley)” Following that up with “Lifetime (feat. Egypt Ajaé),” he highlights the beauty of godly marriage as opposed to the worldly relationships he pursued before. He continues in “The Process (feat. Th3 Saga),” detailing the lifelong battle between the world and God for his soul and how God has brought him through every obstacle to something greater. Finally, he wraps up his message with “Promised Land (feat. Co Campbell),” which digs even deeper into the call to action of Christian life while presenting an image of how beautiful the world would be if we followed God’s plan for it all.
Richard Dauphin does a phenomenal job of articulating his message with eloquent flows, clever metaphors, and biblically based bars. Every beat is catchy and perfectly compliment the vocals that convey such powerful themes. Diving deep into theology and culture, his style harkens back to an era of CHH that one might think has long passed. Richard Dauphin distinguishes himself as a powerful lyricist who is not afraid to say exactly what he means.
It is hard to find anything negative to say about this album. My biggest complaint is that I wish it were longer! I have to give this album 5/5 Vanguards walking the talk. If you like Christian Hip Hop, you definitely need to give this album a listen.