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“Started off in the streets / We would take collection from the fiends / People dying all around me / So I gave you my testimony.” August Alsina often wears emotions on his sleeves musically and personally. It’s a trait that characterizes so many of us in a cruel, hurtful, and often unforgiving world.  For Alsina, his emotionally-driven approach is understandable, given the rough and tumble background that he describes on his gospel-tinged R&B record, “Benediction.” While “Benediction” wasn’t the main attraction from his 2014 debut album Testimony, it ranks best, most personal, and most thoughtful numbers.  Where’s the atonement? Why, his come-up, earning success as a musician – getting out of the hood.

On the first verse, August Alsina eulogizes being poor: “Paying our respects to being broke, hope he’s in a better place.”  He goes on to speak of the many hardships he experienced growing up on the streets. These include dreams without the possibility of becoming a reality, crying internally, yet being forced to exude a tough exterior, and of course, hustling, and all the ills that accompany it. On the second verse, he references family tragedies, most notably the murder of his brother. Through all of the mess, he seeks a better life – clean living.  He expresses remorse for his sins, seeking forgiveness and a deeper relationship with God.  Guest rapper Rick Ross plays the role of Alsina’s ‘Amen Corner,’ on the third verse, as his come-up includes “Rightin’ all my wrongs for these homies out here thuggin’ / Pray for benediction…”

“Benediction” is a sensational urban ballad that is relatable to anyone who’s ‘been through’ and ultimately, ‘made it’ – conquered their adversity.

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About The Curator - Brent Faulkner

Brent Faulkner - Music to Curator

Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky.  A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles.  In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype ( When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.