From the archives

From the archives Hero Image

“From the Archives” Song Descriptions

On July 14, 2023, LampMode Recordings released my fifth full-length album, called “From the Archives.” What brought about this project? I received an email from a fan this past year who noticed that “The Great Exchange” song from The Restoration album was entitled “Part 1.” This led the fan to ask me when “The Great Exchange Part 2” would be released. When I asked the owner of LampMode, deejay essence, to search for it in “the archives”, Esso found over a dozen songs that we recorded between 2004 and 2011, that never found their way on any of my previous albums. Some of the songs needed just a little bit of tweaking, while others needed new beats altogether (track #2 and #5) or even new features (song #10). (Granted, a few had to be kept in the archives for various reasons.)

Here is a brief overview of the 10 songs that have been dug up “From the Archives” with the year that the songs were recorded in parenthesis:

1. Pressing Into the Kingdom Official Remix (2005)

This was the original version of “Pressing Into the Kingdom” that I first wrote to and recorded over. “Pressing into the Kingdom” appeared on the Killing Sin album with a different beat produced by deejay essence. Since the original version was produced by DJ Official, we renamed it the “Official remix” to honor our brother who went home with Christ in 2016.

2. Righteous In Him (2011)

This was one of the first songs written for The Restoration album. We decided not to use it for two reasons: (1) The Restoration already contained a handful of songs that articulated the doctrine of justification by faith alone, in which the resurrected Christ clothes all those who trust in Him with His spotless righteousness, having suffered the condemnation due to our sin by His death on the cross. (2) The original beat lacked excellence, therefore deejay essence made a new beat to give this song a “restoration”!

3. Faulty Religions (2004)

Written during the time that I was writing for the Killing Sin album, this song was meant to be a companion to “Faulty Doctrine,” but was never released because it did not go along with the theme of the Killing Sin project. Furthermore, this song was meant to also refute the faulty religion of Jehovah’s Witness, but that verse was never recorded. This beat produced by deejay essence is one of my all-time favorites for its rugged grittiness.

4. Declaration of Dependence (2004)

This song was written for the Killing Sin album, but did not make the cut due to the plethora of songs on that project. Moreover, Killing Sin already had a “repentance” song (“The Faithfulness of Christ”), so the concept seemed redundant at the time. But in hindsight, you can never have too much repentance! The lyrics demonstrate the work of the Holy Spirit in a young believer, granting conviction of sin, awareness of dependence upon God, while producing a longing for the Holy Spirit’s transforming work in sanctification out of gratitude for Christ’s forgiving grace.

5. Don't Waste Your Life (2005)

I wrote this song after reading John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life (Crossway, 2003). It was written prior to Killing Sin, but it did not make the cut due to the original beat’s quality lacking excellence. (Plus the hook was brutal!). Thanks to the new beat made by deejay essence, we are glad that we did not “waste” this song!

6. The Great Exchange Pt. 2 (2011)

This was supposed to appear on The Restoration album as the companion song to “The Great Exchange Pt. 1 (Double Imputation).” However, the LP reached its full-length in terms of time, so songs had to be left out in order for The Restoration to fit on a Compact Disc (CD). I actually performed “The Great Exchange Part 2” at Lamp Mode’s “Tea Time” concert in 2011. Notice my mention of “solution number 1” and “solution 2” in this song, corresponding to “problem 1” and “problem 2” mentioned in “The Great Exchange Part 1.” What is “problem 1?” The Righteous God requires perfect righteousness from us! And what is “problem 2?” God must punish sin! But God!...Jesus is “solution number one: God counts us righteous through His Beloved Son”; and He is “solution two: Christ died in our place, the substitute for you!” (Rhyme schemes in italics!) Hallelujah!

7. Come Quickly (2004)

A few years into the Christian life, I became more aware of the reality that every Christian must share in the sufferings of Christ, prior to sharing in His glory (Phil. 3:10-11; Rom. 8:17-23). This truth caused me to begin to long more and more for the return of Christ, crying out “come quickly” (Rev. 22:20)! The context of writing the song was the overwhelming sense of my sin - and the sin struggle’s of my fellow Christians, along with my awareness of the global persecution of Christians, and the trials that a “dope Christian sister” was enduring (verse 2). Because it did not seem to fit the concept of Killing Sin, “Come Quickly” was never used for that album. But since then, by God’s grace I married “this dope Christian sister” who has walked with me through an abundance of trials, victorious together in Christ along with our quiver full of arrows!

8. My Darkness and His Compassion (2010)

This was the original version of the corresponding songs, “The Darkness of My Heart” and “The Compassion of Christ” from The Restoration album. Due to the lengthiness of this original version, and the rugged griminess of the beats, we decided to edit the lyrics and make it into two separate, back-to-back songs for The Restoration LP with two different beats. The original lyrics in this version unveil the raw reality of the darkness that our Almighty, Compassionate Savior, Jesus Christ, rescued me out of, for His glory and our joy!

9. The King of Glory (2011)

One of the rowdiest beats ever made (in my boom-bap opinion), I wrote this song as the reality of Christ’s sovereign rule impressed upon me. At this time, I was beginning to grasp the significance of Amillennialism (or, “Now-Millenialism”): the resurrected and ascended Christ reigns now, causing the believer to reign over sin, Satan, and death (already), until the King returns to bring about the fullness of His kingdom at His second coming (not yet). A more robust biblical-theological explanation of Christ’s Kingdom of Salvation is unpacked in the song and chapter, “The Kingdom of God,” in The Unfolding album and book.

10. The Brethren Cypher ft. Joshua Penn, Zae Da Blacksmith, Reformed Yinzer, Omri, and Believin’ Stephen (2004, 2023)

This is a “Back to the Future” scenario: recorded over a deejay essence beat made in 2003, my verse was written and recorded in 2004, while my “brethren’s” verses were written and recorded about two decades later (2023), celebrating the love, encouragement, and unity that we have as brothers in Christ’s Church. Such joyful oneness is a foretaste of our worship of the Lamb together for all eternity! “I praise God that Christ rescued you!/ When we see King Jesus, I’m going to praise Him right next to you!”