JAMES THE MORMON 
WE CAME TO PLAY
by Alden Zuck

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James the Mormon’s first full-length album debuts in iTunes’ top-10.  JustMy first learned of James through his support of Operation Underground Railroad!  Because of his GivingBack spirit, we love to support him as an artist any chance we can.  We ask our own Alden Zuck to review the highly successful ablum release “We Came to Play”.

The Review

The hip-hop artist James Brandt Curran quickly became a national success through his music, however this lifestyle was not always his main focus. James was born in Utah but spent most of his younger years in China, Russia, and Uzbekistan. He was one of the few mormons in the area and was baptized in a jacuzzi in China. During this time, James had never even heard of rap music until his move to the United States when he was 14, yet already he wrote his own songs by the age of 17.

He had a fiery passion for his religion that many around him did not have, in fact, the reason he is called James The Mormon is because he changed his instagram name to that because he wanted everyone to know what he believed. James’ quick fame came to a surprise to him and many others as he released his first extended play, “I’m Not a Rapper” on April 17th, 2016. Just 11 days later he was number one on the iTunes hip-hop/rap chart. Not too long before this, James was simply making music for fun in his home studio, playing music with the BYU football, and making music covers on youtube. Despite his overnight success, he maintains his passion for his religion by donating a lofty amount of his proceeds to both missionary and non-religious organizations. He works three other jobs as he continues to produce songs and music videos, loosing sleep for days at a time to make it work.

we came to play

His first full-length album

“We Came to Play”, was released on May 2nd of 2018, which exploded in popularity. James, as he mentions on a podcast, is working towards releasing his final album in the future called “Something to Prove” that is a “very heartfelt album with a lot of personal things”. His goal is to wait to release this album until his popularity reaches many others besides mormons, not so that his fame rises but so that he can reach non-mormons with his songs and create the impact he is hoping for. His goal is to continue to produce secular hip-hop/rap music for the sole purpose of spreading awareness and news about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Gravity

James The Mormon (feat. Sione Toki)

Through this song, James pushes hard on how he is being pushed and pulled down by the world like gravity. However, he stays true to his beliefs and his name even though with the fame it is easy to change.

Energy

James The Mormon (ft. Keishianna)

James titles this “Energy” for a reason, as the beat and lyrics reflect that label in a very true manner. He describes through his lyrics how he has the energy to make it to the top like he has already done and that his rhymes and flow continue to be on top. He’s not scared of other competition and has the drive to push forward, which I’m sure is based on the religious goals that he has ultimately for his last album release.

Buck Wild

James The Mormon (feat. The Lake)

“Buck Wild” is a collaboration between Salt Lake-area hip-hop veterans uMaNg, Zac Ivie, Rhyme Time, Eddington, Shelbadine, Underground Ambitionz, and Dblacc. They perform this cypher rap song with each artist adding in their personal style and flow. James describes how “Buck Wild” was about three things: “One, showcasing the raw talent that Utah has. Two, attempting to unify Utah’s hip-hop scene. And three, showing that things like religion and race, what you look like or how you choose to live, doesn’t have to segregate a people. You can be different and still find commonalities. Each rapper on ‘Buck Wild’ is completely different in some way, but it was our true love for hip-hop that brought us together.”

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