Heroes for Sale is the first studio album from Christian Rap artist Andy Mineo and a solid step in the right direction for his career. The album sports sixteen tracks, all pulling from different musical genres for creative influence and inspiration. Despite the varied sounds, Mineo’s message is very clear as he raps about living a life according to his beliefs all while dealing with the trials, temptations and troubles the world has to offer. He is a man with “a million flows” as he is able to switch up his delivery depending on the beat and still serve the same truth from song to song. In fact, the variety of sounds and the balance that is struck between them is what makes Heroes for Sale an interesting album to listen to. For example the first song of the album, “Superhuman”, slaps out the gate with a hard, driving beat and sharp lines about faith despite imperfection spitted fiercely by Mineo. The aggressiveness of this song and others like it is paired with slower more pensive songs such as “Caught Dreaming” and “Shallow” giving the whole body of music a well-rounded feel. Mineo does most of the vocal work for the album but the features he brings on do a great job of supporting the self – sufficient artist (the best being ‘of KINGS and COUNTRY’ on “Caught Dreaming”).
Despite all of the good Heroes for Sale has going for it, the album ultimately falls short from what it could have been due to questionable creative direction. Some songs such as “Ayo”, “Wild Things” and “Uno Uno Seis” just feel out of place and distract from the more focused and memorable pieces. Many of the tracks feature beats that go hard but are typical of the same trap flavored instrumentation we are used to hearing on the public radio. And with talent and a message as unique as Mineo’s, ‘typical’ is a word his projects should not have associated with them. Other songs like “You Will”, “Saints”, and “Take Me Alive” suffer from what I like to call ‘Useless Hook Syndrome’ where the choruses do nothing for the quality of the overall song and function for no other reason than to pad out the length of the track. If the more bland singles were removed and good ones shortened, the whole album would have packed a more significant and emotionally charged punch.
Even with these issues, Heroes for Sale remains a powerful statement from a man who is battling daily against his own demons and a harsh society. Mineo is blunt and not shy about bringing the audience through his world and beliefs. I recommend this album to both fans and newcomers who are looking for great music with true conviction.