Sunday, June 25, 2017 This Week's Paper


// 'Exposed'

The title of the just-released CD by Christian hip hop powerhouse Blaze – “Exposed” – is the perfect word to describe this collection of music written and performed by the artist herself. Blaze (a.k.a. Ashly Miles) bares her heart and soul in this album just as he does in all of her inspiring, soul-stirring music. In short, “Exposed” knocks it out of the park in its realness, its high-polished tracks and in its holy message of redemption for anyone who seeks it.

It’s an understatement to say that Blaze holds nothing back in her rhymes or her delivery – she’s got a big, bold voice that demands to be heard, and what she’s got to say may very well save a life just as hers was saved years ago from the grip of darkness.

When Blaze tells her story, she is speaking of what her eyes have seen and her heart has felt in her young life, reaching back to when she was a teenage girl. Surrounded by drugs and alcohol when she was growing up, she went that path for a while. “Everyone I was cool with was in some type of pain, so they did drugs, partied and chased money to forget about it,” Blaze recalls. She says she developed a tough exterior at the expense of finding peace and happiness.

Upon experiencing the complete spiritual re-awakening she desired and prayed for, she went on to release her acclaimed debut album “He Reigns” in 2009. She ministers to military troops across the country and when she’s home in Seattle, she attends Christ the King Bible Fellowship serving as the Youth Ambassador.

With her second CD, Blaze is reaching new heights of excellence. Every song on “Exposed” sounds completely different from the other, making for a rich listening experience. Blaze and her guest artists make full use of stereo effects and all kinds of musical and electronic sounds. Writing credit on about half of the 13 tracks on “Exposed” is given to Blaze solo; the others include guest artists Willie Will, Kelly Ketz, Jazz Digga, PRo, Michelle Bonilla, Chris Lee Cobbins and Tony Stone.

Blaze owns what she is saying in her music. Behind a mic is where she seems to receive her power to teach of living one’s life for Christ. This woman may be petite in size, but her voice is the right hook that could knock some sense into the most self-destructive disbeliever.

Blaze sings of ancient truths to a contemporary hip hop sound like a minister preaching from the mountaintop. This is the kind of music you can crank in your car and rattle the windows. The kickoff track “Holy (feat. PRo)” will give your bass a good workout – and the words you rap along to will be a prayer.

The title of the song “Press Play (Live My Life) (feat. Michelle Bonilla),” is a metaphor for stepping off into the arms of pure faith – the first step toward salvation.

“Do Something,” with its intense, layered vocals, and “I Got It,” a song about choosing Jesus over sex and drugs, are being released as singles. “Do It For Love Interlude” is tight drum-and-bass, then “Do For Love (Feat. Jazz Digga)” smoothes into R&B while Blaze gives reveals a performance-artist style of inflection to her flow.

If you’re into hip hop or just enjoy listening to uplifting music that will stir a fire within you, “Exposed” will bring something very special to your CD collection. Go to to order “Exposed.”