Sivion and producer MALEX have released their first collaborative project in the form of their Str8 Shot album. The Dallas-based vet sticks to ’90s flow styles that play well with MALEX’s beats which draw their energy from O.G. synth funk and West Coast G-Funk. Their sonic chemistry makes Sivion’s God-loving Christian world sound as carefree and cool as a jazz jam session. MALEX’s secular sonic references almost cloak Sivion’s Christian-guided messages but the flow of it all catches the ears of both believers and everyone else who falls outside of being a follower. “New York Chill” is a head-nodding daydream about visiting the Big Apple with live bass lines from session-playing notable Nigel Rivers. In the spring they dropped the video for unapologetic “What It Is.” Sivion’s last long player was his 2021 Mood: Enhancement Beats instrumental album. Str8 Shot is clever and stylish in its delivery of a highly debated doctrine that is usually not associated with hip-hop.