Some call Mac a hip-hop artist and some call him a Christian artist; both are correct, but Mac doesn't stereotypically fit either label. His references to God are more nuance than overt; you could hear the peppy “Made to Love” dozens of times and think it is about a man/woman relationship (and it can be if you want it to be), when in fact Mac is singing to his deity.

Like the deeply religious Matisyahu, Mac infuses his spirituality into popular music very smoothly. Mac has won songwriting awards in the past, and Portable Sounds shows that he can cook in many different genres.

“I'm for You” is a rocking emo number, and “No Signal” bobs along to a reggae rhythm, but the best stuff here has urban flavor, like the Sly Stone-meets-Rage Against the Machine “Boomin'.” Mac continues his family tradition of including a cut with his young son Tru Dog (“Hype Man”), and closes the album with a contemporary gospel number featuring Kirk Franklin, “Lose My Soul.”

Grade: B+