Saturday, January 24, 2009
Shawn McDonald_Simply Nothing
Here’s a white boy who thinks he’s black but trust me he can hook any person black, red , yellow or white!!! For a guy like who was a former John Mayer and Robin Thicke fan this guy just happens to be the best thing since The French lost to Italy at the final!!! Simply Nothing (which isn’t his most current album by the way) is pretty old but like every good gospel album is timeless. An earnest voice, an acoustic guitar, ear catching lyrics and worshipful ballads are among the few ingredients that make for this tight delicacy…. How people like him manage to do this I don’t know, but he’s just able to stir your deepest parts and make you feel overwhelmed by how great God is!(yeah ‘m sure there are people who would think I’m talking about HillSong but nope! this is Shawn McDonald!) if you’re a Jeremy Camp or even Brandon Heath fan well this is guy for you. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some sad, boring music… it’s just a nice worship album. And the guy’s voice? Just go and get this album for yourselves….
Amusingly for someone who’s hooked on who’s supposedly hooked on Holy Hip Hop(or Gospel Rap for Craig Lewis faithful)I refused to listen to this album simply cos I felt it wouldn’t be on the same level of quality with Da’T.R.U.T.H., Lecrae or any of his other “contemporaries”. Of course all this was before a certain bloke named Akor (God bless him) gave me the album last year at the YWAP end of leadership retreat. Let’s just say I’ve been hooked since then! As a staunch fen of “conscious” rap, I couldn’t help but get disarmed by this offering. Not exactly 5 mic material I know, this probably the 1st and most accurate Social Commentary done by a gospel artist (except maybe Everyday Process’s Illumination and Elimination LP).
It covers (yeah study the album cover) everything from today’s music to our greed(for prosperity), social vices and of course, our God…
Ok what’s a Soapbox? Apparently this is a word that refers to a sort of impromptu platform raised above the surrounding level for an orator/ speaker to give a speech or address people on!!(You’re forgiven for thinking it’s just a container of soap). And here’s what R-Swift does, he makes you ask yourself “what’s up with my beliefs?” he unapologetically asks you what you are proclaiming on your own platform!
Away from the message a bit and focusing on the production… it’s now common knowledge that CMR boys don’t ever fall hand cos some banging beats done by the very much on the rise Mac The Doulous and even J.R were on the album. If Soapbox is a movie then the cast for this album is an assorted collection of Oscar nominees and Winners with the likes of Lecrae, J.R, Izreal on board(Particularly the album’s cipher The League boasts a cast of the Who is Who in underground gospel rap). In short this is just tight East Coast material and I think anyone who hasn’t heard it is missing a lotta good stuff big time!!!
1. Stage Fright
2. In Session
3. Good Mourning
5. Breatha (Featuring Lecrae)
6. Message 1 (k-Drama)
7. The League
11. Message 2 (Flame)
12. American Soil
13. Love Letter (Featuring Michelle Bonilla)
14. Me on My SoapBox
15. Message 3 (Teddy P)
Fav Jams? The League, Breatha, Soapbox, Lifetime….
Json_Life on Life
Dang!!! This dude is independent(or was independent till he signed on Shailinne’s Lampmode Records) but of course he brings heat just as blazing as one of em CMR/ Reach Records bois. Released two years after his first album (The Seasoning), Life on Life is simple, straight to the point and an album that emphasizes discipling/ sharing one’s Faith with others. To start with, check out the album cover, then the beats, then the songs!...This guy’s from St Louis and he lets us know with banging Crunk jams, topics like (yup you guessed it!)The Word of God, leaving our comfort zones to share the Word and Growth. The album comes across as a Christian Big Brother just tryna update you on what’s been happening and the next few steps to take in your walk with God.
The same Json flavor that hit us on 13Letters and The Compilation Album is present on this album with even more swagger! There’s a couple of new cats like Future and Titus on the album but we also hear the likes of Thisl, Flame,Lecrae and even Trip Lee(amongst other established acts)
To tell the truth I’ve been listening to this album like everyday since the year kicked off and I can tell you my Faith and Belief has grown based on some concepts he makes mention of. If you can cop this album, do it pronto!!!!
1. Life On Life Intro
2. Catch Up (Interlude)
5. Turning Point
6. What It Do (Feat. Titus & Trip Lee)
7. Listening Choice (Feat. Tedashii)
8. My Heart (Feat. Dawndia of Cho’zyn)
9. I Do
10. Glory Revealed (Interlude)
11. Sitting Big
12. Fight (Feat. Thi’sl & MikeREAL)
13. Who He Is (Feat. Lecrae)
14. Confession (Interlude)
15. Ladies & Fellas
16. Move Out (Feat. Future & Flame)
17. In The Studio
20. Grace (Bonus Track)
Fav jams? Sitting Big, Who He Is
Friday, January 23, 2009
The nominees for the 2009 GRAMMY Awards were announced late last year (the eligibility period is for albums released between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008)The winners will be announced live in Los Angeles on the 9th of February this year. Yes no Third Day, Mercy Me, Group 1 Crew, Canton Jones or Da’ T.R.U.T.H. but well it’s pretty full of quality nominations, below is a list of all the gospel nominees(although I wonder what makes these judges qualified to say who does or doesn’t deserve to get awards for Gospel Music).
Best Gospel Performance(Here it’s gotta be Casting Crowns)
- "I Understand”
Kim Burrell, Rance Allen, Bebe Winans, Mariah Carey & Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church Choir
Track from: Randy Jackson's Music Club, Volume One
- "East To West"
Track from: The Altar And The Door Live
- "Get Up"
Track from: The Sound
- "Shall We Gather At The River"
Track from: The Standard
- "Waging War"
Track from: Thy Kingdom Come
Best Gospel Song(Here it’s either Kirk or Brandon Heath)
- "Cover Me"
James L. Moss, songwriter (21:03 With Fred Hammond, Smokie Norful & J Moss)
Track from: Total Attention
- "Get Up"
Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell, Warryn Campbell & Eric Dawkins, songwriters (Mary Mary)
Track from: The Sound
- "Give Me Your Eyes"
Brandon Heath & Jason Ingram, songwriters (Brandon Heath)
Track from: What If We
- "Help Me Believe"
Kirk Franklin, songwriter (Kirk Franklin)
Track from: The Fight Of My Life
- "You Reign"
Jim Bryson, Steven Curtis Chapman, Nathan Cochran, Barry Graul, Bart Millard, Mike Scheuchzer & Robby Shaffer, songwriters (MercyMe)
Track from: All That Is Within Me
Best Rock Or Rap Gospel Album(My heart says Flame my head says toby)
- Our World Redeemed
- We Need Each Other
- Rock What You Got
- Alive And Transported
Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album (Brandon or Cece?)
- This Moment
Steven Curtis Chapman
- What If We
- Opposite Way
- Hello Love
- Thy Kingdom Come
Best Southern, Country, Or Bluegrass Gospel Album (Who are these)
- Room For More
- Lovin' Life
Gaither Vocal Band
- Steps To Heaven
- Hymned Again
- Ephesians One
Karen Peck & New River
Best Traditional Gospel Album (Either Blind Boys or The Brooklyn peeps)
- Down In New Orleans
The Blind Boys Of Alabama
- I'll Say Yes
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
- Take It Back
- Together In Worship
Deitrick Haddon Presents . . . Voices Of Unity
- No Limit
Bishop Charles E. Blake Presents... The West Angeles COGIC Mass Choir
Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album (Kirk or maybe Mary Mary,Tye Tribbett’s got an outside shot)
- The Fight Of My Life
- The Sound
- Donald Lawrence Introduces: Family Prayer
- Stand Out
Tye Tribbett & G.A.
The stuff in brackets are my em…postulations so who wants to bet? lol..
A few things bout this bloke…
1.His Name’s Peter Akinnusi(obviously..)
2.Passionate Christian(Born Again)
3.Student at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
4.Lover of Gospel Rap (Reach Records and all things CMR)
5.Loves Reading, Writing, Football, and um....
6.Favourite Verse: Philippians 4:5
7.Uhmm….Would Prefer U Listen To What He Has To Say and 4get Bout Who He is…
Now it was apparent I had to start this, I refused to eat the frog for at least one year, but let’s just say I finally found the right chef to help me grill it… this blog’s meant to be my view on the world, an avenue for expression and the skin for my mind to paint on. What’ll be seen here will be things that interest me, fascinate me and just generally stuff I feel should be passed across to Y’all.
I chose this name simply because of a couple of verses in Philippians (3v13-14) that talks about an endless aspiration for progress and letting go of one’s so called “achievements” thus an idea of a construction in progress. I’ll like to believe that’s what we all are as Christians, Under Construction and it’s only The Professional Builder that can perfect us!!! So come with me, comment, criticize, encourage, suggest, just view the blog as we build ourselves up (Proverbs 27:17)……
P.S. I dare not start this without saying thanks to my friend “and fellow blogger” Harry Itie who has been more or less an inspiration (better be there when I have questions oh!!!), then of course James Uji, Stefan Chega, Spokesman, Captain Quest and yeah you, Mya… Peace and God Bless peeps….