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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Tonic-The Dash, Refreshment for the Race....

Yes, Ambassador’s got 3 albums, Phanatik has got 2, heck even Tru-Life has an album! (As solo artists that is) not to mention R-Swift, J.R., T.R.U.T.H. amongst a few. So the question that had been bugging me was what about tonic? Of course I kept asking that partly because he’s my fave among the fab four and also because I wondered what a Tonic album would sound like considering he was mostly responsible for most of the “anthems” on all ‘em C.M albums.
Then I got into my second year in school and I was pleased to hear he was working on his solo project aka “The Dash”. You can’t imagine how amped up and happy I was until Bam!! News hit us that Mr John Wells (his real name by the way) had had some sorta breakdown which led to hospitalization and work on the album was postponed indefinitely. Heartbroken, we rayed hard for him and by god’s Grace the tonic bounced back. I was meanwhile stuck with “Forever” (arguably the best C.M jam ever) and then History dropped just before it was announced that would be the last album they’d produce as a group. Talk about heartbreak! But there was at least a great legacy to look back upon. With Chop Chop, Soapbox and other albums dropping I kept itching (or should I say thirsting) for a Tonic album and on the 31st of March 2009, The Dash was dropped. Yup! After at least 4 years of anticipation the album’s here and my God! If reviews are anything to go by, another C.M. emcee has given us a top notch serving!
So what exactly is The Dash? For those of us conversant with athletics it’ll be common knowledge that the dash refers to a race and isn’t that what life is? Cradle to the grave, youth to old age, birth to death. And we’re all running different races whether we believe it or not. That’s the basic message on this album and Tonic further elaborates by explaining that on every tombstone (ok most of ‘em) is an epitaph that reads whatever the person or his friends/family wants it to read. Now just under that is a timeline for example 1947-2009(imaginary) and it’s pretty much obvious that there’s a dash in between the two dates. One’s life is more or less encapsulated in that dash, his or her achievements, activities, likes and dislikes are all attached to that little dash. With this album Tonic takes the initiative to try and suggest the best way to make that dash approved by God’s standards.
Now don’t get it twisted, just because this album’s been in the oven for about 4 years doesn’t mean it’s outdated (which is an impossibility with the C.M. by the way, flattery aside) because it’s got banging beats, catchy hooks and of course Heavy word! In addition to the mix is the all star cast of guest emcees ranging from Izreal to Shabach to even Enock and Earthquake (remember ‘em from all those C.M. albums of old?). And a couple of new cats inclusive too…. Trust me this is an album to listen to over and over again……
Parting shot? The Boss is the Boss, don’t mean to start any arguments but The Tonic’s not just C.E.O. by name or title, he’s C.E.O. by rap too. He’s got a mind that one needs to have 24/7, a mind that looks at issues critically. The dash is just the 1st in along series (I hope) of Tonic renditions. Simply put, High walk, High Talk, High Thought (in reverse of course)….

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