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The Hostile Takeover

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Album Review

Ever since Kirk Franklin brought gospel into the hip-hop era, there have been numerous attempted imitations which try earnestly but don't measure up. This collection gathers rap/hip-hop artists with messages that could reach young rap fans, but in contexts that are mostly either not compelling or way overproduced. DJ Charlie Willis' "The Nureaupean Anthem" is a ridiculous recitation which approximates Max Headroom-type computer voices, annoying production techniques, and features a recording from a moon landing. T. Boy and 5.0 are behind "Front 2 Back," which features a conventional rap over various studio tricks. Ditto Gibaan's "Firewater" offers God's redemption like gangsta rappers. Tonex's "Figure" would make an interesting vocal track if it weren't filtered through a wind tunnel. When Shelley Gaines' "Next 2 U" arrives, it's a welcome and more soulful breath of fresh air, but it still could be produced a little simpler. E.B Williams' "The High Place" is an interesting computer-generated reggae piece which is tolerable. The true saving grace of the disc is the final track, a bouncy traditional gospel choir jam which draws on Cheryl Lynn's "Got to Be Real" for a little disco flair. This project may help get the gospel further to the hip-hop generation, but that generation would be better off just waiting for Franklin's latest endeavor.


Born: 16 May 1975

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Singer/songwriter, producer, and youth leader Tonex was unafraid to rock the waves in contemporary Christian music, for his musical antics have been compared to the likes of Prince. His brash combination of gospel and R&B was first introduced on the Verity Records compilation WOW Gospel 2000. In September 2000, Tonex made his solo debut...
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The Hostile Takeover, Tonéx
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