DJ Maj
The Ringleader: Mixtape III

"Know that this record is a tribute to the Ringleader, the God of the universe who still makes His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature seen, and understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20.

—from the inside notes of The Ringleader. Mixtape III

The innovator of the Christian mixtape is back and back with a vengeance. It's the return of DJ Maj with his third release titled The Ringleader: Mixtape III.

In this era of dope remixes and hot Christian parties, this is the album to rock the party. With shoutouts from all sorts of artists ranging from Rachel Lampa to Sev Statik, The Ringleader is poised to make its mark.

CDThe project kicks off with a poetic freestyle from Combustible which smoothly transitions into the title track, featuring Out of Eden lead vocalist Lisa Kimmey. The Maj-Kimmey collaboration works together extremely well and Kimmey simply shines. Citing God as the Ringleader, the track speaks of the artistic and creative nature of our Creator.

As is the hallmark of any real DJ, the beauty of a mixtape is listening for the seamless transitions from track to track. Of course, DJ Maj doesn't disappoint with some slick mixing and some serious skills on the turntables.

Speaking of skills on the ones and twos, check out Maj's take on Sev Statik's "All For a Purpose" (see album review) —he takes his time and does some sick mixes, showing that he can battle blow for blow with any DJ out there. You've got to check it out.

That's not the only hot mix on the project. "Ooh Aah" from Grits (see album review) gets a facelift with the addition of reggae hitman Papa San. Maj also adds some urban dynamics to "J Train", with the Awlboard Mix that features the dynamic duo of tobyMac and Kirk Franklin (see album review). Rounding out the remixes on this project is a remix of "Showpiece" from labelmates Out of Eden (see album review).

Consistent with the mixtape concept, DJ Maj introduces us to some unsigned talent. This project introduces us to the slick vocals of Antonio, who's featured in "Under
The DJ Speaks...
Click for review DJ Maj answers the major questions:

"A song has to (lyrically) be able to communicate truths beyond the four walls of the church. Secondly, production wise, it has to be right up with what’s going on as far as music is concerned. Maybe a..."

See full interview.
Pressure". Also, we hear the debut of another hot male vocalist, Jason Eskridge, who lends his talents to "A Friend" and makes a considerable impression.

Of course, several of Maj's friends from previous mixtapes are back to represent. In addition to Out of Eden and Grits, we hear from the ever talented LA Symphony, who drop mad flava on "Never Heard Before". Pigeon John (see album review)makes some noise and teams with John Reuben on the playful "God Music". Camp Quest (see album review) enters the party with "Number 1 Contender". Mixed by Mo Henderson and Camp Quest, the track is reminiscent of new school flava from Jay-Z or P. Diddy and gets our appetites ready for their upcoming new release.

This third installment of the pioneer Christian mixtape is 21 tracks strong and 53 minutes of nothing but hotness. Maj fuses the excitement and passion of hip-hop with the redeeming message of Christ to make one of the hottest mixtapes of the year.

If that's not enough, as a bonus, The Ringleader is enhanced with a 10-minute documentary on the origins and life of DJ Maj. With exclusive commentary from artists ranging from T-Bone to Mars Ill, you get an in-depth look at the spin-stylist. The documentary includes an interview with Maj along with clips from varying concerts and parties where he exercises his gift.

As you watch the parties and see Maj's skill, it's easy to realize that his talent and this project is a gift from God. The Ringleader is definitely at work and DJ Maj has added another hit to his arsenal.

Producers: Various
album release date: May, 2003
Gotee Records

— review by Gerard Bonner

  All content in GospelFlava © copyright 2003. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.

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