Various Phat Artists
The Eighth Floor

With a skyscraper motif, Shabach Entertainment constructs a forum on this project for their growing roster of Gospel artists, most of whom trigger a fresh, underground vibe.

It's called The Eighth Floor in reference to the eight artists featured, including some who appear as off-roster guests. Combined together, it's a wild mix of jazz, R&P, hip-hop and more, with each floor offering a different theme.

Eighth Floor CDBack in the limelight is vocals and guitar specialist, Jimmie Hill, who brings two tracks to the table. On "Angels", Hill teams up with Anointed Voices of Power, who provide some steady choir vocals to go with Hills' lead. The group also appears with Hill on "Come On Brother, Praise The Lord", in a Jamaican-tinged track that possess some melodic brilliance at points.

On the guest list are groups such as Raiderz of the Lost who offer a heavy rap remix of "Cornerstone", the original of which can be found on their solo project, Prepare For Tha Spillage (see review). Allen & Allen drop their instrumental jazz (piano, keyboard and sax) on "Spirit".

Also returning is Pettidee, who continues to show versatility in his various styles. Always hard-hitting, this busy artist makes a particular impact on the CD-closer, "Ashamed", which is an honest speaking of a man's struggle and his determination to not be ashamed of Jesus Christ. With the Scott Whittier Band giving ample edgy-guitar and rhythm drive to the song, Pettidee makes it known that he can throw down alternative-edged vocals in addition to rap and reggae.

Lisa M.The emergence of Lisa M. is perhaps the pinnacle of The Eighth Floor. In her breezy jazz-soul vocal style, she bundles together clear lyricism with cool deliveries on three songs. "Forever" and "Never Wanna" make it obvious that Lisa M. is a fresh voice on the scene.

Another newcomer is Matthew, who offers a smooth-with-a-twist R&P interpretation of the classic spiritual "Swing Low". East coast hip-hop comes through from CampQuest, a six-member crew who have a knack for rapid, energetic patter and a nice mix of solo rap sounds. Their work on the future cut "Naked Eye" (written by Mike T.) will cause demand to spiral upwards for their upcoming solo project.

Class this one as another of the party disks that have emerged this summer. Spin it and "Floor" your friends.

Producers: Mo Henderson, Pettidee, others
album release date: May 2, 2000
Shabach Entertainment

reviewed by Stan North

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