Papa San
God and i

Fast-chatting, dancehall legend Papa San returns with his sophomore album for GospoCentric, a joyous, high octane celebration that glorifies his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, titled God and i.

CDFresh from his unforgettable cameo on Kirk Franklin’s Rebirth project (“He Reigns”), the album kicks off with a returned favor from Franklin on “Breathe Again”. Papa San trades ad libs with the Nu Nation superstar over a catchy female vocal on the chorus, telling how we need Jesus to live.

The 12-track project then unfolds into a heady assortment of grooves, rhymes, jams, and flows that combine reggae-rooted island sensibilities with urban street. On each, Papa San contributes his powerful pen to lyrics and music, and leans on his stellar crew of musicians for non-stop support.

“I Know” is bottom-heavy with a techno-bass beat and Papa San’s deep, melodic chat over smooth harmonized vocals. “I Call Her Blessed” is an ode that Papa San dedicates to his wife, Debbie Thompson. Singing “I am blessed with a woman from outta Mount Zion, she's my Abigail, virtuous woman”, the song diverges musically from the typical love song format, standing uniquely with hip-hop flava.

“Can’t Flee From Your Presence” has Papa San joining forces with Fred Jerkins, making for a potency hard to match. Trademark Darkchild track and groove tied to tongue-twisting reggae toasting make head bobs and bodies move. "Me oh my my!" goes the chorus, and so will you.

Warfare tracks such as “ Step Pon Di Enemy” and “Armour” take devil-bashing to the edge of quick, Jamaican patois wordplay. “De Blood” is a dramatic cut that tells how the blood of Christ is the only and ultimate weapon that we have to stand firm against Satan.

Detouring to lighter fare, “Pop Style” is a celebratory, fun-stacked, brass-backed rolling melody and the title track “God and i” is a sunny vocals-driven festival with laidback reggae style and rhythms.

Call this project a success, as Papa San continues to delight and minister in all of his incomparable ways.

Producers: Papa San, Fred Jerkins
album release date: April 1, 2003
GospoCentric Records

— reviewed by Stan North

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