Birth Uv A G

The past couple years has seen the Gospel hip-hop bar raised to new heights by crews such as The Cross Movement and 1-Way, and by artists like E-Roc and Mark J. With this very independent EP titled Birth Uv A G, you may want to add newcomer P-duble to that list. The Naptown native is a hip-hop funk specialist who defines ‘underground’ with an innovative vibe that doesn’t fit into classic hip-hop molds, giving him a vibe that stands him alone from the rest.

With lifetime experience in the rougher districts of town, this self-proclaimed “Naptown Soldah” targets Jesus Christ to the secular crowd, Birth Uv A G cassetteremaining strictly true to street flow and gangsta language. Bass-laden tracks layered with a tight flow patter, often supported by crucial harmonies speak to the production credentials of producer crew Kaulipepper Klik. The entire unit comes from the self-contained Pike Street Music label, which shows considerable similarity to Tonéx’s MSS Records in terms to its ‘go it on your own’ philosophy.

The background of this artist deserves attention, as it truly helps to explain where his ministry is at. Despite an early church background, P-duble became deeply rooted in the gangsta lifestyle. Hear it in his own words:

"I don't need Jesus," I kept telling' myself. "I'm a G!....however, I knew He was the answer and eventually I became so desperate, lost and hopeless....that I broke down.....and gave it up to Him."

He goes on to explain his realization that God gave him his MC talent for a purpose: “To reach those locked down in the concrete jungles and entrapped by a life and environment that seems so overwhelming, with His message. A message of hope, love and salvation. I also want to let them know that I thought there was no way out, but I found a new life, a new truth, and a new "clique." A life of hope and love, a truth of salvation and eternal life, and a new clique of believers and others just like me and just like them, who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. They say on the streets, 'once you in, you can't get out. Once you a G, you will always be a G!' I always believed that and felt I would be down until I die. I was! I was down until I died, or should I say, my flesh died. Now, I have been reborn as a new person, but I am still a G! No one can take that from me. God left that part of me intact, so I can relate to the thugs. So I can feel with the hustlas. So I can understand the ghetto youth. So I can implement the plan He has laid before me."

The EP starts with "Thangz (baby gangstaz)", a blazing track peppered with vocoder flows and energetic rhythms, with various guest skillsters tossing in their contributions.

Next is the cryptically entitled "Endo Smokin’$" (don't worry, it doesn't mean what you think it may mean!) True to name, the cut smokes mean fumes while establishing a harmony-infused sweet groove. Laid on top is P-duble’s confident lyricism, bringing lines such as:

Hey Yogi Bear, wanna' move your paw I'll hit ya' harder this time,
then when I popped your left jaw
If ya' gots bank, well ya' better withdraw
cause it's gonna' be a rough now, rugged and raw
Like Eric B, I'm a microphone fiend
I'm a super-supreme, burn your soul like steam
I'm comin' off hot, cause God be wreckin' it
cause He be a force to be reckoned with
He's gonna create spiritual dysfunction
ya' can't connect your sins now, even with conjunctions…

—from "Endo Smokin’$"

Rounding out the cassette EP is "Juz Ballin", which features the southern flows of guest MC, Relly-Rell, and "Life Uv Superstition", which criticizes the hypocritical secular hip-hop focus on studio bravado and violence (claiming it often doesn’t reconcile with an MC’s real life walk).

The project isn’t short on other promising guest appearances, who variously demonstrate their vocal and mic skills. These unknown namesP-duble include Sweet Tea, Tete', Bengy DeVillar and Poochie. Their evident gifts may well change their unknown status pretty quickly.

The vinyl and cassette are the formats the label is pushing hardest (claiming it to be ‘in response to the historical essence of hip-hop and the culture it derives from and how it has been commercialized over the last decade’). However, the CD version contains double the cuts, each jeep-track as phat as the next.

On the CD-only cut, "Try My Faith", P-duble switches focus from his street peers to his church critics, laying down the rhymes to give his case for his being saved ‘and a gangsta at the same time’.

Be informed, this is an artist who doesn’t hesitate to use a vocabulary that includes a judicial use of the ‘n****’ word. The debate continues on the legitimacy of this phrase in a Christian MC’s work.

With hard-to-come by accolades from the often-jaded hip-hop journalists of Source, Blaze and Rapsheet, (although their respective magazines never proceeded to publish the reviews), you may just find yourself racking this one beside your rhyme and beat favorites.

Production crew: Kaulipepper Klik
album release date: late 1999
Pike Street Music

— reviewed by Stan North

  All content in GospelFlava © copyright 2000. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.

New Releases
Message Board