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
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.Hey Yogi Bear, wanna' move your paw I'll hit ya' harder this time,
With lifetime experience in the rougher districts of town, this
self-proclaimed “Naptown Soldah” targets Jesus Christ to the secular
crowd, remaining 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’$" (don't worry, it doesn't
mean what you think it may mean!)
True to name, the cut smokes mean fumes while establishing a
harmony-infused sweet groove. Laid on top is P-duble’s confident
lyricism, bringing lines such as:
then when I popped your left jaw
If ya' gots bank, well ya' better withdraw
cause it's gonna' be a rough now, rugged and raw
Like Eric B, I'm a microphone fiend
I'm a super-supreme, burn your soul like steam
I'm comin' off hot, cause God be wreckin' it
cause He be a force to be reckoned with
He's gonna create spiritual dysfunction
ya' can't connect your sins now,
even with conjunctions…
from "Endo Smokin’$"
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
names include Sweet Tea, Tete', Bengy DeVillar and Poochie.
Their evident gifts may well change their unknown status pretty
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
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
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.