It would be a mistake to think that this hip-hop project is an
innovation for Tyscot Records. Cast you mind waaaay back and you'll recall that the label debuted cutting groups such as Kinnection and Deliverance back in the day.Producers: Nathan Scott, Iren Golder
album release date: January 23, 2001
Now fast forward to 2001 with Righteous Riders. The innovation continues as midwest hip-hop gets in the saddle.
This large crew comes through with a quality hip hop project that boasts East coast styles and West coast sounds, mixed to make an appealing and diverse blend.
Hailing from Indianapolis, this crew has the skills: Logik, Knowledge, Vi Nu, Specialist and Blue Chip, along with several invited guests (Fiti Futuristic, Nexus, The Prophet, Doysha, Minister II Society). Together, they bring both vocals and rap.
The album opens with "Rider's Story", a introductory dark track reminiscent of some stuff from I.D.O.L. King. "The Vibe" falls into the same groove, with thick harmonic chords underpinning Boanerges delivery of ingeneous metaphors. The proclamation here is: "Riders, representing Christside, giving the whole world the vibe, ride, ride."
On a different tip altogether, "Call Him" is more soul than flow, with Vi Nu coming through with his smooth vocals. Laid on top of piano chords and slow bass thump, the song eloquently makes it clear that we can always call on Jesus, and that he will never change.
Vocals and rap also melt together on "Trouble In My Way", with Blood Bought (consisting of the duo of Logik and Knowledge) emphasizing our victory over Satan in Jesus Christ. A infectious, killer vocal hook slings the message into memory with "in the name of Jesus, you and your evil leave us."
There's plenty more deserving tracks on The Awakening. Other standouts are the high strung "Higher" with Vi Nu setting off The Prophet's flow, and the beat kickin' "Duck Down" with Boanerges flowing amidst organ sounds and futuristic effects.
So catch these Righteous Riders (if you can), as they bring their sincerity and hearts for God, wrapped up in galloping beats, vocals and rhymes.
reviewed by Stan North with Gerard Bonner —
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