Various Artists

Whether serving as an innovator in the holy hip-hop genre, hosting a weekly music video show, or acting in The Fighting Temptations, T-Bone makes lots of noise in whatever he does.

Itís therefore no surprise that his latest release would drop like an atom bomb on the culture, making an eternal impact on all who listen.

CD T-Bone is back with his seventh solo release, Bone-a-Fide. His three-year recording layoff did nothing but hone his already razor-sharp skills, as the bilingual hip-hop pioneer drops a fifteen-track effort that is easily his most potent project to date. With an all-star production team and fantasy-like collaborations, T-Bone takes his game and perhaps the entire holy hip-hop movement to another level with this stellar effort.

The Che Guevarra-ish album cover speaks to the revolution that the California-based artist looks to lead within the pop culture. "The Rally", "Hasta La Victoria Siempre!", and "Victory! Victory! Victory!" are all excerpts from youth rallies led by the skilled emcee.

Speaking of skills, T-Bone enlists some of hip-hopís finest lyricists to grace the album. The famed Mack 10 kicks it with the 'Boney Bone Corleone' on "A Few Good Men". Produced by secular hitmaker Fredwreck, T-Bone and Mack 10 mesh like a hand in a glove. Without question, Mack 10 spits some of his finest material on this one.

The same can be said for the incredibly skilled Chino XL, who joins T-Bone on "Yaíll Canít Win", where Chino shows why heís the only emcee that Eminem will not battle. (Now THATís saying something!!) One listen to this track and youíll see why he is so revered.

T-BoneOne of the many strengths of this album is that it showcases T-Boneís musical diversity. Known for rhyming over decidedly West Coast tracks, T-Bone hits virtually every audible area of hip-hop, yet remains authentic and true to his craft.

"Shake Ya Body", produced by hitmakers Buster & Shavoni and Bosko, is T-Boneís Dirty South track that shows that the West Coast can get it crunk with the best of them. This cut is terribly infectious and will sear your CD players with its desert-like heat. Better get your manufacturerís warranty handy.

T-Bone veers into the rock arena, as Noah from Pillar accompanies him on the throwback "12 Years". The hook to this track is a take on, and tribute to, classic Run DMC, while throwing back to hip-hopís earliest stage where conscious and edifying subject matter ruled the airwaves.

The strong collabos continue as LaShawn 'Big Shiz' Daniels sings the hook for the albumís smoothest cut "Can I Live". With Fred Jerkins of the famous Darkchild production family handling production duties, itís another hit in the making. The Darkchild team laces "Follow T" with a party-infused track that will get in your head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes!!

Add the Warryn Campbell produced "Hard Streets" to the mix and you have an album that weíll be talking about for years. Make no mistake, T-Boneís thirteen years in the game has culminated in an effort that is undeniably a "Bone-a-Fide" success.

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Producers: Various
album release date: Aut, 2005
Boneyard Records / Flicker Records

— reviewed by Gerard Bonner

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