It's a return to roots, sort of.

Contemporary music innovators and hit-meisters dctalk have had songs such as “Nu Thang,“ “Lean on Me” (the remake of the Club Nouveaux version), and the mega hit “Jesus Freak“, with a sound that mixes rap with Alternative and Contemporary styles.

But that rap element has dwindled after each release, and was excluded altogether on their last release, Supernatural.

Group member tobyMac does the turnaround, of sorts, on his solo debut, Momentum, from Forefront Records. The hip-hop element that was lacking on dctalk’s latter recordings is woven throughout the entire album.

tobyMac CDAlong the way, Toby mixes R&P, a little blues, and of course rock, to make a nice blend of good music.

Ensuring that good sound, Toby enlists the likes of Pete Stewart, Todd Collins and Mr. Mookie Soul Music himself —Michael Anthony Taylor.

Kirk Franklin joins Toby as they take a ride on the “J Train“. This funk-driven song has Franklin doing his usual ad libs, and Toby gives us a ‘James Brown meets Run DMC’ rap that works for the occasion. Add a few ‘woo-woo’s like you hear in “Revolution”, and you have a song that requires you to hit ‘repeat’ on the stereo system.

Toby also tries his hands at borrowing popular choruses from an 80’s and 70‘s songs.

“Do You Know” uses the chorus from the theme song of the movie, Mahogany, sung originally by Diana Ross. The first verse is written to Toby’s three-year-old son, “Tru-dog“. The second verse is alsow written with a father-to-son perspective, but this time, it‘s our Heavenly Father talking to Toby.

“Somebody’s Watchin' Me” borrows the chorus from the song of the same title made popular by Rockwell, and featuring Michael Jackson. The song talks about God watching his people, boasting these lyrics:

Watch baby
Watch baby
He got my back
See I‘m down with the King
So I got it like that

—from "Somebody's Watchin' Me"

Toby knows soul when he hears it; his frequent calling on sixteen-year-old Joanna Valencia on the project is proof of that. She sings the chorus on both “Do You Know“ and “Somebody‘s Watching“. Her voice will put you in the mindset of a Lauren Hill, Roberta Flack and a Chaki Khan —she DOES NOT sound like a teenager. She’s one to watch, with distinctive pipes unlike any singer so far in Gospel.

Interview with tobyMac
Click for interview with tobyMac “Kirk is my dog. We’ve been talking about getting together for like six or seven years, and we finally did it. Actually I’m on his new record [too], but we don’t know where...

Click here for the full interview with tobyMac, where he speaks his mind on some crucial issues.
DJ Maj flexes his skill on many of the cuts on Momentum. “Wondering Why” (again featuring Valencia) is a definite new millennium, hip-hop/R&P joint that will make even the seasoned of hip-hop heads bob theirs. The beat-driven yet laid-back song explains Toby‘s mission for making the album.

Those fond of rock and hip-hop blended together will not be disappointed with songs such as “Let’s Get this Party Started”, “Yours“, “Extreme Days” and the title cut.

True to his dctalk roots, Toby gets socially conscious with“ “Irene” and “What’s Goin Down“. Then there’s the funky loop of Tru-Dog playing on the studio mike.

If you’re a lover of diverse styles and a lover of God’s music, Momentum is for you. Don‘t get it twisted, God is glorified from start to finish.

Producers: Mookie, Todd Collins, tobyMac
album release date: October, 2001
Forefront Records

— reviewed by Dwayne Lacy

  All content in GospelFlava © copyright 2001. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GospelFlava.com. All rights reserved.

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