Normally, it’s not too good to be stranded.

But in a musical sense, with top notch beats and rhymes as come from Tre-9, being Marooned with only the sounds of this Texan hip-hop artist in your ear, is in fact a great thing.

Tre-9 CDTaking his stage name to mean the Trinity (Tre) and the 9 referring to the impact of a nine-millimeter gun, Bobby Herring states that "through my music I am firing the will of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, at all who will hear."

On his third project from his own Much Luvv Records in Houston, Tre-9 forks over 18 tracks of eclectic sound, enhanced by a variety of guest MCs including Lil’ Raskull, Latin hip-hop specialist Geno V., Florida’s own Pettidee as well as some smooth R&P vocalists such as Soulfruit.

After interlude preliminaries to set the mood (splashing waves and winds through palms), Tre-9 delivers with “The Godfather”, a cut to set the record straight by declaring his faith in God, the Father. A brilliant harp-sounding sample enhances his relaxed flow. [This song is also available on 12" vinyl, with instrumental and vocal tracks plus new remix included].

Perhaps it’s that laidback feel that makes some of the smoother songs work so well. When he joins up with Soulfruit vocalists on the message-heavy “Friends” or with Big Toe and Maria on “All So Happy” (with its sample of the Bee Gees tune “When You Stepped Into My Life”), you can’t help but sit still and listen.

Other notable moments on the project occur on “All Soy”, which revels in the glory of salsa beats, percussion and feel with Geno V. delivering in Spanish and those crazy infectious horns from Johnny Holliday.

Tre-9“Serve You, Serve Me”, which comes with straight up with that explosive Holy South vibe, featuring Lil’ Raskull, Da CLICK and Pettidee joining Tre-9 in extolling the importance of serving each other as brothers in Christ.

Finishing the CD is an intriguing story cut titled “The Wild”, and featuring The Parables. Rich southern accents characterize the piece, framed by guitar, vocals from Big Toe and an ‘old West’ type feel (complete with horse imagery). Great track.

Credit the production finesse on Marooned to Big Toe, who stubs quality into everything. To ignore this project would be your definite disadvantage.

Producers: Big Toe
album release date: September, 2001
Much Luvv Records

— reviewed by Stan North

  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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