The Ambassador- “Stop The Funeral”-Dropped from Cross Movement Records, now with Xist Music, I am really happy for the redemption God gave him and for the confidence Amba had to come back after such. Reminding us not to wallow or sulk in our sins and guilty feelings, but to Stop The Funeral, because as long as Christ has forgiven us and still has us here on earth, He still needs us and has a plan for our lives.
DA T.R.U.T.H.-”The Whole Truth”-When you fall so publically its hard for anyone, yet alone a Christian to get back up and face “the people”. That however, is exactly what Truth did in this album. I love that he hid nothing from us, but maintained some privacy, yet walked us through his redemption process. He told The Whole Truth. I am happy to see him back in the game, dropped as well from Cross Movement Records, but found a home at Xist Music. Can’t wait for more from this brother!
Trin-i-tee 5:7-”Angel and Chanelle”-From trio to duo, after a 4 year break the ladies of T57 returned in May of 2011 with this album debuting at #1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Album Chart, being the first to knock Kirk Franklin’s ,”Hello Fear” out for some time. I’ve been a fan for a while (since 2004). I’m very happy that despite the many changes, controversies, setbacks and such, they maintain their faith in Christ, their passion for music and still deliver good quality music! 15 years in the business, Amazing performances, award winning and Grammy nominated once again, I’m so happy to call myself a member of #TeamT57! It’s my wish that soon they get the credit they truly deserve from others in the music industry. I feel they are overlooked a lot of times and folks cut them short a lot of times. These ladies persevere each time and are truly gifted, skilled and anointed to do what they do! I pray that they really know that they are truly loved and supported 100% by their fans! Love ya, Angel and Chanelle!!
Lecrae- “Rehab”-This may not be better than “After The Music Stops”, but it sure does come close! This album catapulted Lecrae to the forefront of the Christian Hip Hop movement. He was on BET’s Sunday Best, then mainstream as a guest lyricists on BET’s Hip Hop Awards Cypher. Lecrae also snagged props and a feature on Statik Selektah’s ‘Population Control’ album “Live and Let Live”. After 3 tours this year alone, trips to Africa, a re-release and additional album (The Overdose), and a Stellar Nomination, what’s next for the homie!? Who knows, Lecrae isn’t just trying to be a rapper dropping albums, he’s creating and spear heading a movement to change lives. I’m definitely down for the ride!
Deitrick Haddon- “Church On The Moon”-His best effort since “7 Days”, in my opinion. This album came after the release of his debut movie and soundtrack, “Blessed and Cursed”. This album also accompanied a 3 part music video that totally rocks! I love this dudes mind! He’s artistic, innovative, entertaining and spiritually encouraging. Keep him prayer folks, there’s more to come that will top this he said via twitter!
Kirk Franklin- “Hello Fear”–We can argue that this is his best work to date, but with a catalog so grand as his, why waste the time!? This album delivered to me my theme song for 2011: lead single “I Smile”. Kirk taking on fear in this album and giving it the boot was just the encouragement many saints needed to get over the struggles of 2011. With a hit tour, this album is never to disappoint! This album gives us gospel, contemporary, r&b, passion and emotion! I mean, I go from rocking out to “Before I Die” to being encouraged by “Everyone Hurts” to laying out in the spirit to “The Movement 1 & 2″. Awesome job Kirk!!
Level 3:16- “Level 3:16″-In a day and age where in music folks aren’t feeling ‘groups’ out comes Level 3:16. New to the scene, but sounding like veterans! I will admit I slept on this album! It sat in my iTunes wishlist for a minute. Mainly b/c although I liked the single “Tell Him”, I was still in my feelings about Cross Movement giving Truth and Ambassador the boot. But I am so sorry that I slept on this! This is a great hip hop album, 2 rappers, 3 vocalists and 1 female DJ! Sounds like it’s too much but they make it work so well and balance everything out perfectly! One thing that I really like about these young cats…they are first and foremost fulltime missionaries. Before the music, shows and videos, they have to honor their commitment to their home church and base, Impact Movement. They are responsible for 100% raising their own funds to work with Impact Movement. So let’s keep them in prayer and support them financially if you wanna hear and see more of them on the music scene!
Mary Mary- “Something Big”-I think I really like this album, b/c I wasn’t too much feeling “The Sound”. The Mary’s returned with a solid effort and I believe that though the album didn’t do THAT great on the charts, the impact it had was very mighty! The Do Something Big campaign really propelled the album and allowed Mary Mary to tap back into the more “churchy” sector. Stellar and Grammy nominations, an endorsement with Pillsbury, a new reality TV show and a new baby on the way for Erica, we haven’t seen the last of Mary Mary and they don’t seem to be slowing down!
Donald Lawrence and Co.- “YRM (Your Righteous Mind)”–Such an amazing concept album! I attended his album release mini concert here in NC! This album is a walking bible study! I love all of the concepts, encouraging and uplifting sentiments of the album. Really makes me think of God on a higher level and tap into my righteous mind set! If only we would consistently live in the power and privilege God has bestowed upon us! GET. THIS.ALBUM!
Jessica Reedy- “From The Heart” –Truly an album from her heart, and it’s no question that her heart is set on serving and loving Christ! This 1st runner up to BET’s Season 2 of Sunday Best had the most anticipated album to come from a Sunday Best alum, and that was even before she got signed to Light Records!! It was through all of the hype surrounding her that I first took notice to Jessica. It was her candor, humbleness and love for Jesus that hooked me! I love her album, and yes, I will say, it’s way better than Le’Andria Johnson’s whose album stayed at the #1 spot leaving Jessica at #2. But they didn’t ask me, LOL! A must have for any gospel music lover! A great collection of contemporary and gospel music. I can’t wait for a second album. I’m glad Jessica Reedy got to do things ‘her’ way on this record!
**HONORABLE MENTIONS** Be Sure To Add These To Your Collection As Well:
Kierra Sheard- “Free”
Maurette Brown Clark- “The Sound Of Victory”
Trip Lee- “Between Two Worlds”
Jai- “Culture Shock”