There is no true definition of good music, however, I think that majority rules when it comes to a feel good record. When the lyrics to the tune are equally as powerful as the beat, you have a hit. There was a time when Kirk Franklin [and the Family or God’s Property or Nu Nation-that man’s swapped group members more than Destiny’s Child] was one of the few gospel artists capable of making our shoulders bounce. Now we are blessed with Jonathan McReynolds, Mary Mary, J. Moss, and countless others who are creating records that the contemporary gospel ear can enjoy.
I’ve been home in Maryland the past couple of weeks and since I was last home Baltimore has acquired Praise 106.1, an inspiration station owned by Radio One which plays some of the latest hits in Christian music. Unfortunately, Radio One’s Praise hasn’t made its way to L.A. yet so I’ve been taking full advantage while I’m here on the east coast. I was excited to hear Darlene McCoy and my mom and I have listened to her broadcast every night. I have her theme song on repeat in my head (Darlene, Darleeeene, Darlene McCoy, nightly spiirittt).
Any who, my eardrums were first delighted by a Christian rapper Echelon Knoxx. His song “Concrete Roses” speaks on the issues many of us women have dealt with in relationships that did not glorify God. This woman, after being hurt to her core, recognized the God in her was worth more than she was settling for.
And part of her heart is taken every time she look in the mirror/Took a thousand selfies, just to get a good picture/She didn’t believe that the scripture said that she was made in God’s image/But if you seen what I seen Visine couldn’t make it any clearer/She realized that she’s a rose/Roses don’t complete with daisies/She ain’t focused on being a bad, she content with being a lady/And she got a lot of standards/She won’t let life play her/She admire the tribulations/Cuz that’s what helped to make her, a rose
Echelon Knoxx is a young lyricist, born in 1992, from Washington D.C. After living life on the wrong path he gave his life to God and put his pen to paper to write rhymes that inspire over beats that make you dance. His latest EP, Gold features seven hot tracks including the bonus “Concrete Roses.” I watched his interview with 93.9wkys’ Lil’ Mo and learned that he is a “Beyond Blessed” [check out his record by that title] talented rapper and it helps that he’s from around the way.
Jor’dan Armstrong is a singer/songwriter/producer/percussionist hailing from Baton Rouge, LA and Atlanta, Ga. He has that Future/Jeremih/Drake-esque sound merging hip-hop with skilled vocals and God-filled lyrics.
Made it out of shotgun alley/Had a house foreclosed that year/Thought that I could get it like this/Or get it like that/So I dropped out of school/And I ain’t ever looked back/First CD, somebody came an stole it/And I was thinking bout quitting/But I couldn’t get with it/Came back/Me and Tedy P had a vision/Before you knew it we was winning/And it was only the beginning/ Can I get a witness, can I get a witness, can I get a witness/Linda just listen, no Linda just listen
Jor’dan has an influence that comes from creating sounds that resemble your top 20 countdown while never making you question whom he serves. In addition to being an artist, Jor’dan joined forces with his long-time friend Jeshua “Tedy P” Williams to form The Good Guys Production team. His album 52 Weeks is on heavy rotation on my Spotify playlist and his latest EP Confident is a sure winner.
The last artist on today’s Good Music Friday list is a new group, Klark Kent, comprised of five of the biggest shakers in the industry: Isaac Carree (“Clean This House”), LaShawn “Big Shiz” Daniels (“I Luh God”), Gerald Haddon (The Soul Seekers), Eric Dawkins (Dawkins & Dawkins), and Adonis (songwriter/producer for Chris Brown, Beyoncé). These phenoms are following the wavelength of Fred Hammond who brought together heavy hitters to form the male quartet United Tenors.
Klark Kent wowed audiences with their gospel spin on Miguel’s “All I Want is You.” They dropped their new single “Oh My God” and it took the heat up a notch.
It don’t matter how far I’m going/Just know that I’ll always pray for ya/Cuz somebody did that for me, somebody did that for me/I’m not supposed to be here but I am cuz the Lord He had mercy on me/You gotta believe it/That’s why I live life to the fullest, oh yes I live life to the fullest/And I will never take credit for his blessing to a saint from a sinner/So it’s oh my God
These talented guys are going to take the gospel and the secular world by storm. They’ve done it as individual artists and as producers for some of your favorite acts. I’m excited to see what they have in store.
Now there’s no excuse for us believers who enjoy an occasional turn up to turn up for the one who gives us eternal life. There is so much good music out there and we don’t have to search too hard to find it. Press play and get your life literally with these lyrics of faith.