Artist:  GRITS
Title:  "Redemption"
Label:  Gotee Records

The Apostle Paul carried on a mission started by Jesus when he began to preach to the Gentiles, a group of people that most Jews regarded as lost and beyond hope.

In fact, it was downright scandalous for Paul to reach out to them and it put him in a precarious position that left him at odds with just about everyone. The truth of the matter, though, that Paul understood, is that the Gospel message is for everyone. Jesus came to save all people and when others reach out into areas of life where we might not be comfortable, we need to support their efforts.

GRITS, easily one of the more popular hip-hop acts on a Christian label, has been toeing the line between mainstream hip-hop and the contemporary Christian music market since early in their career, sending a positive message over the proverbial fence to reach a listening audience that the latter largely overlooks. Having fulfilled their contractual to Gotee Records, the duo looks forward to a bright future with the launch of their own label, 5e Entertainment, which shares the credits with Gotee for "Redemption," their seventh proper album. Continuing their theme of bringing redemption to the places that others refuse to go, GRITS offer listeners yet another glimpse of their heart, their struggle and their mission.

The trend with GRITS as of late has been to fully embrace the crunk sounds of the dirty south rap styles and "Redemption" has taken this a step further. Kicking things off is the track, "We Workin'," which all but spells out the group's mission and unsubtly hints at some of their frustration towards the response they've gotten through the years. As the album continues to unfold, the tracks kind of alternate between heavy sounds - at times awkwardly so - and lighter, smoother rhythms that allow room for Coffee and Bonafide to deliver their lyrics cleanly. Some clear highlights on the album include "Soul Cry" with a memorable hook, "You Said," which features a hook and guest vocal from Pigeon John, "Ambitions," which offers a biting editorial of the Christian music industry and features Canibus with a solid guest verse, and "Open Bar," which features Brainwash Projects.

GRITS has expressed their interest in promoting new, relevant artists who will take the positive message of the Gospel to the places that need to hear it most. "Redemption" plays out as something of a manifesto for the duo as the head into the next phase of their career. Though there are times when the album's momentum slows to a crawl, the overall intention is clear and the group continues to build on their legacy and push forward in the direction they see fit.

We don't know for certain what the future holds for them, but we can sit back and enjoy their latest collection of tunes in the meantime. Another solid effort all around.

 
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