- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jun
Before reviewing this CD, I had no clue what gadfly meant. I gave the disc several spins, bopped my head to the hard-hitting beats, and gave deep thought to the lyrics, but I never "got" the album title. So I looked up gadfly and found these two definitions: "any of various flies … that bite, annoy, or agitate livestock into movement" and "a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism." Once I put that second definition into the context of this body of work, I suddenly got it.
LPG may have not intended it, but
Pop and R&B followers may notice that "Old Emcees" stylistically resembles the Eve and Gwen Stefani collaboration "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" from a couple of years ago, sans the thematic glorification of the pseudo urban power of females. Rather, it reinforces the idea that veteran emcees won't stoop to the sellout tactics typical of rap's newbies-all taking place over a simple live drum sample and sweet wah-wah guitar sample. Next up is the bounce-in-your-spot beat of "Never Did I," a blazing party track that encourages listeners not to buy the tired, old platitudes of many a hip-hop darling gracing the Hot 100–or even of those who claim to preach the gospel with their flows.
That's not their only indictment of so-called "gospel rappers." Both the underground "Liquid" and the interestingly produced "Wackness Like" scold those who use Jesus as a medium for dishing out questionable "art." Speculations as to who they're referring to aside, the boys from LPG criticize the "hustlers" and the "biters" who offer quick pat-on-the-back solutions and rehashed styles in order to present the Good News, later pointing out that their lack of vision and originality keeps them confined within the walls of the church, rendering them useless to preach to anyone other than the proverbial choir.
As with other Uprok releases, this CD's heady subject matter and serious declarations are best digested by diehard hip-hop enthusiasts-or at least by those who put more stock into lyrics than hooks.