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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Jul
Sounds like … top 40 hip-hop with Saturday night party overtones in the vein of 50 Cent, R. Kelly, P. Diddy, and your choice artist from the Bad Boy label.At a glance … not as memorable as his previous compilation, DJ Maj still continues to offer up some of the most dance-worthy hip-hop jams in Christian music.Track Listing Rated RuAppeal (feat. Manchild and Special ED)BoogiRoot (feat. Gabe Real of Diverse City)H.A.N.D.S. (feat. Michael Tait)Let's Go (feat. Shonlock and Dave "Monsta" Lynch)Lil Sump Interlude (feat. Priscilla Coffey)Love (So Beautiful) (feat. Liquid Beats)Can't Take It Away (feat. tobyMac)Soul Window (feat. MOC & Ayiesha)Rhyme Pocket Interlude (feat. Verbs)Up All Nite (feat. L.A. Symphony)Ballin' ChainsThrough the Night (feat. KJ-52)Gotta Go Now (feat. Liquid Beats)

Mixtapes aren't necessarily the hottest commodity in music, so DJ Maj chose to offer something a little different with his fourth album. Ever since his debut Wax Museum hit the scene in 2000, his mixtapes have been relatively modest sellers—giving him something to sell while he tours the world with tobyMac, or to promote and give a small sampling of his own hip-hop radio show, Virtual Frequency.

BoogiRoot, the turntablist's newest collection, isn't a mixtape, but rather an original, quality-produced hip-hop compilation. When he first started, Maj was equal parts poppy and underground, but BoogiRoot finds him inching dangerously closer to straight-up pop-rap territory, the type that you encounter in avenues like MTV Jamz, those The Source Presents … CDs, and Hot 97, the most listened-to urban radio station in New York.

That's no small feat, as most Christian rappers and producers generally avoid sumptuous, slinky beats and hard-driving hip-hop anthems in favor of simpler, daintier soundtracks. BoogiRoot offers all of that and more, particularly in tracks like "uAppeal," with MarsILL's Manchild flowing atop an off-the-hook Top 40 beat. Even more impressive is new artist Liquid Beats' credible R. Kelly impersonation in "Love (So Beautiful)." And L.A. Symphony remain as abstract and silly as ever in "Up All Nite." If anything, dc Talk's tobyMac and Michael Tait contribute the most left-of-center additions, with Toby going underground and "Uncle Tait"—that's what Maj calls him—rapping (yes, you heard that right) to a beat that sounds like a castaway from the !Hero sessions.

Though most of the lyrics are well-written, don't expect to be blown away by the words. Just relish in the fact that this is a strong selection for your next Saturday night party.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.