Reviewed by Kwaku
"For those of you that think gospel music has gone too far, you think we've become too radical with our message, well guess what? It has gone too far. How else are they going to know, if we don't go where they go? How else are they going to see, if we don't let them see?" declares Nova. That's certainly an issue for debate. Also, having only recently viewed Elder G Craige Lewis's anti-hip-hop videos and begun to read Pastor Mason 'Mase' Betha's autobiography, Nova's "Intro" line, ". a walking contradiction like Pastor Mase," has a special resonance. Double Portion is the moniker adopted by a UK-based rapper Karl Nova and a US-based raptress Folashade, both of Nigerian parentage. As it turns out, the Afro-beat-ish "Imelda" is the only track here with an obvious African musical flavour. Nova admits to having never liked America, but flows with an American twang. Whilst they have skills and are upfront about their faith, they sometimes question some practices within the Church. Nova name-checks the likes of Snoop Dogg and uses the music of the secular artists like Nas and Neptunes. Even more curious is the fact that they use soundbites from Elder Lewis' videos, as this Elder decries the use of secular music over which gospel lyrics are sung. That's of course also open to debate. However, what's not in dispute is the fact that mix CDs that use music and recordings without proper clearances are illegal products. The Set Apart label states that its products are licensed by the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, however, one wonders if the use of R&B singer Bobby Valentino's "Slow Down" backing track for the celebratory rap/slow jam gospeller "I'm So Glad You're Real", the interpolate few lines from the supposedly Christian group Destiny's Child's song "Soldiers", or the very strong pro-Christian remake of Kanye West's "Jesus Walks", are indeed properly licensed. But whatever the legal situation, with strong cuts like Nova's very funky, head-nodding hip-hop remix of "Revelation", one looks forward to Karl's proper album 'Just As I Am - The Prequel' with anticipation.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out