After almost 15 years in the Christian rap game, the duo of Coffee & Bonafide have released their eighth full length album, titled Reiterate. As a loyal Grits fan I was rather stoked when I heard about the new album, though I wasn't sure how good it would be due to the slight decline of music quality in recent Grits history. The album is being delivered courtesy of Revolution Art, which is Grits' own record label, having left Gotee more recently.
Reiterate starts off with Bonafide saying "Welcome to the breakfast club," which is a great way to start off the album - with a little bit of humor. "Reminds Me" delivers some unique production with female background vocals over the rap verses; a combo that would be heard often throughout the record. Unfortunately, that combination doesn't work very well on many of the following tracks. On songs like "Reminds Me," "Sky May Fall," and "Dusk Til Dawn," the choruses just don't mesh well with the rapping lyrical talents of Grits. Following suit, "Say Goodbye," featuring TobyMac, should have been an album highlight, but instead of another "Ooh Ahh," it turned out to be a track with bad choruses being where they shouldn't be.
There is an upside to Reiterate, though. "Turn It Up" and "Fly Away" are songs where the choruses and female vocals seem to work rather well and don't take away from the verses spit by Grits. "Get It Started" is a great club-worthy tune with a Jamaican feel thrown in. "Living Dreams" is a song about living and loving the rap life, while "Sky May Fall" sends home the message to be positive in the hard times. "Beautiful Morning" is a song that we all expect from Grits and stands out as probably the best listen on Reiterate. The help of Pigeon John blends well with Grits and those old-school scratching turntable beats.
All in all, it seems like the Tennessee boys decided to take a risk and it panned out well, but only half of the time. You have some humor, some good "bump this in your trunk" songs, and Grits doesn't fail to speak on some serious matters, all of which are characteristic of a Grits album. Reiterate is not bad for a person who digs hip-hop, but for those of us who have come to expect certain things from the Coffee & Bona, and who were anticipating another Art of Translation type offering, this album just seems to fall short.- Review date: 9/17/08, written by Kevin Hoskins
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