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GRITS - Factors of the seven

Release:Factors of the seven
MyHHHdb
(what is this?) / 33 users have this
Released:1997
Recordlabel:Gotee Records
Info:Production by Tod Collins & Ric Robbins, Teron Carter & Mo Henderson, Gotee bros. Guest appearances of LPG, Knowdaverbs, Joy D. Kimmey and Count Bass D.

1. This Is...
2. People noticin'me featuring Count Bass D
3. Mirage featuring Joy D. Kimmey of Out of Eden
4. U.S. Open featuring Knowdaverbs
5. What be goin' down
6. Blacks & whites
7. Alcoholic plagiarism
8. Comin home
9. Ain't sayin' nothin'
10. Why
11. On my own featuring Joy D. Kimmey of Out of Eden
12. Hopes & dreams featuring Joy D. Kimmey of Out of Eden & Knowdaverbs
13. Gospel rap; parables featuring Theory and Jurny Big of LPG & Knowdaverbs.
14. Life after mental
15. Labels
16. Ghetto love
17. Blame it on you
18. Fragmentation
Rating:Our users rated this release: 6 out of 10
(Number of votes: 3)   Sign up or login to submit your vote

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Original author/source
Review
Review:1 - This Is...
2 - People Noticin'Me
3 - Mirage
4 - U.S. Open
5 - What Be Goin Down
6 - Blacks & Whites
7 - Alcoholic Plagiarism
8 - Comin Home
9 - Ain'T Sayin' Nothin'
10 - Why
11 - On My Own
12 - Hopes & Dreams
13 - Gospel Rap;Parables
14 - Life After Mental
15 - Labels
16 - Ghetto Love
17 - Blame It On You
18 - Fragmentation
source: unknown, added: Feb 23, 2005
Review:"I Love This Album!" - Run/Run DMC

"Fools who thought Christianity and Hip Hop don't Mix better ask somebody . . GRITS rocked the B-Kid crowd at Wrightwood Elbow Room in Chicago . . . The flava police need to ride south of the Mason-Dixon line to funk Opryland right on up." - Mark Armstrong/URB Magazine

"When you're chillin' and want to hear some outer
planetaryrhymes, GRITS be the ones . . .Quietly working and seldom seen, they strive diligently to revitalize the Hip Hop soil that has been dried out and rendered infertile . . ." - Sherryll Atkins/The Source Magazine

"GRITS is the best Hip Hop act you've never heard of . . . they offer much more than the average violence-themed rap group." - Nathan Groepper/Daily Iowan

"Spiritually conscious Hip Hop without the preachiness." - Chicago Tribune

"Tired of the same old Hip Hop rut? Try something fresh and buttery. GRITS brings a whole new flava to this rap game." - Darryl Tillman/Phat Farm

"GRITS is creative and different. You feel the Gospel vibe without a preachy attitude . . . Very musical." - Bernard Parks/Goodie MoB
source: Gotee Website, added: Feb 23, 2005
Review:Complex issues plus vivid lyrical images multiplied by furiously innovative rhymes to the power of funk beats and basslines equals unprecedented holy hip-hop.

Factor that equation and you'll come out with Coffee and Bonafied, the duo more commonly known as Grits. Teron Carter and Stacey Jones, the two primary MCs that comprise the group, have taken the hip-hop community by storm with their sophomore release, Factors of the Seven.

Your average store clerk at your local Christian bookstore probably won't know this, but Factors of the Seven is one of the most ground-breaking albums ever to be released in the Christian retail music market. Grits, which stands for Grammatical Revolutions In the Spirit, has been receiving critical acclaim since the release of their first album, Mental Releases. Having just hit stores on March 17th, Factors was widely anticipated by the secular heads as well as the sanctified. From the time I first saw news updates about the album at the Gotee website, I knew that this release was going to make waves through the many communities (both real and virtual) that comprise the hip-hop nation.

I listened to this album almost nonstop for approximately ten days, and the more I listened to it the more impressed I was with the overall quality of the project. There are four categories I like to use when critiquing rap albums: depth of lyrical content, innovation of rhyme scheme, phatness of beats and grooves, and the overall sound. Grits exceeded my expectations in all of these categories.

First, Factors deals with a wide range of subjects. There are songs dealing with lust in the church body, songs about having confidence in yourself, and songs about failure in personal relationships ("Mirage", "On My Own", and "Blame It On You", respectively). These are all very relevant issues in the lives of Christians today, and Grits attack these topics with accuracy and clarity.

Grits also upholds the standard of phat rhymes that was established with Mental Releases. Bonafied and Coffee (along with guest Knowdaverbs) continually weave vivid images and esoteric metaphors into their rhymes to form a dense layer of thoughts punctuated by ghetto colloquialisms. Grits is not for the casual listener; as a matter of fact, the first time I heard their debut album I didn't like it as much because I didn't understand everything that was said. It took me weeks of listening to really catch the depth of meaning in the songs. Yet, now that I am accustomed to their style, I find so much more substance in their songs in comparison to other rap artists.

As always with Gotee projects, the beats and grooves are tight. The rhythms on this album are more textured and improvisational, probably the product of a live drummer or well-programmed sequenced drum sounds, as opposed to the drum loops heavily relied upon in their first album. Factors has a nice mix of obscure samples, phat scratch/fader action, mellow keyboard licks and dexterous bass grooves. Production is top-notch, including some very nice effects on the vocal tracks for Cof and Bone. There are also some very good background vocals by Toby McKeehan of dcTalk and Danielle Kimmey of Out of Eden. The general sound of this album is conservative enough to please the average hip-hop listener, but there is a quality of originality that distinguishes the album from others in its genre.

Overall, Factors of the Seven is an excellent album. It features two of the best MCs in the music industry in Bonafied and Coffee, as well as guest appearances by Count Bass D and Theory and Jurny of LPG. I would recommend it to anyone who wants an dosage of Christ-like head-bobbin' hip-hop.

source: Jelani N. G. Greenidge, Christian Hip Hop Zone on Internet, added: Feb 23, 2005
Review:In de week na Flevo en voor de Marktactie waren ze al volop aan het texten schrijven voor dit album. Ze hebben alles ver van tevoren goed uitgedacht en komen met een klaar product. Innoverend hebben ze een stijl gecrŽeerd die zowel erg technisch is als jazzy. Hun raps zijn altijd erg metaforisch, vloeien lekker. Een must voor progressieve muziekluisteraars.
source: Samma Nieuws, Juni 1997, added: Feb 23, 2005
Review:Ik speel zelf wel eens met een drumcomputer, maar sta toch elke keer weer verbaasd als ik het duo GRitS bezig hoor. HipHop met ongeloofelijk ingewikkelde ritmes, zo ingenieus en toch zo natuurlijk; het zou me niets verbazen als hun harten ook dit soort drumpatronen zouden vertonen. 'Factors of the Seven' is de langverwachte opvolger van 'Mental Releases', de CD die ik het meest heb gedraaid in 1996, vooral dankzij het relaxte karakter ervan. In betrekkelijk korte tijd komt GRitS weer met een CD. Daarop 18 tracks (68 minuten) die pas na een tiental keer draaien begint door te dringen. De raps zijn schier eindeloos, terwijl Mr. Max (zowat het derde lid van GRitS) met veel geduld de songs heeft voorzien van samples, waarvan veel origineel spul. Ik moet zeggen, gospel HipHop blijft soms een beetje een echo, een kopie van wat er seculier gaande is. 'Factors of the Seven' brengt daar verandering in. GRitS veranderd? Mwoah - een beetje. Een beetje meer SFC zou ik zeggen, beetje meer R&B, maar zeker veel jazz, en dat maakt het nu zo lekker.
source: Marcus van den Berg, str@k 3, august 1997, added: Feb 23, 2005
Review:Grits :: Factors of the Seven :: Gotee Records
as reviewed by El Surround

A while back, I reviewed MC Ren's album. One of the things that annoyed me (well, maybe not annoyed, but clearly got me thinkin') about Ren's album, is the fact that he was complaining throughout the whole album about how Hip- Hop isn't what he used to be and that fools should go back to the dawn of Hip-Hop, but the artist himself doesn't do anything himself in order to change the situation. Ren's album is full with these complaints, but never once does Ren try to make a joint the likes of the type he so much wants Hip -Hop to become again. The same goes to Jeru. No doubt, he's a skillful emcee with a problem- while he has a burning desire to change Hip-Hop, he doesn't have the power to deliver a changed product.

"This is no simple reform, it really is, a revolution"

The only album I heard recently which addresses the situation in Hip-Hop and succeeds in it's mission to do things different is also the finest underground Hip-Hop album I ever heard, and I heard LOTS of underground Hip-Hop. The Grits, str8 outta Nashville, are Teron and Stacey, musical talents and lyrical mosaic makers.

They succeed to teach without preaching, to make extremely melodic tracks without being corny, bring soulful southernplayalistic choruses and sound original. How do they do that? Musical diversity is the key. The Grits bring the same energy their southern brethren Outkast bring, musical wizardry which sounds like an impossible cross between the West's DJ Quik, the South's Organized Noise, and the East's The Ummah: Crystal clear production with thunder, thick basslines and and an impressive arrangement of live instruments- Keyboards, Bass, Guitars, Piano, the whole 9. Tracks like the graceful "People Noticin' Me" with Count Bass D, the serene "What Be Goin' Down" and the orchestrated "Blame It On You" spark an instant groove. The latter track uses live classical music with R&B flava, which sounds impossible but it delivers like Karl Malone in the paint.

Lyrically, the only thing left to be desired is a clearer sense of direction as the album includes several political tracks, but in order for these to be effective and move the masses, they should be very straight forward; The Grits are very intellectual and approach everything from a different angle, which means you have to listen very closely to understand the political aim. Still, the political direction will be very clear to serious Hip-Hop headz.

"I exercise with the vocals, apply verbal choke holds, to theological minds who try to unfold, these written analyzations of things seen through the eyes of X, the generation I'm next"

When The Grits rap about personal experiences, the state of Hip-Hop and everything else, the flow is simply flawless. They sometimes remind me of other southern rappers like Outkast and the Goodie MoB, but they definitely don't bite. On "On My Own" the rappers show how keepin' it real is really done, and they represent themselves and not a corporation like Nike or something. I wasn't this impressed with an album for a long time, and one can only hope that Grits will receive national recognition, for Hip-Hop's sake. 18 tracks of melted butta.

ORIGINAL HEADz UP! score: 6 out of 6 (converted to RapReviews.com)
TOTAL Vibes: 10 out of 10

Originally posted: January/February 1997
source: rapreviews.com, added: May 09, 2006
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