Hammer Brings The Noise Gospel Style

At long last it's Hammer time again but this time he's marching to the beat of a different drummer.. Hammer has put out a double cd Gospel/ Rap album....No it ain't no gimmick... From day one the brotha has been putting songs out on his lps that song praises to the Lord... This time his whole album 'Family Affair' gives praise to the almighty...So how is it?

It's a Hammer album...without all the rapping.. He remakes a lot of songs... But for him this ain't no band wagon thing.. He's been doing that forever.. The lp has some strong tracks like 'Big Man' which borrows from the classic jam 'Too Late' by Junior.. Here Hammer boldly deals with the issue of domestic violence..He encourages all Christians to stand up and speak out against this dreadful behavior.. This catchy hook and smoothed out beat helps make this song a winner.. Another cool cut is 'Shame Of The Name' which borrows from Evelyn Champagne King's 'Shame'...Here Hammer talks about the power within the name of Jesus..Also on point is 'Put Some Stop In Your Game' which takes from 'Slow Down' by Loose Ends...

Of interest is the song 'Unconditional Love'.. This was a gift to Hammer from his good friend the late 2Pac Shakur.. He had written the track and arranged it and wanted Hammer to rap it..You can here 2Pac's influence all over this song... Before Pac passed Hammer had done a couple of songs with him.. including one track that features him and Big Daddy Kane.. That song was about being a stone cold player and it was by far one of the best songs from Hammer I ever heard.. However, since Hammer is about praising God he forever got rid of that song.. In fact he got rid of most of the songs that were gonna be released on his album when he was signed to Death Row.. I heard several of those songs and they were off the hook..Good luck in finding them.. They are definite collector items if you do.. They would've undoubtly made Hammer a major factor in this rap game.. The beats from one of those songs is featured on this new lp.. Entitled 'Praise Dance Theme Song' It borrows from Vaughn Mason's classic 'Bounce Rock Skate'... It was originally intended for the song 'Put Your Mack Hand Down'.. I even have a copy of that song... On the new album the Mack Hand words are absent and all you have is the beat... On the cd liner notes Hammer writes; 'Can you classify music as Holy or Unholy by the beat? Of course not.. Now get your praise dance on'...

Hammer is obviously quite serious about being consistent in his attempts to glorify God.. He leaves no room for misinterpretation.. Each song carries a spiritual message.. Many of them have Hammer rappin'.. Others have him voicing words of wisdom and encouragement..similar to the way Kirk Franklin did in his song 'Stomp'..Hammer clarifies his position and his intentions on a song called 'Hammer Music' where over a funky beat he addresses the criticisms and concerns people may have about him and his music.. It's done as a mock interview and Hammer who has never been at a loss for words drops the knowledge..

Overall, this album is good for what Hammer attempts to do..He doesn't deviate from what he has normally done as an artist.. He was among the first to sample from popular hit songs.. he does that again.. but this time around he has the message of the Lord to be delivered.. In that respects it's refreshing.. Not all the songs will be bumped in your jeep if your checking for the newest Mack 10 or the latest Tribe Called Quest joint... but these songs will be here can be if you feel like reflecting on the creator..

Reviewed By Davey D


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