Travis Malloy Album Leak

Who’s excited about the new Travis Malloy album? Well if you’re not, Travis just gave you a reason to get excited! He has leaked snippets of songs off his album and I’m definitely liking what I’m hearing. Listen to it below.

His self-titled album is available June 29th.

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New Music: Damita Haddon “Won’t Turn Back”

The lovely Damita Haddon is back with her second single, “Won’t Turn Back”.

The single is off of her upcoming album,Anticipation,in stores July 24th.

Take a listen to the track below!

Job 1: Can You Worship God in the Storm?

This is our first bible study…Yay 🙂 What I will do is break up the chapter into groups of verses and we’ll study that way! I may post questions, add my own thoughts, etc. Please feel free to answer my questions and let me know what you’ve learned from the chapter. Oh, and make sure you have your bible with you so you can “study to show yourself approved”! So here goes Job chapter 1…..

Verse 1-5

So I like to call these verses Job’s brief bio. If he had a twitter it would probably read something like:

I own a lot of livestock. I’m the richest man in the East. I love my 10 kids #TeamJesus

Job was blameless and upright, he feared God and shunned evil and he was known as the greatest man in the East. Why was he the greatest? He had 10 children (7 sons/3 daughters), 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys and a lot of servants.

Job was rich. He had it all. In today’s terms he would most likely be #1 on Forbes list of World’s Richest People. But even with all that, he didn’t neglect God. We see that not only does he make sacrifices to God for himself but he does so on behalf of his children.

His children loved to party. The brothers took turns holding feast at each others house and because Job didn’t really know what they were doing he would sacrifice a burnt offering for them just in case they did something against God. I always wondered why this part was in here, it seemed a little random. But reading it over, I see an example of a great father. He was constantly praying of behalf of his children! I think that’s applicable to all parents!

Verse 6-12

So now after we’ve learned a little bit about Job, Satan enters the scene. He’s been going back and forth on the earth trying to find someone to tempt. God is like “Satan, have you considered my servant Job?”. When I read that I was like whoa! God how you gonna turn Job in like that? It’s crazy! But, it also shows the confidence that God had in Job’s love for Him. God was so confident that Job would not sin against Him that he was willing to test his faith. To me, that’s an honor. It made me think has God ever said “Have you considered my servant Tosin?”. Is God so confident in our relationship that He believes nothing Satan does to me will affect it? What about you? Has God ever said “Have you considered my servant _____” with confidence that you would pass the test?

This made me think of something else. Many times when we are faced with attacks from the enemy we begin to lose faith, doubt, and even question God’s love for us. But we need to begin looking at it like this. From these scriptures we know that, if we truly are children of God, Satan can’t touch us or our stuff without God’s permission. Therefore, if we truly are children of God, and we are facing attacks it is because God has given Satan permission. And if God has given Satan permission it’s because he sees us as “blameless and upright, a man (or woman) who fears God and shuns evil” (v. 8). God trusts you to pass the test! Think about that next time you’re facing a situation 🙂

But Satan didn’t agree with God (as usual). He said the only reason why Job loves and fears you is because of everything that you have given him. But I promise you if you take all that away he will definitely curse you. Yup, that’s what Satan said to God in a nutshell. Read it at verse 9. The sad part is that for some of us that statement is correct. We only love God because of the blessings he has given us. The nice job, car, house, etc. We need to get to a place where we truly love God just because…he’s God!

But anyway, we see that God wasn’t going to let Satan talk to Him like that and get away with it so God’s like: Okay so you think Job just loves me for what I can do? Fine, you have permission to do anything to his belongings but don’t touch him. (v. 12)

And Satan took God up on the offer.

Verse 13-19

So in these verses, Job gets hit 4 times with bad news. First, he hears that his oxen and donkeys were attacked. Second, his sheep and servants were killed. Third, his camels were taken. Fourth, his children were killed. In a day, everything that made Job the greatest man in the East was taken from him. What’s crazy about this though is that the messengers came while the other was “still speaking”. So Job didn’t even have a chance to digest the first bad news before the next messenger came with more. It’s like your neighbor calling you at work to tell you your car just got stolen and while he’s calling another neighbor calls to tell you your house is on fire and as that’s happening your boss walks in to hand you your pink slip and then you get a call from the hospital saying you’ve lost a family member. All in a couple minutes. How would you feel? I can’t imagine anyone feeling good about that! But what happens next really shows the love that Job had for God…and it’s a great example for all of us.

Verse 20-22

Job has just heard all the bad news he could take for one day. The Bible says he tore his robe and shaved his head. Basically he begins to grieve. It is okay to grieve! But what I love about this is what he does next: He worships God. After everything that just happened, Job still worships God! Many of us can’t say we have gone through half of what Job went through in the way he went through it. At least I know I can’t! But we still find it hard to worship God in the bad times. Why is that? Do we really love and trust Him like we say we do? What Job says in verse 21 is very important:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised

Job was like look I didn’t come into this world with anything and I know nothing’s going with me when I leave. But at the end of it all, God’s name will always be praised.

Contrary to Satan’s belief, Job didn’t curse or sin against God. Job shows us that the answer to difficult situations in our life is worship!

Well, that’s what I got from Job 1! Thanks for reading. what did you learn through the chapter?

Challenge: When you’re faced with a difficult situation, turn to worship.

Interview with Tim Bowman Jr.

When your father is a legendary jazz guitarist and your aunt a well-renowned gospel artist it’s hard not to follow those footsteps! Gospel newcomer Tim Bowman Jr. is doing just that with his Top 10 Billboard Gospel debut album, Beautiful.

I had the pleasure of chatting with him to get a little more insight on his journey to Beautiful.

TMS: First let me say again congratulations! I love the album! It’s been on repeat since the release. How does it feel to have just released your debut album?

TBJ: First of all thank you for taking the time to interview me. It feels great. It’s an overwhelming feeling. I didn’t expect it to have such an impact!

TMS:  It really is a great album! When I was listening to it I was trying to pick a favorite; but every song is my favorite. I really love “I’ll Try” though.

TBJ: Wow, thank you for that! That’s amazing.

TMS: No problem. How’d you come up with the title?

TBJ: It’s the title of the song I did with my father. We decided that would be the album title.

TMS: Cool, What was the recording process was like.

TBJ: It took about two and a half to three years. We recorded between 30 and 40 songs and narrowed it down to 13.

TMS: Wow, must have been a hard decision making those cuts! Did you do most of the writing on the album?

TBJ: I co-wrote about 8 of the songs. There was a core group of 4 of us who wrote for the album.

TMS: Your music is very eclectic. There’s pop, jazz, acoustic…everything really! Why did you decide to take that route?

TBJ: Well, I did that for two reasons. First, I listen to every genre of music. I try to find the best product of music. I love the simplicity of rock, the power of gospel, the sincerity of worship and the beats of pop. I wanted my album to show that. Also, we live in a day where we can go on iTunes and buy single tracks instead of records. But if people wanted to get a mix of music they can get the whole album!

TMS: That is a very interesting idea. But, did you feel you were taking a risk in making your album so musically diverse, especially in being a new artist?

TBJ: Of course! It’s a huge risk, but someone has to take it. I have nothing to lose!

TMS: You’ve been in the industry before this debut. I first heard you on “How I Got Over”. I remember getting the WOW Gospel 11 compilation and it was on there. I was like who is that scatting! I literally spent like 2 weeks trying to learn that. How did you learn how to scat like that?

TBJ: My father. I got the whole jazzy thing from him. When I was younger he would get his guitar and do little doodles and have me follow after him. That’s how I learned to scat.

TMS: That’s great. Not many people can master the art of scatting! With both your father and aunt being legendary artists did you feel any pressure growing up to fill their shoes?

TBJ: I feel like I had and still feel like I have big shoes to fill. They are trailblazers and amazing artists. But they don’t put any pressure on me. I just hope I can achieve half the things they did.

TMS: You will! Aside from them, who are some other musical influences?

TBJ: Wow. I have a lot. On the gospel side there’s the Clark sisters, Kim Burrell, Mary Mary, and the Winans. And I appreciate artists that do their craft well like Michael Jackson, Coldplay, Beatles, and Beyonce.

TMS: Wow that is a very eclectic list. Now I understand why your album is the way it is!

TBJ: Exactly! I listen to everything.

TMS: What do you hope listeners get from listening to you album?

TBJ: I hope people get an overall experience. I want the music to make them want to dance, worship, mellow out, chill out, praise…a whole mix of emotions! I want it to tell a story. I want them to take a journey.

TMS: Describe Tim Bowman Jr. in 3 words.

TBJ: Hmm, that’s an interesting question. I would say motivated, dedicated, and transparent.

Well, there you have it! Tim Bowman Jr’s dedication has landed him at #8 on the charts and he’s just getting started. It was truly a pleasure speaking with him and I’m excited to see what is in store for him in the future. He’s going to be touring so when he’s in your area…go see him!

In the meantime, make sure you get his debut album, Beautiful. It is amazing! Definitely music worth adding to your collection 🙂

Mary Mary Gets Renewed!

The gospel sister duo Mary Mary announced this morning on Good Morning America that their WEtv reality show has been renewed for a 2nd season!! I am so excited for this. I love the show!

Mary Mary took to twitter this afternoon to tell fans about the great news:

#MaryMary show has been viewed by 11.1 million total viewers since its premiere + is delivering 3x @WEtv primetime female viewership avg! (via twitter)

Congratulations to Erica and Tina! Who’s excited for Season 2?!

Also, their new album, Go Get It, is out now! Get it here.
GMA Clip

NEW MUSIC: Livre’ “The Only God”

Livre’ is an upcoming NY-based gospel group consisting of 7 vocalist and 5 musicians. They have shared the stage with many seasoned artists such as Donnie McClurklin, Shirley Ceaser, and Mary Mary and are now working on their album!

Also, they will be celebrating their single release on June 15 in the Bronx. If you’re in the area you should go! Concert also features Kierra Sheard. Visit the event page for flyer details!

Listen to their recent single, “The Only God” below. Then go get it on iTunes!!

Visit their website.

Follow them on Twitter.

Movie Review: Deitrick Haddon’s A Beautiful Soul

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read this if you want to watch the movie.

WARNING: This is going to be a little all over the place because I’m still trying to take it all in.

So a few friends and I went to the movies on Friday night to watch Deitrick Haddon’s A Beautiful Soul. I was so excited to watch it because his first movie, Blessed & Cursed¸ was amazing. This one…not so much.

DISCLAIMER: I love Deitrick Haddon! It hurts me to write this review, but what type of journalist would I be if I only write about the good?

Moving on…I don’t even know where to start. Well, let’s start with the plot…or lack thereof. Deitrick Haddon plays Andre’ Stephens, an R&B singer focused on himself, his money, and women. His world changes when he gets shot by his bodyguard and goes through an “A Christmas Carol” style transformation (really you couldn’t think of anything else?). Honestly, I felt the plot was weak; it didn’t really go anywhere. One day Andre’ Stephens is living on top of the world; the next moment he’s dating one of the girls he picked up backstage at the concert before he got shot who, by the way, ended up being the nurse who cared for him while he was in a coma for 4 months. Yea. While the movie was supposed to be inspirational, the inspiration could easily be missed if you’re not looking for it. After waking up, Andre’ Stephens changed the type of music he wrote and he wasn’t as selfish but that’s really all that was transformed. I was looking for more of the gospel.

Though it’s acting, I had a slight issue with Deitrick Haddon playing the role he did. Or maybe it was just the bad acting. It was a little awkward to see a gospel singer and pastor gyrating on stage surrounded by half-naked ladies. Also, he cursed once which kind of threw me. Granted it wasn’t a crazy word (he said ‘ass’), but it still didn’t feel right. I totally understand that acting is not real life; but at the same time you have to be conscious of your image. But not only that. Because I’m used to Deitrick Haddon the pastor and gospel singer his role wasn’t really believable to me. It was more like “uhh what are you doing”?

The transformation actually confused me a little bit. I’m hoping that Deitrick and his team were trying to show that spiritual transformation takes time, but I’m not so certain that’s what it was. He wrote a song after he got out of a coma and the hook was “imma get off these streets and go to the church”. Yea. Exactly. I’m not quite sure if Andre’ Stephens just became a better person or if he actually dedicated his life to Christ. At the end of the movie, Andre’ Stephens is performing a new set. Behind him is your typical church band and the crowd is more diverse; however, the dancers threw me off. He was singing a song about Jesus but the dancers were still dancing in a suggestive manner and they were showing much more skin than necessary. Can someone explain this to me? I’ve never been to a gospel concert and seen the dancers in booty shorts and bare midriffs. Maybe that just happens in Detroit.

Now let’s talk about the actual picture. I’ve studied media and I believe I have a pretty good idea of what quality production is…lol. However, when watching independent movies I always keep in mind the budget constraints they have. But, because of all the technology that is easily accessible now I feel like that’s not a good enough excuse to produce a mediocre picture. Yea, your budget may not allow it to look like something distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment; but it also shouldn’t look like a home video with some random effects. There are a couple things that bothered me about the overall quality. (This is crazy because I don’t remember these issues being in his first movie. Now I feel like I have to go watch that one to compare.)

First, his guardian angel was talking to him through an iPad. Very 21st century, but also very weird. Second, there was a bright purple light flashing in the middle of the screen. This was supposed to show us that he was in an alternate world (It wasn’t heaven. It wasn’t hell. It wasn’t earth. Can somebody please tell me where he was and find out if it’s biblical!!!). It looked amateur. I’m sure there was another way they could have shown the difference (i.e. change the picture color). Third, when Andre’ Stephens was in limbo (or whatever weird in-between life and death thing they had going on) there were clouds to symbolize heaven and bright lights when his mother came to visit him. (Is it even possible for us to go through a spiritual journey that doesn’t exist on earth?) It was just bad. It literally looked like a screensaver; it was not believable at all. Fourth, when his friend Chris Scott died, they used some type of dissolve effect that reminded me of a video game. The shots were choppy, angles could’ve have been more thought out and I could’ve sworn it was shaky in some parts as well.

The one glimmer of hope for this movie was Andre’ Stephens’ mother (played by Golden Brooks). Yes Golden Brooks!! Thank you for coming and saving the movie. I wish she played a larger role in the movie because she was so authentic. Her scenes were definitely bright and beautiful moments. But those moments were short-lived.

Overall, I was disappointed with this movie. I didn’t think it was coming to Jersey so I wasn’t planning on seeing it. When I heard it was showing at Jersey Gardens I was so excited; that excitement faded about 5 minutes into the movie. I’m afraid Deitrick Haddon didn’t survive the sophomore slump.

3rd times a charm.

Lecrae and the Great Commission

I have been a fan of Lecrae since Real Talk but lately I have really grown to love and appreciate his ministry! He is one of very few Christian artists that are visibly living out the Great Commission: Go and make disciples of all nations.

Not many Christian artists can break out of that label. (But then again, not all artists are called to reach the non-Christian). Of course, it isn’t a bad label; but it’s not one that’s going to reach the unbeliever. Let’s face it, people don’t want to be beat in the head with the gospel. They don’t want to hear that they are damned to hell fire unless they accept Christ. They don’t even want to hear that there is a God that can help them through their problems when life looks like it’s going downhill. People want real life; they want honesty. Unfortunately, many feel they can’t get that from a church full of hypocrites so they don’t turn to the church. Lecrae understands that.

With Lecrae receiving more mainstream recognition, he has now been afforded the opportunity to reach those that are not believers.

Other artists have tried to go mainstream to reach the un-churched; unfortunately a majority of them end up compromising the gospel. There is a thin line between meeting people where they are and conforming to their way of living. Very few Christian artists have mastered an effective way to minister the gospel in mainstream. Not only has Lecrae mastered it, he has done so in a way that is non-threatening. I mean, look at Jesus himself! He didn’t go through town saying “I am Jesus follow me or else!”. He met people where they were; He loved on them; He understood them and didn’t criticize. That is how people came to know and follow Jesus.

Lecrae is doing the same thing. He understands that people don’t listen to church folk because of all the hypocrisy. That is why I so appreciate the single off his mixtape. From the start he’s letting people know, Look I know there’s hypocrisy in the church, but I want you to look past the flaws of the church and get to Jesus. That’s a great message and it’s going to capture the unbeliever who is looking for a Christian to agree that the church has many, many flaws. Nobody wants to talk about it. It’s been swept under the rug for too long and I pray that this is going to open up the discussion and bring the issue to the forefront. I am so excited to hear Church Clothes, the mixtape he is releasing next Thursday and I pray it does two things. First, I pray that his mixtape allows people, namely the unbeliever, to look past the church and see Jesus. Unfortunately, the church isn’t always a good representation of Christ. Second, while Lecrae has said this mixtape isn’t really for his Christian fans, I pray that we listen to it as well and are moved to make changes in our own walk. The world is looking at us and it is time we are more Christ-like.

While some people are questioning Lecrae’s move to mainstream I firmly believe this is one of the best things he can do. Not just for his career, but for the Kingdom. My prayer is that he continues to focus on the Great Commission and doesn’t get caught up in the mainstream lifestyle that he has preached against. Let’s continue to lift up our brother Lecrae, his wife, and the whole Reach Record family!