Gold Ministries 2009
G.O.L.D. (God’s Other Living Disciple) aka Rob Howze, is an emerging artist from Buffalo, New York who blends rhythm and praise and holy hip hop seamlessly to get his life-affirming message across. His debut album, Choices, is an auspicious introduction, chock-a-block with brisk tunes and bracing energy.
The title serves as the album’s thematic element, tying the songs and spoken word pieces together. To G.O.L.D., life is comprised of choices between right and wrong. When his protagonists make bad choices, their lives spiral downward quickly, whether it means getting caught in flagrante delicto or getting on the last nerve of violent gang members. On the other hand, when they make a positive choice to accept Jesus, their lives turn around.
As if to hammer the point home, the devil (in a deep voice, natch) appears briefly as a Garden of Eden-variety tempter.
The first half of the album is the most tuneful and ear-catching, with “Every- Time,” “My King” and “I Need You” making excellent first impressions. The bright singing of female vocalists Nicole Howze, Ruth Harley and Hannah Tores has almost as much to do with the album’s attractiveness as G.O.L.D. himself. By the conclusion of Choices, the group moves into an acoustic mood to declare that it is never too late to turn your life around.
Choices combines clever rap lyrics and no small dose of stinging reality to have its say. For those who want to try holy hip hop for the first time, it is a very approachable album.
Four of Five Stars
gPod Picks: “Every-Time,” “My King,” “I Need You.”