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Stop the Music - Click to view! STOP THE MUSIC (2001)
Uprok Records and the Tunnel Rats are making big moves. A real winner has been released in the first individual project of the hip-hop supercrew, Stop The Music by New Breed. Featuring producer Don Baker a.k.a. Dert, brother and sister Macho and Elsie bring their well-crafted lyricism into Baker's stellar and diverse production. This album has a definitive hardcore East Coast flavor as the siblings represent the Boston chapter of the Tunnel Rats.

New Breed has been very up-front about its youth ministry in the past and they do not hide it on this record. At the same time they produce an inviting, head nodding sound that has garnered them general market attention. This record goes well beyond its singles, each track bringing depth and meaning, being all things to all people in its diversity.

The album's singles, "Your Voice" and "Stop The Music," are a display of their varied sound. "Stop" with its pulsating beat and catchy hooks and "Your Voice" with its smooth sounding bass lines and excellent vocal interplay. This album also features a remake of the hit song featured on DJ Maj's second mixtape, "What's My Name?" The delivery is slightly different for those who fell in love with the original, but this song will still snap necks.

Stop The Music has no problems getting people to the dance floor. "Live This," "Stand" (featuring fellow Rat Raphi) and "Breathless" are all characterized by their body moving sound and inspiring, integrity filled lyrics. While staying hardcore, the brother - sister combo are very heartfelt. The final track "Outro" features this Macho lyric: "Y'all don't get it neither do I / when I write I cry / Tears touch paper instantly I feel safer / That's one less thought caught in my mind with no escape and / One thought free so I can really see me for who I am / What I plan and what I plan to see…"

The relevant material of these songs displays the potential of this record for urban ministry. "Papi" is the reflection of kids dealing with an alcoholic father. "Don't Listen" is Elsie's honest advice to women in unhealthy relationships. Finally, in what could be called the "Latin hip-hop anthem", "My People" is a tribute to a Puerto Rican heritage and the relationship with American culture. This track features live instrumentation (as does a good portion of the album) from musician Donovan Luke Henry.

With only a few blips on the radar, this album is a tribute to musicianship, lyricism and relevant ministry. Stop The Music has definite mainstream appeal and should be considered not only for its musical achievements but also for its ministry potential. This is what the Christian industry has been waiting for - honest, in your face, excellent material. Be on the lookout for big things from the rest of the Tunnel Rat family.
- Jon Corbin
June 2002
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