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Generations - Click to view! In 2003 the Christian industry is going to say goodbye to three legends. LPG, the duo that started the Tunnel Rats, are hanging up their mics by the end of this year. The innovative and original Soup the Chemist will be calling it quits barring a miracle. Finally, Freedom of Soul creator Peace 586 is saying goodbye to the Christian hip-hop scene. These men are not only legends of the hip-hop industry, but their work has also proven important to Christian music in general. Over the last 15 years, they have worked to bring hip-hop into the church as well as the streets, and their time is coming to an end. Peace's final album, Generations, showcases a wide range of artists in a loose timeline, from the originators of Christian hip-hop to the newest and hottest stars.

Most of the album's production is handled by Dert of the Tunnel Rats, and once again he delivers several standout tracks. Soup the Chemist is featured on the opening track "Hear Me Now," as Dert weaves jazzy keyboard loops through a chilled-out drum line. Soup's initial verse might be one of the best on the album as he humourously describes his style as "old school like Space Invaders" and "contagious like pink eye." R&B icon Jon Gibson joins Peace on "Love's Still There," a song that revisits an old Freedom of Soul joint "This Is Love." Here, Peace praises God for his unending love and grace while Gibson lays down the addictive chorus. "Respect" has a strong East Coast vibe as Peace and Noel from the classic Dynamic Twins trade verses. Idol King, another old school crew is featured on the tune "Progress," but unfortunately this track carries little weight and is one to skip over. Tunnel Rat Raphi submits a head snapping beat for the LPG collab "Bonds Like These." Dax, Jurny and Peace rip up this track, reminding us why these three emcees are legends in the industry.

For "Welcome to the Show," Dert tries his hand at making club tracks. Pigeon John rides the beat to perfection while Peace lags behind. "No More Yesterday" is an uneventful song that Raphi's strong verse can't save. The sleeper hit of the album is "Solid" featuring Remnant Militia. Once again, the guest artists hit the track hard, overshadowing Peace. "God Said It" features one of Peace's best verses on the disc, unfortunately the track is lame and Dax's church style singing adds a thick layer of cheese. DJ's should take note of the club friendly "Hard Ballin'," as Macho and Elsie from New Breed spice up the track with hardcore Puerto Rican flavour. Sev Statik carries the downbeat "Mourning for the Art," a song that grieves the changes in hip-hop that have taken away from honest artistic expression. "Everything I" presents the first appearance of Zane's live band, Saturday Night Freestyle. The track, produced by Jerms, gives the emcees nothing to work with, making this song an almost instant pass over. The 'future' of hip-hop is showcased on "Here For Years." Newcomers Propaganda, Dokument and young buck Macho carve into an enjoyable southern track, easily one of the top songs on the album.

While Dert creates some fantastic tracks, they become repetitive, with no breaks or transitions to add variety. The guest emcees perform extremely well, often outworking Peace, who seems at times unable to update his delivery for the new school tracks Dert provides. Overall, Generations is a solid and enjoyable project, with some absolutely excellent tracks that cannot be ignored. Pick this one up for some fun songs and healthy dose of history.
- Jon Corbin
May 2003
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