Thursday, January 07, 2010
It is offical. And it's been fun.
Since 2004, Blogger has been a wonderful location for me to blog my thoughts, posts the lates news and deliver some incredible commentary. I've especially enjoyed the interactivity my followers have had with my posts and with other bloggers' thoughts.
But it's time to move on to newer horizons. Closing this chapter here isn't terrible news for me since we have opened up MainIngredient; the new blog associated with PRAYZEHYMN Online.com and MainStreet. The coverage there won't be so narrow since we have adopted a new philosophy to cover everything good in pop culture. Covering only gospel music led me to become pigeonholed into a specific genre and conversation topic; grouped in with conservative, Christian-related bloggers. Being boxed in to a specific format like that wasn't always enjoyable for me since I am a liberal guy who loves pop culture and also grew up on a beautiful variety of music choices.
And so, I am signing off on the PRAYZE Report. If you are looking for exclusive details and information related specifically related to gospel music, I urge you guys to check out the following blogs.
The Black Gospel Blog
PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com will continue to cover gospel music, just not as much. It will begin template renovations beginning this month and will reshape its focus of coverage on other music styles and genres including rock, pop and R&B/soul. Notice we even changed our motto. It's not just "where gospel music lives." It's "where good music lives." I'm on a mission to keep good music out there.
Expect MainStreet to cover the pop culture-related stuff while PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com will cover a broader range of topics and material - including extensive commentary pieces, articles and even more interviews.
By the way, I will begin posting a series of personal blogs detailing the reasons of my shift from gospel music. And I promise you it's going to be worth reading. It will cause you re-think the music you buy and quickly label "anointed", trust me. First post goes up next week. So be there for that.
Major kudos go out to Rod McCullom at Rod 2.0. You were the inspiration behind me launching this blog. Thanks for leading me to make this choice and to enter into the world of blogging.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Probably not expected to hit the fan at Gospelflava.com or GospelCity.com, but it's worth every inch of space here at the PRAYZE Report (soon to be merged with our new MainIngredient blog).
Brian Moore, pastor of Life Center Ministries and developer of a number of satellite churches in both Carolinas, was arrested December 10 for felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on bond totalling $3,250 dollars. His arrest information has now been made public; courtesy of the Office of the Sheriff, Mecklenberg County, North Carolina.
Melvin Crispell, renowned musician and songwriter for James Hall and Hezekiah Walker, is the church's minister of music.
Don't get mad at the law. They were only just doing their job. Instead, let's get mad at the church for thinking they were above the law.
To see the public records regarding Moore's arrest and charges, click here.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
This is a new day.
PRAYZEHYMN Online.com, the parent company of the PRAYZE Report, announced its latest adventure into mainstream coverage including popular album releases, film, DVD releases, TV and much more. The new direction also includes a Facebook-supported networking group and a new blog called MAIN INGREDIENT.
The launch site of MAIN STREET (http://www.prayzehymnonline.com/mainstreet) included reviews of the films New Moon: the Twilight Saga and Precious, along with album reviews of Melaine Fiona, Brian McKnight, Angie Stone, Rod Stewart and Marques Houston. It also includes a On-the-Go music station, poll section and a featured YouTube video.
"This is a blessing to us here at PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com. The PRAYZE Report has been a popular blog for gospel music listeners and we are happy about its success," expressed site developer and chief editor J. Matthew Cobb. "But we are pushing away from the Blogger-supported blog because we aren't aware of how large our traffic is. The new blog is linked to our site and will actually give us a better understanding of how vast our audience is. We believe the end results will be boundless."
In a press statement and article posted on MAIN STREET, Cobb explained the site's vision and new direction while also expressing his disenchantment towards the gospel music industry.
"Gospel music has been good to me," the 29-year old editor expressed. "I love the genre, but the industry needs to do better. It's still a small clique' that believes there's only one way to succeed and to do things. Unfortunately, I'm not a part of the fraternity. I'm glad I'm not."
Since the announcement of MAIN STREET, PRAYZEHYMNOnline.com promises to continue its coverage on gospel music.
An end-date for the PRAYZE Report is soon to be announced.
To visit MAIN STREET, go to:
Sunday, December 06, 2009
For the 52nd annual Grammy Awards, a good number of awards will be given to some of this year's favorite artists. This year was a tight but respectable year for good music, which is easily showcased in the list of nominees.
Leading the board of nominees included the triumphant Beyonce' with a resounding ten nominations. The Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell, Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Taylor Swift's Fearless received several nominations as well. Legendary soul vets including Stevie Wonder, for the Obama tribute "All About the Love Again" and Hall & Oates, for their performance of "Sara Smile" on the Live at the Troubadour DVD and album, were also recognized. Whitney Houston, who released her best-selling return album I Look to You, failed to impress the Academy and failed to earn a Grammy nod. Melanie Fiona, one of 2009's biggest debut artists, earned a nod for "It Kills Me" in the Best Female R&B Performance category.
All eyes will be glued to the coveted Song of the Year category as Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and Maxwell's "Pretty Wings" face off.
In the gospel categories, Israel Houghton was nominated twice for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album and for the song "Every Prayer" off of his Power of One album. Mary Mary, who also dueted with Houghton on "Every Prayer," walked away with a second nod for Best Gospel Song with their R&B crossover hit "God in Me." This year's most overlooked but industry beloved compilation, the Oh Happy Day soundtrack, received a few glances for Best Gospel Performance ("I Believe" by Jonny Lang & the Fisk Jubilee Singers), Best R&B Performance by Group/Duo with Vocals ("Higher Ground by Robert Randolph & the Clark Sisters) and for Best Traditional Album.
Heather Headley also got two Grammy nominations for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel and Best Gospel Performance for her rendition of "Jesus Is Love." J Moss, Matthew West, Sheri Jones-Moffett, tobyMac and Donald Lawrence also were nominated in the gospel categories.
On a side note, Tonex' registered a nod for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the song "Blend." Tonex faces a strong set of neo-soul wonders including Bilal, the Foreign Exchange and Eric Roberson.
Gospel diva Ann Nesby even got her share of recognition for "Sow Love," off of her Lula Lee Project, in the category of Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance.
Mentioned earlier this year, the Best Performance by a Gospel Choir or Chorus category was removed from the ballot due to the lack of nominees and album submissions.
To read a full list of this year's set of nominees, click here.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Released today, Central City Productions president Don Jackson issued an open letter in response to the growing concerns about its nomination process and its embattled issues of integrity.
In his letter, Jackson stated, "As a direct result of the constructive feedback of the Gospel Music Industry, from the sources I’ve identified above, I am pleased to inform you that for our 25th Anniversary Show we implemented several improvements to our Entry, Nominating and Balloting process that we feel strengthened our overall Voting process and made our procedure more open and inclusive, while continuing to maintain the integrity, fairness and highest standards of our overall process for everyone. "
Several minute changes included the elimination of the mail-in ballot, expanding the charting system to include all Nielsen BDS data which virtually allows all independents a right to a nomination and extended time record labels to submit their recommendations.
Strangely, all of these changes seem to have been made this year as evidence points that artists were added to the nomination lists days after the first round ballot surfaced. Previously, albums had to have visibility on the Billboard charts. Most of the independent artists nominated this year have not even charted on Billboard; which ultimately suggests that the new changes had to be activated prior to Jackson's recent announcement.
On the heels of the Stellar Awards' open letter to the public and gospel media, a letter from Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy (SAGMA) president Henry Harris encouraged all of the Academy's members to vote for his online Radio Station and media resource, Spiritco1.com, for Best Online Radio Station - once again creating a cloud of criticism. The problem abounds in its conflict of interest. The email was sent to Harris's Facebook followers and to his mailing list. This year, Spiritco1, also an independent marketing firm, became embroiled in a massive pool of controversy due to its long list of customers making the Stellar Awards' ballot. Included in the drama, Harris also announced a 2-for-1 membership special to help encourage his supporters to buy more memberships to increase his artists' changes to make the final ballot.
An online petition, created by gospel blogger EJ Gaines, caused a stir three week ago asking the Stellars' to develop necessary corrections. Unfortunately, only 200 individuals have signed it.
The Stellar Gospel Music Awards, celebrating its 25th year anniversary, will take place at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN on January 16, 2010.
Online Petition to SAGMA & CCP [PetitionSpot.com]
Monday, November 23, 2009
About the only thing reconcilable about Voices of Citadel's latest album, Won't It Be Wonderful, is their revisit to Butch Heyward's '80s classic "Hallelujah to the Lamb." The song has that extra punch and energy very reminiscent of '90s contemporary gospel music via the Hezekiah Walker movement.
While it was posted back in 2008, the raw video taken at a James Hall's appreciation service may be the only video of VOC in action singing the song. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Temporarily, you can listen to the single at PRAYZEHYMN Online.com in the Nu Tunes section.
The album is digitally available at iTunes and eMusic.com.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Got to call it what it is. It's gossip. But as they always say, there's always some truth in the tale.
Twitter posts and unauthorized gospel blogs went haywire this week concerning the moral discrepancies and recent fall outs concerning urban gospel/hip-hop rapper Da' T.R.U.T.H. and gospel star Tye Tribbett.
Both are now the subject of marital infidelity and moral indiscretion. For Da' T.R.U.T.H., the rapper publicly posted via his web site a letter to his fans that he will be taking a sabbatical from the music ministry and is need of time to heal for his wife and family.
In May, former label mate Ambassador was released from his record label, Cross Movement Records, concerning moral failure pertaining his wife.
After Da' T.R.U.T.H publicly announced his semi-retirement leaked, Cross Movement issued a public statement revealing their decision to drop him from the label. "It is with tremendous sadness and humble disappointment that Cross Movement Records must inform you regarding the suspension of the promotion and forwarding of the artist...Da Truth,...due to recent findings of moral failure in his marriage." stated the letter. "It is the expressed ambition and demonstrated intent of this label to foster Christian leadership that utilizes the platforms of an artist or musician. While obedience to the word of God is the high standard for all who name the name of Christ, for the Christian leader, the standards and the consequences are even greater.
In closing, for those that want to label this as just another sleazy, downgrading ploy designed by Satan. I leave you with these powerful words: "You shall know Da' T.R.U.T.H. And the truth shall set you free." Amen.
Da' T.R.U.T.H. Takes Sabbatical for Moral Indiscretion [Gospel Pundit]