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JFH Music Review

John Wells | The Tonic
The Dash

Album length: 18 tracks
Street Date: April 7, 2009

A few years back, the members of the pioneer Christian rap group The Cross Movement decided to release solo efforts, and while I enjoyed the music from The Ambassador, TRU Life, and The Phanatik, I couldn't wait to see what The Tonic was going to do. Well, after almost four years and a major health concern, The Dash has finally arrived. Will all of the anticipation and patience be worth it?

The Dash refers to the time between our birth date and our death date and the album details the importance of living your life for Christ during that time. The album opens with "The Signature," a worthy song to keep any house party bumping with a chanting chorus of, "I'm a read my word, I'm a live that thing, I'm a keep it one hundred I'm a rep my King. At school, at work, when I play, when I sing." Next up is "Can't Count Me Out," which keeps the pace with Iz-Real helping out, who is just one of many great additions to The Tonic's release. You'll also catch R-Swift, TRU-Life, Shachah, and my personal favorites, Earthquake, Enock, and Cruz Cordero, who were all past Cross Movement members featured on "No Time" and "Da Body." The pace is great, the lyrics are meaningful, and the beats are near perfect.

The Dash is not filled with just wonderful rhythmic paced hip-hop flavor, however. "The Greatest" showcases an 80's soul vibe in the storytelling tales of how amazing our God is when times are adverse. "Who Shot Cha" is another favorite unique track about hunting down a lead criminal who turns out to be Satan and the cleverness really sticks out. The best track on the entire album would probably be the bonus track "I Am…Still" which is a slight remix of "I Am That I Am" from the House Of Representatives release from 2000 by The Cross Movement. It brings back the already great song, tweaks it a little bit lyrically, and throws in some smooth chorus vocals to make it picture perfect.

In conclusion, this album is superior to most rap around today. I know that it's still early in the year, but The Dash has potential to be one of 2009's best hip-hop albums. John Wells' gritty vocals laid over almost perfect production are exactly what make for a great listen. The message (as always when it comes to CM Records) is straight forward: Christ is King. I highly recommend this record to anyone who loves the hip-hop genre.

- Review date: 5/5/09, written by Kevin Hoskins of

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. Record Label: CMR
. Album length: 18 tracks
. Street Date: April 7, 2009
. Buy It:
. Buy It: iTunes

  1. Dash In (Intro) (1:24)
  2. The Signature (4:20)
  3. Can't Count Me Out w/ Iz-Real (4:24)
  4. Sin Universal w/ R-Swift (5:06)
  5. Really Know Me (6:18)
  6. Dot Dot Dash (Interlude) (2:05)
  7. No Time w/ EarchQuake (4:24)
  8. Da Body w/ Cruz Cordero (4:47)
  9. The Greatest w/ Ron Jacob (3:58)
  10. Dr. Visit (Interlude) w/ Mac The Doulos (3:30)
  11. Probably Nothing (4:14)
  12. Who Shot Cha (3:46)
  13. Prayers' Ball (6:38)
  14. Don't Start Nothing (4:14)
  15. Deliver Us w/ Shachah (5:01)
  16. The Dash w/ La'Tia Johnson (4:39)
  17. Dash Out (Outro) (4:18)
  18. I Am... Still! w/ Keran (3:56)



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