Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Music Feature: "D. Haddy" aka Deitrick Haddon

*NOTE* All songs referenced will be embedded at the end, in order of mention... so if you're tired of reading, just scroll down to go straight to the music.

I made a new CD from recent acquisitions on iTunes to bump in the car... apparently, my 2006 model missed the memo about MP3/audio auxiliary ports. #fail  Anyway, I usually burn a CD after every handful of new songs; note - these are songs that are new to me but they've been out for a while already.  Sometimes, I 'recycle' songs from older mixes just because they're that hot... the one that made my really bounce behind the wheel this morning was Clap Your Hands.

The D. Haddy fest continued when I got to work because I looked up the song on YouTube so I could share it on my social networks. Then the suggestions caught my eye and I saw another one of my favorite songs from back in the day - Resting Place. After that throwback, I came across some others that were some of my faves--even though I don't have any of his full albums--and came to the following conclusion:

Deitrick Haddon is Christian music fiyah! End of discussion.
Image taken from http://www.verityrecords.com/music/church-moon

Now, I've only heard one track from his latest album, Church on the Moon--Forgiven--and it put me in a trance, instantly. That doesn't happen to me often, but when it does, I literally absorb the song into my being.  But even going through his projects since ~2002, which is when I got turned on to him, dude has a solid corpus in performance AND production. This says a lot since I'm partial to his trademark sound [somewhere between urban and churchy gospel], but when he ventures outside of that box, I'm still right there with him. Take Inspiration, for example. It's guitar-heavy with a classic 80s drumbeat, maybe even a little "pseudo-country-ish" ... yet I'm feelin' it! Next, there's Resting Place - the first couple of bars feature a marimba and with acoustic guitar accompaniment sans the beat box, the whole track is enveloped by a completely organic vibe. And on the album Crossroads, I definitely appreciated the two joints laced, figuratively speaking (of course), with reggae/dancehall flavors... It's Over Now and Walls are Tumbling (f/Pastor Paula White). what can I say? You know that's just the "island" in me.

Image taken from http://usedbooksblog.com
But I'm not trying to sound like a Deitrick Haddon infomercial [even though I've already blogged on one of his songs], so my review has to be "fair and balanced"...just like Fox News... riiiiiiiiight. Anyway, in his time on the music scene, spanning from the late 90s with the group Voices of Unity, D. Haddy has garnered something of a reputation for high astronomical self-esteem and possibly being a tad too secular in his stylings. Is there any truth to the charges?? I'll report and you decide (yes, that was another facetious nod to Fox News).

On the album Lost and Found, track #2 entitled "D.D" is essentially an ode to himself. It's basically his truncated life story, some may call it his testimony. But when the chorus is basically your name 4Xs and then your nickname 4Xs, it just might throw off a narcissistic vibe. #imjustsayin  Now, ever since Kirk Franklin and God's Property STOMPed onto the scene--possibly before that when Bebe and CeCe Winans 'confused' listeners with Addictive Love--the gospel music crowd has been split between what is or isn't too worldly. I tend to lean towards the 'Jesus likes boom-bap, too' side, but I strongly believe that songs should be tested for content.

Case in point: Don't Go. The "younggins" are thinking Oh, that's 'Foolish' by Ashanti. If you're 25 or older, the first bar takes your right back to Biggie's One More Chance remix. But if you're a real old-head, then De Barge would come to mind. Of course, this isn't the first time a gospel song sampled a "secular" one, so let's get over that real fast. But is the content truly the "good news"? According to some of the comments on the YouTube track, not so. Now, here are the lyrics; it's definitely not on the level of Sinner's Prayer but it's not exactly sacrilegious, IMO. However I do see a conflict with using the hook from One More Chance because it creates a sort of cognitive dissonance: you know you're listening to [what's supposed to be] Christian music, but the sound of it diverts your thoughts to a song that is spiritually detrimental. I get a similar vibe from I'm the One--if I let my mind wander just enough, I'd swear I was listening to some baby-makin' music a-la 90s R&B (*sigh* I can't get that decade outta my musical memory--y'all pray for a sista!) OK, so that's just two songs but, most of the album Seven Days rolls off the ear like a cascade of urban gospel goodness. Shoo, I stay bangin' Clap Your Hands, So Good to be in Love and Inspiration.

So that's all I gotta say about D. Haddy. Now I'll let his music do the talking: all the songs I mentioned and some extras for good measure. Enjoy the music and stay blessed!

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