I Am Records
In all honesty, I want to root for brother Darius, here. Like Mahalia Jackson, BeBe and CeCe Winans, and Kirk Franklin, Mr. J. is trying to expand the range and audience of gospel music, give it some street creds. The Winans did it through sleight-of-hand, super-ambiguous lyrics; I’m still trying to figure out Franklin’s appeal; and Mahalia’s just the Queen. Darius is bouncing Southern “gangsta” style all the way to the Pearly Gates. That is if Darius is singing to a New Testament, forgiving God. If it’s that Old Testament, fire and brimstone tempest of a Jehovah, Soul Endeavor‘s the last cries of a man about to be turned into a pillar of salt. And it sounds like it. As I said, I want to cheer for Darius J, but, in all honesty, I can’t. If I did, I’d have to buy a rosary and do penance.