As a Christian, before the debut of Group 1 Crew, I feel like I have been waiting a long time for a faith-based group to rival its secular counterparts. This group has a style that’s very similar to The Black-Eyed Peas, but they aren’t talking about anything too profane or inappropriate. Group 1 Crew is comprised of three Latin artists named Blanca, Manwell and Pablo. This 2007 CD is their first full-length release and it contains thirteen smashing hits. A few of the singles can get a bit preachy, but they are still cool to listen to and best of all, they remind the listener that Jesus Christ is Lord. Blanca is the “Fergie” of the group, while both Pablo and Manwell are constantly trying to be like “Will.i.am”. Blanca’s powerful vocals are beautiful, strong, classy, sassy and chic all rolled into one! The rap lyrics are terrific and contain catchy hooks and/or choruses. The beats are both memorable and enjoyable.
My favorite tracks are “No Plan B”, “Let it Roll”, “Forgive Me”, “Clap Ya Hands” and “I Have a Dream”. My secondary picks, which have some nice melodies, are “Love is a Beautiful Thing”, “A Lot in Common”, “Everybody’s Got a Song to Sing” and “What Yo Name Is”. In “No Plan B”, the song has some old-school flavor and soul but the lyrics convey that there is no alternative to telling other people about Christ. There’s also no compromise when it comes to standing up for what someone believes, whether in the rap, rock or any genre of the music industry. “Let it Roll” reminds me to not take this world too seriously, especially when someone ticks me off. I also feel like I’m in my very own praise party when listening to this high-tempo or fast-paced song. “Forgive Me” is a serious song about not having a lot of time left to tell others about Christ, especially loved ones. I also feel like this song is a musical prayer to God the Father (through Christ) about forgiveness of sins, whether one has been a Christian for a year or a decade. “Clap Ya Hands” is a pure praise track, nothing less, nothing more. It’s very motivational and great for dancing, driving or exercising. Lastly, I find myself playing “I Have a Dream” when I’m about to vote on Christian issues and celebrating the fact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has still left humanity a (Christian) legacy for this planet. There is a whole world of Christian Hip Hop, Rhythm and Praise or Rhythm and Gospel to celebrate and explore. Group 1 Crew is a wonderful gateway band to start discovering these fusions and uniquely positive, faith-affirming genres.