Deitrick Haddon - Blessed & Cursed (2010)

Deitrick Haddon
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I interviewed a vocalist who comes from a church background for my day job as a reporter. I had to interview her for a story I was doing on an upcoming concert. One thing she told me about the benefits of being a church musician or vocalist is that an artist who can perform gospel can pretty much sing or play anything. That statement came to my mind as I listened to Blessed & Cursed, the soundtrack to an upcoming movie that stars Deitrick Haddon.

On Blessed & Cursed, Haddon and the Voices of Unity move with ease through a variety of gospel genres, ranging from rock/hip-hop fusion to hip-slapping gospel. The album even includes a ballad. Haddon's name may get top billing, but he shares the spotlight with other singers and gospel hip-hop artists on most of the tunes.

I interviewed a vocalist who comes from a church background for my day job as a reporter. I had to interview her for a story I was doing on an upcoming concert. One thing she told me about the benefits of being a church musician or vocalist is that an artist who can perform gospel can pretty much sing or play anything. That statement came to my mind as I listened to Blessed & Cursed, the soundtrack to an upcoming movie that stars Deitrick Haddon.

On Blessed & Cursed, Haddon and the Voices of Unity move with ease through a variety of gospel genres, ranging from rock/hip-hop fusion to hip-slapping gospel. The album even includes a ballad. Haddon's name may get top billing, but he shares the spotlight with other singers and gospel hip-hop artists on most of the tunes.

Lowell Pye, who gained notoriety as a member of John P. Kee's New Life Community Choir before co-founding Men of Standard joins with Jessica Reedy on the energetic old-fashioned foot stomping song "Praise In the House." On " ZION (Let's Go Up)," Haddon does a 180 degree turn on a jam that combines ultra modern technology and techniques with lyrics that extol the virtues of old landmark praise and worship.

The rap/rock fusion "So What" is one of the high points on Blessed & Cursed.  The featured vocalist on this song is rapper Suzie Rock w ho strikes a defiant tone as she takes a principled stand on her refusal to sell out. Suzie Rock proves to be a clever lyricist who can connect seemingly disparate concepts to make her point that she is going all out for God ("I'm sold out like a Cheetah Girls concert"). If she doesn't go platinum "so what." While the verses on this song bring some hard-core hip hop, the chorus morphs into some of the fastest paced and intense hard rock I've heard in a while. This song is a real gem.

The album makes another turn with the pensive contemporary Christian tune "Over Again," a cut that distills the emotions of regret, guilt and pleas for forgiveness into one song.

The Blessed & Cursed album is the musical vehicle for Haddon's film debut. The publicity describes Blessed & Cursed as a film that gives the biblical story of David and Saul a modern twist. We can only hope that the film is as good as the soundtrack. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
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