First Listen: Tasha Cobbs Leonard and Ciara give praise together

(April 17, 2021) Tasha Cobbs Leonard takes gospel music in directions that some in the genre would rather not go. Her willingness to collaborate with artists who have made the name in secular R&B and hip-hop likely rubs purists in the genre the wrong way. Still, the move allows Leonard to take the good news of the Gospel into the places where it is likely that it would have otherwise been unheard. The award-winning singer/songwriter has collaborated with hip-hop artists Nikki Minaj and Common, and her latest chart topping single, “In Spite of Me,” finds her sharing the mic with R&B singer Ciara.

(April 17, 2021) Tasha Cobbs Leonard takes gospel music in directions that some in the genre would rather not go. Her willingness to collaborate with artists who have made the name in secular R&B and hip-hop likely rubs purists in the genre the wrong way. Still, the move allows Leonard to take the good news of the Gospel into the places where it is likely that it would have otherwise been unheard. The award-winning singer/songwriter has collaborated with hip-hop artists Nikki Minaj and Common, and her latest chart topping single, “In Spite of Me,” finds her sharing the mic with R&B singer Ciara.

Ultimately, what will determine if these songs are effective witnessing tools will be the message conveyed through the lyrics. The artistic and commercial success of “In Spite of Me” will be determined by the quality of the material and this tune scores on all of those criteria. The song’s message that Christ’s salvation is available for all, regardless of all of our imperfections, is as classic theme that has run through gospel music for generations.

Leonard and Ciara have a vocal connection. Leonard, who can move from singing in the contemporary R&B style to old-style gospel belter provides the power, but Ciara is clearly energized and she gives a performance that is both conversational, intimate and heartfelt.

The musical arrangement definitely recalls the great fusion of R&B with gospel message that dominated secular and sacred airwaves in the 1980s and 90s, which makes the tune a welcome walk down musical memory lane. Check out “In Spite of Me” here.

By Howard Dukes

Tasha Cobbs Leonard feat. Ciara
“In Spite of Me”

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