Frontlynaz, Inc. 2008
Say what you will about Holy Hip Hop, but the Stellar-nominated HHH group Frontlynaz spits rhymes and drops beats with the power and urgency of a brakeless freight train.
Their Game Over grabbed my attention and held it with clenched fists from beginning to end. Captivating and compelling, Frontlynaz has a lot to say about today’s state of affairs and how grace can transform a person from spiraling downward to an upwardly mobile (i.e., positive, not materialistic) life that means something and is, in itself, transformative. Just as importantly, the album dresses the timeless message of personal salvation in street cred, right down to the hoodie and dog tag.
The masterpiece on Game Over is “What I See,” the most melodic of the tracks and also the wisest. It not only puts down the brutality of the mean streets but also takes on the apathy, aimlessness and boredom of Corporate America/Cubicle Nation. On Game Over, these lifestyles are two heads of the same coin, equally murderous of creativity and change.
Rhymes, accompanied by gothically symphonic beats, rail at the vile side of the music industry (“Clap At ‘Em”); false friends, low self-esteem and posturing (“Imagine” and “Survival of the Fittest”); and personal weaknesses and failures of the flesh (“Under Attack”). Even churches gone wrong are not spared the group’s fiery criticism. These are all part of the “game” that is “over.” Without Jesus and a purpose or direction, Frontlynaz concludes, life is nothing more than a loveless passing parade of empty consumerism and shallow relationships.
Ultimately, this year’s Stellar Award for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year went to Da’ T.R.U.T.H. for Open Book (Cross Movement Records), but don’t think you’ve heard the last of Frontlynaz. Honestly, why aren’t these guys on late night TV programs like SNL so mainstream hip hop and rap fans can find out about them?
Frontlynaz – Bro. Wise, Proph 1 and Wit – is from New Jersey and Delaware.
Four of Four Stars