There is something about people that have special talents and are using it well but are not as recognized as their peers who possess just an average talent but are also using it well. I guess the reason why this is so is always due to one factor or the other. For some it is race or colour, for another it may be religion or beliefs, for some it may be their fate (smile).
T-Bone, who very few know his real name (which is Rene Sotomayor). T-Bone is a Christian rapper. He is of hispanic, black and white descent (reportedly, he's part Nicaraguan and part El Salvadoran). In 1991, he released his debut album which he called Redeemed Hoodlum. However, it was in 2002 that he became an ordained minister.
What I love about this guy is the fact that he could rap English, Spanish, and other languages backward. He is so versatile and could make the so-called BIG rappers look like school-boys. However, I discovered he isn't as recognized as a major artiste like the rest of 50 Cents, Usher, and Kanye West. I researched the reason and found out that the main reason for this is because of his beliefs.
I understand the aspect that this guy claims to be a Christian (which look very odd in the world of rappers). But there is no doubt that he is better than some of the secular rappers that are richer and more successful than he is. This brings me to the subject of being underrated. I think T-Bone is very much underrated, not for himself, but for what he stands for. One of the ways I think he can break into limelight is by renouncing his beliefs and singing trash like the rest. If he can do that, I believe one of his songs will rise up the charts within a year. Alas, he may not even be thinking of that.
The funny aspect of that guy is that even the Christians are not really accepting him (talk about being an outcast both home and abroad). He recently released an album (Bone-A-Fide) in which he sang the hit: "Can I Live?" In the song, he explored what he is going through: the dislike of his fellow believers and other issues. Well, I think T-Bone would certainly live, but he would live on a lonely path (where few tread), unless he changes his Christian ways (which I hope not).
I think it is time for folks to glorify people who strive to contribute to the morals of the society through hip-hop music. The genre has been tainted with crime and drugs for so long and I say "welldone" to those who has tried to remodel the genre by preaching love, not hate. In T-Bone's own words:
“This how we raise the little children of America / To grow up and be criminals, rapists and bomb terrorists / From the second they’re born, innocent but torn / Between these two worlds fighting for souls, like a tug-a-war / Who’s keeping score, got juveniles in the morgue / While killas’ winning awards and steady praising The Lord, they cheer and roar / Ego-trippin’ has gotta stop / Gotta shine and rhyme in His name instead of Hip-Hop!”
from "Let That Thang Go" (written by T-Bone)
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I think that T-BONE is a good rapper. His performance in the comedy with Cuba Jr was good. His affiliation with KRS ONE is questionable. KRS ONE is a 'conscious rapper', although his Gospel CD was quite different. Many great people are not recognized. I look at John the Baptist who is said to be one of the greatest prophets yet he did not perform one miracle like Jesus. Take care and keep writing. Amen.