Standing for "Grammatical Revoution In The Spirit," GRITS debuted in 1995 with their first release titled, Mental Releases. The Nashville-based duo performed in the legendary supergroup, dc Talk, as dancers before setting up their career in their own rap domain. Teron "Bonafide" Carter and Stacy "Coffee" Jones have certainly made a name for themselves with 12 years now in the making, including three Dove Awards, a couple Grammy nods, a Billboard video award, and attention across MTV2 over the years.
Mental Releases is all about the start of something big. The southern elements of rap are introduced Grits-style and many different beats are laid out throughout the album. The music and rhythms found on this disc are not aggresive at all, however. Each song has its own relaxing feel with the exception of a few tracks, such as the opener, "Cataclysmic Circles." In Mental Releases, the guys also touch on various topics throughout its duration. These topics include forgiveness, temptations, and how Bonafide and Coffee fell in love with the music capital of the nation, where they began the bulk of their illustrious career.
"Cataclysmic Circles," once again, possesses a different feel than what the rest of the album offers musically. It's not fast, nor does it act as a misfit to the record, but it serves as a fine introduction to what these guys are all about, with a catchy beat and chorus. "Weigh a Buck 50" certainly sets the tone in what's to follow on the remainder of the album. Songs such as "Set Ya Mind," "Jazz," "Kickin Mo Rhymes," and "Why Battle Me" all may sound similar at the first listen as well as other songs, but once you get used to the entire project, you'll find uniqueness behind each individual track.
"10-A-Cee" is a favorite among the rest that specifically describes Bonafide and Coffee's love for their home in Tennessee. "Temptations" is a fun track with sharp rhymes that explain what it's like to want something that we shouldn't have. Also, this track (as well as "Cataclysmic Circles") presents a good example of what to expect next from GRITS. "Envision the content, kidnap the message; Imagine if, you get the picture" is what the boys chant in "Get the Picture" in regards to fully understanding what it means to grow spiritually and see what it's all about to be a true Christian.
The album closes with an outro rap in which Bonafide thanks friends and various artists including TobyMac, Christafari, Johnny Q Public, the Gotee office, and dc Talk. True fans of these lyrical and musical geniuses will enjoy this album. It of course is the foundation of where GRITS began, so don't expect it to be a solid modern rap album, for it definitely matches the early sounds of rap in the 90s. As an avid GRITS fan, I have enjoyed this first LP and how they transformed into the artists that they have become today.- Reviewed: 10/1/07, written by Patrick Anderson
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