The GRITS team of Teron “Bonafide” Carter and Stacy “Coffee” Jones together sold a lot of albums for Gotee over their ten years with the label as the best-selling Christian hip-hop group of all time, but their last album, Redemption, was to be the last. Not so fast, for here comes more Gotee cheddar with The Greatest Hits collection, laying out 30 songs on the double disc set, 11 of which are previously unreleased. Of the previously heard portion, there is a good mix of old and new, the leaner years covered respectably by tracks like “Alcoholic Plagarism” from Factors of the Seven (1998) and “C2K,” featuring Verbs, “They All Fall Down” and “Ima Showem” from 1999’s Grammatical Revolution. The latter two are remixed on the second disc, “Ima Showem” a ratatat standout and slammin’ declaration of freedom. The duo’s 2004 breakthrough album The Art of Translation is represented well, including opener “Here We Go,” “Tennessee Bwoys,” and the calypso-tinged “Ooh Aah,” TobyMac powerfully amping up the sizzle. Their last Gotee project, Redemption, is covered by “Open Bar,” featuring Pigeon John, and the hard-grindin’ “Tight Wit These,” among others.  

But you already know what GRITS has done; let’s talk about these new releases on the second disc. Opener “G2G (City to City)” mixes bizarre samples in half-step grooves while calling us to love. “Bad 4 Me” features Antonio Neal laying down a word of wisdom about the ills the wrong woman can bring over a thick spread of synthesized beats. Bonafide and Coffee are just as comfortable in an R&B groove, laying back behind the melodic guitar riffs and sweet vocals of Jevon and Jeremy on “Better Without Me.” 

There’s a nice string of solid cuts mid-disc, beginning with the thoughtfully nuanced “Redemption,” the vocals of Nirva Dorsaint and IZ adding some sizzle to the reggae flair. Dorsaint is back again under the tight GRITS flow of the encouraging “Beautiful,” calling listeners to say strong: “it ain’t your situation/ it’s how you react.” Tru dat. Somewhat unexpectedly, Brit Nicole makes her “Rainy Days” spot jam behind the full vocals and luscious strings. The bright vocal mix of “Not the Same” shows off the signature skillful lyricism of GRITS as they declare their reliance on a power higher than that of a record label. Yeah. The remix of “Ima Showem” is Dirty South red-dirt grit, another fist-pumpin’ declaration of freedom.  

But my favorite is the closer, the album’s one live track, “Butter In My Grits,” recorded in 1995 at Blue Sky Court in Nashville. I dig its beat poet vibe, the rhymes flowing with a brilliance matched perfectly to the mellow jazz chords beneath, coming across like a freshly gleaming salvation proclamation, scat-style. Now that GRITS is out from under what they perceived as Gotee’s ‘creative imprisonment,’ The Greatest Hits only makes me even more eager to see what they have up their hip-hop sleeves. You just know it won’t be dull. 


Release Date: August 28, 2007

Record Label: Gotee Records

Track Listing


1. Here We Go
2. Hittin' Curves
3. Ima Showem
4. Open Bar
5. Ooh Aah
6. They All Fall Down
7. C2K
8. Alcoholic Plagiarism
9. We Don't Play
10. Tennessee Bwoys
11. High
12. Tight Wit These
13. What Be Goin' Down / Hopes And Dreams (Video Mix)
14. Believe
15. Set Ya Mind


1. G2G (City 2 City)
2. Bad 4 Me
3. Gutta Music
4. Better Without Me
5. Rise
6. Redemption
7. Beautiful
8. Rainy Days
9. Not The Same
10. Ima Showem (Dirty South Remix)
11. They All fall Down (Remix)
12. Set Sail
13. Shouldna Done It
14. Ooh Aah (Liquid Beats Remix)
15. Butter My Grits (Live)