R&B singer J.R. is not a rapper, he has spiky hair, his clothes aren't baggy, and he exudes a debonair cool that's a little lost on his rougher-around-the-edges hip-hop colleagues.
J.R.'s debut album, Metamorphosis (2005) was a surprisingly varied urban-pop disc, as well as a shot in the arm to the almost nonexistent Christian urban arena.
In the music realm, J.R. is an Artist, a Writer and a Producer—founder of So Hot Productions. His music can be considered as a hybrid of Soul/Alternative/Pop and Hip Hop or to sum it up, Urban Alternative.
Building on the foundation of his debut album, Metamorphosis, J.R. released his sophomore album "Life By Stereo" in 2008. With hypnotic hooks and explosive lyrics, it contrasts a past life ruled by sin with a present life ruled by the Holy Spirit.
"The concept of Life By Stereo was born out of my desire to refute the hopeless perspective presented in an infamous album titled ‘Death By Stereo’ released some years ago by a well-known band. While thinking about the ways we use music, I wanted to bring LIFE through stereo by addressing life's issue, while at the same time presenting the answer: The Gospel, The Life Giver...Jesus Christ." J.R. continues, "I pray that Life By Stereo speaks to the believer and the non-believer—especially those who have an appetite for edgy and progressive music."
J.R.'s live instrumental cover of Tim Hughes’ “Never Lose” emits the aroma of pure worship, while the bass-boosting “Tonight” celebrates the glory of new life in Christ with its feverish dance groove. “OK” is a refrain of victory for all believers who have been rescued from a corrupt lifestyle and this theme is carried over into the head-nodding and soulful “Say Yeah.” The drama of everyday life surfaces in “When the Thrill is Gone,” featuring gospel hip-hop heavyweight Lecrae. In addition, the album also features guest appearances from Stellar Award winner Da’ T.R.U.T.H., FLAME and Iz-Real from Everyday Process, as well as Reach Records’ Trip Lee.
Transcending generation and genre, this is an album that ministers a style all its own—fusing eclectic urban gospel, contemporary R&B, Rock and Pop styles in a way pioneered by tobyMac.