The Fault Is History

This refreshing sibling trio from San Diego—17-year-old Rachael Washington and brothers Joshu'a (22) and Je'Kob (21)—brings an original, streetwise, and energetic vibe to inspirational m

This refreshing sibling trio from San Diego—17-year-old Rachael Washington and brothers Joshu'a (22) and Je'Kob (21)—brings an original, streetwise, and energetic vibe to inspirational music that can't help but tap into the mainstream consciousness (the group already has an MTV credit to its name). On this self-assured debut, the singing/rapping/songwriting members of Souljahz (think "soldiers") dive head-first into heavy life situations (teenage pregnancy, racism, child abuse, poverty), simultaneously pumping in uplifting messages of hope, faith, and love punctuated by hip-hop beats and funk, rock, folk, soul, disco, and Latin grooves. The threesome's acoustic-based presentation especially shines on the put-your-troubles-down anthem "Let Go," the '70s-etched "Jubilee," the calling-all-disciples testifier "Souljahz Don't Stop," and the folk-pop ballad "True Love Waits." Taking praise and worship to the next level, Souljahz kicks in the door opened by such inspirational hip-hop peers as Tonéx, who helped produce this effort.—GM