Catching up with Deitrick Haddon at his listening party here in Atlanta was as easy as breathing. Just one call to my friend Clyde and I was there. (Thanks Mr. Duffie...smile) After a few minutes in walks the man himself. Deitrick is not the type of artist that arrives with hundreds of people surrounding him. No entourage for this man, not a lot of flash, not a cell phone out one ear, no glances at his Blackberry while talking to you at the same time. He is an artist that truly gives his attention to you. This man was accessible in every way and it wasn't just because I was a journalist, no he was open to everyone at the event. His infectious fun-loving personality shined through and all of his comments that day reflected his wonderful heart for God.
He started his question and answering session off with a thank you to all in attendance and from that moment on you got the sense that being real, humble and keeping things in check is what "D.D." as his friends call him, is all about. That is what his new release "Crossroads" is all about too.... keeping things real.
To say that the project is wonderful is really an understatement. It is truly a must have CD which offers us a look into the measure of the man that is Deitrick Haddon. Opening with the uplifting 7-D's which features a young guest intro and the rap of Brian "BJ" Hyppolite. He kicks things off right away with a funky beat that just doesn't stop. Next the CD moves right into the praise party jam of the year "God is Good". Produced by Ralph "Buttaz" Kerns for TrendSetters this hot keyboard and bass laced joint gets you moving even if you are driving, but try not to wreck while getting your praise groove on. I don't think Mr. Haddon has that in mind. U.N.I.T.Y. the next song on the project opens with a horn intro that would make any Earth, Wind and Fire member and Jackson Five fan smile. Singing about needing unity among God's children and celebrating all that unity can offer, Deitrick keeps it real once again employing the saints "Come on brothers, come on sisters...get together" It's message is one that is needed and that we all should take heed to incorporate in our lives. On the(to put it in his words)"follow-up" to Sinner's Prayer-God Didn't Give Up this gifted writer and singer really touches us with the lyrics "God didn't give up on me, when I gave up, he didn't let me go, when I messed up, he restored my soul" Only a person who has been there could write such comforting lines and reach out to touch us all. A great ballad that moves us to have compassion on those who have fallen short of the glory.
There are some joint efforts that are on the project that need special mention, one of them is the song Had Not Been featuring Rance Allen. Deitrick stated that Rance Allen is one of his favorite artists and he was a mentor to him in the beginning of his ministry. Well the teacher and pupil shine on this track. The old school feel of this song flows so well with the duet and their talent is showcased to the fullest. My favorite of the CD, Walls Are Tumbling with the spoken word of Pastor Paula White, is a Latin infested groove that uplifts the spirit.
I asked Deitrick about the beautiful voice of his wife Damita and if she was featured on this project, he stated that she is singing background on some songs.
He added "I wanted people to know my heart so I didn't cloud it with a lot of artists."
Showcasing his heart is exactly what Deitrick Haddon did on this project. He spoke about the title of the project "Crossroads" stating that he feels that he is at a turning point in his life. "Crossroads is pretty much where I am in life. We are on the eve of voting for a new president and so much is going on in our society and society in general is at a crossroads of making hard decisions,” he stated. "I want my music to reflect where I am and where we are as a society." he adds "That's what Crossroads is all about nothing really deep. I just believe that music that comes from the heart will touch the heart."
Well Mr. Haddon I believe that you have achieved a heart touching project with this new release and I know that millions of others will think so too.
You can check out this marvelous CD at www.verityrecords.com