THROWING HOLLYWOOD A 'BONE'
not going to hide what I’m about.”
by Steven Douglas Losey
Chilling in Vegas after nearly three months on the set of
his new movie, The Fighting Temptations,
rapper, preacher and now actor T-Bone is enjoying time with his new bride,
Janeia, and recounting what a star-studded last few months he’s had.
Considering he’s spent almost all of his four-month marriage in Atlanta on the
movie set, the couple’s time off is well deserved.
With a career that spans more than a decade, T-Bone has
helped pioneer the West coast rap movement, garnered Grammy and Dove nominations
and is now forging into the new year with a stylistic bang courtesy of his
latest opus, Gospelalphamegafunkyboogiediscomusic
(Flicker/Boneyard). Add to this his role in a movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr.,
and Beyoncé Knowles (Destiny’s child), and you have a man with a busy
schedule and a lot of responsibility.
The producers of The
Fighting Temptations actually had rapper Nelly in mind for the role; but
when scheduling conflicts prevented him from taking the part, other high-profile
rappers were auditioned, including L.L. Cool j and Busta Rhymes. “Getting the
part was totally a God thing,” says T-Bone. “I was up against some great
rappers and some great actors, but when they saw my audition tape they flew me
to Hollywood, and I got the part.”
In the midst of such a daunting task, you would think the
first-time actor might have been subdued on the set, but not this preacher boy.
“I was able to minister to Beyoncé, Cuba, Montell Jordan and Lil’ Zane.
There were so many huge stars in this movie. I’ve become good friends with Rue
McClanahan, who played Blanche on ‘The Golden Girls.’ I was able to pray
with Cuba on a day-to-day basis and with Beyoncé at least once a week. I shared
my faith with people like Mike Epps, Steve Harvey and Faith Evans.
“My whole thing is, I’m not going to hide what I’m
about,” proclaims T-Bone. “I’m here for more than just acting. I’m here
to lead people to the Lord.”
In addition to being part of the movie, T-Bone worked with
legendary producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as well as a bevy of other stars
on the movie’s soundtrack. “I’m getting ready to do a song with Michelle
Williams. I got to do songs with Beyoncé, Angie Stone, Lil’ Zane, Montell
Jordan and The O’Jays. It was an incredible experience.”
The year 2003 also offers a re-emergence of T-Bone as the
artist. His latest release finds him “reinventing” himself. “If you
continue to do the same old thing, eventually it’s going to get played out. I
actually sing on the record and do many different styles.”
And more important than his style is T-Bone’s desire to
see gospel have an impact on the world. “When [Christians] stand in a room
that’s lit up and I turn on a flashlight,” explains the rapper, “it’s
not going to illuminate that entire room. That’s what God has called us to
do—to be a light in dark places.
“Satan can’t create; he can only imitate and duplicate.
We serve the Creator. I believe we should be ahead of the world. We should be
leading, not following.
published in the January 2003 issue of CCM
Magazine, copyright 2003, Salem Publishing. Reprinted with permission. For CCM
Magazine subscription information, please call: (800)333-9643.”