THROWING HOLLYWOOD A 'BONE'
“I’m not going to hide what I’m about.” 

by Steven Douglas Losey

Rapper and Actor, T-Bone

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.

 “Originally 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.”

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