Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Sunday, June 11, 2017


I distinctly remember the first time I heard his voice.  I was watching Showtime at the Apollo. (Y'all remember when that was a show)?  He was performing "Personal Jesus."  I had never heard of this artist and I had never heard of this song before.  But his performance was so powerful that following the show, I immediately got in my car and drove to Walmart in an attempt to buy his CD. This was over a decade a ago and downloading music was not yet a thing (at least it wasn't for me yet).

I wanted to know everything there was to know about this young man that slayed at the Apollo.  His vocal control, his range, his annunciation, phonation, accuracy, and pitch - were all simply off the charts. This man could SANG.  This man who was up there singing for the gods was literally singing for God.  His name was Tonex and I would learn that he was considered "The Bad Boy of Gospel." The way he dressed and his stage performances were very atypical for gospel artists.

As a gospel artist he was doing quite well.  The winner of six Stellar Awards and two Grammy nominations, Tonex had carved a niche for himself giving him fame and success in  genre no one would argue as conservative and consisting of "family values."  Then came the moment that would shock the gospel community and force him to relaunch and rebrand himself and his career.

On the series The Lexi Show, Tonex revealed his truth about his attraction to men.  The gospel community was not having it.  Which ironic and hilarious to me considering how the church and gospel music are tremendously influenced by gay men.  Gay men are singing solos and directing the choir and almost every other black church, yet these men often have to live their lives in silence just to appease pastors and church members.  You can see the revealing interview with Lexi below.

Following that interview, Tonex was cast out of the gospel community.  After a short stint away from the public he re-emerged going by the name B-Slade.  He was no longer singing gospel.  He was now a secular artists.  Be that as it may, Tonex, in my humble opinion is still one of the greatest gospel artists ever.  But though I love his gospel, I'm also in love with the new music he is releasing as B. Slade.

I think freeing himself from the restraints of gospel music was one of the best things Tonex could have done.  He now has the liberty to address so many issues that he was not permitted to do as a Christian artist.  He can now freely address same gender love in his lyrics.  And I think young people need to her and see their lives reflected in art like his.

Whatever choice of music he's doing, the man is gifted vocally and there is no denying that. To prove that point I'm just gonna leave you with this performance right here.  This man can scat (and I mean that in a good way), like no other . . .  

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