Music Insider

LUNCH WITH ... Tye Tribbett

The contemporary gospel artist whose third and latest CD, "Stand Out," was released this month.

Over a $17 cheeseburger at the Atlanta Grill in the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, here's what he had to say about the album, and more, including:

Why he isn't shy about putting God in his lyrics (as many of his peers are): "It wasn't something I was trying to do in the beginning. It just kind of evolved around the 'Victory' album. And now it's even more so on 'Stand Out.'

"I think it should be clear what's good, what's bad, what's right, what's wrong. Paul says something in the Bible when he was giving the people instructions, he says: 'Not that I have already attained; but I press toward the mark myself.' So I say that to say, not that I'm perfect, but I'm living by what I'm singing and preaching."

What makes Atlanta an important stop for him: "I love the South — period. But particularly the urban youth that are down here. Very strong! And we haven't been down here to perform in a long time, and that's one of the main reasons it's important for me to be here and for them to see me. This is a sight-and-sound generation. You can't just hear me on the radio."

His increasing political efforts: "I'm not specifically campaigning for anything, or any candidate, but I've been going around encouraging youth to vote. A lot of times we look at the overall picture or structure and say, 'Well, I can't penetrate that.' We don't understand that just playing our part can make a change.

"And getting back to Atlanta, [local radio personality] CoCo Brother is another reason I'm here, because of what he does with the youth. I've met him before, but it's important I join forces with him now because I think we can do some powerful things in this historical time in the political process."

The impact he hopes "Stand Up" will have: "What I feel like Fred Hammond did for the generation before me — and even my generation — I want to help do for mine. I feel like he brought a particular style of worship to the urban church. The urban youth have rap, dance, spoken word, we have all of that. But when it comes down to praise and worship — not the style, but the literal act — we're not strong in that. And I pray that this album will impart strength in those areas.

"And to the kingdom of God at large, I just pray that it encourages us to continue to stand for what we know is right. And know that God is going to reward us."

Why he dresses more hip-hop than "holy": "Well, today I'm like this because [Sony exec] Stacy [Quarterman] came to me and said, "We've got to leave in five minutes,'" he says with a laugh. "So this is kind of what I threw on.

"... The people of God in the kingdom of God look normal. I don't have a clergy collar on and I'm a minister. I'm a gospel artist but I don't have a suit on because the people of God and the ways of God are supposed to be regular. So it's important that we present not just God's ways, but his people, as regular and normal."

HEAR WHAT, WHERE AND WHY

Dwele, the voice on the hook on one of the coolest singles ("Flashing Lights") on Kanye West's latest CD, will be joined by fellow R&B singers Lina and Noel Gourdin May 24 at Grown Folks Radio 102.5's concert at Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 at www.centerstage-atlanta.com and www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, call 404-885-1365.

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