Kirk Franklin

In the secular world, the closest parallels to gospel mogul Kirk Franklin are George Clinton and Prince. All three rule musical universes that they envisioned, created and control. (Franklin’s Grammy-winning latest, Hero, and Prince’s 3121 are a mere six innuendos and one Prince whisker apart.) But Franklin’s funk and sweetness answer always — and only — to a bigger ruler. Even in the face of detractors who find his sound too earthbound, Franklin’s ensembles shamelessly pull together two-thirds church, with massive choirs, horns and shouts and love songs to Jesus, and one-third world, with ferocious grooves that have even the most sacredly reticent music fans gettin’ their praise on. For Franklin, that conversion is pretty much exactly the point.

Categories: Music