31st Jan, 2013

Album Review: Da’ T.R.U.T.H. – ‘Love, Hope & War’

Artist: Da’ T.R.U.T.H.

Album: Love, Hope, War

Street Date: 29th of January 2013

Record Label: XIST Music

Genre: Hip/Hop

iPod Pick: Ugly Love

Christian Hip Hop (if there’s anything like that) has come a long way over the last ten years with artistes like Priesthood (Known for the awesome crafted ‘Sprinkle Me Luv’) and ‘Papa’ T Bone leaving the scenes for intermediates such as KJ 52, and Ambassador. But with recent artistes like Propaganda, Lecrae and the 116/Reach Records Clique (ex and in, yes I mean ex and in. ex e.g. Sho Baraka), there’s a big competition out there even with the mainstream contemporaries and the roofs just got blown open with the releases fans have been getting recently. But Does Da’ T.R.U.T.H. latest record ‘Love, Hope, War’ make the roof the limit or the starting point? Let’s see…

Honestly when ‘The City’ started off, I just wanted to skip cause it sounded like one of those pop driven Karen Clark gospel songs (All my love for Karen, she is a powerhouse. Salute!) But was just intro.  The song builds up into something you would want to dance to, learn the lyrics and sing out your heart out along with Da’ T.R.U.T.H. as he talks passionately about a place beyond this place. Unlike most songs about heaven, Da’ T.R.U.T.H. doesn’t complain about ‘earth’ on this one, he even claims ‘I’ve got my umbrella if I’m standing in the rain’.

On D.O.S, Da’ T.R.U.T.H. raps boldly ‘ ain’t time to be peacemaking, men is time to be violent. Confrontation, that’s necessary’. One of the major themes on ‘Love Hope & War’ is a call to action for Christians to be who they’ve been called to be and stop trying to be ‘nice’. “ Heard that before” you might say but Da’ T.R.U.T.H. brings it closer to home by dealing with real topics such as how sexual temptation and addiction weakens Christians to stand up in the face of their world calling (‘Hunger Games’, ‘Peace Talking’).

Also ‘The G.O.A.T’ (meaning ‘The Greatest of all time’) deals with this generation’s obsession with celebrity. ‘J.I.F.E.’ (which means ‘Jesus is for everybody’) musically is beautifully and groovy. Honestly I’m still trying to grasp how the names ‘Kanye West’ and ‘Nick Cannon’ show up on this song. Interesting! 

Someone please tell me why ‘Real Love’ sounds so ‘Drake-ish’. That said, I also think Da’ T.R.U.T.H.’s rap morphed on his new record. He sounds a lot more confident. Like he’s found a niche and I’m wondering why it took so many years.  ‘Table Talk’ is the song we’ve been waiting for. You got to print out the lyrics and put it up on your wall, it’s a message that must not be missed in the music. Powerful!

The opening of ‘Ugly Love’ would break up a big smile on your face. It’s a beautiful poignant tune. Don’t be surprised if you find your hands going up to the tune like you are in a concert. It’s a great song. It’s like Mr.  Lambert kept the best ones for last space as the groovy old school tinged Mary J. Blige-d styled ‘What about Love’ appears on track 11. The march past ‘Where Was I’ which deals with the sensitive topic of suicide as he talks about a friend who put a bullet through his head. The three last songs are worth the price of the album all together.

Putting aside hard to decipher abbreviations and unnecessary references to popular culture, this is like the best Christian rap record made in the last one year. Lecrae’s Gravity’s got nothing on this one, Propaganda’s Excellent neither. Beautiful Eulogy’s Satellite Kite no way. Though some may argue that ‘Love Hope & War’ is more message focused, true, but I think it balances out fine with its music. Go get Mr. Emmanuel Lambert’s (a.k.a Da’ T.R.U.T.H.)’s ‘Love Hope & War), you would be printing sermon notes soon and throwing a party too.

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