The Gospel Guru caught up with Christian hip-hop artist Da’ T.R.U.T.H. Emanuel Lee Lambert, Jr. best known as Da’ T.R.U.T.H. is no stranger to any of us; he debuted as a Christian hip-hop artist in 2004 with his first album “Moment of Truth.” Since then Da’ T.R.U.T.H. has snagged three Stellar awards, and received Grammy and GMA Dove nominations.
TRUTH recently released his seventh studio LP, “Heartbeat” courtesy of his own label, Mixed Bag entertainment. Dishing on his new music and so much more, click below to read one of christian music’s hottest rappers exclusive interview with The Gospel Guru:
TGG: What was the inspiration for the new project “Heartbeat”?
Da’ T.R.U.T.H.: Conceptually, this is probably my simplest record. Most of my themes are either complex or you know just a lot more intriguing. This record is very simple.. it’s just my heart…hahaha. That’s why I call it heartbeat. Now a lot of the things I talk about on the record are a bit provocative…songs like “Bully” where I address the system and how they are imposing their own agenda on us and homosexuality is addressed on there as well. And songs like “Gray” which is kinda like a visual metaphor where things are headed, especially for believers. These things have been on my heart for the past year and I wanted to put it on the record.
TGG: What would you say is a standout track for you on the new project?
Da’ T.R.U.T.H.: I think one of the standout tracks for me is “Standing O”, you know songs are like children for artists..lol. so it’s hard to choose. But if I had to pick one today it would be “Standing O” and that’s because unfortunately in christian music we’re very divided. I know I have made a contribution to the problem of division, but understanding now how important it is for us to be unified, understanding that Jesus prayed that we be one. Just understanding the importance of love…as a leader I feel the responsibility to kinda bring us all together…to just make a statement that says despite our differences we are all brothers and sisters in Christ…So that song for me is big because i’m pushing unity!
TGG: You mentioned unity, was it difficult getting the guest artist features for this project?
Da’ T.R.U.T.H.: Not at all. Everybody on the record is a friend of mine or associate of mine… we all have different relationships but I have a relationship with everybody on the record. I didn’t have to call anybody’s record company, I called them..haha. It was easy, it was real easy. I’m grateful for the grace of God on my life to have real relationships like that…no issues. As soon as I put the call in, it happened.
TGG: Upon its release, “Heartbeat” hit #2 on iTunes, were you at all surprised by the response?
Da’ T.R.U.T.H.: Uhh. I wasn’t surprised. For me, seven albums in i’m less impressed with the debut. I’m more concerned with the long term, we did everything almost 2-3 weeks before, and put the video out like 4 days before…we would have never done that before. We would have put out 2 videos by the time that record came out, we took a very different approach. The approach this time is more concerned about the long term, where the record is 4 weeks for now. I felt blessed that the record debuted at #2, but that’s not enough for me honestly..lol.. i don’t wanna sound ungrateful. But for me is more about the rest of this year..we’re planning for the Doves, we’re planning for the Stellars..etc. So yes i’m glad that it debuted at #2, but that’s not enough to really get me super excited. i’m more concerned about the long term.
TGG: After listening to “Heartbeat” what do you hope listeners take away from it?
Well I hope I set the precedent for mixed bag. One of my campaigns is diversity, creativity…you know being free to be yourself as an artist. And looking to even smoke out the music lovers in Christian music. So since that’s been the campaign and what I’ve been championing, I kinda want that to be the people’s takeaway from an artistic perspective. I want artists to hear it and feel the freedom to be themselves. I want my audience to continue to grow…. From a ministerial perspective, i’m love the responses I’ve been getting. Every song has been producing the results that’s was intended, for me that’s all I can ask for… Jay Z said first I had your hear then I got your heart and for me to have peoples ear is not enough. We’re looking to make music that impacts.
TGG: Would you say that “Heartbeat” is your favorite project to date?
Da’ T.R.U.T.H.: Umm.. i’m too close to say right now, it’s still too fresh. And I haven’t performed enough of the new material yet… But I will say this is probably one of the most special projects because it’s the first offering that comes from me and it’s the first record that I make the mixed bag statement on just in terms of the diversity campaign. Another thing that makes it special are the guest features I was able to get on it. I haven’t done a feature with Lecrae since “Rebel” so it felt really good to kinda bring it back and hop on a record together…that was special for me. Getting Chris August and Capital Kings on a record… I haven’t ever gotten a CCM artist on a record before… that was very special to me. The fact that i was able to get James Fortune… I mean where does James Fortune fit on a hip hop album…lol. And It fir..it worked…it’s actually a moment I almost cry on every time I hear it. Having a mixed bag record…sonically, fanatically, and having a mixed bag record as far as collaborations go make it very spcial for me because it’s right in sync and in line with the next leg of my career, ministry and point of emphasis.