The Gospel Guru Interviews Da’ T.R.U.T.H.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 Download “Heartbeat” here!

 

Watch: Bishop T.D. Jakes Talks Black Nativity, New Talk Show, and more

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Check it out!

Coming off the heels of his new BET talk show, Bishop T.D. Jakes speaks about his new movie, “Black Nativity“, media criticism, being an extraordinary person, gives advice on friendships, faith based media and having faith in God.

Peep Bishop Jakes’ insightful chat with Vaugh Alvarez below…

The Gospel Guru Interviews Joshua Rogers

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Joshua Rogers is back!

After bursting onto the Gospel music scene last year via winning BET’s hit gospel singing competition Sunday Best, and now a year later the burgeoning hit-maker has released his first project full of original music, “Unconditional” courtesy of Music World Gospel.

The Gospel Guru caught up with Mr. Sunday Best to discuss his new LP–check out the interview below as Joshua dishes on his new music, Jazmine Sullivan, reality tv, and much more.

Sidebar: Click here to check out our review of Joshua’s new album!

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Gospel Guru: Joshua! We’re loving your new album ‘Unconditional’. How was it recording your fist album full of original music?

Joshua: I had a wonderful time recording my album. The first project “Well Done” was really quick for me. I had short window of time to complete it so it was really intense. However, with unconditional I was able to really creatively develop this project. The producers and I strategically went through every song and decided the message and music we wanted to convey on the record. That’s why I love it.

Gospel Guru: If you had to pick a standout track or favorite, which would it be and why?

Joshua: My favorite track on the new project would definitely be the title track “Unconditional”. This is the track I essentially did majority of the writing on. This track speaks the essence of my heart. I can’t speak for anyone else but when I think the love and compassion of our Great GOD who love us beyond the cross. I am truly speechless I can’t explain or even express why and how much GOD loves me. He knew that I would make mistakes and that I wouldn’t do everything he tells me to do. Sometimes I have done the very thing he has told me not to do. But he decides to bless and cover me regardless. His love for us all is truly Unconditional.

Gospel Guru: The project was produced by Pierre ‘The Maven” Medor, how’d that collaboration come about?

Joshua: Yes Pierre Medor along with Bruce Robinson produced the entire project for me. I actually met Pierre immediately after winning the show. He was the first producer to write and record a song with me. I wasn’t use to recording, I’m totally new to this so my first time ever in a booth was with him. And he was very patient with me allowing me to learn my new career and craft. I really appreciate him for that. I met Bruce through a mutual friend my sister Danetra Moore another amazing singer. And that’s how the 3 of us began to work on my project that I really believe everyone is going to truly love. They are both my big brothers now we all speak regularly and have formed a excellent bond. I’m grateful to GOD for allowing me to make great connections within the industry.

Gospel Guru: Now, with reality tv on the horizon for gospel artists, do you see yourself starring in your own reality series?

Joshua: I would be totally open to allowing the world into the everyday life of Joshua Rogers. Everyone who meets me and my team are consistently laughing and telling us we need a reality show because we are truly a family. We argue, fuss, and often times disagree but we are all comedians and are joking with each other. So, yes I would do a reality show.

Gospel Guru: Given the success that’s stemmed from you being crowned BET’s Sunday Best, do you feel pressure to remain visible and to keep pushing out music?

Joshua: Being the youngest and first male winner of the hit show Sunday Best. I definitely struggle with those feelings regularly. You always have a new winner with every season and often times people don’t realize that we all are talented and blessed to be winners. But they try to compare us against one another instead of respecting our own uniqueness and individuality. However, I endeavor to keep my focus on God and ministry. And I know that as long as I continue to seek ye first the kingdom of GOD all of these other things will be added.

Gospel Guru: If you had to pick one person to do a duet with, who would it be, and why?

Joshua:  I am a huge fan of Jazmine Sullivan.  So I would love to do a record with her. I feel she has a lot of the vocal styling of my vocal mentor Kim Burrell and she has the new age twist and clarity of voice. When I listen to her the way she sings is just amazing to me. I mean she sings every note all the way through her runs are so clear and concise. I just love her. But if I had a choice I would love to record duets with other artist that I am such fans such as The Clark sisters, Marvin Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, Anita Baker, Patti Labelle and Zacardi Cortez.

Gospel Guru: Lastly, what advice would you give someone who’s looking to break into the gospel music industry?

Joshua: I would tell them to make sure that they are passionate about their career. I believe that whatever your passionate about then you will persevere in it. When you make your mind up to follow something all the way through and with God’s help you can conquer anything. But you must be willing to work hard because faith without works is dead. So continue to seek God to find your purpose and walk therein and you will be successful at whatever you do.

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Download ‘Unconditional’ here!

The Gospel Guru Interviews Preachers Of LA’s Pastor Jay Haizlip

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Ever since Oxygen announced the coming of their newest reality series Preachers of LA , it has remained an ever-present hot topic among many!

Jay Haizlip, Pastor of the Sanctuary Church in LA is slated to make his small screen debut in the hotly anticipated reality series starring alongside Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Noel Jones, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Bishop Ron Gibson, and Pastor Wayne Chaney. The new reality show gives a glimpse into the lives of six high-profile pastors from Los Angeles.

The Gospel Guru recently caught up with reality star, Pastor Jay Haizlip who dished on season 1 of the new series, his cast mates, and much more.

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 ‘Preachers Of LA’ airs on Oxygen on Wednesday’s at 10/9C.

Watch: Celebrity Stylist GooGoo Atkins Talks Fashion And More With The Red Glasses Sisters

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WTUW‘s fashion correspondents Kim and Keyondra Lockett best known as The Red Glasses Sisters caught up with celebrity stylist and reality TV star, GooGoo Atkins for a very candid chat.

The fashionistas dished on everything from how to become a stylistseason 3 of Mary Mary, and dating/courting just to name a few of the various topics.

Check out a recap of the insightful chat below…

Marco The Poet Hits iTunes & Amazon With ‘Him First’

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Marco The Poet’s ‘Him First‘ is out now!

Yes, after garnering a stellar-nomination back in 2012 the spoken-word artist, Marco The Poet is back with his brand new single ‘Him First’ which is now available to purchase online today.

Hitting all major digital outlets, the new single has already taken social media by storm.

The Gospel Guru caught up with Marco The Poet for a quick interview, check it out below:

TGG: Describe Marco The Poet in three words.

Marco The Poet: Full of Passion

TGG: What was you inspiration for your new song, “Him First”?

Marco The Poet: My inspiration for the song “Him First” came from my own shortcomings of being a stubborn and hard headed Christian.. Things I know God told me personally to sacrifice, to give up, and I was just hard headed and refused… There were relationships God told me to give up, to sacrifice and let go, but I wasn’t as faithful as Abraham who made his way up the mountain to sacrifice Isaac his only child. In those circumstances, if I would’ve put “Him First” it would have saved me from a lot of heartache and disappointment. Personally, I’ve put people first, relationships first, their opinions first, their viewpoints first, but God had to teach me that when He is First, everything else is secondary. This song is about having your priorities in check and getting rid of the American Idols we have put in God’s place. I have lived this song and it’s personal for me.

TGG: What diversity do you feel you bring to gospel music?

Marco The Poet: For one, I was one of the first poets to ever be nominated for a Stellar Award under the new category of Spoken Word Recording of the Year 2012. Thanks be to God me and my fellow nominees Selah Watkins and Diallo came in the industry already making history! The diversity that I bring to gospel music is that I bring poetry in the center of the heart of worship just as King David did in the book of Psalms. I am what it would look like if your unsaved hard core cousin who does poetry got saved and became worship leader.

TGG: When can we expect a new project from you?

Marco The Poet: November 2013

TGG: Who are some of your musical influences?

Marco The Poet: I grew up listening to the rich, rugged, pure and soulful voice of Gospel Legend Albertina Walker at West Point Baptist Church which was right across the street from the 7 story crime infested Ida B. Wells project building I grew up in with my grandmother as a child. So, I get some of my soul from Albertina. My mother’s song was “You Brought The Sunshine” by The Clark Sisters, so I grew up loving them. I love what Aretha Franklin did with Gospel Music… Vashawn Mitchell, Donald Lawrence, and Smokie Norful being from Chicago inspire me. My old high school classmate Jennifer Hudson inspires me.  I love what KiKi Sheard represents along with the people who I bump in my car radio, Kirk Franklin, Mali Music, John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett, Lecrae, Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Bethel Live, Casting Crowns, Matt Redman, Donnie Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, James Brown… My listening ears are so diverse.

TGG: Who are some christian/gospel artists you’d like to collab with in the near future?

Marco The Poet: It’s my dream to collab with Kim Burrell, Israel Houghton, Kirk Franklin, Take 6, Bethel Live, Jessica Reedy, KiKi Sheard, Tye Tribbett, Mali Music and Michael W. Smith

TGG: How do you define success? 

Marco The Poet: Success is of course making it to the top of whatever you are setting out to accomplish, but most importantly it’s about staying true to who you are in Christ, His purpose in your life and not acting brand new like God didn’t have to pull you out of darkness to introduce you to His marvelous light.

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After downloading ‘Him First’ ourselves, we can vouch for its quality and we’ll definitely be keeping an eye and ear out for more from Marco The Poet.

Download ‘Him First’ here!

Listen: The Gospel Guru Interviews Brian and Tara Lewis The Stars of TLC’s The Sisterhood

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TLC‘s reality series, “The Sisterhood” featuring five devout yet fierce Atlanta preachers’ wives premiered back in January, and remained a hot topic among many!

The Gospel Guru caught up with the stars of the controversial show, Dr. Brian and Lady Tara to discuss the show–Listen below as the Lewis’ dish on new endeavors, The Sisterhood, rumors of a cancellation, and much more.

 

Sidebar: Check out Dr. Brian and Lady Tara’s new show, Phenomenal Life on The Impact Network.

Watch: Bishop Carlton Pearson ‘One on One’ Interview With Kenneth Mosley

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Check it out!

Author-television producer-musician Kenneth Mosley sits down with Bishop Carlton Pearson for an exclusive one on one interview.

Watch above and below as Bishop Pearson opens up on his marriage, Azusa ConferencenotorietyOral Roberts, and so much more. And yes, Mr. Mosley asked the questions you really want answers to!

Press ‘play’ and watch the 3-part interview.

Listen: Jonathan Nelson Talks New Album, Karen Clark Sheard Collaboration, and more

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Jonathan Nelson is back!

After a brief hiatus, the ‘My Name Is Victory‘ hit-maker is gearing up to release his third album ‘Finish Strong’ this month, April 23rd.

The Gospel Guru caught up with the maestro to discuss his forthcoming set–Listen below as Jonathan dishes on new music, Karen Clark Sheard, joining Karew records, and much more.

 

Sidebar: Jonathan Nelson’s CD release concert is April 23rd at 7:30P/6:30C at Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, MD. You can join in on the celebration via the live stream at www.EmpowermentTemple.org. Special surprise guests in store! Tune in!

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