Disclaimer: All views presented in this review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
With such a lengthy resume within the CHH genre, every time Emmanuel Lambert, aka Da’ T.R.U.T.H., releases a project, the community stands at attention to see what the “OG” has to say. And it’s for good reason, as Truth has always been one to say things of importance within his music; both to the world and to the body of Christ.
It’s rare to have someone be involved in this music space for so long, let alone be as influential as he has for such a long period of time. And on his 8th studio album, the cycle continues, as Truth uses his influence to raise some very big issues within the realm of faith, Christianity and so much more, with his new album called, It’s Complicated.
But what’s complicated about Christ? You get saved, you focus on Jesus, and you go to Heaven, right? God desires for us to be happy and has great things in store for us. If that’s your response, then get ready to be challenged in some very new areas of your life, as I dive into the depths of what makes this project so “complicated”.
From Milk To Meat
As we grow in our Christian faith, the phrase “going from milk to meat” is used as a reference for the Christ follower to grow in their understanding of the Bible/scripture, and to go deeper in their own personal study of what Jesus calls us to be in this world. No more milk (beginner Christian bible reading), because it’s time for some meat (mature Christian bible studying). This is the call for every Christian at some point in their life, and Truth knows that.
One reason that this is what Jesus calls for us to do is because there are so many people who have questions in this world, and we are here on Earth to point them in the right direction, to get those answers. Some things we can clearly tell them, others are a little “complicated”, but if we don’t personally face these topics, and get a true understanding of it ourselves, we are in danger of getting derailed by a simple question of clarity from someone who just wants to understand.
In order to help catalyze this growth within the body, Truth crafted this album to bring the listener face to face with tough issues that many unbelievers, as well as believers, may wrestle with within Christianity. He talks about certain topics from the claims that Jesus is just a copy of a faith from earlier times, to the question, is the Islamic god and the Christian God the same, to the concept of Hell being a real place or not, and many other topics in between.
What helps to take off some of the weight of these topics, is the way in which Truth included audio from an interview that he conducted with world renowned Christian apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias – who has greatly honed his skills in answering the tough questions about faith, Jesus, religion, and much more. These audio clips are peppered throughout the album to help give credence to what Truth raps about in his verses. The combo of lyrics, accompanied with verbal exposition through Dr. Zacharias, helps to give some thorough clarity for the listener.
With all that being said, you can tell that this will not be like many of the albums we have been getting in the past 5 to 7 years. This is a very meaty album in terms of content and direction – reminiscent of the early days of Cross Movement records/Lamp Mode Recordings – meaning there’s a lot of theological topics that come. There are no “throw away songs” that are just there for the sake of being a fun song. Truth doesn’t waste words in any of these tracks. Each sentence has a purpose to further along his vision of confronting “elephants in the room”. And when you play this album, you’re going to have to listen to what he is saying, or else you’re going to miss something.
From Hard To Smooth
As I said, it’s a meaty project full of challenging topics. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t vibe with any of the tracks. In fact, you can vibe with the beat for pretty much all of the tracks besides a few of them. “Why So Serious” (featuring KB), “Religion”, and “The Color Purple” each seem to standalone in their production scheme. That, coupled with what Truth is rapping about, I feel like it was done on purpose to make the listener pay close attention to what is being said.
The other tracks fit into one of two “flow categories” that I created. You’ve got the hard-hitting and the smooth-rhythm. “The Greatest Need”, “Mixed Signals” and “Human” (both featuring Natalie Sims), and “Misconceptions” fall under the hard-hitting category. They’ve got punching beats, the trap hi-hat sounds going, the bass, etc. All of this without skimping on the amount of meat in the content. Under smooth-rhythm, there is “Judge Not”, “Copycat”, “Heaven” (featuring Christon Gray), and “The Reason”. These songs make your head nod at a slower tempo. They have some nice melodies to sing along to, the drums have a little mid 90’s hip hop flair to them, and they’re just less in your face.
I was surprised to hear the styles of music that were on this project. I don’t know what I was expecting, but when it’s Da’ T.R.U.T.H., you’re never really able to guess what he is going to do. He isn’t afraid to attempt the styles of hip hop/rap that are currently hot, while giving it his own twist. So when you hear a few trap elements here and there, it could catch you off guard, but it still sounds like Truth at the same time.
If you’ve been looking for some pure, unadulterated, Christian/Gospel rap that was created to challenge your faith down to the root of your Christianity, then look no further than Da T.R.U.T.H.’s new album It’s Complicated. This joint is packed with theological issues, breakdowns of opposing points of views, and great clips of Dr. Ravi Zacharias explaining complex topics. It’s an album that you will want to listen to a few times to get a full grasp of what Truth is laying out on the table because this is clearly more than just music.
This album is another hammer swung at the walls that have been built up in modern day American Christianity by opposing forces. Its purpose is to wake up the Christian believer to the fact that having faith in Christ is enough, but you should also be striving for wisdom and understanding in what you have faith in. I recommend this album for any Christ follower who is serious about this life we live, because I guarantee you that you won’t walk away the same after hearing it.