Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
When I found out Da’ T.R.U.T.H. was working on a new project, I was extremely curious. I was anxious to see what his comeback album would sound like. Some may say, “He just won a Stellar award,” but in my opinion, this is his true comeback project. “The Whole Truth” was full of redemption and confession, but it wasn’t the comeback record. It put him back in the game. This is the project where people could possibly say, “He’s baaack!”
As soon as the first song “D.O.S.- Death of Silence” played, my first thought was an excited, “uh-ohhhh, let’s goooo!” He jumped out the gate, holding a megaphone screaming, “We ain’t scared to love JESUS!” Well, those weren’t the exact words, but, once you listen, you’ll see exactly what I mean. After hearing that first song, I could only wonder how he was going to tackle the rest of the album.
Let’s take a look at how Da’ T.R.U.T.H. approached the themes of his album.
It’s evident that Da’ T.R.U.T.H. loves God and loves people. Lyrically, he displayed this concept beautifully. You’d expect songs about God’s love from him, but he took it to a different level. In his songs, “Real Love” and “Ugly Love” he talks about loving beyond the surface-type of love that plagues our culture. They both really make you think about loving people, even when it’s not reciprocated. In “Ugly love” he paints it wonderfully, “If you love me when it’s ugly, then that’s beautiful in God’s eyes.” You can feel the sincerity behind each lyric. They’re not sad songs, but he makes you feel the real struggle to love someone even when it hurts.
He also has a song called “What About Love.” This track was simply amazing. Christon Gray sang an amazing hook to add to the track’s potency. It may have been one of the most challenging songs I’ve heard in awhile. I felt like he was calling me out. Sadly, he was calling the body of Christ out because we fail to genuinely love one another. This concept was beyond evident on this track. He says:
“A couple stacks make you think you’re betta/
you standin’ over they shoulders, feel like you in stilettos /
but thank God that’s just the devil/
and I’m talkin’ to the saints that only bang with people they think is on they level. ”
I understand and see that many artists are alluding to Jesus being our hope. On this album, Da’ T.R.U.T.H. shouts it from the mountain tops. His song, “Hope,” features Thi’sl on the hook, along with Flame and Trip Lee on the verses. They all delivered. The beat was ridiculous and the way each verse started was unique. Many will love this song while chanting, “In Jesus we got that Hope!”
“J.I.F.E” also tells of the hope we have in Jesus. He makes a great point that Jesus isn’t just for the lost, but also the found. In Him alone, do we (saved or lost) find true hope. Lastly, songs like “The City” and “The G.O.A.T” make you get excited about our savior and His kingdom. They are refreshing reminders to hold on, endure, and press on towards Christ. The way Da’ T.R.U.T.H. rapped about our hope in Christ, reminded me of this great quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
When I saw that war was apart of the album title, I first thought about making war against sin. Although he does tackle that topic in “Hunger Games,” he definitely went to war in different areas as well. He addresses sin, the world, artists and Christians in general. As stated in the beginning of this album review, He starts the album with “D.O.S” and lets everyone know where he stands. Confidently rapping, he tells Christians not to be silent. He makes strong statements about how our silence has led to prayer being removed from our schools and more. I personally love the idea of being unashamed and bold with our faith. This song compelled me to think about different areas in my life where I am not taking a stand for Christ.
Da’ T.R.U.T.H. indirectly challenges artists in his song “Where was I.” This may be one of the most transparent songs he’s done about his defeats while being a rapper. I felt that it challenged artists because he tells honest stories about how he was not there for family and friends while doing “ministry.” He also admits how easy it is to get caught up with being on stages and not making disciples off stage. This was an amazing song full of situations that many people (not just artists) could relate to.
The most controversial song on this album will most likely be “Table Talk.” He makes firm statements in regards to the “Christian rapper” vs. “rapper that’s a Christian” debate. He says, “This ain’t about me taking jabs at the latest fads/ naw, this about all my youngins and the questions they ask/like ‘I’m a Christian rapper now, can I wear my name tag?'” He later says, “If the label kills my career, then I’ll take the loss/and I ain’t trying to fight you man, this is just table talk.” He lets you know that he’s not against the idea of not being called a Christian rapper, but strongly expresses that it’s not what everyone needs to do. I think this song was well written. It was handled maturely and you leave the song knowing where he stands.
This is one of my favorite albums from Da’ T.R.U.T.H. He delivered lyrically, production was on point, but that was not the kicker for me. I was genuinely challenged by the songs. It’s been a long time since I have been legitimately convicted after listening to a track. The way he emphasized true, Christ-centered love, exposed areas in my life where I can love others better. He spoke to the body of Christ in a way that made you want to wave your banner, yet at the same time, see those who aren’t saved through the lenses of grace. This project was much needed in a time where many Christian hip hop artists are torn, choosing which crowd they want to make music for. Simply put, He reminded artists to reach as many people as possible without minimizing the name of Christ.
“I guess the moral of the story is,
Jesus Christ came for the notorious, and the saint/
grace for the less glorious and the fame/
Just understand where the glory is, its in His name”