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The Chop Chop: From Milk to Meat

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Sep
The Chop Chop: From Milk to Meat
Sounds like … Lecrae, Phanatik, Da' T.R.U.T.H., and other hip-hop artists hailing from the Cross Movement campAt a glance … while it's not quite as heady as it lets on, The Chop Chop: From Milk to Meat is still a hard-hitting, truth-grounded effort from this longtime rap scholarTrack Listing The Opener The Chop Chop Checkin' for My God Remix The Chop Chop Defined (interlude) Gimme Dat! JESUS Talk a Lot Listen Up Hardcore Hope Man Theology of Brokenness (interlude) The Cost The Day I Met U Love & Grace Whatchu Goin' Do? The Ambassador's Appeal (interlude) Deeper Checkin' for My God Glory & Praise

The unusual title is almost self-explanatory to anyone familiar with Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, but The Ambassador's third solo album, The Chop Chop: From Milk to Meat, doesn't take long to make its intentions clear in one of its interludes. "Find a table, find a couple of chairs," the rapper suggests, "and we'll just begin to discuss and dialog about maturity in the faith: sanctification, justification, glorification, missiology, ecclesiology, and, of course, Christology."

From the sound of it, it's as if the veteran emcee and Cross Movement founder was attempting to cram his divinity credentials—he holds a master's degree in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary—into the album's 19 songs. But Ambassador is not here to give a lecture. With his hip-hop hat cocked to the side, he reassures his audience in that same interlude: "You know me; that's how we get down."

That sanctified swagger is The Chop Chop's strongest suit. Both rhythmically and attitudinally, the disc is as legitimate, streetwise, and hard-hitting as anything making waves in the volatile hip-hop landscape at the moment, whether Ambassador keeps it commercial like Lil Wayne, gangsta like Young Jeezy, or understated like Common—The Chop Chop is a hip-hop lover's delight no matter how you slice it.

But limiting the album to a few mainstream comparisons would be a disservice to everything Ambassador stands for as a Bible buff. Unlike his buddies in Cross Movement, he's actually more reserved when it comes to shouting Christ from every street corner. For him, the calling is more about encouraging the flock to probe deeper in matters of faith than about riling them up for the Lord. He's less a preacher, more a teacher.

As such, he keeps things fairly uncomplicated, never quite turning The Chop Chop into a lesson in hermeneutics or systematic theology. You could say the rapper does a good job of breaking things down for the saints, managing to score in the process one of the best Christian rap albums of the year. That's perhaps Ambassador's biggest accomplishment here: to prove that it is possible to fashion straight-faced hip-hop that doesn't pander to silly party-rap banalities, while still maintaining a firm basis on scriptural tenets.

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