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Sounds like … Jay-Z's long-lost brother, with beats that range from East Coast-inspired to South-rooted, underground and everywhere in betweenAt a glance … though it's hard to determine to which rap tradition Da' T.R.U.T.H. belongs, his passion for Christ, good beats, and those outside the church are admirableTrack Listing Welcome to the Faith Our World Classroom (Interlude) Incredible Christian On Duty Legacy Go Turn You Around Civilian Stand Chant Stand 2 Is Better Conversations (Interlude) Conversations Teacher? The Portrait (Da Vinci Code Snapshots) Whose Team?
Meet Da' T.R.U.T.H., the first emcee hailing from the Cross Movement camp who actually isn't a member of the renowned Philadelphia hip-hop crew. Despite his "outsider" status, his rhyming skills have been praised by gospel luminary Kirk Franklin and 40,000 other who bought Moment of T.R.U.T.H., his debut for Cross Movement Records. Funny that he'd take off like that, considering that the rapper grew up on classic gospel, listened to Anita Baker, and didn't want anything to do with rap early on in life, thinking that those involved in it were wasting their time.
But that was the past, and on The Faith, Da' T.R.U.T.H. continues to spit hard-edged doses of biblical, personal and experiential truth, this time with less didacticism than on his first album. Mindful of those outside the church walls and in true Cross Movement fashion, the emcee goes back to the basics of the Christian lifestyle and the fundamentals of the faith. Da' T.R.U.T.H. wears his colors proudly and isn't ashamed to declare he believes in Christ, but he does it without resorting to preachiness or grandstanding, even though at times he comes awfully close to doing so.
Things are less focused in the beat department. Though the rapper's lyrical angle is clear-cut throughout the disc, rhythmically he refuses to stay put. It's truly an all-over-the-place album, moving from soulful and smooth ("2 Is Better," "Conversations") to eccentric ("On Duty"), underground ("Legacy"), poppy ("Turn You Around"), West Coast ("Civilian") and even Southern-fried ("Stand"). Still, The Faith is an above-average album, especially for those who prefer versatility and strong faith statements instead of abstract wordplay and one rap style throughout.