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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

The Immigrant

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jan
The Immigrant
Sounds like … the old-school salsa stylings of the Buena Vista Social Club mixed with the hip-hop sensibilities of New Breed and The TunnelRatsAt a glance … eclectic and flavorful, The Immigrant succeeds in coalescing Urban D.'s Spanish heritage with his heart for ministry and hip-hopTrack ListingWelcome to Ellis IslandFresh off the BoatThe ImmigrantThe American DreamOur CultureStreet VendorsI Won't ChangeMy CorridorThe ValueFLA. Migrants2nd GenerationImmigrant's PraiseThe PassportPeace of My TimeWhat You Talkin' About?813 Green CardsThe Old CountryThe Immigrant (DJ Lopez remix)Broken EnglishWaitEternally Alive

Having worked with the Cross Movement, GRITS, and John Reuben, Urban D. has made a name for himself not only in the East Coast underground community, but also in Philly's Crossover Youth Ministry, an urban outreach which incorporates the sounds of hip-hop, break dancing, multimedia, poetry and open mic nights, workshops, and small group Bible studies—all means of sharing the gospel in relevant ways.

That passion comes across loud and clear in The Immigrant, a fitting title for the rapper's tales about how our true citizenship is in heaven. Utilizing old-school Latin jazz backdrops reminiscent of the Buena Vista Social Club, Urban D. spits his well-versed lines about our temporary status in this world. This theme comes up later in the brilliant "813 Green Cards," a number that sees the emcee and his friends from the Fla.vor Alliance flowing about their faith to a tribal, almost diwali-ish beat. Elsewhere, "The Value" (featuring Monica) is an addictive banger reminiscent of something Dert (of TunnelRats fame) would produce, while the crunky rhymes of guest emcee Pettidee adorn the cut "The Passport," a song about what it takes to make it into heaven.

All in all, The Immigrant is an impressive addition that is sure to add some zest and flavor to anybody's hip-hop collection, not only because of its colorful rhythmic dynamics, but also its effectiveness in meshing hip-hop and ministry.