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Perhaps one of the most respected hip hop groups in the Christian music scene, Cross Movement has already released four albums, building up a strong fan base with their blend of hard hitting beats and ministry-oriented lyrics. Following in the footsteps of Cross Movement, Da' T.R.U.T.H. released his debut album Moment of Truth earlier this year on Cross Movement Records.

The Cross Movement influence is stamped all over the album. From the production, handled by many of the same names as Cross Movement's last album Holy Culture (DJ Official, J.R., Kevin Arthur, and Virgil Byrd), to the straight forward Christian message, to the tendency to make corny similes and metaphors, to the collaboration with Cross Movement on "The Jesus Anthem", it's clear that CM was involved.

Perhaps the strongest part of Moment of Truth, is T.R.U.T.H.'s heart for ministry. He unabashedly proclaims the name of Jesus, reminded us over and over again that Jesus is the answer. The message is simple and straightforward, and while it may lack the poetic and artistic spiritual merit of artists such as Mars Ill or Sintax the Terrific, it's still admirable to see the boldness of T.R.U.T.H.

Musically, Moment of Truth is a mixed bag. There are a few standout songs; "This is For You," starts the album off right with a hard-hitting beat utilizing a sample similar to the one used in Beyonce's "Crazy in Love." "After Your Heart", has a soulful acoustic guitar sample that helps create the smooth R&B vibe of the song. The album's best song musically speaking, "N.F.L. (New Found Love)," uses live bass and keyboards, which combine with the crooning of J.R. to give the song an organic neo-soul feel. "Please," stands out for its use of cut-up J-Silas (of Cross Movement) verses in the hook, while "South Street", has a Timbaland-vibe with a stuttering beat.

However, while there are certainly some solid beats for T.R.U.T.H. to flow over, as the album wears on the production becomes much more repetitive and the beats tend to blend together. After track 12, "Truth," the album really begins to drag, with nothing that can really hold the listener 's interest. This wouldn't be much of a problem if the rapping was able to stay interesting and creative enough to keep things entertaining. Unfortunately, T.R.U.T.H.'s style has worn thin by this point. The often-times awkward similes used by T.R.U.T.H are ok in small doses, but get quite annoying in large amounts. Among the comparisons T.R.U.T.H. makes; "forever hang with Him like dice in the mirror," "He's still the judge like Judy," "I want someone to love me, trust me, like some money with a trustee," and "suffering is momentary like getting stuck on the train." Those examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

Also, while he was able to add a bit of variety in the first part of the album to keep the listener's ear pricked, such as his spoken-word intro on "This is For You," DJ Official's scratches during the chorus of "Please!" or the soulful singing during the hooks of "N.F.L.," and "After Your Heart," the end of the album really brings nothing exciting to the table. By the time the CD ends with the spoken word track "Resurrection," it's apparent that the album could have been cut down by about 5 songs.

Despite the flaws, T.R.U.T.H. makes a commendable debut effort in Moment of Truth . Fans of the previous work of Cross Movement will certainly appreciate the rapping style and ministry focus of the album. However, for people into more challenging and intellectual lyrics by artists such as Deepspace5, this album is not recommended. I can't sit here and say that T.R.U.T.H has made an album that truly stands out in the Christian hip hop scene…that would be a lie. But I can tell you that he is a fairly capable rapper who is simply trying to spread God's word in his music, and that he's made a decent debut album…and THAT is the honest truth.

Release Date: May 31, 2011

Label: Cross Movement Records

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Tracklisting
1. This Is for You
2. Please!
3. Scent
4. After Your Heart
5. My Story (Interlude)
6. My Story
7. All We Owe
8. Jesus Anthem
9. South Street
10. Satisfied
11. N.F.L. (New Found Love)
12. Truth
13. Who Is That?
14. Roll Now
15. Fourplay
16. Fourplay (Interlude)
17. Here and Noun
18. Resurrection

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