More and more Christian rap has been sounding like secular hip-hop, but with a much better message. This is a good thing, to a point. How far can you go to make your music sound like a secular counterpart, yet still keep the message of Christ pertinent? Some artists have fallen through the cracks, and others have succeeded in doing what they do. Da T.R.U.T.H, with his newest album Open Book, shows how a Christian's life is, and should be, real and on display for unbelievers, pointing them towards Christ.
Truth's life may be an open book to unbelievers, but some of his record just doesn't pass as decent hip-hop. While the lyrics and rhymes may be straight to Christ, and quite clever as well, the beats are what gives this album a question mark. Songs like "Star Struck," featuring Duce "Ambassador" Branch, and "13/30," among others, boast hard beats, yet what ruins each song is the extended chorus and lack of production on the beats. "Star Struck" even has a voice in the back that is way too high and just ruins the chorus for listening. The record does have its moments, however, with songs like the beat-driven opener "Who Am I?", the title track, and "Price Tag" which features Trip Lee from his fame with Christian rap icon Lecrae.
Another problem is that there are a few too many interludes featured on the album. More and more hip-hop artists have been dropping this old feature that told a story throughout a record to make room for a few more full songs. Granted, sometimes these intros and interludes can help a listener get the point of a concept record, but during the era we're in now, hip-hop fans don't want to see how many interludes you can fit on an album. Instead, fans want to see how many songs you can fit into 79 minutes.
Overall, this is a guaranteed hit-or-miss record for hip-hop fans. Fans of the genre may find some to love, and fans of the artist will definitely love what Truth does, but for someone looking for good new Christian hip-hop, this may be one book to keep on the shelf.- Review date: 10/14/07, written by Justin Mabee
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