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The Big Picture

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Album Review

If Da' T.R.U.T.H.'s 2007 Stellar Award-winning effort Open Book was his personal, inward-looking album, this 2009 follow-up lives up to its title and pushes outward in epic fashion. Drawing its inspiration from the state of the world and exploring how humanity fits into God's plan, The Big Picture — and it's a really, really big picture — takes the gospel rapper into undiscovered territory when it comes to themes, but even more so when it comes to musical genres. Dirty South-style production fuels the triumphant "Trumpet Blow," while "Great Wall" employs a grand arrangement somewhere in the vicinity of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." "Talk to You" uses a bright beat that falls somewhere between alternative rap and dance music, but the big fearless moment comes during "How Long" when the rapper tries his hand at straight-up singing over grown folks R&B. It's a success, as are the more risky songwriting moments, a case in point being "My President," which offers a holy alternative to the Young Jeezy hit of the same name ("Jeezy said my President is black, my Lambo's blue/I say my President's black, my Lord is the truth"). Through it all, Da' T.R.U.T.H. sounds comfortably at home, executing every experiment, epic track, or superstar collaboration (Kirk Franklin, Tye Tribbett, the Deluge Band, and others) with confidence and authority, but it's a testament to the man's understanding of the album format that he exits on the hook-filled and relatively light "Suitcase," a track that testifies over a Jay-Z-styled Brooklyn bounce. Track by track or as a whole, The Big Picture is Da' T.R.U.T.H. as usual, exceeding expectations and delivering heavy messages in appealing packages.


Born: Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Philadelphia's Da' T.R.U.T.H. is a vanguard artist in the genre of Christian rap, having won numerous awards and critical praise. Originally a drummer, Emanuel Lee Lambert, Jr. became Da' T.R.U.T.H. in 2003 when the Cross Movement label released his debut EP, Who Is the Truth. A year later, his debut album, Moment of Truth, appeared, with The Faith following in 2005. The latter won the Stellar Award of Rap/Hip-Hop Gospel CD of the Year in 2007. That same year his Open Book album arrived, winning...
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The Big Picture, Da' T.R.U.T.H.
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