Da’ T.R.U.T.H. has had many doors opened for him in the past year. He was afforded the opportunity to be on the Hero Tour with Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary. He just recently released his third album, in additionto a live DVD, and has been able to work with some well-known Gospel artists. He spoke with GOSPELflava.com about those things and more.
GOSPELflava.com: Congrats on all of the accomplishments and all that God has opened up for you this year. How has being on Kirk Franklin’s Hero Tour in particular opened up more doors for you and others in the ministry of Holy Hip Hop?
Da' T.R.U.T.H.: I think that opportunities have been made more available to us in the Gospel music industry. It's been good because it's given us the opportunity to communicate the same theological ideals in a different context, because up to this point, we have been able to minister in the Hip Hop and CCM context.
The Gospel music industry has been lethargic or slow to embrace us. Just to infiltrate the Gospel music industry with the same heart and same ideals and to show youthful people who have an affinity towards the Hip-Hop culture that have been transformed by the power of God. In the Gospel world, you are guilty by association if you look a certain way. When they see that the same Spirit of God that's in them is in you, that tears down a certain amount of hostility that has been built up over the years.
GOSPELflava.com: "Why I Do" is a song that is real introspective and honest. With many doors being opened and with you being blessed with more in the area of finances, you speak real candidly about the issue of pride. Can you now identify more with those artists who are in the spotlight and playing the bigger venues?
Da' T.R.U.T.H.: Absolutely. St. Augustine said, "If not for the grace of God there go I". I share that same sentiment. There are a lot of twists and turns and a lot of dynamics involved when there's prosperity. You see that throughout the scripture where a lot of kings and Godly men and women started off good but then fell off after they became prosperous. When King Saul started out, he was small in his own eyes, and would hide behind a bush. After gaining momentum as king and having everything at the snap of a finger, becoming prosperous, he ended up losing his kingdom because he failed to be "small in his own eyes".
There are several in the Bible that start off well, but end up veering off. The Bible charges some to get in the race and others to stay in the race. After a while it's easy to veer off once you get entangled in better living. It can be extremely hard to stay focused once you become more prosperous than you once were.
What can happen with people like myself who have been rooted and grounded in the right stuff is that once you get to a certain place, your heart can become detached from what you were established in. In theory, you can continue to say all of the right stuff but your heart
The prayer is to continue to look at Christ's humility and follow suit.
GOSPELflava.com: How did the Da’ T.R.U.T.H. and Friends DVD come about?
Da' T.R.U.T.H.: I was ministering in Maryland when the guy came up to me and said "I would like to capture your ministry on a DVD". You know, in our business, there’s a lot of empty talk. So I was like "OK, that's what's up". You hear that type of talk all of the time. He was real unassuming, because here you have this guy with long gray hair and a Nashville accent. You would never think that he would have a real interest in capturing it. He came to me again and said, "You know what? I'm serious. I really would like to capture what you do on DVD." I didn’t want to do one, because everyone around me was doing one. Tye (Tribbett) did one. TWyse had just did one along with another guy in Philly. I didn't want to follow the trend, but he said, "If you do this, I'd do it for free." He just expressed to me how he wanted the world to see what I do. He was emphatic. We shot the DVD at the Impact Conference in Atlanta. Although we had complications that night, it was still a fantastic experience. I had nothing to do with it. God just opened that door.
GOSPELflava.com: There are only a handful of Hip Hop artists that use a live band when they perform. Why did you choose to have one in your live recording?
Da' T.R.U.T.H.: First of all, I am a musician [Da’ T.R.U.T.H. played a little on the Hero Tour - read about it ed.]. I actually starting playing drums when I was ten years old. I played for a choir called New Testament when I was 16, I played in an all-city jazz band, I studied music for a little while at a community college. So whenever people see me with a band, that's just part of who I am outside of rap. It's always been a desire of mine to use a live band, but I knew that it had to be at the right time.
I could have gotten a band a couple of years ago, but I didn't want to compromise my convictions and use people that play for both secular and sacred music. You get a lot of that. Musicians are going and playing with Kirk and then are going out to play with Erykah Badu. I wanted to make a statement to show that there are musicians who live consecrated lives and are set apart in all areas. The process was a rigorous one, but I am glad that he hooked me up with the right people.
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