Stop The Funeral

He's back!!!!! Ambassador is back with Stop The Funeral. The name is fitting as he made some mistakes and was released from his prior label. His marriage is restored and he is now signed to Xist Music. He also has a new mindset, but he's still about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This new album will encourage many because this huge name in Christian Hip Hop has returned and he has returned with some bangers. His list of guests are people whom he probably would not have worked with pre-fall including: Canton Jones (Wow!), Mali Music, Jessica Reedy (of BET's Sunday Best) and Sean Simmonds. Then he has such guests as Shai Linne, J.A.Z. and DJ Wade-O.

CDAmbassador always includes some bangers for Hip Hop heads, but danceable and catchy enough for church youth groups and dance teams. "Put It Down" is that very song. Ambassador encourages people to "bring the praise" while Richard "sage.muzik" Roach lays the track with siren samples, finger snaps and a beat with a nice bounce to it.

On "Mind Made Up", Duce(as he is also known) gives thanks and praise to God for sparing his life and for giving him another chance. He shows a new determination and makes references to those in the Bible who fell and hit rock bottom.

Kelvin Wooten, aka Wu10, produces, "Talk This Way" and Ambassador smashes this one lyrically; it would be even better if the chorus was stronger. Ambassador shows mercy and compassion towards people who have been through a lot and explains that you learn to testify and minister because of the storms. Again, this is a different Ambassador.

The incorporation of the singers works very well and adds to the project. Charmaine and Ryan Stevenson lend their voices to the pop-heavy song, "Nothing Like Us". Ambassador gives glory to God for being faithful even when we are not; thus explaining the title. Charmaine sings in her higher register and beautifully harmonizes with Stevenson. Kudos to David Hackley for great production values, while the ever-present Joseph Prielzony adds guitar.

"Favor", featuring Canton Jones, is not a radically different sound for Ambassador, compared to what some may have expected with this collaboration. It just shows the progression and Ambassador's willingness to work with someone whose approach is different. It works.

Sit back relax and vibe to the 70's styled jam, "Trust In You", featuring Mali Music. Mali sings in a smooth, head tone which perfectly flows over this Wooten-produced hit (including guitar, bass and also horn samples which will only make you want to hear it live, with a full band). Ambassador's flow goes so well with the music so get ready to repeat this one frequently!

Encouraging and breathtaking are two words to describe "Crumbs". Duce revisits the three stories in the Bible: the Syro-Phoenician woman, the man who just wanted Jesus to speak a Word to Him from afar, and the woman with the issue of blood. All being desperate, they each desire a "little" of what Jesus could offer them, knowing it was sufficient for their needs. David Hackley laces the "boom bap" with a haunting piano loop. Jessica Reedy's voice adds what is equal to chocolate icing to a yellow cake: the finishing touch.

An Ambassador project would not be complete without a good cypha. "The Reunion Cypha" features God's servant, J.A.Z., C-Lite (rapping, not singing), Shai Linne and Cruz Cordero (formerly of Cross Movement). This song features a "Hip Hop 101" mid tempo beat by Israel Musiq, and DJ Wade-O serves as the host. It's a banga! Stop the Funeral is quite the comeback for Ambassador. It's enjoyable and Ambassador is better than before. This will encourage so many to get up, repent, and serve God stronger than before.

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Production: Various
album release date: 2011
Xist Music

— reviewed by Dwayne Lacy

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