Da' T.R.U.T.H.
The Big Picture

One of the most recognizable holy hip-hop artists of this decade is Da' T.R.U.T.H.

With three solo albums, two Stellar Awards, and a major tour with Kirk Franklin & Mary Mary on his resume, T.R.U.T.H has already made a significant impact since his 2004 debut.

CD  So it's no surprise that there is great anticipation for his fourth release and Da' T.R.U.T.H. doesn't disappoint with The Big Picture. Seventeen tracks strong, T.R.U.T.H. amasses a collection that crosses genres, ethnicities, and generations.

T.R.U.T.H. builds the project from the theme of The Big Picture, dealing with subject matter from creation and the larger universal picture to its application to each individual. He plays a major role in bringing this vision to reality penning all of the tracks for the effort.

On the production side, T.R.U.T.H. resumes his longtime collaborative work with J.R., who produces four of the albumís tracks while lending his vocals to the track "Fantasy". Tony Stone steps in to produce "Trumpet Blow", featuring Trip Lee. Freddy Washington handles the lion's share of load, handling the hook to the rock-tinged "Great Wall", a candid piece dealing with the need for the walls of division to be removed within the church.

Several of T.R.U.T.H.'s friends step up to the plate for several memorable moments on this effort. Kirk Franklin handles "The Big Picture Interlude" and "Applying The Big Picture", serving as the album's tour guide of sorts, navigating the listener through the journey as a guidance counselor or wise sage.

Following the success of the "Who Am I?" collaboration, Tye Tribbett returns with another masterpiece titled "Tree to Tree". The creativity of this track is one for the ages, as the song is written from the perspective of mankind attempting to talk to Adam & Eve during creation, ultimately comparing the Tree of Good and Evil to the life giving tree located at Calvary. Equally creative and thought provoking is "Legend", which is a view of Creation written from Godís perspective.

CD  The outstanding Tia Pittman vocally laces "Lost", which delves into the idea of life without the redemptive power of Christ.

Unquestionably, the marks of this album are content and versatility. Always known for strong content, T.R.U.T.H. raises the bar with this effort in an attempt to really answer the question of how humanity fits into the picture of God's universe. In so doing, he takes perhaps his most diverse musical approach to date. From the 80s R&B-tinged "Pain" to the highly infectious dance track "Talk To You" (featuring the London-based GP) , the Philadelphia native finds a way to forge into new territory with the same level of authenticity as his straight east coast hip-hop. He even moves into worship mode as he teams with Deluge Band on "How Long", where he sings the entire song. Yes, he really CAN sing!!

From cover to cover, The Big Picture is the picture of mature hip-hop and a throwback to the days when hip-hop was defined by incredible content and prolific creativity. Not only is this a snapshot of how humanity relates to God but it is a blueprint for the hip-hop game to follow. This is a "can't miss" album that is sure to excite believers and unbelievers alike, while winning new fans to the genre. Definitely add this album to your collection.

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Production: Freddy Washington, Jr., J.R., Tony Stone
album release date: July 21, 2009
Cross Movement Records

— review by Gerard Bonner

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