A New Chapter
Posted May 01, 2014
By DwayneLacy_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Da' T.R.U.T.H. is not resting on his laurels nor is he an artist who feels like an island doing ministry alone. Although many Christians believe in teamwork, T.R.U.T.H. surprised many with the launch of his new label, Mixed Bag Records, after only releasing one album with Xist Records.
The buzz around this announcement only grew after unveiling his roster of artists, which includes Urban Gospel female group Virtue, Promise, longtime friend Twyse, TJ Pompeo and rapper/singer Prayz-1. This is a label that could really make some "noise" with great A&R direction, quality production and total reliance on God (of course). T.R.U.T.H. is the first to release an album from the EOne distributed label with Heartbeat. J.R. handles the majority of the production duties with additional tracks handled by Alex Medina, Black Knight, Carlin Muccular and more.
When listening to this album, you will realize that he is truly expanding his repertoire musically. For instance, lead single "Loud and Clear" is a pop/electro styled song with high energy not normally heard on an album by T.R.U.T.H. He features an odd pairing of Capital Kings (this is more their style) and Tedashii. The beat slows down for both rappers to spit over a trap beat.
Chris August joins in on the fray when he and T.R.U.T.H. declare that they can "Change the World" one day at a time for Christ. T.J. Pompeo totally kills the hook on "Standing O," an ode to the heroes in the faith and Christian hip-hop who have gone before them and paved the way. Grammy-winning producer S1 and Epikh handle the production--certified banger!
The title track, "Heartbeat," has so much promise that starts off with a beautiful rock driven hook by Lauren Lee. It then wanes a little when T.R.U.T.H. spits bars that were a little weak in delivery. Then Lecrae comes in to bring the song back up. They explain how they want to fulfill the "heart" of God (T.R.U.T.H.) even when people misunderstand what they are doing (Lecrae). Da' T.R.U.T.H. addresses the double standard in society when a Christian disagrees with homosexuality on "Bully," featuring J.R.
I love the setup of "Welcome Home." T.R.U.T.H. gladly explains the joy of repenting and coming back home to Christ. This DJ Corbett-produced song goes from hip-hop track to a Gospel song when James Fortune passionately describes the story of the Prodigal Son and how he was enthusiastically welcome home by his father. Then the song ends with Joseph Lindsay and Fortune's group, Fiya doing what they do best--good sanging!
Mixed Bag Records is a great name for a label. He shows us that he will not be boxed in by labels or genres with Heartbeat. There's rap, elecro, autotuned vocals, Gospel, CCM and pop. Although, I would have loved to hear a song or two with a "Hip Hop 101" beat, this album has so much to offer.
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