Sometimes artists of faith crave mainstream attention, scouting general market tours and writing in a more palatable direction for mass audiences. However, just the opposite happened for rapper/hip-hop purveyor Da’ T.R.U.T.H., whose mainstream platform is rapidly rising, despite unabashed Christian lyrics on record and clear cut presentations of the Gospel onstage.
Aside from his new album, Open Book (Cross Movement), landing at No.1 on SoundScan’s Christian Hip-Hop Chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Top Gospel Chart, the album’s current single “Who Am I?” (featuring Tye Tribbett) debuted at No. 9 on HipHopRnBSoul.com’s “Top 10 Hip-Hop Songs,” between Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’” and 50 Cent’s “Amusement Park.”
Speaking of West, at the time of this interview, Da’ T.R.U.T.H. just wrapped up chatting with the multiple GRAMMY® winner at a Canadian airport (shortly after the two shared a mainstream festival bill). “The Lord has given me grace in the mainstream to become more familiar, but I also think God has sort of positioned me to play a bigger role within the context of the gospel arena,” says the rhyme slayer, whose resumé also includes a tour with Kirk Franklin, plus press writeups in Vibe, The Source and JET. “But then just the other day I found out the new video with Tye was added to On Demand, which is right there with all the other mainstream artists. If I end up doing more in the secular arena, I’m still going to preach uncompromisingly.”
Thus far he’s upheld that commitment, most notably traced on the 2007 DVD release Da’ T.R.U.T.H. & Friends Live, which also features Franklin, Tribbett and The Cross Movement (among several others). Despite the mixed crowd, he remains committed to street savvy messages that resound with everlasting merit. “There’s nothing wrong with sending simply positive messages as long as you identify yourself as that type of artist,” he summarizes. “But for me, it’s all about eternal value and significance.”