( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Emanuel Formerly Known as Da’ T.R.U.T.H Is Bridging Gospel and The New Generation Together
ENSPIRE Contributor: Jacara Watkins
Da’ T.R.U.T.H known to the Christian Hip Hop community as Emanuel Lee Lambert Jr. has completely rebranded himself and the self-titled album as Emanuel. In collaboration with Mixed Bag Entertainment, Emanuel was released on January 27, 2023. The focus of the album is a combining of two worlds. The first is Emanuel, his birth name and the second is Immanuel, the Hebrew name given to Jesus Christ. Along with many collaborations who are known from the Christian community like Fred Hammond, Todd Dulaney, Aaron Cole, Dante Bowe, Tamela Mann, Maranda Curtis, Rich Tolbert, PJ Morton, Yolanda Adams, and more. This album will bring solitude and comfort to listeners no matter what path life takes them and assurance that the Lord is “Immanuel” who will get them through anything.
The changing name of Da’ T.R.U.T.H to Emanuel represents the end and beginning of a new chapter. “Being older and wiser makes me feel more stripped down and vulnerable. Da’ T.R.U.T.H. is strong, and he knows it. Emanuel is more like one of the guys. I have been thinking for the past four years that this is something I wanted to do, and this was a perfect time,” shares Emanuel. The CEO of Mixed Bag Entertainment is excited about the journey Emanuel will embark on, stating “Working with Emanuel has been exciting. Seeing him along with the Gospel greats bridge the worlds of Gospel music with hip-hop is a conduit to bring Generations together. This album speaks to the issues of life but gives an enormous celebration of hope in each song.”
Emanuel has sold over a quarter million records worldwide with a career approaching 20 years and has collaborated and toured with Gospel artists. Not only is he a GRAMMY-nominated and a DOVE Award but won four Stellar Gospel Music Awards. More so, he is the CEO of a newly formed entertainment company, NXT Agency. Emanuel’s lead single “Set the Bar” is thought to be aspiring, beginning with an orchestral string composition. Listeners are taken on a journey from Emanuel’s humble origins into the industry to the present.
He highlights one of the greatest challenges of longevity: the audience expects the artist to stay the same. This heavily string-driven song, appeals, challenging his listeners to allow him room to evolve and grow as an artist. The chorus, “I set the pace, I set the bar,” keeps the focus on his intent to be a trailblazer. Over time, he has developed his sound and wants his fans and supporters to stay with him as he seeks to mature the genre.
“Whole” is a reflective declaration in three parts. Emanuel begins with the Gospel rap and Hip-Hop style for which he has gained an international reputation. Known for his unique instrumentation, he brings the song with a simple piano and beat instrumentation. As he sets the theme for the song, he wants the listener to focus on the lyrics. Section two is reminiscent of the early gospel hymn songs in which music was primarily created with voices and a keyboard instrument. In this section, Emanuel and Yolanda Adams use the Black music form known as Call and Response to draw the listener into this intimate moment. Section three returns to traditional Gospel, and the two artists drive the song to the end with an upbeat and celebratory declaration, “I Need Healing for My Soul.”
“Tell Somebody” featuring Maranda Curtis opens with an intimate children’s moment that reminds us of a Sunday School lesson. Within seconds, we are shifted to an upbeat vibe with an Island feel. “Crown” features Todd Dulaney and Aaron Cole and is a spiritually awakening collaboration. Listeners hear the Dulaney worship sound, which is contemporary Christian in nature. Emanuel uses his unique lyrical gift to engage those listeners that might need a more urban spiritual moment. Aaron Cole uses the purity and honesty of his voice to ensure that the text remains at the forefront of the song.
“Kingdom” features Dante Bowe and is a standout declaration that the time has come for the Kingdom of God to rise. The raw edge of Dante Bowe’s voice and the energetic lyricism of Emanuel activates a call to action that is hard to ignore. Many believers will relate to the visual picture presented when Bowe sings about the stirring in his soul and the open fire burning in his bones. “Kingdom” puts these feelings into context by informing listeners that they are a notification that the time has come for them to rise.
Emanuel shares, “I craft music for a mature listener. If you love music, you will love Emanuel. If you love Christian hip-hop but think you are too old to listen to it, I’m here to tell you that you’re not. I want people to feel comfortable ‘still liking this.'”
Emanuel is available on Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Pandora. Follow Emanuel on social media by using the handle @DaTruthOnDuty. For more information on Mixed Bag Entertainment, visit mixedbagent.com.
- Nights In Atlanta
2. Set The Bar
3. King (ft. Fred Hammond)
4. Crown (ft. Todd Dulaney & Aaron Cole)
5. Kingdom (feat. Dante Bowe)
6. Count On You (ft. Greg Cox)
7. Morning Hymn (ft. Tamela Mann)
8. Tell Somebody (ft. Maranda Curtis)
9. Alright (ft. Myron Butler, Mizz Tiff)
10. Free (ft. Kim Burrell)
11. Fresh Lemonaid (ft. D’Shondra)
12. Healing Comes (ft. Rich Tolbert)
13. Midday Hymn (ft. Tamela Mann)
14. In The Dark
15. Grey Hair (ft. PJ Morton)
16. Whole (ft. Yolanda Adams)
17. Evening Hymn (ft. Tamela Mann)