Known to the Christian Hip Hop community as Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Emanuel Lee Lambert Jr. is ringing in 2023 with a new name and self-titled album, Emanuel, that proves hip hop is not just for the youth. Emanuel, a sonic journey through Emanuel’s entire career, including years spent as a classroom-trained percussionist, is released in partnership with Mixed Bag Entertainment. Emanuel is available wherever music is sold and streamed on Friday, January 27, 2023.
The album Emanuel focuses on the intersection between two worlds. The world of Emanuel, his birth name, and Immanuel, the Hebrew name given to Jesus Christ. Boasting collaborations with Fred Hammond, Todd Dulaney, Aaron Cole, Dante Bowe, Tamela Mann, Maranda Curtis, Rich Tolbert, PJ Morton, Yolanda Adams, and more, this album reminds listeners that whatever their state or station of life, the greatest confidence one can have is knowing that God is “Immanuel,” – The God who is with all through every season of life.
The release of Emanuel also introduces the retirement of his artist name, Da’ T.R.U.T.H., and the birth of moving forward under his given name, Emanuel Lambert. “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.
CEO of Mixed Bag Entertainment, Gary Crockett, states, ““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 giving an enormous celebration of hope in each song.”
With a career spanning two decades, Emanuel has sold over a quarter million records worldwide and toured or collaborated with some of Gospel and Christian music’s premiere artists. As a leading voice in the music industry, he has been committed to using creativity in the arts to share his faith & life experiences. He has won four Stellar Gospel Music Awards and is GRAMMY and DOVE Award nominated. Additionally, he serves as the CEO of the newly formed entertainment company, NXT Agency.
Emanuel’s lead single, “Set The Bar,” is a powerful and thought-provoking track that starts with an orchestral string composition. Upbeat and intense “Set The Bar” takes listeners on a journey from humble beginnings in the industry to his current status. He highlights one of the greatest challenges of longevity: the audience expects the artist to stay the same.
In this heavily string-driven song, he makes an appeal, 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 own 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 beings 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 utilize 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” with 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.'”
1. 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)