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With all of the mixed messages being displayed through media and the entertainment industry, ministers advocating same-sex marriages, all of the questions about Kanye’s walk with Christ or Beyonce’s bootylicious Christianity, it’s no wonder there are unclear views about Jesus. When the people who profess to represent Him are living in contradictory manners it helps to confuse those on the outside looking in. Hence, the need for a higher definition of who God is, what His people should be about and man’s need for His Son. That’s why I thank God for Cross Movement, because you always know where they stand and it’s not sugar coated or hidden, just Jesus in your face.

“Higher Definition” is the Cross Movement’s latest offering. It’s resounding theme throughout, Jesus and why you should surrender your life, is clear and prevalent throughout. HD offers songs that minister, praise and give the listener the heart of God in a clear and understandable manner. This is an appropriate follow-up to last years “Holy Culture” in which they dealt with holiness in the culture of hip-hop, now they take it up a notch by addressing issues such as, those who claim to know God but are not in agreement with scripture and presenting the gospel clearly. The CD starts by addressing the enlisted, or those in the army of the LORD, with it’s military theme production in the song “Civilian Affairs.” This song deals with the nature of our service and that’s to deliver the Gospel of Jesus to a dying world and not impress or concern ourselves with the cares of this world but gather souls for the harvest. I think Brady “Phanatik” Goodwin can weave a parable beautifully with his flow and delivery and it shows no better than on “Card Shark” as he tells the tale of different characters and their various personalities using playing cards as metaphors for each to relay his message. Trust me, it’s a must hear with it‘s fantastic production, concept and great lyricism. Then you have the radio friendly praise track “Lord You Are” which features the lovely vocals of Michelle Bonilla. The crew of Ambassador, Phanatik, Tru-Life and Tonic lace this praise with beautiful lyrics of how wonderful God is. No corny hooks or silly lines but just heartfelt truth poured over a hip-hop and R&B fusion. Other stand-out tracks are, “Redefined,” “Hey Y’all,” “Check for Us,” “Big Words” and the jazzy and extremely soulful “My Life Cypha” which was excellently produced by D.J. Official. “My Life” features guest emcees Shai Linne, Timothy Bridle and Redeemed Thought. If you haven’t heard of any of these talented artists then you will. The only low point on this offering was CM’s at temp t to get crunk on the track “On in Here,” which is not a bad song, but honestly doesn’t do justice to the style of flow CM uses, but this is ministry as well, and a noble at temp t to reach people with various musical tastes. With D.J. Official holding the majority reign on production, other producers that were enlisted are J.R., Nab, Myles Lawhorne, Carlos Martinez and CM’s own Tru-Life, yet the overall flow of the album never seems to get off track. Also, contained is a nice bonus gem and remake of Boogie Down Productions hip-hop classic “The Bridge” but with thumping bass and the gospel message.

Make no mistakes about it, this is a good CD, with good production, lyrics and concepts and I highly recommend it. Finally, considering what mainstream hip-hop has to offer, then Ambassador states it best, “Most of y’all want it raw, but raw to you is guns and a cuss in a first bar or two/ You don’t want to hear Christ in a jam/ You want to hear me talk about ice and how nice I am from “Jerseys & Fitteds.” There’s no wonder we need a “Higher Definition,” and it gets no clearer than what Cross Movement delivers.

Release Date: February 22, 2004

Label: Cross Movement Music & Publishing

Buy on iTunes

1. Civilian Affairs
2. Redefined
3. It’s Time
4. Hey Y’all
5. Lord You Are
6. Hip-Hop-cracy
7. Card Shark
8. Questions
9. On in Here
10. Jerseys & Fitteds
11. Big Words
12. Epiphany
13. Check For Us
14. We
15. My Life Cypha plus hidden tracks