If all of the six studio albums by The Cross Movement were going to be burnt up except for one, which would Phanatik save?

The group’s 2003 album Holy Culture was probably his favorite, but he instead selected CM’s debut six years earlier.

“Keep Heaven’s Mentality,” Phanatik said, “because I think to understand a movement, you need to understand how it began and why it began… Heaven’s Mentality explains why we sound the way we sound. If you don’t understand what was happening in Northeast hip hop in 1995-1997, you will not get Heaven’s Mentality.”

What was happening, Phanatik explained, was that prominent emcees were blaspheming Jesus while promoting other religions.

“Like I said on stage at the reunion concert at Legacy,” Phanatik said, “you heard us come out talking about, ‘Lowercase gods, bow down to the capital,’ talking about ‘Who’s the man?’ ‘Whose world is this? The world’s the Lord’s.’ That’s what I’m chanting at the end of the joint. That’s responding to what? To Nas’s ‘Whose world is this? The world is yours.’ …

Heaven’s Mentality was a response album to all the disses that secular hip hop been giving to Jesus Christ and Christians. [Malik B. of The Roots] said, ‘I’ll resurrect the blonde hair, blue-eyed and crucify him again,’ talking about Jesus. Nas said, ‘When it’s my turn to go, I’ll wait for God with the .44.’ ‘When I was 12, I went to Hell for snuffing out Jesus.’ Those are all the remarks that were coming at Jesus back in the mid-90s, and then dudes on the street were really running with that. When we did Heaven’s Mentality, as ‘Christian’ as it sounded … it was not to Christians. It was to Northeastern, inner-city cults — Five-Percenters, Hebrew Israelites, the Malachi Yorkians, Right Knowledge and all those — it was to them…

“If you don’t understand that, you will not get why Cross Movement sounds mad, why Cross Movement sounds like they’re battling.”