Review: Tru Judah – I’M FREE

"This ain't no church talk, man fuck your preacher" - I'M FREE

Hebrew Israelite? Have we heard this term before? Oh yes, back in 2017, where Kendrick Lamar's DAMN album alludes to an esoteric lineage of black American's considered by many to be the original people of Israel. Kendrick, historians, and scholars have inspired this hidden theory, which is quickly spreading throughout the underground hip-hop community. Sacramento emcee Tru Judah is a follower and a believer of the Hebrew Israelite prophecy, with a mission to share his truth about The Chosen People, and Christ. I'M FREE technically is an underground Christian hip-hop album, but unlike most within this genre, this album contains profanity and topics outside of the Christian sphere. Hebrew Israelite rap may even be considered a sub-genre of conscious hip-hop, similar to music created by members of the Five-Percent Nation. One thing that can be said, Tru Judah keeps it real with no sugarcoating on his debut album - "this is truth music" the emcee exclaims. Hip-hop will always be a form of expression for those with a message to share, and Tru Judah is simply a messenger, Christ's messenger. Even with the Christian/Hebrew motif, this album is hip-hop to the core.

"I got one hand on my Bible, one hand on my strap
I'm prayin father forgive me I'm tryna reach em' with rap" - Tru Judah

I'M FREE is a righteous testimony of mental and physical liberation. Throughout the project, Tru Judah explains the schisms that concealed the truth in his life, and the great awakening he received through faith and knowledge of his heritage. Tru Judah showcases lyrical storytelling with narratives involving gang violence, drug abuse, police brutality, and dead-end jobs. Some of these stories are based on his experiences, while others are scenes from the streets around him. The claim made within these stories involves a conspiracy to hide the Hebrew ancestry of African Americans by systematically destabilizing black communities through these societal woes. Without understanding, that seems like a far-fetched argument, but Tru Judah puts many facts into perspective through this spiritual lense. This knowledge and understanding allowed Tru Judah to break the chains of mental slavery and pursue faith and truth were it exists.

"I'm wealthy, but I don't mean money
I praise you for the Son even when it ain't sunny
You brought me in the fold when ain't nobody want me
Now I let my light shine and these devils run from me" - I Feel My Spirit Getting Stronger

The hip-hop element to this album is spectacular, as the production is a mash-up of smooth jazzy boom-bap, and hardcore bangers. If there is any comparison sonically, Sean Price's delivery with a Jurrasic 5 vibe is where you would find yourself listening to this Tru Judah album. I'M FREE is not only conscious in its faith, but it's evident there is a love for the culture deeply embedded within this project. Hip-hop, as an African-American art form, embodies the struggles facing the black community, and Tru Judah preaches an answer on this album. It is up to you to listen and discern the truth for yourself - much like Tru Judah did years ago. Stream I'M FREE on Spotify, iTunes, or purchase for download on Bandcamp.

Favorite Tracks: A Toast To Success, The World Don't Love Us, Freedom

Production – 5/5 
Lyrics – 5/5 
Flow – 4/5 
Substance –5/5 
Feel – 4/5 
Originality: 4/5 
Longevity – 4/5 
Overall – 4.4/5

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