After dropping the excellent “House of Representatives” last year, the Cross Movement returns with their third group album “Human Emergency”. This time around they are minus two official members (TRU-LIFE and Cruz Cordero) due to the named members being essentially kicked out of the group… or at least, that’s how I understand it. That leaves a still-strong line-up of Earthquake, Tonic, Phanatik, Enoch and the Ambassador. Though these members are completely capable in their own right, Cruz Cordero was a real dope emcee, and TRU-LIFE did 90% of the production on “House of Reps”, and he made it the awesome album it is. So where does this leave the Cross Movement?
Well, it turns out that TRU-LIFE isn’t completely out of the picture after all, as he produces 5 of the albums 20 tracks. It’s a real shame he didn’t do most of the album, because he obviously still has the touch, as all 5 of his tracks are straight fire. The rest of the album is produced by a host of producers, most of which bring it, and some of which don’t.
As far as rhymes are concerned, I know you didn’t expect Cross Movement to change. They are still spittin amazing, unabashed, Christ-praising rhymes without apology, which is really great to see. The album opens up with oftenly-used title “The Light” as the Ambassador and guest emcee Truth spit pure heat on top of a strong beat by Lee Jenkins. I was aware that the Ambassador was dope but I had never heard Truth before, and he truly steals the show with his performance.
The track “C to the R” keeps things going with a dope beat from TRU-LIFE, and Phanatik absolutely killing it, delivering perhaps the albums strongest lyrical performance. The only track that rivals it lyrically is another Phanatik track, “All Day”.
“Know Me (Huh What)” is a southern/bounce-influenced track produced by lee Jenkins, with the emcees spittin double time. All of the emcees really outdo themselves here, as they deal with people who claim to know God, but really don’t. The type of people who think since they know his name that they know him, but the Tonic says it best when he says “Even demons know his name”. The Ambassador outshines the rest with the second verse. “Creature Double Feature” features The Tonic doing what he does best, which is storytelling. The track deals with temptation, and contains the Tonic wrestling with himself over issues. He faces being tempted with sex, and other worldly temptations, which any Christian can relate to perfectly.
The content of each and every song is abundant, and very on point. Also, there is a good diversity in concepts of songs. “Backup” features The Phanatik taking a look at Christ’s life beginning with the resurrection, and moving backwards to the beginning. Other conceptual tracks are “What do You See”, “Cypha 911” and the aforementioned “Creature Double Feature”.
The album only falters a couple of times. One being “Love Life” which features some of the albums weaker rhymes, and a corny sounding hook. One or two other tracks also have unnecessary singing. Another misplaced track is “Lord?” by M.O.D. who are some English-sounding group that’s not even part of Cross Movement.
Other than these very minor setbacks, the Cross Movement again delivers another excellent album. All of the emcees have unique styles, which keeps the album fresh. Lyrically this crew challenges me on a personal level, and gives the music more meaning, than any other rap group out right now, and their rhymes are dope enough to intrigue any non-Christian who doesn’t feel convicted by anything they say, and still get them to listen. The Cross Movement, however, do not seem to be a group who merely want to entertain you. First and foremost they want to help bring you into the body of Christ, and I suggest you truly listen to what they have to say.