After spurning a string of such hits as "House of Representatives," "Know Me(Huh, What?)," and "When I Flow..(It's Gospel)," the power hip-hop quartet known as Cross Movement return once again for their fifth full-length studio project, Higher Definition. Like on their previous record, Holy Culture, CM returns to their format of assigning most of the songs to one specific lyricist throughout the project. Each track is filled with plenty of phat beats and tight lyrics to make this album a worthwile listen.
Higher Definition kicks off with the track "Civilian Affairs," a club-worthy song about spiritual warfare. Next up is the groove-laced "Redefined," which The Fanatik describes as a 'Tale of Two Cities,' and touches on the issues of the wrong type of love and sex in the media. This song basically tells the listener to redefine one's ways and keep their eyes focused on the Light of God. One of my personal favorites is the beat-bouncer "It's Time," where Tru-Life utters the words "Father, forgive me, I'm a sinner and I need you at the center of my heart because that's where it all starts." "Lord You Are" is all about giving God praise for all He has done for one's life. Possibly the biggest highlights of the album are the percussion-driven "Hip-Hop-Cracy" (which includes a 'back in the lab again' sample from "When I Flow...It's Gospel") and the first of two bonus tracks "The Bridge," where all 4 emcees pay homage to pioneering rapper MC Shan with an updated version of the song he first made popular along with original verses.
The majority of the songs covered on this project address the issues of teenage love, worldly deception, warfare, and other problems facing today's generation while consistently offering a message of hope in Jesus Christ. A typical Cross Movement album of course would not be complete without the usual 'freestyle' in the form of a song with the title "Cypha," which is executed well with "My Life Cypha," a lyrical composition of a man's life without God to guide him. Exhibiting several high points with virtually no flaws, "Higher Definition" is one of the most anticipated hip-hop projects of 2004. For those who have been hip-hop fans for a long time, or are just now being exposed to it, don't hesitate to pass up this album from the Cross Movement - possibly one of the most innovative hip-hop groups in the past 10 years.- Review date: 2/11/05, written by Paul Portell
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