William "Deuce" Branch, aka The Ambassador, is certainly one of the foremost Christian rap pioneers. From being one of the founding members of the legendary Cross Movement, to his banging solo rap joints, to being a regularly featured guest artist on a slew of releases, he is the total package. What we have now is a small EP being delivered down the independent track. I have to admit that I'm rarely a fan of EPs, mostly because it always seems like the artist could have put in just a little more time and a handful of songs so fans could take home a full-length release. Maybe, however, the point of Hors D'oeuvres is to just be a small sampling of what is to come, similar to the titular appetizer before dinner. So, let's see if this first course makes us want to come back for more.
When it comes down to it, the music is what it's all about and the title track serves up exactly what I wanted: good raps about focusing on God in this life while spitting "This life is hors d'oeuvres but there's eternity." Following suit is "YAH! (You See Me)" which is straight-up banging; the beats are as hot as they come, Deuce spits at the top of his game, and the raps scream truth, like "God gives you a blank check, expecting you to sign it. Use your life!" The point of the first two songs cannot be missed: take this gift of a life from God and use it for Him.
Not everything on the plate will be that good from here, however. "How God Do It" and "Where U At" both have nice technical sound production, but the raps actually feel disjointed and the latter becomes a little repetitive and even corny with all of the "where you at's." Later on, "Deserter" features one of the UK's hottest rappers, Jahaziel, spitting the hook in a creative collaboration, and "Many Things" finishes off the EP's point of taking this life seriously. Both songs are fine, but lack anything mind blowing.
Is this the best six tracks The Ambassador has ever done? Definitely not, but this little EP is certainly worthy to be played at any house party. If you're into the rap scene, this is something you positively should check out.- Review date: 8/18/13, written by Kevin Hoskins of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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