With five full-length albums as a member of the legendary hip-hop group the Cross Movement and a solo project to his credit, The Ambassador is back with his sophomore effort The Thesis. His first album Christology in Layman's Terms proved that the man could carry a tune just as well on his own as with his popular group, not to mention that he invited most of them to guest appear on the album as well. The question is, however, can his newest release match up to its debut? The answer is a hearty "Yes."
Although there is already an intro to kick off the album, the interlude "The Explanation" (which doesn't appear until after a few songs) serves as a description of the album's purpose from The Ambassador himself, explaining that hip-hop can serve as a bond servant of the Lord. The highlights happen early on as featured in "Amba-ss-ador," where the lyricist talks about himself but not in an overtly selfish manner. The next song, "Song For You," starts off with a mellow groove that leads into a club-savvy jam about taking God seriously and giving Him praise in everything a man does. One thing that remains constant with The Ambassador, as well as the other CM members, is keeping it real with old school beats mixed with new school flows, as shown in the song "Get You Open." A monumental point in the album comes when a full rock band is thrown in to accompany the song "The Elements," a territory that has been explored before by John Reuben on Professional Rapper and on KJ52's side project Peace of Mind.
Though guest appearances are slim on this project, The Ambassador is anything but short on giving the listener plenty of reasons to keep an open ear to his words and music. The entire album is soaked with plenty of blazing beats and outstanding vocal talent in songs such as "Feels Good," the reggae-influenced "My Clothes, My Hair" (verbalizing a modern version of the Scripture "Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the inside at the heart"), and the spacy feel of "We Worship You," which is about the importance of honoring God through worship.
Amongst all the upbeat and club-bouncing tracks, things slow down a bit for "Body Talk," where the issue is stressed on individuals who send across the wrong message with their body language and urges young people to watch how they present themselves to the public eye. The beats pick up again for "The Fall," and a radio edit of "My Hair, My Clothes," which doesn't sound too different from the original mix earlier in the album. Fortunately, the bonus freestyle song tucked at the end of the track more than makes up for the minor flaw.
The Ambassador never fails to disappoint as his main focus is to speak the truth of Jesus in everything he writes, whether it be as a solo artist or with the Cross Movement. The most unique thing about him is that he stands out among many of his peers, refusing to be compared to any one popular hip-hop artist making news headlines in today's world. If you want a summer album to keep bumping in your car stereo for many months to come, and are into diverse styles and rhythms, The Ambassador's The Thesis would be your best bet.- Review date: 7/12/05, written by Paul Portell
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