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[Watch.] Kingdom Building Conversations – DA’ Truth

Holy Culture Presents KINGDOM BUILDING CONVERSATIONS … An Interview with DA’ TRUTH
During this interview, he shares his journey, “stumbling on to hip-hop” and how the Cross Movement paved the way for him, how he met and built with @kirkfranklin as well as some of the key lessons he has learned in the intersection of faith, music, and business.

He expounds on the importance of God’s seasons and what we do with our time within them, and he shares his hope for all of us during this season.
To his surprise (I think!), we even revisit the “Golden Years” for a moment!
Enjoy this special time and insights from the #vet, an elder statesman in the CHH Community

@datruthonduty #CHH #Christianrap #artistinterview #Christianrapper ##christianmusic #Gospel #holyhiphop #gospelhiphop #chasingghost

 

Transcription

[music plays 00:00 – 01:02]

James: Alright, we’re live, we’re here. Some of y’all probably thought as y’all listening to that, that maybe Truth wasn’t going to show up. We weren’t going to show up. But no. We’re here, man. Truth, what’s up, brother?

Truth: What’s up, what’s up?

James: Good to see you.

Truth: Good to see your face, bro. Yessir.

James: You too, brother. You got the COVID-19 grizzly on.

Truth: I got the Uncle Denzel moustache coming in. I’mma just let it go, bro. I’m letting it go.

James: I know. I was telling you, loading up, so many people I’m on Zoom calls with or whatever are just letting themselves just grow. But it’s so –

Truth: Yeah.

James: – to me too, because I don’t know about you, man – one of the things I love is Carol Dweck’s work, when she talks about growth mindset. You know what I mean? Limitations versus growth mindset. And one of the things you can do at a time like this is you can contract or you can grow. You know what I mean? It’s not just a right answer, you can contract or you can grow. You hear what I’m saying? And I think some [inaudible 02:05 – 02:06] people just saying, you know what I mean, this is the time, this is the season to see what’s coming for me. What God has for me. You know what I mean?

Truth: I feel like this is a window. I was telling somebody earlier today that time is very important. That seems like something we would all just kind of know. That’ just seems like, everybody knows that already. Like, why are you telling me that? But I think just in terms of how we value time, our relationship with time… God is always kind of, He says for everything there’s a season. So, what that tells us is that there’s always a window. Even when Jesus came, He said, “Now is the time of visitation.” In other words, if you miss this window, you miss me. You miss the moment that the Messiah came to Earth if you miss this moment. Now is the time of visitation. And the day that you hear His voice, harden not your hard. You see what I mean? You know, the Bible says, “And my spirit will not thrive with you always,” because there was a hundred and twenty year window there. So I just think we have these themes throughout the scriptures that help us to understand that the events of our lives are time-sensitive. And what we do with that time is most important. I tell people all the time, you know, we say time heals all wounds. I tell them, “Not necessarily.” What we do within the time that we have is what determines whether or not those wounds will be healed. If I go to counseling, that will determine whether or not those wounds will be healed. Otherwise I turn out – and the reason why we know that is because we have sixty, seventy year old people that are still bitter, full of anger, full of hatred. That’s a key indicator that time, in and of itself, has no inherent power, but what you do with it is what matters most. And so, I’ve been thinking a lot about just making sure that I maximize this time, make the most of this window. This is a critical window. If I binge watch all day, my favorite Netflix, if I scroll all day, I’m going to miss it. And I don’t want to miss it. That’s where I’ve been, bro.

James: We jumped right in, man. Like, last time we’ve seen each other, man, it’s been at least 5, 7 years, man.

Truth: Yeah. Yeah, bro. It’s been a minute.

James: Last time I saw you… Alright, let me step back. First of all, we just jumped in. For the benefit of folks who are joining this conversation, first of all, let me just say this: this is DA Truth. Let me introduce you properly.

Truth: [laughs]

James: His government name is Emanuel Lee Lambert, Jr. Okay?

Truth: Yeah. Shout out to Mom and Dad.

James: Right? He’s a graduate of Cairn University, formerly Philadelphia Biblical University. We used to call it PBU in the Philly area.

Truth: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

James: Stellar Award for his album The Faith, back in 2007. He’s been on BET, Lift Every Voice, he’s been on Steelroots, Mixx Master’s Lounge, Revelation TV. He’s been on Bobby Jones Gospel, been with the likes of Kirk Franklin, Source Magazine… Where hasn’t he been? The most –

Truth: Yeah.

James: – been continuing to serve the Lord. In 2009, he released his fourth album, The Big Picture, which features collaborations with Kirk, Trip Lee, Tye Tribbett. That project hit number 1 on the iTunes Christian and Gospel Chart the day it came out, also reaching number 1 on the CMTA R&B and HipHop charts. So, I just want to make sure people understand, man, the road you’ve been on for 20 years. That was like, looking back and thinking, “Oh 20 years, are you kidding me?” And that made me think about one of the first times, I think it was one of the first times I met you and had a chance to just like see you minister, man. It was – I don’t know if you even remember this. In Philly, circa –

Truth: Yeah.

James: I think it was Lehigh Avenue. And this was before you sound – Okay, I’m being told my mic needs to be a little bit louder. Hopefully that’s better.

Truth: Oh. That’s good. Am I cool? Can you hear me?

James: You all hear DA Truth okay? I guess so. They only asked for me. Okay, so, I need to be a little louder.

Truth: You recording this?

James: Yes sir, absolutely.

Truth: Sweet, sweet.

James: So, we were at a church in Philly, on I think Lehigh Avenue. And it was myself, you, probably Paradox, Judas Priest, some other cats. And you did this song called – I don’t even know if you’re going to remember this joint – Paul?

Truth: Oh my Lord! [laughs] Paul Simmons!

James: Paul Simmons, do you remember that?

Truth: I knew this cat, baby, Paul Simmons!, he talked scripture, everywhere he went, yeah! [laughs]

James: Yes, yes yes.

Truth: Paul like to talk trash a lot? Oh my God!

James: Yes, man. You did that joint Paul.

Truth: That was one of Ambassador’s favorites. [laughs]

James: I was like, I was trying to think, “Yo man, I’ve known so many Truth joints…” So that was like one of the first moments I remember. And then, it was a couple of years later – this was a moment for me – actually, check it out. I know you don’t like to go too far back in history, bro, but you’re going to have to give your brother a minute.

Truth: I’mma give you your moment, bro.

James: This was a moment. Because – hold up. I’mma set the scene, and if you remember, don’t tell me you remember, don’t say what it is. It was probably 2000 or 2001, and at this particular event, there were a couple of moments at this event. Swift had a breakout moment. A matter of fact, I think he threw up right before that breakout moment onstage. I think that same year was the first year we saw Mark of the East and Corey Red and Precise –

Truth: Wow, my goodness. [laughs]

James: Okay?

Truth: Okay. Yeah, yeah yeah.

James: This was the song you did. [plays song 08:19]

Truth: [laughs] Ooohhh!!

James: I just need you to listen to a minute of the lyrics on this joint. [track continues until 09:53] Brother, when you came out with that joint, hold on – oh, my bad. I had to mute you for a second.

Truth: I said, that’s still smacking!

James: It’s still smacking, bro!

Truth: That boy’s still smacking!

James: Still smacking. [continues track 10:06]

Truth: [echoes lyrics until 10:45]

James: I think that was 2000. 2000, 2001, something like that.

Truth: Yeah. So, I dropped the EP, it was 2000. 4 years before I signed with the Cross Movement. 2000.

James: I remember this. Picturesque. Brother E, or any of them, were on. Remember, we were in the Bronx, on that street, in front of Salem Coffee House.

Truth: Oh wow!

James: Remember, right? It was just like a wave of cats down the street –

Truth: I remember that. I remember that.

James: I remember when that joint dropped, you just saw like a wave of cats down the street. I mean, that was when, when we came up with the Rap Fest, you just filled that whole block. Remember that?

Truth: Oh yeah, oh yeah. I remember. The golden years. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s crazy, bro. Memory lane. Memory lane, bro.

James: So now, man, given the stretch, man, and all that you’ve been doing, when somebody comes to you and says the typical, man, particularly as men, when people meet us, right?
First thing is what’s your name? What do you do? When people ask you what do you do, what’s your response?

Truth: It depends who asks me, because I move in different circles and my response is generally contextualized. So, depending upon what mood I’m in and who I’m talking to, determines how I respond. Because, honestly, if I tell them that I’m a Christian artist – this is the mood I’m in part – if I tell them I’m a Christian artist, that’s naturally gonna lead to a certain type of conversation. So sometimes I avoid that just to avoid the conversation. And other times, I do it based on who I’m talking to. So if I’m sitting first class with the CEO of Google, I tell them that I’m a CEO of an entertainment company, which I am. Yeah, yeah yeah. So, really, it just depends on who I’m talking to. But if I’m talking to just a couple of dudes, I tell them I rap. Dudes I need to connect with, and that’s a bridge. I tell them I rap. You know what I’m saying? So, my answers are generally contextualized.

James: Gotcha. How did this all get started for you, man?

Truth: You know what, man? I stumbled onto this. This was not in the cards to me, it was not a desire of mine. I wasn’t allowed to listen to hip hop or RnB growing up in a Christian home. I grew up on Shirley Ceasar, the Winans, Commissioned, DJ Thomas. And I actually developed an appetite for gospel music kind of growing up as a Christian in the church. Ended up playing drums. So, full out musician. I was the living the musician’s life, through and through, hundred percent. Actually, hip hop was not even my preferred genre of music. I used to think that hip hop was sad. There was an era, like the era of the jazz sample, was like depressing to me. Like, farside, and like… I was like, this is so depressing. This is making me sad. So, I wasn’t really into hiphop. And then, one day, a friend of mine, his name is TY. (You know him.) He and I were actually in the basement, because Christian hip hop was just beginning to kind of surge, and when it first started, you know, there was, just like mainstream hip hop, and you know, it was a little cheesy. And so, a friend of mine, TY and I were like, in the basement one night, we were just like poking some light fun at Christian rappers, like “Yeah, they’d be like, they’d be like…” And we were like, imitating them. And while we were doing it, because we were actually rapping, like “They’d be like, dadada, the capers, the capers… “ You know, just be like, so we just kind of like… Both of us were thinking to our ourselves but neither of us said out loud, “Bro, you sound kind of dope.” Because we were just making fun of it, playing around. But as we were doing it, it’s like, it was coming together. So, I was thinking to myself, “Yo, you actually don’t still have that…” He was thinking that to himself but we just didn’t know that. So, he went home that night, hopped on the phone with him, and I was like, no he was like, “Yo bro, I think I just wrote my first Christian rap.” I was like, “Bro! Me too, bro!” And so, I was like, “Listen, listen, listen… This is when Das EFX came out… I diggy dig what David did when he dissed the Devil, like Bambam, like Pebbes, I dig holes with shovels…” That was my first few lines. [laughs] I was doing that whole thing. He gave me his, and then we was like, “Yo, let’s form a group.” It all happened like super fast. So we started, people started kind of knowing us to be the group, the group that we were. We were The Chosen Ones. And our pastor at the time, Pastor Reed, asked us to to perform at the church. We performed at a lawn service and a tent meeting, and then the whole thing, I had the khakis with the crease down the middle, you know what I’m saying? I had my buttoned up polo and the collar pop. I had on some church shoes, like the shoe boots, and then I had my khakis rolled up at the bottom. I did the whole performance with my eyes closed because I was petrified. And when we were done, man, the response was overwhelming. We just had this overwhelming response and people like, “What was that? Come do that for our church, come do that for our kids, come do that…” And that turned into us kind of hitting Philly, everywhere. Every church, every youth group in Philly. Then we went from Philly to Jersey, Philly, Jersey, Delaware, Philly, Jersey, Delaware, DC, Philly, Jersey, Delaware, DC, VA. And the rest from there is kind of history. So, that’s how I got started.

James: What church was that?

Truth: Sharon Baptist.

James: Sharon, sharon. Yeah.

Truth: Sharon Baptist, yeah yeah yeah. That’s where my roots are. [inaudible 17:01] Ambassador was there, Tonic was there, True Life was there, me, TY, yeah, everybody was there, bro.

James: See, y’all progressive, man. Our church, we were years after y’all before our pastor would let any rap in the pool.

Truth: Oh, any of it? Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

James: Yeah, man.

Truth: Oh yeah. For sure.

James: So, for you as you’ve, again, 20 years in this. I think of, looking at other genres, rock, you name it. All of them have had their different progressions and evolutions, right? Different cycles. When you think about then, and entering and some of the things you’ve, the challenges you’ve had to go through. How would you describe what the challenges were then? Some of the things you, the barriers you had to break through to kind of get some progress going in your career?

Truth: You know what? I didn’t have any barriers to break through.

James: Really?

Truth: Oh no. I was the, I reaped the benefits of the Cross Movement, bearing all the load [laughs] of criticisms and cynicism and skepticism and [laughs], you know what I’m saying? Cross Movement was the group that had to endure the pastor coming off of the pool pit, with the communion cross on their back saying, “No, no, no, none of that secular music in my church.” Like, they had to bear that brunt. Even when G Craig Lewis hit the scene, Cross Movement had to bear under that, even more than I did. So, I’ve always kind of been, Cross Movement, they really bore the brunt of all the shots, you know what I’m saying? They absorbed all the negative reaction and response, and the confusion surrounding whether or not rap is a viable tool for ministry or whatever. They absorbed all that and I think they did a masterful job at edu-taining, really bridging the gap between cultures, bridging the generational gaps, bridging cultural gaps, being scholarly yet urban, moving in seminarian circles, yet still being the storefront church on 40th and Poplar. You know what I’m saying? So, they did a masterful job of being very sensitive to their audience, understanding their role as urban missionaries. And so, the artists like Flame and myself, and LeCray, and Trip, we got, we kind of were just able to reap the – what’s the word I’m looking for – is that, reap the benefits? Yeah. Reap the benefits of all the wars that they had to fight. So, I wouldn’t say I had any wars, bro. I slid in nice and easy. And then, for me, it was like, I slid in with Cross Movement. They had bore the brunt of all the ridicule. So I came in kind of coattails. I had their endorsement. That was like a Jay-Z endorsement back then. And so, that was straight. And then I went from a Cross Movement endorsement to a Kirk Franklin endorsement. So honestly, I never really had any issues early on in my career. I never had to fight to get my foot in the door, anything like that. I just kind of, I was a fly on the wall, watching them fight those wars, and reaping the benefits of it.

James: You make sense. So many good points. I didn’t even really think about, man, because back then, when you would talk with Wellsor Deuce, any of them, not that they would necessarily put out all in front of you, but you hear some of the conversations like, “Hmm, they’re putting together a board for the non-profit,” and you’re like, “Hmm… A board? Why do you need a board?” You know what I’m saying, for the ministry? “Oh right, seeking Godly legal counsel. That makes sense, right?” And then, Deuce is like, “Well, he’s going to go get – he’s going to seminary, right?” He feels that’s a relevant part of the whole – so, to your point all these different things, they were lining up and setting up that you were watching that whole structure come together that, man, paid so many people over time.

Truth: And we followed in a lot of their footsteps. Even Reach, Reach had – there was Reach Records. Just like there was Cross Movement Records. And there was Reach Light, just like there was Cross Movement Ministries. Cross Movement Ministries was the non-profit, Cross Movement Records was the for profit, Reach Light was the non-profit, Reach Records was the for profit. This is a part of the history that you don’t hear much of, but they are responsible to a large degree for many of today’s heroes. [laughs] Yeah, yeah yeah.

James: So, how did – to your point – you just brought this up as a part of that journey, how did the relationship with Kirk materialize?

Truth: You know what? Interestingly, at my peak – actually, Deuce was in Dallas with Kirk at the time. Deuce and Kirk were really tight, at the time. They both went to OCBF, that’s Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. That’s Dr. Tony Evans’ church. Deuce was a seminary in Dallas, and Kirk is a lowkey theologian. He’s lowkey. He makes music for the soul and songs for the heart. So sometimes you can miss it. But Kirk’s a lowkey theologian and he’s a lowkey apologist as well. And so, he’s always been drawn to thinkers, which is a large part of why he was drawn to Dr. Tony Evans. So he was drawn to Ambassador, he and Ambassador started building. And at the time, Moment of Truth dropped. And once Moment of Truth came out – I didn’t know Kirk at all at that point – I just would hear Deuce talk about him a lot. And once Moment of Truth came out, I got a phone call from Kirk, and I missed it. So, Deuce called me and was like, “Bro, Kirk just tried to call you. He’s flipping over your album.” I was like, “For real? Wow, that’s crazy, bro!” So, that was that. That was the end of it. And after that, I actually had to do a show at OCBF. At the time, this was later in the year, at the time, he was working on The Passion of the Christ soundtrack. And he’s like, “[mimics voice] Come to the studio, come to the studio.” So yeah, Deuce told me to come to the studio. So, I walked up in there. I got there probably around noon – I mean, sorry, midnight, got there around midnight. You know, Kirk is strong too. He’s small but he’s strong. So he ran up to me, grabbed my waist, lifted me off the ground, threw me on the couch, [screams] he’s that guy, he’s going crazy, right? That night, that was awesome, the thing that actually blew my mind the worst at night, I mean the most at night, was not that moment. That was awesome, obviously, growing up on Kirk Franklin and now, he being a fan of my music. But it was, he was asking for my input on The Passion of the Christ soundtrack. “[mimics voice] Watchu think? Watchu think? Okay. Okay, okay.” And I actually had input because I’m a musician too. [laughs] So I was like, “Yo, this is crazy.” From that point forward, we began to – actually that night we went out to Wendy’s – I mean, to Denny’s, and we just talked and ate until about 4 o’clock in the morning. And when the night was over, he was like, “Let me give you the Batphone.” [laughs] So, from that point forward, man, and to this day, that’s my heart, bro. When we talk, we talk 6, 7 hours at a time. There’s just so much exchanging of ideas and meeting of the minds and challenging each other. That’s my bro, bro. So, yeah.

James: That’s what’s up, man. That’s what’s up.

Truth: Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure.

James: So you’ve learned a lot, because you’ve kind of traversed CHH, Gospel, and a lot of things. What are some of the skills that you now see as critical, you know what I mean? Entrepreneurial skills or whatever skill. If you were advising people who are entering this thing – because a lot of people enter Christian hip hop, and they think, “Hey man, I’m going to drop this single…”

Truth: [laughs]

James: “put it through tunecore and make sure it’s on every streaming device or network that people use right? And I’m good.” So, talk about what you see from your learnings.

Truth: For sure. Well, that’s obviously a multi-layered question. But I would say, number one, it’s important that you manage your expectations coming into this because, I think to your point, people, there’s a lot of assumptions that we have naturally, you know what I mean? Like you said, “I’m gonna drop this single…” You’re projecting what it’s going to do, how people will respond. And it’s one thing to hope for that, it’s another thing to assume that it will be. Because when you assume that it will be what you project, that’s when you set yourself up for great disappointment. Because the truth of the matter is, like anything else, it takes a lot of work, you know what I mean? You have to truly be invested. So I would say, manage your expectations. I think expectations oftentimes have a lot to do with point of reference, though. Because whoever I’m using as a point of reference will oftentimes determine what my expectations will be. You see what I mean? So, if I’m using Steven Malcolms – one of our newer guys, they were brothers, killing it – or somebody’s using me as a point of reference, or somebody’s using Lecray, somebody’s using Flame, or somebody’s using Derek Minor as a point of reference. You know, that will determine – and they base their expectation of what should happen for them, and what should happen for them is based on what the level of success that we’ve had, again, that leaves them wide open for disappointment if it doesn’t happen. Now, I’m not here to say that you shouldn’t have a goal or that you shouldn’t aspire to be anywhere in particular. I think, hey, if you’re like, “I’m gonna do what Lecray did, I’m gonna get on mainstream radio, I want to such and such and such, I’m gonna do what Truth did, I’m gonna move into the gospel space, or I’mma do it like…” Like, that’s fine. I think you can have those expectations, I just think that you have to marry those expectations with a sober mind. You also have to marry those expectations with the possibility that that might not be true for you. You know what I’m – and you have to be okay with that, you have to wherewithal learn to be content with whatever you’re stationed. Listen, Paul the Apostle says, when he’s talking about the gifts, the gifts of the Spirit, he says the Holy Spirit has a portion to all the gifts of the Spirit and granted them, each of them, a measure of grace. So, everybody has a limitation. I tell my daughter, I don’t tell my daughter she can be anything she wants to be. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that and I don’t think she should believe that.

James: What do you say?

Truth: You can be many things you want to be. [laughter] You cannot be anything you want to be, bro. I’m glad my mom and dad did not tell me I could be anything I wanted to be because there’s a lot of stuff that I might want to be that I don’t have the capacity for. And I think that sometimes people, they come into this and they have these grandiose, these visions of grandeur, you know, these grandiose kind of goals, and again, I’m not anti-goals. I hope people are understanding what I’m saying, putting it in proper perspective, but I am saying that it’s important to be sober. I think that’s what it comes down to. Have your dreams, have your expectations, but make sure those expectations, those dreams, those aspirations are informed by a sober mind, which says, here’s my desires, here’s what I want to do, here’s what I’d like to see, but I must leave room for the very real possibility that that might not be the case. And watch this. It’s not that success won’t be the case, it’s that your expectation, your point of reference for success won’t be the case. You see what I mean? Success will just look differently. You see what I mean? It might not be the Grammy’s for you, but it might be the Kingdom Choice Awards and that’s fine. You see?

James: How we define it sometimes, man.

Truth: I think it’s important. Yeah, bro. I think that’s important. So, that’s one thing that I’mma say to anybody that’s kind of getting this – and this is the last thing I wanna say Trig, then I’ll shut up. The last thing I wanna say, bro, is that I also think that, you know, for the past 7 to 10 years or so, we’ve been going through an identity crisis in Christian hip hop. I feel like it’s kind of turning a corner now, but we really, really struggled with “who I am?” [laughs slightly] I’m just saying the genre as a whole. We’ve been trying to figure that out. And I think that obviously the pendulum swung, which is, historically, that’s always been the case, right? That the pendulum swings far left and far right. It’s very seldom that you find people kind of land in the middle without swinging to the extremes first. And so, I think that with Cross Movement, obviously, their era, they established something. And we talked about this on the podcast as well, but they established something, they established this whole concept of Christ-centered hip hop. They established God-centered, God-focused hip hop, theologically informed hip hop. Okay? And then, the Reach Records guys, they kind of took that, ran with it and then at some point, they pivoted it. Once they pivoted it, they went kind of to the other extreme of that, which put the culture in a very weird space, like, wait, which way? You know what I’m saying? Now, it put the culture in a weird space until pragmatism kicked in and they saw the success of doing it Reach’s way. And so, naturally, they say, people, what people do, they say, “Well, success is typically the best metric that we have in determining whether or not a thing is the right thing to do or not. You see what I mean? So, you have this huge kind of wave and you know, the Lecrae Reach kind of paradigm, that was a paradigmatic shift that took place as a result. And then, from there, we kind of started to, it’s been said that what leadership does in moderation, followship will do in excess. So, what happened is Lecray ended up doing what they did, and then the people that came behind them actually did a worse version of what they did. You see what I’m saying? I’m not saying what they did is bad. What I’m saying is that followship took it and because they didn’t have any teachers, they just were trying to like, they were taking stabs in the dark. You see what I’m saying? Until we kind of got to where we are now, which is things are kind of coming back to the center. Okay, so with that – I’m taking you the long way to say this. If you are an artist and you are considering getting into the space, you’re a Christian as well, you do not have to feel the weight of being explicitly Christ-centered in your music as a Christian who is an artist. Okay? The reason why that’s important to say – well, let me say this, you do not have to be explicitly Christ-centered in your music if you are a Christian that is an artist, but you do have to consider Christ in all of your music if you are a Christian who is an artist. [laughs] You see that there? See, I think that’s actually, that was the missing piece in the conversation. Nobody was ever saying, that everybody had to be explicitly Christian in their music if they are Christians who are also artists, but the missing piece of the conversation, but you must always consider Christ, if you are a Christian who is an artist. Because in considering Christ, what that does is it puts parameters around you so that you don’t go as far – you see what I’m saying? You follow me, okay. But you do absolutely, do not – in fact, one of the things Flame and I had been talking about, even in our podcast is, we actually need people that are out there, that are not doing what we’re doing. Flame and I, we’re doing what we’re doing because we’re called. We can’t help it. [laughs] We’ve been branded, we’re made men. [laughs] This is it. This is it. When I go to write something silly or simple, it’s just going to happen, it’s going to come out prophetic. [laughs] And we’ve accepted that. But nobody has to feel the pressure of doing that because they’re Christian. In fact, we do need some people that are moving and navigating in those space where there are non-Christians and there are mainstream artists, and there are mainstream – not just artists – but mainstream people, just your regular everyday citizens who work at CBS, who just love good music and good art, and you do provide that. Again, as long as you consider Christ. Because when you consider Christ, you’re still doing it, as unto to His Glory. Even if it’s not explicitly Christian. You see what I mean? And if you’re doing in unto His Glory, you’re not detracting from it. And that’s the main thing. So, those are the two things that I would say to artists: manage your expectations, make sure your expectations are informed by a mind of sobriety, and I would also encourage you to not feel the pressure of having to be explicitly Christian if you are a Christian who is an artist, but rather, consider Christ in all things if you are a Christian who is an artist.

James: Yeah. That was good, man, the way you unpacked that because it’s been such a weighty topic for such a long time. And I looked for that episode – I can’t remember if it was Episode 3 or 4 of Complicated-ish.

Truth: Yeah. I think it’s 3.

James: Yeah. And when you guys were unpacking it, I had to rewind it a couple of times, because I kept getting interrupted. You know how you get interrupted? I saying to myself there is a line of thought that they are going through and I want to get this whole thing, you know what I mean?

Truth: [laughs] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

James: And one of the things there was, I don’t even – I can’t remember if you guys referred to this point of Scripture or not, but it’s not that – I can’t remember the exact scripture, but it’s not some things are necessarily sinful, but they may not be profitable. It tracks with your point that you don’t necessarily have to have the lyrics laden with Christ-like lyrics, think about whether your actions, your behaviors, in all things are profitable as a Christian, you know what I mean?

Truth: Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. That’s right. I think we’re in the culture of compartmentalization. So naturally, we kind of, we keep separating everything. Our hip hip is over here, our Jesus is over here, our art is over here, our finances are over here. And I think that the Christian worldview teaches that, not even just that Jesus is first, but that Jesus is at the center. So, if you think of life kind of like in a graph or in a pie, we’re not putting Christ in a slice, we’re putting Christ at the center of it. So all things are kind of filtered and informed by – you see what I mean? – His Word, His Truth, His Heart, His Love. I think, so music is obviously, art is obviously no different.

James: Right. Yeah. I’m a huge believer – interestingly enough, we’re set up as predominantly non-profit. Holy Culture folds under The Corelink Solution, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. So at the end of the year, if anybody who’s watching ever feels like they want to make a tax-deductible donation, feel free. What we do is curriculum for youth to help them fulfill their purpose and Holy Culture’s a brand that fits underneath that. And then I have another for profit side to make sure we eat. And so, when I think about business skills too, because what you talked about was, man, the alignment , right? Making sure you’re staying on task with almost – I’m going to paraphrase a little bit, and if my paraphrasing is off, man, clean me up. But aligning your success up appropriately by setting the right expectations, because your frame of reference could be a little off and what God’s definition of success is for you may not be that frame of reference.

Truth: That’s it. Bingo.

James: Straight up. Let’s say it is, or let’s say it’s slightly to the right or left of that, there’s still things you need to do, actions you’ll need to take to make that materialize, right? Faith in, right? And so, you’ve been on at least 3 or 4 different labels, right? Cross Movement, Exist, so or and so forth, now CEO of a label. You’ve been on different charts, a lot of different places, now on the other side of the ledger, if you will – maybe that’s the wrong term, ledger – but now, over to – let’s say, over to –

Truth: I get it.

James: What are some of the entrepreneurial and business skills as well, man, about that, whether it’s been things that disappointed you, “Man, I will not do that again,” right? Or vice versa, “I want to do much more of this.” You hear what I’m saying? What are some of the things that jump to your mind?

Truth: Yeah. There’s a ton of things that I would do differently. Like you said, I’ve been signed to two – actually, I’ve only been signed to two labels.

James: Two labels, okay.

Truth: Unless I’m missing something.

James: Now your own label?

Truth: Yeah. Yeah, so two labels. So, there are some things I would have done differently. Things I actually wish I would have known some years ago that I know now. That’s just kind of like part of the course, though. From an entrepreneurial vantage point, from a business standpoint, I was actually talking to a friend of mine today about, the Meg Thee Stallion thing – what’s the name? What’s Joe Budden’s thing? State of the culture? Yeah, State of the Culture, they were on there talking about the Meg Thee Stallion contract. She was fighting for – she’s getting like 60% and her label’s getting 40%. And the question is, I think one of the things that Joe or Remy Ma was saying is like – well no, not Joe and Remy Ma, Remy Ma and the other guy, I don’t know his name – but they would say like, “It’s 2020, nobody should be getting into bad deals.” And I was talking to my business partner today, it’s interesting. Because it’s so easy to say that from the outside in. Because the truth of the matter is that, in as much as that makes a whole lot of sense, and you would think we all know better by now, we’ve seen enough go wrong, you know what I’m saying? Like, we’ve seen enough artists kicked, screamed, scratched, fight, taken out of bed,
we’ve seen amazing artists never get paid, you would think we know better by now. And I think, again, on paper, it all makes sense. In theory, it makes perfect sense. But in real time, what ends up happening is – and I think this is a point that Remy Ma made – she said, “You know a lot of these artists are coming from the bottom.” So, oftentimes, they know it’s not the best deal. But if you’ve got somebody offering you forty grand as an advance, you know what I’m saying? And you ain’t never seen four grand before? That forty grand looks like a million dollars. So, one of the things that I think is a matter of conversation – and this is what we were talking about today, my business partner and I, is there any such thing as a bad deal? Because bad deals are really kind of a relative term. It’s really relative to the immediate need. You see what I mean? Now, granted, yes, there are bad deals, absolutely. But I think that it’s important for the artist to always remember the reason for which they got into the deal to begin with. Because what happens is you end up bitter with the company that you signed with or the label that you signed with. You’re mad at them two albums in when you’re killing it and you only get 15%. But the reason why you signed that deal in the first place is because you needed the upfront money because your house was about to be foreclosed. You see what I mean? So, the conversation actually becomes very interesting and multi-layered in that sense, and a lot of what we’re talking through becomes really relative. You see what I mean? It’s not so cookie cutter. So, at any rate, I think that right now, if there’s one thing that I would tell an artist from an entrepreneurial standpoint, thankfully, we are able to eat off of our music. Thankfully, we have catalogues and those really do, it really does matter. I would say, in as much as is possible, try to own your masters. I think that’s important. Not to sell your masters. And if you do, somebody does buy your masters, make it for a limited amount of time. I think that’s important. You follow me? If you’re going to sign a deal, even if you sign a bad deal because you needed the money upfront, make it a two year deal so that you’re over it sooner than later. But the one thing that I would say now, Truth today, twenty plus years in it, is be sure to – and this is what we’ve been doing over the past two years – diversify. If there’s anything that I can offer. Another thing my business partner and I have been talking about is the black swan theory. And the black swan theory is this idea that the general understanding, or when you think about swans, you mostly think about white swans. If I say, “What color’s a swan?” You’re not gonna say black. [laughs] You’re gonna say white. Because it seems like most swans are white, right? But there are actually black swans. So, the black swan theory pretty much says that just because things are the way that they are for a specific amount of time doesn’t mean that that’s the way that they will always be. You see what I mean? At some point, continue to look down the line of swans in the lake, and eventually, you will run into a black one. [laughs]

See, Corona is actually that. Corona is the black swan. It’s the thing that made everything different than what we were all accustomed to. 9/11 was the black swan. It’s the thing that made everything different than what we were accustomed to. And here’s the thing that we’re noticing: nobody’s ready. [laughs] This thing hit us, 9/11 hit us, we were not ready. You see what I mean? We weren’t prepared. So now, everybody’s, we all scrambling trying to figure out what are we to do now? You see what I mean? It’s the black swan theory. We thought that things would always be the way they’ve been, without any anticipation for a turn. At one point, Myspace was Facebook.

James: [laughs] Myspace. Right, right. True.

Truth: It was the white swan. You see what I mean? Technology, today, will not be – tomorrow will not be what it is today. Facebook is the – I’m not married to social media. I’m not. You know why? Black swan. I’m getting ready for the black swan. I’m getting ready for the next Corona. And I feel like that would be my word of encouragement to other artists, to diversify so that you are prepared for a pivot. You are prepared for worst case scenarios. You see what I mean? There’s so much more I wanna say about that, I wanna talk about that and money and all of that, but we can do that another time. But I just wanna throw that principle out there so that we don’t marry things the way that they are, but rather think of our future. So, that’s what I’m doing right now, diversifying.

James: Those are some good nuggets. And when you say diversify, I assume you mean, not just in your music and where your catalogue goes but even how you use yourself and all your resources?

Truth: That’s right. How I’m using myself and all my resources. Everything that is me I want to be sure to fully maximize. If I’m an apologist, fully maximize. If I’m an author, fully maximize. If I’m a podcaster, fully maximize. If I’m an artist, fully maximize. Listen. Many of us are Swiss army knives. We’re not just one thing. And we live in a culture of – and Flame and I talk about this all the time – Western culture, everything is one or the other. Who wore it best? Who did it best? Who – you know what I’m saying? Like, that’s, top five, you know what I’m saying? We love that. [laughs] You know what I’m saying? Whereas the Eastern culture, everything is both hands. You know what I’m saying? So I think that, as Westerners, we naturally have that, “What’s my one thing?” Even the way we talk about purpose. Like, we prepare people for the one thing they do well. “What’s your thing? Where do you see yourself in five years?” And what we mean is, what’s the one thing you see yourself doing in five years? But many of us are Swiss army knives. Many knives. Many of us have a plethora of gifts and talents and abilities and – you know what I’m saying – and means by which we can express and even monetize those things. So, yeah. I don’t want to keep going on, but that’s kind of – yeah. I don’t wanna keep going on, but that’s kind of, yeah.

James: No, but for real, let’s continue with this one for a minute, man, because I think it’s so instructive, man. Because, with the youth program we do, for example, we did one of the pilots in Chicago at a charter school over on the westside. And I remember, I think they were 8th graders, and you sit and start going on these conversations with them, around their passion and purpose, you know what I mean? And in the workbook, I had three lines for them, right, to do it. Not to isolate them to one, to your point, but before that, it was, “Can you start to write down bullets that speak to your talents and gifts?” Right? Let’s take a step back from that. What do you mean talents and gifts? Like, well alright, let’s do it this way. I said, “Let’s talk about your favorite superhero.” And they were like, one said, “Well, mine is… I don’t know.” First of all, you know how eighth graders are, “I don’t think this conversation makes sense.” I said, “Just ride with me.” Okay. One said, “Mine is Batman.” Okay. Another one’s Superman, Spider-Man or something. “Let’s talk about the normal storyline of what happens with superheroes.” Now, understand, I’m used to having these conversations with adults. I’m trying to figure out how to connect with these kids. I’m like, I’m nervous bro. Two minutes in the session, I’m freaking out, like, I’m used to adults, now, I gotta do this for these kids.

Truth: It’s a different animal, bro.

James: Bro, totally different, right? So, I go, check it out, “What’s the normal storyline that happens?” I said, “You know, most superheroes accidentally trip up on their powers, their superpowers.” Something happens and they usually find it accidentally. They were like, “True, true.” And I said, “And then what happens?” They were like, “Well, they start to play with it a little bit.” And I was like, “Right. They have fun.” I said, “And then what happens?” They were like, “Well, they usually figure out why they have the superpower.” I was like, “Purpose. Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I was like, “And then what happens?” They were like, “Well, they gotta figure out how to use it.” Right. I was like, “All of them?” They were like, “Yeah, because Superman does this, that and that… Then he figured out how to use them.”

Truth: Hmmm, that’s good, bro.

James: Yoda, he helps Luke Skywalker learn how to use it. And then, Shazam, he’s got this, that, that, that, and his friend helps him practice using them. So, if I tell you, as individual as your fingerprints, you’ve got superpowers, you may not know how to use it yet, but you have them there for a purpose, and I’m going to be a Yoda, are you in with me for this? They’re like, “Yoooo…” Right?

Truth: Wow.

James: To your point of a frame of reference, tying to a frame of reference without, to me, having the talent and gift inventory and sometimes a part of that thing too.

Truth: That’s good.

James: – you said man, that really struck a chord for me is anytime in any business – let’s not talk about music for a second. Let’s talk about… I don’t know, man. You want to be in the restaurant industry. And you say, alright. I’m going into restaurants, and I’m just gonna be a server. But you really intend to be in this business for a long period of time, right? You would take a certain course of action to learn that whole business. You would say, “Alright, listen, whether I’m going to start out being a sous chef, bakery, dadada, but I’m trying to make it through this whole thing and I wanna get an understanding of how the whole thing works, so that I can be intentional to understand how the whole thing works, right?” And I would just say, I would love to figure out how we – and I’m putting myself on the line here a little bit because I feel partially responsible as a part of this community, man, to figure out how we help people understand how the whole thing works so that people don’t just sign up with ten percent understanding, and then to your point, because I do believe it’s a bad contract if you don’t understand conceptually what you signed up for.

Truth: What you’re signed up for, that’s it.

James: So, in other words, look, if you’ve got this extent of belief in yourself, and you say – let’s just use numbers for a second. You’re a twenty thousand, sixty thousand dollar annual person. But you signed a contract that limits you to ten. Right? And at our ages, say you’re thirty or whatever, you’ve got a little money in your 401 K, equity in your home or whatnot. You could have said, “Well, I could take your contract, or I could make the investment myself. Because depending on what you wanna do or not, I could get my own team. I could catch from Upwork or Fiver, there’s a lot of freelancers out here. And you know what? No disrespect intended,I’m just gonna, I’mma pull ten thousand dollars out of a couple of different places, and [inaudible 54:31] plan and that way I own it top to bottom, I’m accountable, I’m responsible, and I’m going to run it this way, you know what I mean? And get some [inaudible 53:39] for some good friends, set up an advisory board and a collective, and I’mma run it. We’re gonna run it. You know what I mean?

Truth: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

James: My only point to what you were saying about the bad contract or not, I think it’s only bad if you don’t know what you signed up for.

Truth: Yeah. I agree. Yeah. I agree. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, bro. It’s a lot of moving parts with this part, but, yeah.

James: For real. So, to your point of – one of the points, you guys have been making at Complicated-ish too is the discontinued discussion – I think the last discussion about the application of Scripture in your life and things like that, man. So talk to me about, just even Complicated is, how did it all start? Where’s from – because I mean, you’re in South Carolina now, where’s he at?

Truth: Tampa.

James: He’s in Tampa, okay. So you guys gotta go virtual too now, while recording, like everybody else.

Truth: Man, I’m flying back out there.

James: Are you? Okay.

Truth: If we decide – well, we already have so many that we recorded. We’re good right now. But if it goes, depending on how long this goes… I don’t wanna do that thing virtual. I love our energy, bro. [laughs]

James: I know, I got some things coming up.

Truth: Yeah, bro. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I went out there during Corona. We shot during Corona. So, yeah.

James: How was the travel?

Truth: Oh, I mean, just wipe everything down.

James: It was cheap –

Truth: It’s a little scary.

James: You had any seat you wanted right?

Truth: Any seat I wanted.

James: I bet the plane was wide open and the fare was cheap.

Truth: You can get tickets for a dollar ninety nine. Buy one, get one free.

James: Yeah, I’m about to buy my tickets for FlavorFest now.

Truth: Get them now, bro. [laughs]

James: $99, you know what I mean?

Truth: That’s right, bro.

James: So yeah, what made you guys start that?

Truth: You know what, man? You know Flame and I, you know our history. That’s one. So, we got a lot of history, we got a real relationship. We’ve been through some real wars together, which obviously forges a bond, so I think that actually had a lot to do with it. When we were in California last year, we were in California together for around two weeks, I was there for like four days. And man, we just spent a ton of time together. And during our time together, we were just talking about – let me go back. I started talking to Flame about, I think I was asking him, talking to him about writing some years ago. Probably five, six years ago? Maybe more, maybe longer? I was talking to him about writing. I always wanted us to do something together. So I’ve always been kind of pushing him, like, “Bro, let’s do this, let’s do that, let’s do that,” just over the years. You know what I mean? Just like, once every year and a half, we’ll be having those conversations. And I think last year was just like that year where our relationship just, again, just being on a battlefield together, being in that war together just made us airtight, made the relationship airtight, and I started talking to him more about his voice. Because I really felt like people were missing out. Like, I was sitting there, because people haven’t heard from him in a while, you know what I’m saying? And not many have really had the, I’m saying the world hasn’t had the opportunity to just hear the mind of Marcus Grey. You know what I’m saying? But sitting there, we’re in Cali together, we’re out to eat, we’re at the AirBnB, we’re just up two, three in the morning, I’m listening to this dude, like “Bro, the world needs to hear you, dude! You cannot, this cannot stay in this AirBnB!” So I think that kind of, so I feel like there was just kind of like a kick in the ball of the feel throughout the years. And then I went out to work on some music with him in December, and literally, the first day I got – I was there for probably like four or five days. First day I got there, we laughing, talking, and a couple of hours into our time together, he starts to talk me about …well, him and Crystal start to talk to me about the podcast and the vision for it, and said that they were kind of thinking about me as a co-host. And for me, I didn’t even have to think twice about it. It was something, that was something that I felt like needed to happen. Anyway, I felt like the world needed to hear his voice, I felt like it was perfect timing, I feel like we were both thought leaders. And from that point forward, man, we just started, we just got right to it. Like, the thing I love about how we did it, it was, December, we talked about it, January, we shot. February, we shot. [laughs] Like, not a lot of time, like we just knew it was right and we did it. And it’s been super successful and people are really, as of probably three or so weeks ago, we got the congratulations, we have seventy five hundred downloads. That’s quite an accomplishment for us. So, we’re excited about the future, about the possibilities, man. Like, we love that people love how we’re thinking and just going to keep talking, talking out loud and see what happens.

James: Love it. One of the things – we’ll start to wrap up, man, I know we’re chewing up a lot of your time, thanks for being here.
Truth: Oh man, you’re good, bro. Hey, this is long overdue. We could do that.

James: I know, right? Like I feel –

Truth: [laughs]

James: – get a chance to catch up.

Truth: For sure, for sure.

James: You know, one of the things, when we talked about, like I talked about some of your discography earlier, man. You’ve done a lot of collaborations. Were they intentional or opportunistic? How do you think about collaborations?

Truth: You know, at my core, I’m an artsy, artsy, artsy guy. So, when I get into a creative space, it’s about the integrity of the creation. [laughs] You know what I’m saying? When I’m going to create, I might as well be like Pierre. I put my scarf on and… [laughs]

James: [laughs] One of the pictures you took, that’s exactly what I feel like. There was one picture of you doing in the studio and I was like, “that brother is deep in there.”

Truth: Yeah. I’m really a creative, bro. Through and through. I take my craft, my art, very seriously. So, when I’m working on a project, man, for me, it’s about the integrity of the art first. So, with that, once I’m working on a song, I don’t create songs for artists. I create music and then whoever kind of fits in there is who I go with. Now, if we get to the end of a project, and we’re like, you know, man it would really be advantageous for us, from an industry standpoint to get a feature on here in this space or from that space. We might do that. But, for the most part, I don’t really like to move like that. What I found, man, is features are overrated. That’s why I’m like, I like features, because I like features. Like, I want the feature on the record, because I want the feature on the record and I think they fit and it’ll make the song amazing. But my expectations for features, it’s been long since I thought, “This’ll do it, yeah, if I only get such and such, that’ll do it. If I get the CCM artist, that’ll get -” No, it doesn’t work that way, bro. It really doesn’t. So, maybe in the streaming space, it might help because people see names and they’re like, “Okay bro, I want to hear…” So, from a streaming standpoint that might be the case. But, yeah. That’s pretty much how I go about features. I’m looking for who fits, who makes sense, who do I wanna hear? Who’s on my bucket list? For example, on this new record I’m working on, I got Yolanda Adams. She’s bucket list for me. That’s auntie. You know what I’m saying? I got auntie. So…

James: You might as well go Clark Sisters brother.

Truth: You see what I’m saying? That kind of stuff. So, Yolanda’s bucket list, Kim Burrellis bucket list. So, I’m working on getting her. I tried to get her twice, I don’t think she liked the songs though. So, I’m still working on her. We’ll get there though.

James: [sings] Holding on… I mean, Kim Burrell.

Truth: Keep holding on, bro. Yeah.

James: So, you know, one of the things I’ve noticed, increasingly, man, for the last three projects, I can’t remember the brother’s name, Doctor, ah, what’s the name you interviewed…

Truth: Doctor Zacharias.

James: Yes. That project, and then the next two after that, that was right after that project, right?

Truth: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

James: Yeah. And then, of course, Chasing Ghosts, man. The increasing level of transparency and vulnerability. Just increasing levels of transparency and vulnerability…

Truth: Wow. Wow. Wow.

James: Putting your story front and center. Sharing the ups and the downs. Why is that so important to you, bro?

Truth: You know what? It’s not that it’s important to me. It’s just, it’s, you know… I literally feel like it’s just, it’s what comes to me, and I don’t want to edit myself.

James: That’s beautiful, man. That’s beautiful. So, you just let it flow, as you are…

Truth: That’s it. That’s it.

James: I’m not taking it out, just –

Truth: I’m not gonna edit myself. That’s it. You know what I’m saying? So, it’s out of the abundance of the heart, it’s where I am in that moment, and that space, whatever space I’m in at that time. Obviously, within reason. Again, we start with Christ being considered in all things, you know, Glory of God. But, yeah. I really just, and I feel like what happens though as a consequence, from the whole truth, like you said, to Chasing Ghosts, some other stuff and that, I think what happens as a consequence is that my transparency or my vulnerability, it finds a way to resonate, it resonates with people. People find themselves in my story. Or find themselves in my struggle. And that’s the beauty of art. People ask me all the time now, twenty plus years, how do you stay relevant? What do I tell them? I stay relevant by not trying to. That’s the key to relevance for me. Because relevance is about scratching an itch. It’s about – you know, how is it that thirteen, fourteen, fifteen year olds are holding up Bernie Sanders signs at the rally? [laughs] Bernie ain’t trying to be relevant, but he is. You know? Former President Barack Obama, mom jeans and a white polo, with Asics on, the white Asics. [laughs] He was not trying to be cool, bro. [laughs]

James: Putting it out there, the white Asics.

Truth: With the white Asics. But he scratched an itch. You see, Bernie scratched an itch. That’s how a sixty, seventy, eighty year old man – Donald Trump, President Trump, scratches an itch. I’m not advocating for him either way, I’m saying, as a matter of fact, he scratches an itch. You see what I mean? He touches a real place for people, somewhere. And I think that that’s the key, man. Like, if I start to edit myself and throw stuff away because it’s too vulnerable or I feel too exposed, that’s when I become irrelevant. [laughs]

James: That’s so good because, yeah, one of the podcasts I just did – I have a podcast called The Corelink Solution – and the conversation I had with someone who’s an executive coach. I do some executive coaching too, but she does as well. And one of the things she talked about, particularly in this moment was the strength of vulnerability. You know what I mean? Particularly as leaders, because one of the things that happens as leaders is that we influence outcomes and that’s what’s expected, you know? I mean, show up and drive things and influence outcomes. But one of the things that often happens too is they feel the need to show up looking bulletproof. And the real strength is actually saying, “Well nah, not so much.” You know what I’m saying? I’ve got some similar concerns too. There’s a lot of uncertainty, I’ve got less control than I had before, but I’m planning for that. I’m trying to control the unplannable. I’m trying to work through it with you as a collective, and that’s where the power is and we know the power rests in Christ of course, but that vulnerability comes across. I mean, one of the songs on the EP, Nothing Ever Fails – I think it may be Chasing Ghosts or the other song, where you talk about the weightiness of the crown, man. That joint was potent.

Truth: [laughs]

James: If y’all haven’t checked out that EP, you just need to rock with it. By the way, for my fellow Peliton riders, it fits between the seventy and ninety BPM –

Truth: [laughs]

James: It worked well.

Truth: That’s what’s up. That’s what’s up. Yeah, praise God, bro.

James: It’s so good to see you, man. Thanks for coming.
Truth: Same, bro. Absolutely.

James: Let’s close with this. If you had one thing that you wanted to see for the community, for yourself, etcetera, I guess that’s two questions – let me just leave it with one question. One thing that you’re hopeful for, man. One thing that you’re mad hopeful for in this season? What would that be?

James: I think I’m hopeful for how amazing many of us are gonna come out on the other side of this pandemic. This basically, we’re ending the way we started this conversation. I really do believe that many of us, from the creatives, to the writers, to the thinkers, even to your nine to fivers, are making the most of this time, are figuring it out, like you said. Planning now for, “Okay, we gotta be ready next time.” Or, using this time to be creative. Using this time to write, so by the time this is over, I can’t imagine how many books are coming out – there’s a lot of babies coming out of this too. [laughs] Outside of babies, [laughs] a lot of books will be coming out of this. You know what I’m saying? Albums will be coming out of this. Creativity will come out of this. Because necessity is kind of like the mother of all invention. Or the mother of innovation. So, this season of need, the season of being stripped – I feel like this is the season where we’re being stripped down, where we’re being forced to recalibrate, reprioritize. We’re being forced to kind of realign ourselves with God, reconnect with people. I just think, so by the time this is over, many of us are going to come out like pure gold. You feel me? And that’s the beauty of this, even if you’re watching, and you’re struggling. You’re one of the people that might be unemployed right now. You’re struggling to figure out what the next meal is going to be, or whatever your story is, you can really trust God through this process. If you really trust God through this process – like, so much of who you need to become happens in this space. You see what I mean? It happens right here. You follow me? The diamond is produced. It comes out of the coal, being crushed. The pearl is produced out of the oyster, the tongue of the oyster being agitated. You see? The wine out of the squeezing, the pressing – that’s the space we’re in right now. And if we respond to it properly, if we go through this the right way, we’ll come out like pure gold. You see? So, man, that’s what I’m hopeful for, coming out like pure gold.

James: Yeah, man. That’s what’s up, brother. Hey man, continued blessings on you and your family.

Truth: For sure.

James: – everything with you and your ministry, brother. Appreciate you, man. Much love.

Truth: Thank you, brother. Love to you, bro. Salute to you. Peace.

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