In times as troubling as these, following one of the most universally mentally taxing periods in contemporary human history and an unbelievably divisive and polarizing election that saw the country reach an apex of division, Sacramento MC Tru Judah delivers a hearty slice of hope in the form of Hip Hop. Aptly titled The Healing, his new 16-song LP is haunting, poignant, powerful, and insightful. More than a call to action, though, it’s a portrait of how faith, regardless if it’s one that runs counter to your own, can shape change and ultimately free your perspective to a place of much-needed tranquility.

The project kicks off with what I can describe as intense; giving the project a full top to bottom while driving, I found myself having to pull over to take it in. It begins with relaxing nature sounds before slowly transitioning into a police shooting of an unarmed citizen then immediately into a protest. It then transitions into the child’s birth before coming full circle back to the sounds from the beginning.

It’s an emotionally stirring six-minute experience.

In a way, the intro’s arc loosely resembles the LP flow, exceptionally if you choose to accept the child’s birth as a potential allegory for his reawakening (Judah identifies as an Israelite). Much like his previous release, I’m Free, he manages to revel in his journey without necessarily prescribing — though there are moments that felt darker on this LP, rawer. “Dirty Secrets” is a great example, pulling the wool off of white America’s habit of complacency for real-world happening that falls outside of their own lives. Then there is this

There are a lot of layers to this project, not unlike an onion. There are glimpses into his journey and the past he left behind when he changed his life and accepted the divine power of a high purpose. But, I found myself most drawn to the moments of motivation and strength, especially given the week we’ve all had to go through.

There are some incredibly useful anecdotes I walked away with from the collection of songs. For example, this one story on the neo-soul-tinged “The Window.” In it, he details an exchange with a bird. He’s momentarily emotional considering how he’d love to fly away like the birds before it tells him he’ll never be free if he doesn’t spread his wings and merely try. I ran it back a few times.

“Persevere” also feels like such a relatable storyline of overcoming and holding on to whatever hope one deems necessary — amid depression and crushing isolation. Amongst the lows, though, are incredibly high with songs like “I’m Free,” which sees him exude his passion for his spirituality over a fun, soulful soundscape. “Friends” is a letter of utmost love and appreciation for the friends he counts as blessings in his life, and the outro, “A Toast To Success,” feels like a celebration.

Spiritually infused Hip Hop isn’t always this approachable; Tru Judah walks a comfortable tight rope of personal affirmations, OG level straight-talk, and sociopolitically aware pen game. Sonically, it’s consistent as hell. Judah’s distinct cadence and eclectic lyrical content give The Healing a lot of life — and in today’s world, its underlying messages are something that could all use.