They call him THE AMBASSADOR…The A-M-B-A! Born William “Duce” Branch, he represents what appears to be two clashing cultures—the Kingdom of God and hip hop.
THE AMBASSADOR, a founding member of the critically acclaimed group The Cross Movement, stands as a shining example of how hip hop can be properly submitted to God while avoiding the typical corruptions commonly associated with it. This tricky navigation did not develop without a struggle, but God has clearly maneuvered this man who is destined to impact the music industry and the world.
Having been raised primarily by his father in New York City, THE AMBASSADOR came of age during the same time as the escalating new influence of the streets—hip hop. He followed the example of the genre’s heroes, in both positive and negative ways—writing rhymes that caught the attention of others and provoked the thoughts of his peers but also, unfortunately, falling prey to the urban drama of heavy drug use, petty dealing and sexual promiscuity. By his late teens, the Lord began to unravel the lies of the culture and THE AMBASSADOR found himself empty, losing vital relationships with his family and close friends and challenged with becoming a teenage father. But that pain ignited the spirit of the maturing artist, instilling in him an appetite to impact the hip hop culture with a refueled faith.
THE AMBASSADOR began studies at Philadelphia Biblical University (formerly Philadelphia College of Bible), eventually graduated from Lancaster Bible College and then went on to receive his Masters in Theology from the prestigious Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). He went on to co-plant and co-pastor an urban church in North Philadelphia and these fruitful years also brought forth his marriage to Michelle Branch and five children.
Making his mark in music with a groundbreaking debut solo album Christology: In Laymen’s Terms, THE AMBASSADOR began delivering intense scripturally rooted lyrics set in poetic, dynamic flow. His successful sophomore CD The Thesis, and a GRAMMY® and Stellar nominated project HIStory: Our Place In His Story (with The Cross Movement) soon followed. His third solo offering, The Chop Chop: From Milk to Meat proved to be a deep, weighty collection for Christians that are hungry for real truth and ready to mature.
He has toured globally as a solo artist and with The Cross Movement, and he has been covered by Christian and mainstream media outlets as diverse as Time Magazine, CCM Magazine, VIBE, The Source, Billboard and The Washington Post. His TV appearances include BET’s “106 & Park Presents: Generation Gospel” and “Bobby Jones Gospel,” TV1’s “The Gospel of Music with Jeff Majors,” CBN’s “700 Club” and TBN’s “Praise the Lord” and “Real Videos.”