Monday, February 4, 2013

Mixing It Up: Platinum-selling worship leader Chris Tomlin adds DJ Promote to ‘Burning Lights’ tour


Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Chris Tomlin is squashing stereotypes of contemporary Christian music by adding DJ Promote to his 34-city “Burning Lights” worship tour.

The traveling stage show will be in support of Tomlin’s new, same-titled Burning Lights album, which earlier this month became only the fourth Christian album to ever hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 sales chart.

“I strive to create a special night for people from the beginning moments to the very end. I want them to feel engaged with the music, to be inspired, to have fun, and to be lifted up. Having DJ Promote this year brings a new element to the tour that is perfectly in line with the heart of the night,” Chris Tomlin said.


The project’s lead single, “God’s Great Dance Floor”, sports a slight EDM (electronic dance music) vibe that fits in naturally with the type of environment Carlos “DJ Promote” Trevino has been used to supplying as a professional DJ for over a decade.

Promote’s role as part of the “Burning Lights” tour will be to “throw a party” via a DJ performance after opening act Kari Jobe completes her set.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for me personally and the DJ community at large,” Trevino said. “It’s quite a statement that an artist of Tomlin’s stature understands what a DJ can bring to this type of event.”

Trevino’s turntable talents have been a part of over 11 albums and tours with artists such as Lecrae, KJ-52, Tedashii, Propaganda, B.Reith, Knowdaverbs and bands like Shane and Shane, Starfield, Jars of Clay, and Thousand Foot Krutch.

His profession and passion have led him to DJ for over 250,000 people in almost every state and in places like South Africa, Slovakia, Sweden, The Netherlands, Canada, Panama, El Salvador, and Mexico.

DJ Promote fell in love with music as a young boy in West Texas. Growing up without the positive influence of a father (who was in and out of prison) also caused him to seek acceptance and validation outside of his family. Although he found his calling in graffiti art and hip hop culture, Promote was still driven by a desire to use his art and influence to improve the lives of others.

He worked as an urban youth minister for over six years, created audio and video projects with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has been an invited participant in the SXSW (South by Southwest independent music festival), and recently founded Table Turners – a resource and partnership for DJs who are giving back to their communities.

“I try to live my life by putting people and ideas before myself,” Trevino said. “I promote the things I enjoy. I love God. I love music. I love to create and celebrate stuff that inspires people, so that’s what you’re gonna get when you come see a DJ Promote show or hear one of my mixes.”

“Hopefully it will make you feel as free as I do.”

Click here for “Burning Lights” tour dates.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Christian rapper cash hollistah. to release “goRilla” video during Super Bowl halftime show


In a stroke of magnificent marketing, Kansas-based Christian rapper cash hollistah. (all lower case & a period) announced he will offer an alternative to this Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime entertainment by dropping the music video for his new song “goRilla” on his website right after the game’s second quarter is complete.

The track, which features soul singer Sean C. Johnson, has a runtime of approximately four minutes so viewers who want to see this AND Beyonce can have their “cash” and eat it too.

“goRilla” will be on the artist’s #savednotsoft EP which will be available March 26 through Unlabeled Music.

Here’s your tease:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Christian rappers speak out on gun control laws and violence


In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and other areas of the United States, the debate over gun control is perhaps more heated than ever.

Some blame assault weapons or violent content in video games for the violence in our culture.

But others, like Thi’sl, argue more gun restrictions are not the answer. Here’s what he said about the issue in a recent appearance on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Other Christian rappers have also responded to this issue. Shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting, Houston’s Bizzle pushed his song “Better Way – Part 2″ online.

Lines include:
“They like ‘Where is your God?’ / I’m like ‘I don’t know
When you kicked Him out of your schools / where’d you tell Him to go?’”
and in reference to the Sandy Hook shooter:
“Maybe he misunderstood / maybe he thought what he was doing was all good
Maybe what he heard was ‘School – and kill ‘em in the room’ / When you really said ‘It’s cool to kill ‘em in the womb”

And Cincinnati rapper D-MAUB released “Calm Down” as a reminder that outside pressures should never lead to a violent response.

Monday, January 28, 2013

INTERVIEW: Propaganda on the response to “Puritans” and camera phones at concerts


A month ago I had the chance to sit down with spoken word/hip hop artist Propaganda and discuss a variety of topics including:
  • The response to his “Precious Puritans” song
  • Why his poem “Be Present” resonates with listeners
  • Nuances in art made by Christians
  • Camera phones at concerts
Prop and the Beautiful Eulogy folk-hip hop crew (Braille, Odd Thomas, & Courtland Urbano) return to Houston and Ecclesia tonight with a performance at Taft Street Coffee.

Details and ticket info below:

Taft Street Coffee
2115 Taft Street
Houston, TX 77006
Monday, January 28
7:30pm – 9:30pm
Tickets: $10 in advance (plus surcharges) / $15 door

Buy tickets online here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Remembering MLK with I.D.O.L. King’s “Dr. King” from 1991


Today is the day America celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Christian rap pioneers also honored him with the song “Dr. King” from their debut album Explosion that was released in 1991.


To find out why it was important to include this song and others about black history alongside the message of the gospel in their music, check out my interview with I.D.O.L. King founding member C.O.

(The discussion about this song and black pride in the church starts around the 4:30 mark.)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Second Christian rap showcase at SXSW ’13 announced


A second Christian rap showcase for 2013′s SXSW (South by Southwest) has just been announced.

The first round of artists lined up for this event include:
  • Jin
  • Da’ T.R.U.T.H.
  • The Digital Age (aka the Dave Crowder Band minus Dave Crowder)
  • Sho Baraka
  • V Rose
  • Eshon Burgundy
  • DJ DMD
  • Johnathan McReynolds
  • The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S. ATX
  • Willie Moore, Jr.
  • Propaganda

The “Kingdom Experience” will take place on Saturday, March 16 from 10am – 4pm at the Carver Cultural Center (as it has been since 2009) and will be comprised of concerts and panel discussions about music ministry.

It is an official SXSW event and, as in the past, it will be FREE and open to the public. Attendees will NOT need a SXSW badge or wristband to get in.

A separate showcase by Reach Records (including Lecrae, Andy Mineo, and others) will also be held earlier in the week. The early lineup for that concert was announced in November.

Stay tuned for more details.

Christian rapper Brinson interviewed on National Public Radio


Christian rapper Brinson was recently interviewed on National Public Radio.

The owner/CEO of GodChasez Entertainment has over a decade of experience and training as an ordained minister and was invited to the station by Melissa Ross, the producer/host of the First Coast Connect show on WJCT FM/TV.

The nearly five-minute segment covered:
  • His role as an independent hip hop artist/entrepreneur
  • His ministry work in the Jacksonville, Florida community, and
  • The ways he is helping others duplicate his success.
“Brinson is a fresh exciting voice on the First Coast,” Ross said. “I enjoyed meeting him!”

Brinson brought along Juice 20/20 of Space Cherry Films along to document the media session and was even able to perform an acapella of his track “Hit the Floor.”

“NPR offers a great service to the community and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share with their audience what God is doing through me and hip hop music,” Brinson said.

First Coast Connect is described as a show covering the issues, trends and newsmakers that have people talking. This one hour program airs Monday to Friday at 9am EST on WJCT FM/TV and is available as a podcast on NPR’s website.