Wednesday, December 31, 2008
If you missed that fly Syntax Records New Year's Eve Party podcast hosted by DJ Promote you need to get in gear and download the jawn here for FREE.
And don't go claiming that "gangstas don't dance - we boogie" mess neither. Those last six minutes of the set will have your kaboose on the loose.
Monday, December 29, 2008
If you've still got some Christmas cash in your pocket and want some fresh gear, be sure to head over to Designs By Faith and cop some freshness.
They've been a great supporter of The Wade-O Radio Show lately are definitely worth a look.
I'm sporting my fave, the "Life is Mine" tee, and I copped "The Truth" design (at the top) to give to my sign-language loving brother s/ave for the holiday.
Get yours online here.
Note the alternate spelling in the URL:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
"The Word [God] became flesh and made his dwelling among us." - John 1:14
I know I used this verse to celebrate Christmas last year, but it still rocks my world.
The Creator became flesh. Stepped out of heaven. Got down in the dirt. Just so we could know him better.
Ponder that and worship.
Merry Christmas from Sketch the Journalist.
The good men from Rap Fest in the NY are offering you another FREE Christmas gift.
Check out and download the heat contained in this little ditty here.
Thirty-eight tracks? Are you kiddin'?!?
I haven't been able to spin my copy yet, but have heard a few joints like the Thee Three Kings track from Syntax Records.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
How crazy is that in the same week both Common and Soulja Boy are making statements about their music getting more positive?
While it's no surprise that Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr [aka Com Sense] is talking about this shift (although I'm told his newest album belies his track record), it is noteworthy for Superman do it.
Known for his Trojan Horse dance tracks, shouts out to slave owners, and self promotion, S-Boy now says he knows kids look up to him and that he wants to change.
I appreciate the talk, but frankly want to see it in their walk.
Rapper Common: Obama will change hip-hop's attitude (CNN.com)
Soulja Boy says "Sorry", promises positive image (AP/YouTube)
Some good resources for those of you deep in urban ministry:
If you or someone you know is a youthleader/mentor and looking for a fresh new way to connect with urbanized youth, Christianhiphopper.com proudly presents The Urban Remix Project.
This is a brand new, two part curriculum which includes fourteen lessons dealing with: Culture, Media, Leadership, Character, Manhood, Womanhood, Abstinence, Sex, Relationships, Marriage & Family.
This curriculum was designed by Brady Goodwin aka Phanatik of The Cross Movement after spending a year in the public schools of Philadelphia working with churched and unchurched youth on the above mentioned character formation issues. Seeing the limited resources that were available to urban youth workers when dealing with these issues, an effort was then made to understand the communication gaps within the culture and between the generations and then frame these topics in ways that would immediately speak to the current context in which many of our youth find themselves. This material will prove to be an education for the youthleader just as much if not more than for the youth it was designed to reach.
To order your educator's edition visit the store at www.christianhiphopper.com today
For more info contact: email@example.com
The author is also available for training sessions/consultations/speaking engagements.
Send postal mail to:
P.O. Box 9831
Philadelphia PA 19140
Friday, December 19, 2008
Need some nicey, nice Christian rap Christmas jams to go into the weekend?
Check out DJ One Three's "Christmas Gumbo Volume 2" mix. There are a lot of fun joints on here - especially KJ-52 and Pettidee's stuff. There's also worship joints, classic carols, and even a few rockers.
Download yours for FREE right 'chere!
- Tha GIM X-in' tha MAS
- Pres. Barack Obama Intro
- Nutcrackin' Perfect Blend
- KJ52 feat. Alvin & The Chipmunks - It's Christmas Time
- Christmas Song Blend
- K-Drama - Joy to the World
- (one3 Quick Mix) Joy To The World
- Pettidee feat. Willie the elf - No Chimney (The Projects)
- Krumpin' Sugar Plum Fairies
- Excelsius - The Real Christmas Story
- J.R. - On this Day
- Kierra "KiKi" Sheard - This Christmas
- FLAME - Invasion Day
- Bing Crosby - Happy Holiday (Holiday Inn Cribbin')
- Thousand Foot Krutch - Jingle Bell Rock
- Jingle Bell Blend
- Ambassador - Came Down feat. Latia & Keran
- Ohmega Watts - I'll Be Home for Christmas remix'd
- LaShun Pace - Go Tell it on the Mountain
- Louis Armstrong - Baby, It's Cold Outside
- August Burns Red - Carol of the Bells
- K-Drama - Carol of the Bells
- Dean Martin - (Rock da) Jingle Bells
- Mahalia Jackson - Silent Night
- Antonio Neal - Steppin' (in the new year)
- It's the Most Wonderful Outro
- Bonus: Prodigal Son - My Blokk feat. Canton Jones
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Relevant Magazine's guest blogger Seth "Tower" Hurd (a radio DJ heard on Chicago's 89.7 Shine FM and 101.7 FUSE in Saginaw, Michigan) has written several entries I've enjoyed. His latest explores the Auto-Tune trend with comments from industry insiders about their love/hate relationship with the "robot voice fixer thing."
Check it out here.
For more in-depth reading on the subject, check out this piece from The New Yorker Magazine I caught a few months ago.
From the good men at Syntax Records:
Can't afford a DJ to spin at your private New Years event? Once again the innovators at Syntax Records have solved your crisis! Bring in the New Year in style by having a professional DJ mix your party!
Here are 4 easy steps!
• Make sure you have iTunes installed. If you do not it’s a free download at www.itunes.com
• Make sure you are 'subscribed' to TheSynCast through iTunes. To make sure you have subscribed properly click on the “PodCasts” link in the left area of iTunes. You’ll see it next to Music, TV, etc. The most recent episode which is the Christmas episode will should have downloaded. Congratulations you are subscribed.
• Now that we have established you are properly subscribed the next step is to just simply open iTunes on or after December 26th 2008. Doing this will ensure that the New Years Eve PodCast downloads to your local computer so you have time to get all set up for your party.
• On Wednesday December 31st 2008 at exactly 11:30PM press PLAY on your computer, iPod, or whatever device you have downloaded the PodCast to. Turn down the lights, and get your groove on. No need to keep looking at your watch cause DJ Promote has it all under control for you!
Don't forget to pick up 'Wages of Syntax 2' mixed by DJ Promote if you would like to host another private party and bypass the cost of having someone DJ the event! If you haven't already check out the trailer on YouTube!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
First is was Star Wars, then Indiana Jones, and Batman. Now hip hop cover art is getting the LEGO treatment - which proves that rounded plastic can make just about anything more palatable.
Peep the whole collection here.
Friday, December 12, 2008
If for some reason you weren't down with Creezy being the new face of Christian hip hop, you should be now.
Props to joseph29 from the HCR message board for this find.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Much Luvv Records & URGEWORKS Donate Time, Money, and Talent to Texas Children’s Hospital with "Be You" hip hop show
All photos by Sketch the Journalist unless otherwise noted
Much Luvv Records and URGEWORKS recently donated their time, money, and talent to teen patients and their families at Texas Children’s Hospital.
On Saturday, December 6, 2008 the group of rappers, dancers, actors, and singers performed a one-hour program titled “Be You.” The show incorporates rap and dance elements of the hip hop culture and stresses positive self-expression and motivation.
Colcutz and Tre9 discuss their broken "robot" dancer
URGEWORKS b-boys come in all sizes and ages
Nearly 70 people crammed into the recreation room near the TCH’s Lollipop Radio Station to enjoy the event. Rapper Tre9 hosted the session along with b-boy dancer Colcutz.
The duo educated the audience about the history of the hip hop culture and ran through several examples of rap music and different regional dances. Later S.O.M. performed a song titled “Fiyah Starters”, and Tre and Colcutz engaged the audience with a skit about their broken “robot” dancer. Hip hop soul artist Von Won closed out the day with an a capella version of “Silent Night.”
S.O.M. lights it up
Von Won brings the Christmas carol
“The event was awesome,” TCH Child Life Partner Rosland Verge said. “I definitely hope this won’t be the last time we see this group visit.”
The big check
At the end of the show, all of the Much Luvv Records and URGEWORKS friends, members, and affiliates presented Ms. Verge with a check for $500 for the hospital to purchase additional toys, art supplies, and games for the rec room.
The money was raised via a charity softball game organized by Much Luvv Records and URGEWORKS where each player was asked to raise at least $100 each for their lineup spot.
Pastor Daniel Hearne is a full time chaplain for Texas Children’s Hospital and invited the two groups to perform at the facility. It was the first time in anyone’s memory that a hip hop group had made such a visit, but Hearne believes it is a welcome one, particularly when it was from such an uplifting group of well respected artists from Much Luvv Records and URGEWORKS.
Colcutz and Tre9 share their story
“These kids are sick and losing hope,” Hearne said. “Anything that’s positive is sure to help.”
Tre9 signs an autograph for a new fan
Patients and families like 16 year old Adrian and his mother seemed to agree, smiling throughout the presentation and saying they really enjoyed the show afterward. Participating artists like Ryan Boyce of S.O.M. concur.
“I had the pleasure of meeting a young man nicked-named ‘Lefty.’ We played basketball together in the game room and he was a great shot,” Boyce recalled. “It was a fantastic experience and I hope we impacted, uplifted and brought cheer into each of their lives.”
Ms. Verge (Texas Children's Hospital) is all smiles
More pics from Mrs. McDowell
Monday, December 8, 2008
The big homie LaRosa Johnson released his Top 10 Christian Rap Albums of 2008 list last week. Read it here and let the debating begin.
I don't agree with all his choices, but that's what this is all about right? LJ's got all my respect though. Dude's thorough with his (peep the ranking breakdown chart at the end) and a prolific writer (knocking out 20 something reviews over the Thanksgiving holiday alone) who often puts me to shame.
I'm debating what type of end-of-year list to put together. Last year I did a Top 10 video list and will be working on a Top 10 CHH story list for Wade-O's show in the coming weeks. Let me know if you have a special request though.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Here's your teaser and link to the full piece.
The introductory track to k-Drama's new album, "The Inevitable", builds anticipation to the rest of the disc. The artist's quick rap and explanation of the BoomBaptism title hooks the listener with a promise of a musical rebirth to come. And with a Theory Hazit-provided Thriller-like howl in the background, one immediately wants to buy into the vision of the project.Continue reading
So it's quite a let down when...
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The result: a deliciously funny and depth probing two hours Regis coined "k-Drama Wadio."
And don't miss the "Stretch the Plagiarist - HHH on Blast" parody segment he did with my full blessing.
Dude got my monotone and errryything.
Download it here.
Subscribe via iTunes here.
• "Let's Go"-D-M.A.U.B. (Urban Legend)
• "Man on Fire"- Sean Slaughter (Man on Fire)
• "I'm Back"- J.Johnson (The Struggle)
• Random Thoughts by k-Drama
• "Put Your Love On Me"-Marvin Winans Jr. (Image of a Man)
• "Love Like Crazy"- Kierra "KiKi" Sheard (Bold Right Life)
• k-Drama Sings Me Crazy
• "Autotoon"- k-Drama (Sing Me Crazy Submission)
• DJ Wade-O interview Part 1
• "Testify"-Shai Linne (Storiez)
• DJ Wade-O Interview Part 2
• Stretch the Plagiarist-HHH on Blast
• "Better Days"-Ambassador, Da Truth & Michelle Bonilla (Urban Compositions)
• DJ Wade-O Part 3
• "My Lady"-Street Pastor (The Underdogg's Anthem)
• "Do it All Again"-k-Drama (untitled)
• DJ Wade-O Part 4
• "Joyful Noise"-Flame & Lecrae (Our World Redeemed)
Download their Christmas edition now to hear shout outs from tons of top-rated industry figures (I guess I didn't make the cut - Heh) and some nice Christmas rappity raps.
The "Three Kings" from RedCloud, Jeremiah Bonds, and Kaboose is mad dope as is Tommy Percival's "Sidewalk Santa."
Download it here.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Hosted by Theory Hazit, this should be a nice one for the b-boys and those (like me) who can only watch with envy.
Download yours for FREE-99 right 'chere.
Man, if I was in the F-L-A I know I'd be there. Get your concert on, skate on, and be in KJ's next new video: "Stuck in the 80's."
I had the chance to interview him last night for an upcoming cover story in Tha Message Magazine and he told me that not only does he have a "Zach Morris"-sized cell phone to rep the decade, but he's even got one that's about half the size of his body. And y'all know Tweezy is a tall dude.
If the video is half as crazy as his last one then you know it's going to be a fun time.
Also check out: http://www.myspace.com/kjstuckinthe80s
And here's another clip with some more info from the man himself.
I love the Solar Powered drink at the end, but am mad dude didn't take my suggestion to tape a smackdown of the Energizer Bunny as his lyrics suggest.
Solar Powered By Brinson feat. D-M.A.U.B from Brinson on Vimeo.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Peep details in the vid below and look for my review of the album to hit DaSouth.com soon.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This cut has been blazin' The Wade-O Radio Show lately and is one you definitely need to hear/cop.
It's the antidote for everyone that complains about the lack of unity and crew jams in holy hip hop.
Download it from their MySpace site: www.myspace.com/theBREAX
From the presser:
San Marcos, CA- Fresh off the release of their critically acclaimed and successful sophomore album, When theBREAX Sold Out, Hip-Hop/Spoken Word band theBREAX are at it again with the release of the Get Ignorant Remix.
The Get Ignorant Remix marks the first time that an artist from every major camp in Christian Hip-Hop appears on the same song. Braille (of Light Headed), Theory Hazit (of Scribbling Idiots), NomiS (of Gallery Drive), Eric Cross (Beatmart Recordings), (Proph 1 of the Frontlynaz), Sev Statik (of Deepspace 5 & Tunnel Rats), R Swift (of Rhyme Council & Cross Movement Records) and Rockwilder's Fuel/KIK Records artist Whuteva.
The Remix was first exclusively released to DJ Wade-O and premiered on episode 80 of the Wade-O radio show:
"I'm just joyed that all of those different cats can get on one record, with one common theme… I'm real encouraged by that… you had all these different people on there who some people might say, 'their crews don't like each other', or 'people don't get along' or whatever it is… and I'm just real encouraged that all those different guys from different crews can come together and make one record that still has the focus of preaching the Gospel, even with all the sarcastic elements in there… man I'm real encouraged by that… to get all those people on one accord, crazy man, that's how big our God is!" DJ Wade-O – Wadeoradio.com
Get Ignorant originally appeared on When theBREAX Sold Out, the new Remix will appear as a bonus track on theBREAX new album Restocked, which will be exclusively available on their new Hybrid DVD Broken Television coming out in February 2009. Broken Television features a documentary, live performance footage, music videos, over an hour of bonus footage, and theBREAX entire music catalogue. The song can currently be heard and downloaded from theBREAX myspace page.
Monday, November 17, 2008
DJ Wade-O told me about this a few weeks ago and the interview just hit iTunes this week, but apparently during his set with Da' T.R.U.T.H., my man started off by saying "This is a question from Sketch..."
There was a stumble and then Da' T.R.U.T.H. asked if "Sketch" was just a character/persona that Wade played on his show.
I'm real T - I promise. :)
We met backstage when you were in town over a year ago. I wrote it up here on my blog and took a quick flick with you. (In your defense, you probably get asked to meet and take pics with 1,000's of cats.)
Anyway, I just thought it was humorous and Wade and I have speculated that maybe even my cartoon-ish avatar threw you off.
As you know, Wade-O's show is top notch and his conversation with Da' T.R.U.T.H. is no different.
Download the enhanced digital version of this show here and subscribe via iTunes if you can.
And T.R.U.T.H., next time you're in town let me buy you a milkshake or something and prove I'm not a ghost.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I've got mad love for the cats at Syntax Records. Some 'em some yourself by subscribing to their podcast and giving them a shoutout for the Christmas show. Details below.
It's that time of the year again! Syntax Records is compiling 'greetings' from our friends and colleagues out there in the world for our Christmas themed PodCast. It takes us a very long time to create/edit this show so get your shout-outs in right away!
Reason's why you should call:
-You've never given a shout-out before... live a little.
-The audience is listening. Tell them what you think!
-You can promote a product, service, or company.
-Even if you don't celebrate Christmas people all over the world
still enjoy listening to your warm (digital) greeting to them.
-It makes YOU cool because you are 1 out of 5 Billion people on the planet who are NOT on the PodCast...
-It makes US cool because you are a special or important person in this industry and people are impressed that we know you :)
Step 1: Pick up your phone and dial 619-312-4586 (no one ever answers it's just a voicemail)
Step 2: The voicemail greeting will begin yelling at you, don't let him scare you.
Step 3: Beep. Anything from this point on is being recorded. Let us know who you are, what you are, where you are, what you want the world to know.
To hear if you made it to the episode search "syntax records" in iTunes making TheSynCast.com pop up and then click 'subscribe' it's free
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I highly suggest that you join the Holy Culture Record Pool, that's where I get most of my acapellas and instrumentals from. If you are serious about DJin' you must consider joining, it's worth the $$$ plus you get stuff that you will not get ANYWHERE else.
OK enough on the record pool check out the videos.
Urban D. - UnOrthodox "Subelo" Reggaeton
Here I mixed UnOrthodox Acapella with Funky's (a Christian Reggaeton Artist)Instrumental "Subelo". The acapella I got from Urban D's UnOrthodox EP and the instrumental came on Funky's CD "Corriendo Para Ganar" Both songs are about the same Beats Per Minute (BPM)
Urban D. - UnOrthodox DJ Primo Reggaeton Remix from DJ Primo on Vimeo.
Urban D. - UnOrthodox "Where You From "
Same thing as the previous video, but this time I mixed the acapella with Oppose's "Where You From" Instrumental (Check out Where You From Part 2 on DJ Morph's International Album it's hot)
Urban D - Un-Orthodox DJ Primo (Where U From) Remix from DJ Primo on Vimeo.
Lecrae - Praying For You "Hands Up"
I got "Praying For You" Acapella from HC record pool, then I mixed it with Kierra "KiKi" Sheard's Instrumental of Hands Up. I believe one of the DJ's at the 1 Accord DJ alliance hooked me up with that. I'm going to say it was DJ LACE.
Lecrae - Praying For You DJ Primo (Hands Up) Remix from DJ Primo on Vimeo.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Feel free to stop by and drop them a line there too.
Rep Christ in all ways if you decide to visit.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Fellas on the cut include: Von Won, Dat Boy Jesse, JP, Eno, Trevor Lee, Child of Christ, RBS, J Real, Narrow and Denzil.
SHEEP IN WOLVES CLOTHING "CHOPPED LIVER" MUSIC VIDEO
Friday, November 7, 2008
It gets worse when you compare the just released animated video (below) to the fan-created image (at the top) PJ's had on his MySpace page for over a year. Peep the full beard, suit coat, et al.
Yikes! Do we have another CY/T-Pain issue on our hands?
Of course Pigeon predicted people would eventually take his steez. Check this verse from the "Dating Your Sister" album.
"I don't really care what they think / tomorrow they'll be doing my song / and will be claiming it's new / and 10 years ago they used to say 'That ain't even hip hop' / now they're dipped in a Sinatra suit
And actin' real silly / thinkin' PJ's a joke / but they'll be doin' exactly what I do / I'll tell you what / I'll give you my style right now to save time / Cuz it takes time for you to chew / Obviously...."
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Peep the hotness when Lecrae's "Jesus Muizk" meets Jacob Izreal's "Godly Life."
Jesus Musik Feat. Trip Lee DJ Primo Godly Life Remix from DJ Primo on Vimeo.
Up and coming couture company AOG Clothing 611 recently scored a big win by signing gospel rapper Bobby “Tre9” Herring to a formal endorsement contract.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but general agreements include supplying Tre9 with new and exclusive designs for performances and public appearances, use of his likeness in various forms of advertisement, and the artist’s general promotion of the line as his preferred urban apparel supplier.
“Tre9 is a perfect spokesman for us on so many levels,” AOG Clothing 611 founder Tony Lewis said. “First, his reputation as a pioneering leader in urban music ministry is impeccable. Second, he reaches the diverse audience we also want to reach. Third, he’s from our hometown and looks great in our various designs.”
AOG Clothing 611 believes it can be a tool to share the message of Christ. The name itself often sparks a conversation when people inquire about the meaning behind each detail.
AOG stands for elements of the “Armor of God” which Christians understand to be mandatory for successful spiritual battle. The number “611” represents the specific Bible verse, Ephesians 6:11, from which the idea is taken.
The company was founded in October of 2007. Although their current designs are only on T-shirts, plans are in the works to expand to denim, caps, hoodies, and other fashionable and high-demand pieces.
“There is a need for Christian urban clothing lines that are well known and just as popular as their mainstream counterparts,” Tre9 said. “We need to give our youth something to feel proud of just like they are with Sean John, Echo, and Rocawear.”
AOG is also cognizant of separatist, inferior, and often “me-too” reputation of most Christian alternatives.
“The separation is in our message - not our clothes. We want it to be current with the styles of today. Future concepts may not even have a written or literal Christian message on them, but may just be designed uniquely,” Lewis said.
“I wouldn’t endorse something that’s cheesy,” Tre9 said. “Those who have followed my career know that if I put my name to something it has to represent my Lord in excellence.”
For more information on AOG Clothing 611 and to see design samples visit www.myspace.com/aogclothing
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The long-awaited relaunch of DaSouth.com is here.
Hit it up for a FREE download of DJ D-Lite's new "Election" mixtape. I love how Zee designed the cover art to have the Democrats on the left and the Republicans on the right.
And be sure to peep the front page exclusive video/story taken from "The Fence" documentary of Rick Ross & David Banner being asked about their faith and lyrical responsiblity.
Get it in!
(NOTE: Despite the still screen on the video, this is neither a pro-Obama or pro-McCain clip. In fact, Webb is even fine if Christians DON'T cast a vote.)
BTW, you can snag a special Election 08 copy of his excellent "Mockingbird" album here for FREE from his revolutionary NoiseTrade website.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Just in time for Halloween, peep the new joint from Braille Brizzy and S1 (Strange Fruit Project). You'll remember their classic jam "Blessed Man" off the "IV" record.
And no, it ain't a joint celebrating demons, pumpkins, and candy. Download your copy here and dig into the metaphor.
"Doctor, doctor / you strapped me down and made me awkward / now I walk with a crooked posture / I am not your experiment / stop messing with my appearance and interferin' with my ability to know God and fear Him / Liar! I am not a monster! / I was not created to be a gangster or robber! / We were not created to be hustlers and strippers / killin' our enemies and pouring out liquor"
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Tre9 just hit me with this news and said he'll be standing with Book at tomorrow afternoon's protest.
From the presser:
October 28, 2008
Wrestling Star Booker T to Protest Local Sports Bar for Religious Discrimination
Booker T., the five time WCW World Wrestling Champion and current TNA superstar is protesting for the discrimination he experienced because of his Christian faith on October 26th at Vito's Deck House located at 20237 Gulf Freeway in
. Houston, Texas
On Sunday afternoon Booker T. went into a local restaurant/bar to meet a friend, Marty Wright and try to catch an hour of the Texans game. He had never been to this particular place before and neither had his friend. Approximately 15 minutes after arriving they were approached by the bartender and told that the Marty Wright had to either remove his crosses or leave.
Booker did not accept those terms and asked to speak with a manager. The manger explained it was part of the establishment's "dress code." Booker asked to see the sign where the dress code was posted, which couldn't be found. After T refused to leave because of the cross on his friend's neck, the manager called the police to make them both leave. This led to the police asking Booker and Marty to leave and a police report was filed with the incident documented. There were two other customers who also sported Christian crosses but were not approached by the manager. They left the establishment once they witnessed the discrimination against Booker T.
Booker T is urging all people who are just as offended by the incident to join him personally from 12:00-1:30PM Wednesday to rally against this establishment and make it known what they are doing. Booker claims, "I am outraged that there is restaurant trying to suppress people's freedom to express their belief in God. I will take a stand and make the whole city aware of this establishment's discriminative behavior."
Booker T. will provide signs and banners for this protest. If you would like to join in the picket against this establishment or provide media coverage for the protest, the information is below.
Vito's Deck House
20237 Gulf Freeway
Nasa Road1 Home Depot )
Wednesday, October 29th
Thanks to all of you who read, link, comment, and send source material.
Here's to another 365 plus days of HHH news & opinion.
Friday, October 24, 2008
So Mary Mary’s got a new record out and a lot of the early buzz seems to center around the appearance of mainstream rapper David Banner on the track “Superfriend.”
The questions seem to go:
- Is Banner a Christian or recent convert?
- Does his verse add or detract from the message of the song?
- Can the feature give Banner a false validation for his faith and standing with the Holy One?
- And why in the world didn’t the girls just Reach out (pun intended) to some quality gospel rap cats we know like Lecrae, Trip Lee, or Da’ T.R.U.T.H.?
Some of you have passionate, easy, and clear-cut answers to the questions. Others see some shades of gray.
Is Banner a Christian or recent convert?
I don’t know. I would imagine that he, like a large portion of rappers, would define his faith as Christian. His albums often carry spiritual themes - his latest being “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” And his songs and lyrics will frequently touch upon several social ills such as the lack of fraternal role models and the devastating impacts of poverty – things that I’m sure prick the heart of Christ and his followers.
At the same time, his biggest hits are songs with titles such as “Like a Pimp” and “Stuntin’ Is a Habit” that seem to go in a totally opposite direction. His last album even carried the seemingly contradictory title “Baptized In Dirty Water” that appears to exemplify this dual nature.
Does his verse add or detract from the message of the song?
Actually, his lyrics seem to be the most directly spiritual on the song. Mary Mary’s “Superfriend” sounds awfully vague whereas Banner specifically references God as “Lord” and “Christ” and acknowledges the enemy of Satan.
Banner also admits he is weak, says he doesn’t deserve God’s blessings on his life, believes more in relationship than religion, and says he knows there is nothing that could separate the grip that Jesus has over his soul.
On the other hand, there’s the admission that he curses in his music, deals with angry outbursts against authority figures, and turns to sex and drugs to fill voids in his spirit. He also describes the “superfriend” hugging him a night and seems to say Jesus is just a “plan for greater peace.”
Toward the end, he also shouts out his previous Billboard bullets by saying “Stuntin’ Is a Habit” and that people assume he’s a “pimp.”
So again, we hear the two sides of David B.
Can the feature give Banner a false validation for his faith and standing with the Holy One?
Perhaps. In interviewing Christian artists for the upcoming “Fence” documentary with Tre9, this was a valid argument I heard against doing such collaborations with secular rappers. There is a fear that it gives the artist a stamp of approval from the Christian community and allows them to feel like their relationship to the Messiah is just fine because other believers still work with and accept him.
Now, for me personally, I can accept and respect that standpoint. I also see and know of cases where these collabs have opened up opportunities for ministry, discipleship, and greater spiritual accountability.
I think it has to be decided on a case-by-case basis with prayer and direction from the Holy Spirit. That’s often a component we leave out when we want to draw hard and fast rules and regulations around this art we’ve given to God’s glory. Although we should have standards, I think we also need to allow room for the Trinity to work outside of our boxes when prompted.
And why in the world didn’t the girls just get some quality gospel rap cats we know like Lecrae, Trip Lee, or Da’ T.R.U.T.H.?
This one is a little bit harder to answer. We KNOW Mary Mary has been exposed to quality Christian rap throughout their careers – even recently being on tour with someone like Da’ T.R.U.T.H.
Perhaps it was label pressure to get a guest artist with a higher mainstream profile. Maybe they already had a relationship with Banner (which it sounds like - see the 106 & Park link below) and wanted to draw him closer with a collab.
I’m not sure other than to say I believe a better and clearer gospel message could have been delivered by one of our community’s top-shelf MCs than someone from the mainstream who appears to still be struggling to fully express his faith in his music and lifestyle.
And since Mary Mary is an R&B/urban gospel type group, the few rap features they DO put on their albums really stand out and should be considered with great care.
For this one, I’m going to say they probably should have used someone known as an established Christian rapper.
And I’m also going to give props for David Banner’s apparent push toward the cross in his life and lyrics. Had this verse been on his own album I think it could have been a highlight of the project. But since it’s on Mary Mary’s record and is being marketed to the church crowd, it just comes off like dirty baptismal water.
Oh yeah, just between you and me, you might want to check out the launch of DaSouth.com on November 4 for some comments about David Banner’s faith and action directly from the dude’s mouth.
Mary Mary talk about the collab on BET's 106 & Park
A different perspective
Thursday, October 23, 2008
You need to know about s/ave.
He’s the dude from Heaven’s Hip Hop Magazine that used to write the “Real Criticisms” page that really took cats to task about the quality of their Christian rap. He later started ONEMIND Magazine which begat om95.com which eventually turned into DaSouth.com.
All of that to say, he’s a guy that LIVED and BREATHED holy hip hop.
Now, he doesn’t even listen. Instead, he’s found his heart in modern praise and worship music.
But back to our convo the other night - as usual, I tried to get our talk to at least touch on gospel rap. I asked if he had even tuned in to anything lately and he said no.
A major reason: not enough worship in those rhymes.
Which got me to thinking, surely he’s missing out. I know for a FACT that guys ARE putting holy praise on their albums…. Right?
So I had an idea. I was going to make slave a mixtape of some of the best worship rap joints I’ve got in my iTunes library.
But my search came up with several surprises.
To be honest, it proved a little more challenging than I expected. You see, once I started to apply a standard of pure worship to my list, it kept getting smaller and smaller.
It’s a definition I got from blog written by shai linne a while back. In it, he noted there’s a difference between lyrics that say we’re going to praise God and actually praise God. It’s like bragging to my friends about how often I tell my wife I love her and then never actually speaking those words to her face.
Unfortunately, a lot of our gospel rap is the former instead of the latter.
I also noted that in the worship-type tracks I DID find, several names, camps, and labels came up multiple times. Trip Lee’s last project had several vertically-focused songs. Ambassador’s got a list too. I encourage you to check your own digital library to see what you can find.
So, am I advocating a wholesale switch from topical, evangelistic, or social issue-based lyrics from Christian MCs? Absolutely…. Not.
But, I am saying my soul could sure use another “Sinner’s Prayer” project from MG! the Visionary, “In Rare Form” from Rawsrvnt, or simply a few more worship joints from my favorite artists to balance out their albums.
“…Out of the mouth the heart speaks,” right?
Check out s/ave's Worship-hop Blog.
And best believe your humble blogger is tagging right along to that gravy train with expanded commentary via the Holy Hip Hop News Blast segments on the Wade-O Show.
I'm proud for my big homie and encourage you to lift him in prayer as he takes on this new challenge.
Details from the presser:
Newark, NJ - The power and favor of Jesus the Christ is taking DJ Wade-O’s podcast, “The Wade-O Radio Show,” to a new level. On Saturday, November 1, the show will debut as a syndicated FM Radio program to a potential 6.5 million listeners in the NYC/NJ Metro area, not to mention those across the nation that will take advantage of the station’s online streaming capabilities and those that are already accustomed to hearing Wade-O via the Internet.
The Wade-O Radio Show will broadcast from 11 PM to 1 AM every Saturday evening on WRDR The Bridge FM. The Bridge simulcasts live online at http://www.bridgefm.org/ as well as over the following frequencies in the Greater New York City Metropolitan Area:
• 103.1 FM in NYC and Northern NJ
• 89.7 FM in Monmouth / Ocean Counties, NJ
• 99.7 FM in Sullivan County, NY
• 94.3 FM in Pomona, NY
• 98.9 FM in Poughkeepsie, NY
Currently, The Bridge broadcasts Holy Hip Hop Pioneer DJ Floyd Cray’s ground-breaking “Gospel Vibrations” show from 11 PM to 1 AM every Saturday. The combination of the already built-in listener base from “Gospel Vibrations” and the present following of “The Wade-O Radio Show” podcast should present a sizeable audience for ministries, businesses, and advertisers seeking to target the coveted 16-40 years of age demographic set in the NYC/ Northern New Jersey Metro Area.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” DJ Wade-O said. “I started the Wade-O Radio Show Podcast with the intent of ministering to my friends through music and interviews and am grateful that I have been able to maintain the original mission the Lord gave me as I have made new friends all around the world.
“The show has grown to have listeners in nearly every state in the U.S. as well in countries like Canada, Kenya, Ghana, the U.K., and even Australia. I’m really looking forward to serving the New York and New Jersey markets and continuing the work of my predecessor, Floyd Cray. I hope this encourages all of my peers who are doing podcasts to keep pressing. We can get our shows placed on FM Radio!”
The syndicated version of The Wade-O Radio Show will continue to include exclusive music, artist interviews, holy hip hop news and commentary by Christian hip hop writer/columnist Sketch the Journalist, special segments, new label and artist information, and special giveaways to listeners.
The new broadcast will be used to give the radio audience the first chance to hear the popular radio show before it will be available for free podcast download the following Sunday.
The debut on-air show, Saturday, November 1, will be a “Best Of” show featuring clips and highlights from the past year. With a large archive of interviews from industry movers and shakers such as Tonex, Rockwilder, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Lecrae, Bushwick Bill, Da T.R.U.T.H., KJ-52, Trip Lee, Canton Jones, Corey Red, J.J. Hairston from Youthful Praise, and others, this will certainly serve as a dynamic show to launch the program.
Upcoming guests on The Wade-O Radio Show will include the Stellar award nominated group Frontlynaz, U.K Sensation Dwayne Trumpf, and Stellar award nominee, graphic design artist and DaSouth.com co-owner Aziz “Zee” Peregrino-Briman of Bezworks Design.
If you are interested in partnering with DJ Wade-O to continue to bring Christian Hip Hop to FM radio outlets, please contact Albee Beutel of the Kingdom Minded Group at 212-203-4400 ext. 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about DJ Wade-O and the Wade-O Radio Show, please visit http://www.wadeoradio.com/.
Remember, it’s more than music…its ministry!
The Wade-O Radio Show: http://www.wadeoradio.com/
Friday, October 17, 2008
FYI: Sean Slaughter's "Man On Fire" drops Oct 28.
Just hearing "Flesh Killa feat. JR" you can tell it's gonna be a hot one. (Bad pun intended.) Guest spots include: Alvin Slaughter, Papa San, JR, and Soul P.
I gotta admit, I was kinda sleeping on the dude for a minute, but after I copped his "Best Of" mixtape with DJ I Rock Jesus at the AEOM Awards, I became a big time fan.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I finally got a chance to check out KJ-52's interview on the Wade-O Show podcast yesterday and forgot about this lovely little widget he's made available as promo for "The Missing Pages."
It's a slick clipfest of classic 80's beats and movie lines that will bring you back down memory lane. It's also one of the coolest promo tools I've ever seen in Christian rap.
Do yourself a favor and spend some time with this one, check out his in-depth interview on Wade's show where they talk about everything from label deals to racism in HHH, and then go buy your copy of this awesome bonus package of The Yearbook/The Missing Pages.
"Blaow! Blaow! Blaow" - KJ-52 manual airhorn interpretation of the ones on Wade's show (You'll get it after you listen to the podcast.)