Thursday, December 31, 2009
It’s not like holy hip hop is lacking online community and news websites. We’ve got HolyCutlure.net, Rapzilla.com, VesselVibe.com, and Sphereofhiphop.com holding it down, right?
However, few are as eye-catching and chock-full of facts and opinion as DaSouth.com.
Launched on America’s Election Day of November 4, 2008, the new DaSouth.com is a resurrection of an online hub previously started by noted Christian hip hop journalist s/ave.
A veteran writer for Heaven’s Hip Hop Magazine and founder of ONEMIND Magazine, s/ave created DaSouth.com to be unified banner site for gospel rappers in the Gulf Coast area. The concept was that artists would forgo forging their own web identities and adopt the DaSouth.com name.
Instead of www.truvine.com or www.tre9.com , early site members simply claimed DaSouth.com as their home address. The front page linked in all of the affiliated artists and set itself up for synergistic cross-marketing. The idea being that when a listener or new fan received an album insert or poster with www.DaSouth.com printed on it from “Artist A” and sought out his ministry online, he would also be introduced to “Artist B,” “Artist C,” “Artist D,” and so on.
“Hip hop media needed a network for ‘da south’ so I made one. Plus it gave me a great opportunity to contribute locally,” s/ave said. “That made it more about friends, which really appealed to me since I was growing up [spiritually and emotionally.] Artists began to confide in me. I didn’t care about their music, I cared about the person.
s/ave signing love
“God made it a very healing time for me. I got more out of founding DaSouth.com than I could have ever put in.”
One of the site’s early adopters was k-Drama. Although he hailed from Cincinnati, Ohio, his music easily appealed to residents of the Third Coast. It was something that drew Drama to the site and the main reason s/ave invited him to join in 2001.
“I respected the artists that grinded on DaSouth.com and was happy that someone had faith in what I was doing,” k-Drama said. “Other than Grapetree [Records], it was hard for me to find southern sounding Christian rap, so a network full of them definitely made me feel at home away from home.”
Another early affiliate was Much Luvv Records’ CY, an artist who still carries the original URL nomenclature for his website: www.dasouth.com/complex. s/ave saw something special in this fellow Houstonian and asked if he could create an Internet presence for CY that was ultimately connected to the main hub.
“If it wasn’t for s/ave I would not have had a website,” CY said. “Another reason I’ve kept the domain name was through the leading of the Holy Spirit. I had no idea that DaSouth.com would become the mega site it is now.”
Although the original vision of DaSouth.com was unity through a single name, the ties that bound began to fray as artists joined but also kept an individual URL on the side.
It became harder to sell and get buy-in for the idea and eventually the site withered away to a simple, yet lively, message board. s/ave also found his passions steadily shifting away from the Christian rap community to a group nearly as underground.
“Deaf culture,” s/ave explained. “I left the world of hip hop to serve the people who didn’t hear it.”
s/ave enrolled in college level American Sign Language classes and began to get involved in deaf church ministries and stage plays. This left little time to maintain DaSouth.com.
However, he knew of a local Christian rapper and business owner who was an emerging leader in both his city and the movement as a whole. In 2008 s/ave handed over ownership of DaSouth.com to Bobby “Tre9” Herring.
Tre9 had previously worked with Aziz “Zee” Peregrino-Brimah’s Bezworks Designs company when he needed a website for his All Eye On Me Achievement Awards show. Pleased with the outcome of that venture, the two formed an official partnership and started to plan for an attention-grabbing relaunch of DaSouth.com.
The new site would be more of a news and multi-media hub than a conglomerate site for individual artists. And despite its name and heritage, the new DaSouth.com would also expand its scope beyond the bottom half of the Mason-Dixon line.
“Honestly, God is the one who changed the focus,” Zee said. “When the game changes, the plays you run change. When in war, when there has been a change within the enemy, you too have to change and take on a new directive.
“To focus only on the South while using the world wide web is an oxymoron of sorts.”
Not that webheads seemed to mind. DaSouth.com is experiencing tremendous growth. The site now gets nearly six million hits a month. And from its Election Day launch to Valentine’s Day (four months), the site had 1,000 registrants. One month later another 1,000 joined – effectively doubling its membership.
“That’s an amazing feat,” Zee said. “With those kind of numbers, we can approach corporations confidently for sponsorships and other initiatives. One thing Tre and I are thankful for is that God has given us business-sense and a passionate desire to see Christian hip hop propelled forward.”
The site’s original founder also supports the shift in focus.
“It seems to be bringing together everyone,” s/ave said. “That’s just Bobby’s way. He has that gift.”
And despite the fact that the new DaSouth.com is owned by two active gospel rap artists, it never seems to be pushing their specific agenda or ministry. If anything, both Zee and Tre9 appear to be underserved by DaSouth.com.
“Many people would assume that I would have Much Luvv on everything at DaSouth.com, but that is not my vision, it’s beyond that,” Tre9 said. “We create the environment for God to move via DaSouth.com’s online community. We are unifying Christian hip hop by being a respecter of no one.
“You might see a person you never heard of before in the top news section or you might see an award-winning artist. One thing you won’t see is our personal preferences or tastes only.”
These days, the site has all matter of cutting edge multi-media features, including streaming radio (with DJ D-Lite’s 3rd Coast Fiyah and The Wade-O Show), a video channel, artist interviews, music leaks, album reviews, and has become a destination for all things gospel rap.
“I absolutely love the new DaSouth.com website. It reminds me of allhiphop.com and we need that, man!” k-Drama said. “It’s updated regularly and it keeps people drawn to it daily because of the ‘up-to-the-minute’ news blurbs and leaks.”
DaSouth.com recently added Facebook-type community building utilities to the site and is revamping its radio station sub-section. Both Zee and Tre9 view the interactive portal as a business ministry.
“Our ultimate goal is to expand and maximize our exposure to the world as a genre,” Zee said. “DaSouth.com is strategically aligning itself to be a part of that same ‘lane’ [as mainstream media] so that we can influence and win as many people to Jesus as possible.”
Monday, December 21, 2009
There's quite a bit of passion here with a charge that should encourage us all to share the hope we have with those around us.
Related: My critique of Answering the Call at DaSouth.com
Congrats to Tha Message Magazine for their recent distribution into mainstream stores like Hastings.
Over the weekend, publisher Payday sent me this pic of his lovely daughters finding the mag on shelves in Greenville, Texas.
I'm going to check the Hastings in Conroe, Texas today and hope to find and buy a copy. You should too.
To locate a store near you, visit GoHastings.com.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Commissions DJ Promote to Create and Offer Free, Christmas Hip Hop EP
While Yuletide-themed hip hop isn’t exactly a new concept (Kurtis Blow was “Christmas Rappin’” back in 1979), it often catches listeners by surprise. So when you take that recipe and add in sermon samples from and the full endorsement of “Greatest Living American” and beloved evangelist Billy Graham, expect to see more than a few raised eyebrows.
That’s exactly what can be anticipated now that Lights Up, Eyes On, a 5-track EP by DJ Promote commissioned by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is available to the masses.
“I was so honored to be asked to create this project,” Promote said. “I mean, he’s like an icon. To take that timeless message he has and reinvent that in a way where people can hear it all over again is just awesome!”
Listeners can digitally download Lights Up, Eyes On for free at www.ransom.tv – a new viral media website created by the BGEA. DJ Promote crafted the beats for four of the five tracks and then invited several artist friends to add to the music.
Photo courtesy of In the Still Photography
The sound ranges from street rap to classic hip hop, electronica, and acoustic pop. Lyrics were penned by Verbs, Moses Uvere, AntBanx, and Kellen Bowhay. Swiftstyle, Dustin Cavasos, and Othello also contributed to the effort.
Several songs include audio clips from both Billy Graham and his wife Ruth encouraging the audience to reject a commercialized Christmas and embrace the birth of Jesus the Messiah as the true meaning of these holy days.
“[Graham’s] words are still relevant and that’s because the message is foundational. It didn’t change throughout the years. The whole time it was just about Jesus and the hope he brings to this broken world,” Promote said.
Promote is no stranger to the BGEA, having previously appeared in their “Bridge to Life” video as both a DJ and graffiti writer. He’s also well known on the touring circuit and has manned turntables for nationally known artists like Verbs, B.Reith, and Propaganda.
For more information on DJ Promote please visit www.djpromote.com
For more information on Ransom please visit www.ransom.tv.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
My very good friend Shellee Coley will be releasing her new EP, The Girl the Stencil Drew, this Tuesday night, December 15 in The Woodlands, TX. Her "pop music for real women" style is full of honest lyrics about self-image, relationships, and faith.
(The Big) Dosey Doe
Doors at 6pm/show at 7pm
Musician Mason Lankford opens the show
If you're a local, please come out and support. If not, at least do yourself a favor by visiting her site and sampling the tracks. There, you can place an order for a physical copy or purchase a download of the digital version.
Check it out at www.ShelleeColey.com
Take a listen to the haunting song: "Uncomfortable."
Friday, December 4, 2009
In the wake of the Rey King Black Friday mixtape and its detractors, a good couple of "Opinion vs. Hate" blogs have been posted.
1. Peep Carlos Johnson's excellent "Hate or Opinion?" piece over at HolyCulture.net.
2. And check out DJ MVP (aka Vic)'s similar/companion piece on his I Am Golden State blog.
Congrats to Cross Movement Records for scoring two Grammy nominations. On Wednesday, December 2 it was announced that both Da’ T.R.U.T.H.’s Big Picture and Tonic’s The Dash were listed among five choices for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album.
The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on Sunday Jan. 31, 2010, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on CBS from 8 p.m Eastern.
The latest issue of Tha Message Magazine is now in print. It carries a special gold-foil-embossed logo and my cover story on the Ex-Hustler Thi’sl.
Here's your teaser paragraph:
Thi’sl is the anti-Rick Ross.
Not that he’s hating on William Leonard Roberts II – the man behind the moniker. In fact, from the outside, they’re quite similar. Dark skin. Barrel chests. Thick beards.
But Travis Tyler (aka Thi’sl) is squarely the antithesis of the Miami cocaine kingpin “Rick Ross” rap image being sold to hip-hop loving youth.
And, publisher Payday tells me they’ve signed a distribution deal to place the book in Hastings Home Entertainment stores which means you’ll see it on the same shelf as XXL and The Source.
First up is the Songs You Never Heard Mixtape.
This free project has cuts of KJ-52 with Goldinchild, Knine, and Mr. Solo of Gospel Gangstaz. There's some freshness here you won't hear anywhere else and that doesn't sound like his recent 52 Television album.
Grab it here.
And while it's a little late, mashups are always fun.
Off the Wall has Jonah tossing rhymes from his last two albums on top of tracks from the King of Pop.
Get the files (again, for free) here.
Artists, please do us all a favor and make yourself a show a CD with the three tracks you’re going to perform - in order.
How many times have you been to a Christian hip hop concert and heard this from the stage:
“Ay yo soundman, hit track 3. No, not that track 3. The other one, on the yellow disc. Yeah. Naw, wait, maybe it’s track 8.”
Really? How is that blessing us in the audience?
Even if you can’t get it blended and mixed, at least set up a little playlist in iTunes and burn your junk to a new plate in the order you’re going to be presenting it.
It’s a bit of professionalism that will improve your marketability – not to mention your credibility.
After all, don’t you want them to focus on the message and not the music?
My man DJ Primo has cooked up another free mixtape called Ain’t Ridin' Slow.
This blend features Dre Marshall, Bushwick Bill, Gifted, Tre9, Lecrae, Sean Slaughter and many others.
Check out his freechristianmixtapes.com site to get the files.
I have to admit, this isn't my favorite cut off of Dat's Gospel Mixx Vol. 2, but I like Brinson's band name references and the crowd-surfing/mic-stand-strumming playfulness he adds to the performance.
Catching up on blogging by posting a few of my recent rants for The Wade-O Radio Show.
So apparently the Christian hip hop community is just now hearing Jay-Z’s “Jesus can’t save you” line from “Empire State of Mind” from his Blueprint 3 album that dropped in September.
Last week, Pastor Justin Cox of P4CM launched an excited YouTube response and the Internet message boards have been all a Twitter about these lines:
I’m a bit torn on this issue. On one hand, I feel Pastor Cox and his passionate response to something negative or false being said about one we so deeply love. Imagine if someone dissed your wife or your mom and how your emotions would spike with outrage.
However, is Jay really saying “Jesus can’t save your soul”? Or is he being more poetic and espousing something with a different, layered meaning?
Further, should we be surprised when a non-believer clearly communicates that they are a non-believer? Would we really be happier if he just said he was a follower of Christ but didn’t live it? Goodness knows we have enough people that like in the rap industry – on both sides of the cross.
Like my man Brother Wize said, the next time you’re in your Word, take a look at 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 and see how it might apply here.
1. Former Cross Movement member Cruz Cordero has provided several equally passionate counterpoints to Pastor Cox's vids.
2. Pastor Cox has also added an update after his clip landed on mainstream sites like WorldStarHipHop.com.
3. A video from a recent Jay-Z performance in Europe shows him using an alteration of this original lyric. Whether this intentional or an ad-lib is unknown.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Wow! I'm thoroughly impressed with the amount of promotion and work Reach Records has put into this upcoming DJ Official album.
The passport image above was generated by the new Entermission Agency website. You can make one too. From there, you can post it to Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace plus sample "Show Off" (the first single) and order any one of the special packages.
They've got slip mats, vinyl, and tees to go with the music.
This is how it should be done. The project drops on December 26, 2009.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This clip gives a great overview of what it looks and sounds like along with interviews from participants and attendees.
For more on Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays check out Tre's missions blog.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Makes me proud of my city.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I know you just discovered this "Gimme Dat Side Hug" silly rap yesterday and it's got you all a Twitter.
But please know two things:
1. This is not new.
Jon Acuff's funny Stuff Christians Like blog probably coined the phrase over a year ago and an instructional illustration for it will grace the cover of the book version.
2. This is satire.
Yes, we Christians can laugh at ourselves too.
If you're taking this seriously we either haven't done a good job of representing our King or you haven't been exposed to good/real hip hop made by believers (which obviously does not include this clip.) Probably a little bit of both.
Regardless, please enjoy this video in the fun, comedic spirit it was intended.
Sketch the J
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The relationship between Tre and Rap-A-Lot Records' Prince Complex in Houston's 5th Ward neighborhood started this spring with the Hip Hop Hope Family Fun Day. From there, it blossomed into a summer-long outreach that has carried on into the school year.
So here are a few flix and videos that reflect the look and feel of the nights. You can learn more about it by visiting Tre's Hip Hop Missions blog where you'll find video clips and rundowns of his recent work.
All photos by Sketch the Journalist
Each night a Christian hip hop artist or crew will perform and share their story. On this evening it was Von Won's Sheep in Wolves Clothing crew.
There's also an intro "icebreaker" game which kids moving around, engaged, and the chance to win Christian hip hop CDs.
DJ Primo not only spins the music, but also brings the Word with a special chopped and screwed mix of audio Scripture.
Tre9 keeps things moving and will act as the night's MC.
Artists and volunteers are always down with pray with people.
On this night, mainstream hip hop video show "Street Flava with D-Solo" (in the yellow H-town cap) stopped by to film a segment for a future episode.
Special guests like Bushwick Bill will also occasionally pop-in.
Primo is always down to share and show kids how he practices his craft.
Here's a video of Trevor Lee performing "Do It His Way."
And here's a clip of Zeeda giving her testimony.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
Last week a video for “Testimony of Redemption,” the title track of former Geto Boy Bushwick Bill’s gospel rap album, hit the Interwebs.
Featuring cameos from Lil Wayne, KRS-ONE, Busta Rhymes, Von Won and Tre9, the track shares his story of coming to know Christ and his desire to live for him.
Here’s a clip:
Look for a special appearance by yours truly midway through. I’m the goofy looking white dude in the H-town cap fist-pumping in the front row.
Testimony of Redemption is set to drop next month and can be pre-ordered online at www.reeltalk.org.
Please also keep Bill in your prayers as he continues to work out his faith.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Here's the version that made the final cut.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Primo @ Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays in 5th Ward - Pic by Sketch
This weekend Houston's go-to Christian hip hop deejay, and friend of Juan James, DJ Primo just dropped his Tribute to Enock mixtape.
It's a straight up blend of 'Nock's classic Cross Movement/Much Luvv/PHF and guest feature rhymes mixed with memories of Juan by CM cohort Cruz Cordero. There's even a track or two on here that even I've never heard of before. (Peep: "Special Case")
Cop this FREE download as a single mp3 mix or as separated tracks (but still blended) right 'chere and show love to both E and DJ Primo.
A Tribute to Juan "Enock" James by DJ Primo
Sketch & DJ Will @ the All Eyes On Me Awards
Errybody's favorite cuzzin, DJ Will from Jacksonville, just hit me with this little view inside his world as filmed by FUDGE.
I could do without some of the graphics (Really? An animated gif of MC Hammer?!?) but it provides a good glimpse into the life and ministry of DJ Will.
Plus, you get to see just how live that Jesus Bus gets on a weekend.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I recently had a chance to do a quick e-mail Q&A with Gifted Da Flamethrowa. His heater Street Symphony drops tomorrow on Much Luvv Records.
S: Can you briefly share how you came to be a follower of Jesus?
G: I was tired of me Sketch. I was living my life at 1,000 miles per second. I survived two car accidents where I was loaded and drunk and had a bullet to my face. In 1999 my brother, and now pastor, Mukes invited me to a service. The man of God spoke into my life prophetically and from that point I never left. God opened my eyes and my heart.
S: What is your history with rap music?
G: I started rapping in the 3rd grade. I was like 8 or 9. I received my first contract offer at 11 years old from a local company. It didn't work out. I was super young and unfocused. Years later, I went with the prominent local label Take Fo' Records, as a writer and choreographer.
From there I signed with Smoke 1 Records, the first label to do a joint venture with No Limit Records/Priority. In 2000, I got serious about serving Christ, we turned Smoke 1 into Bound 4 Glory Records and I have been running for God ever since.
S: What was the first Christian hip hop you heard and what did you think of it?
G: It was the early 90's and my grandma bought me a dc talk tape, no disrespect, but it was not what was popping.
S: What sparked you to rhyme for Christ?
G: Well my wife, at the time my girlfriend, Zeeda, we were in church. The pastor asked her to do a "Christian" rap for a youth event. She told me and I laughed at her, but when she spit the verse for me, it was off the chain. So I wrote one too. From there I just kept at it.
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
S: Tell us about how you came to be a part of the Houston gospel rap scene.
G: Hurricane Katrina dude. She came through and turned my life upside down. I landed in Houston and was living in a FEMA-funded hotel feeding my kids out of an ice chest. We were surviving on a faith and a prayer and God has been faithful. I give him glory for his protection and guidance.
S: What is the current status of Bound 4 Glory Records?
G: Right now we are focusing on the ministry aspect. The CEO Mukes is now an ordained pastor and our church is at 4508 Hwy 6 Houston,Tx 77084.
Prozperad has his CD out, Blood Bought, and my Queen, Zeeda, has two out: Breakthru and Destined 4 Greatness. She is presently working a book From Pain 2 Power. My son Y.A. is working on his project now.
S: Why did you decide to do a solo album with Much Luvv Records?
G: Well since I landed in Houston Tre9 just embraced us. He introduced me to his connects and even put me on shows with him. So our relationship is four years in the making. He offered me a deal, Pastor Mukes signed off on it, and that was that. Tre is 100 - his heart is for the elevation of the kingdom and people.
S: How do you respond to people to assume you’re just riding the Lil Wayne gravy train?
G: I laugh because our grind is totally opposite. We may sound alike at times because of the N.O. accent, but that's it. My style and flow is mine baby. No mimicking here!
S: I know that you’re involved in a ministry to the homeless. Tell us what that looks like and what you’ve learned from it.
G: Man that's a Von Won thing. He invited me out the first time and it was a blessing. It's no glory in that, feel me? You are looking pain eye to eye. Ain’t no superstars out there, ya heard me? That’s a true battle ground and I am honored to be apart of it.
Von really has a heart for God. We do it on Thursday nights. I’m not there every Thursday, but they hold it down.
S: You were also a part of the Hip Hop Hope UK Tour. How was your experience over there? Any specific stories/memories you care to share?
G: It was bitter sweet Sketch.
Sweet, because my ten toes stood in places where I could only dream of as a shorty. Bitter because it’s so much pain out there. The kids just walk around like zombies and most of the adults just ignore them. The church has a great work to do over there.
I can't wait to go back. I really connected with a lot of people out there Sketch. I have been ministering to a bunch of the kids via Facebook and many of them decided to join a church.
One young lady used to cut herself when she was depressed, but now she has stopped doing that. Glory to God man.
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
S: Some people might be surprised to find out that a Southern rapper like your self has also performed sets with punk rock type groups like the Shiny Darks. Why switch up your sound like that? How has it been received?
G: Because I am an artist Sketch, not a rapper. I refuse to be put in a box feel me. I love music: hip hop, opera, classical, country, rock etc.
How has it been received? Man it’s been off the chain. At our last concert people was in that joker crowd surfing!
S: Your new album has a lot of guest features and you’ve done many guest features for other artists as well. Why do you pursue such collaborative works? How has that process been for you?
G: I pursue it because I feel our greatest problem in HHH is unity. Everybody is busy building their little kingdoms and forgetting we are supposed to be one body in Christ.
I could get Lil Wayne with one phone call. I can’t afford him, but he is accessible. But there are some of my brothers in Christ that you could hit up and wouldn’t get a response.
I show love Sketch. In my portfolio I have done over 50 collabs. From the big dogs like Bushwick Bill and Bishop Lester Love to that lil cat in southside Houston that has never gotten a booking before. It’s been a blessing to me, but it irritates me when you reach out to some cats and they ignore you. That’s not a kingdom mindset, it's arrogance.
S: How do you feel that Street Symphony is different from your first album?
G: Street Symphony is deeper than And So it Begins. I was more personal on Street Symphony and I experimented more. I also added Drathoven, Doc Sizzo, k-Drama, Bruce Bang, Sypreme, Kadence of ATP and more cats to my production arsenal. This bought it home.
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
S: Your wife Zeeda is also a Christian rapper and your teenage son has skills as well. How do you deal with a family full of urban music missionaries?
G: That is honestly my secret weapon. My wife is a monster. She was rated by Murder Dog magazine as one of the top 10 female rappers of all time along with Foxy Brown and Lil Kim. So having her there to bounce ideas off of is a plus. Then my shorty Y.A keeps me current.
S: On your Twitter account, I’ve seen you discuss your schedule and really being “in the streets.” What type of things are you doing “in the streets?”
G: That’s me Sketch. I have a concrete pulpit, family. I'm hitting secular events, clubs, open mics, prisons, boot camps, and Wal-Marts etc.
On Nov.22 Much Luvv is invading the Los Magnificos car show here in Houston with Omarion, Slick Rick, Charlie Boi and more. We are taking the word of God mainstream and we're going head first, no compromise.
S: You’ve also taken other rappers (Christian and secular) to task for not doing the same. Why do you think they aren’t in the same places you are?
G: Because my walk is my walk, some are called to certain areas and I respect that. I know where God is sending me.
I feel like more HHH cats need to go mainstream, not changing content, just changing venues. As far as secular cats, it's time for someone to hold there feet to the fire. While they are saying how much cash you’ll make selling coke, I am going to tell the other side of the story. How you get years in a cage or even worse: murdered.
S: You recently attended the memorial services for Juan “Enock” James. Tell me about that experience. How would you like Gifted to be remembered?
G: It was sad man. We lost a "SOULjah" Sketch and they lost a husband, father, and a son, feel me? But when his wife started to read his journal, I really got a glimpse into his heart man. That cat was pure and really after righteousness. He is my hero. I want to be remembered as a genuine person, an honest cat who loved God, his family, his friends and his music.
S: What do you want someone to get out of your new Street Symphony album?
G: I want them to be inspired, informed, entertained, encouraged, and above all, led to the savior JESUS CHRIST.
The Wade-O Radio Show Celebrates Three Years Of ‘More than Music’ Ministry with Thanksgiving Listener Appreciation Episode
In order to celebrate three years of “More than Music” ministry, The Wade-O Radio Show will be setting aside its guests, taking nothing but requests, and offering a “Listener Appreciation” episode on Thanksgiving weekend – November 26-28, 2009.
This special show will feature DJ Wade-O in the mix, fan song suggestions, and opportunities to win unique CD/DVD prize packages. Listeners are encouraged to submit their questions, discussion topics, memories, and shoutouts in advance of the air date by calling (1-877-55-WADE-O), e-mailing (email@example.com) or Tweeting (@WadeORadio.)
“It’s truly been a blessing to steward this thing these past three years,” Wade-O said. “I’m so thankful our Lord has given me this platform and for all the listeners who spend two hours with me and this life-changing music each week.
“It only felt right to let them be a part of this episode and for me to take the time to show my heartfelt gratitude for their support.”
To book an event in your area, please contact DJ Wade-O at 862-576-7574 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on DJ Wade-O and The Wade-O Radio Show please visit www.wadeoradio.com
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The show's packaging is getting better too. Take a peek.
Monday, November 9, 2009
My man Gifted Da Flamethrowa just hit me with this advance leak video of the song "Prisoners" from his upcoming Street Symphony project that drops next Tuesday.
Peep the clip in the video below. Featuring verses by:
- Prozpera "D"
- The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S.
And others. Pre-order Street Symphony here.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Peep his beats and lyrics in the clip below. Video shot and edited by his pops.
Christian Chirp.com – a faith-based alternative to Twitter hit the Interwebs this week.
Florida businessman James Paris says he launched the site after being banned from Twitter for speaking in favor of conservative talk host Rush Limbaugh and being bombarded with inappropriate spam.
To me, this reeks of a bad Christian knockoff and unfortunately continues the long-held copy-cat tradition of our church subculture. If it works for you, cool. However, another alternative to consider is to only Tweet and follow people that respect, reinforce, and strengthen your faith.
BTW, the site appears to have recently come under cyber-attack as of the time of this posting. Not sure what that's all about.
Also, you can follow me on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/sketchthej
As you may have heard, on Tuesday, November 2 gospel rapper Da’ T.R.U.T.H. announced that “in light of a moral indiscretion in my personal life, I will be taking a sabbatical from music ministry and teaching upon fulfilling my current commitments to work closely with my pastor, church, and restoration team.”
The full letter of apology can be found at datruth.net.
Fam, I am truly saddened by this news and angered by the attacks Satan continues to make upon the witness and family lives of our Christian hip hop brothers.
Here again, I urge you to bathe this situation in prayer the same way we recently did and have been doing for guys like Ambassador and RedCloud. Please pray for all of the parties involved and for full spiritual restoration.
Certainly it’s disappointing, but let us remember that these MCs are simply fallen men like you and me. And as my man Enock forewarned, as ministers of the gospel and entertainers they face extra-ordinary circumstances and lifestyles that surely make certain sinful situations all the more tempting.
Guard your hearts brothers and sisters – guard your hearts. And remember we don’t worship the created man but the one who has the power to Create and redeem him.
Grace and peace.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
H-town's Lita Rodi is set to celebrate the release of his exciting new project with a blowout concert on November 14, 2009. "The Reform," Rodi's third Christian rap album (5th overall) takes on a classic old school, "early America" feel with an urgent charge of spiritual reformation.
The concert will take place at Sagemont Church (11600 Hughes Rd, Houston, TX 77089) from 5pm - 8pm. Admittance is 100% free. Additional music ministers that night include Ras (aka Lil Raskull), Inner Fire, Purposed, and the Fountain of Praise Drill Team. Pastor Sammy Lopez will also bring a message.
Be there early (doors open at 4:15pm) to pick up your copy of "The Reform."
Connect with Lita Rodi & listen to music clips at: www.myspace.com/litarodi
Watch the promo video below:
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Details have finally been released regarding the memorial/funeral services for Enock.
Sunday, October 25
6pm - 9pm
Monday, October 26
10am - Noon
Both will be held at:
Lindale Assembly of God Church
503 Reid St.
Houston, TX 77022
Then on Tuesday, the benefit concert will go down at Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays at The Prince Complex in Houston's 5th Ward. Artists who would like to participate are asked to donate $25 per song they want to perform.
Tuesday, October 27
7:30 - 9pm
The Prince Complex Gym
3000 Jensen Dr.
Houston, TX 77026
If you're unable to attend but still want to contribute, a PayPal account has been set up for the family. Visit this story page at DaSouth.com for more details and the link.
Monday, October 19, 2009
A few more notes:
You can listen to snippets and buy Enock's last recorded music from PHF right here. The "That Jesus" track and "We Repent" songs are particularly moving.
Check it here.
Also, it's interesting to read this interview of 'Nock by my man Dwayne Lacy from Gospelflava.com from several years back.
Check it here.
Interesting trivia Cruz posted on Facebook:
- Enock came up with The Cross Movement name
- Before CM, he and Phanatik were known as The Righteous Gang
I was at this show and have some photos I need to post.
Gotta love this jam with Bless't and the live band.
As I'm sure you've heard by now, former Cross Movement member Juan "Enock" James passed away this Saturday morning.
I was on the road to visit family in Arkansas when I heard the news. Thankfully Tre9 was able to put up a quick story on DaSouth.com to share details and information. You can read all about that here.
I got to know Enock when he relocated to Houston several years ago and considered him a friend. I've spent all weekend thinking about him, his music, and his ministry impact all while trying to help distribute information and keep people in the loop regarding the care of his wife Natalie and daughter Jana.
I spoke to Natalie this afternoon as she was making preparations for the funeral. She said she was greatly encouraged by all the calls and messages, but still dealing with it all.
She said she broke down when working on the funeral arrangements because it just didn't seem real or fair that she should have to be doing this at such a young age. She also kept their 4-year-old daughter home from school today because she was crying last night about missing her daddy.
I haven't had a chance to visit (out of town all weekend and live about an hour away from them) but know that several Houston artists and friends have stopped by to look after her. Plus, her family is close so I'm sure that has helped.
Our convo got cut short because the church beeped in during our call and she needed to talk to them.
So, I'm not aware of any immediate financial or physical needs but will try to keep folks posted. DaSouth.com will also be a great place for additional information.
Obviously please keep them in your prayers.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This took place at the First International Gospel DJ Conference held in NY on September 21-22. DJ Wade-O was there, taught a workshop, and told me a really cool story about the fellas rallying around an aspiring young gospel DJ who needed some equipment.
Read more about it here and enjoy the spinsters below.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
This video is wrong on several levels.
- Not only is it a bad rip off of a mainstream song from the 80's.
- Not only is it full of stupid, inane, meaningless "Let's-get-the-party-started" cliches and hyper-emotionalism.
- But it's also the hook to a recent rework by Flo Rida that's essentially an ode to oral sex and strip clubs. And I'd find it hard to believe this hip looking youth leader hasn't heard that version or doesn't know what it's about.
Also, please never let the words "Holy Ghost" and "Hoedown" be uttered in the same sentence again. (4 minute mark)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
DaSouth.com hipped me to another nice clip from Humble Tip. Dude grinds with these online videos.
A few things that stood out as I watched:
- I hope the spelling of "poisin" in the virtual headlines was just a creative decision for emphasis.
- I was impressed with the newspaper-lined room with the hanging lights. Nice to see an actual set design instead of just another green screen.
- The baseball bat to the bulbs at the end was dope, but I realize I'm getting older when my intial thought is: "I hope he was wearing some eye protection during that shot."
If you're into urban/gospel/pop and enjoyed her past vocals on SGR releases, then you'll dig this.
Get your copy here.
Ahmad’s recent visit to Sway (MTV) and King Tech’s World Famous Wake Up Show yielded a special moment when multi-platinum artist Kanye West stopped his interview to specifically recognize and applaud Ahmad (who was seated next to him) for his staying power, style and demeanor.
“He looks like this game hasn’t destroyed him,” West stated concerning Ahmad. “And I commended him on that.”
XXL magazine agrees with Mr. West’s assessment and, in a story featured in the upcoming November issue, highlights Ahmad’s story as an atypical one – particularly in a field better known for its excess than its success.
A hit single at the age of 18 simultaneously ignited and frustrated Ahmad’s early music career. After a short hiatus, Ahmad returned to the scene in 2000. He formed Lookalive records in 2002, and promptly secured an imprint deal with Interscope records for his band 4th Avenue Jones.
4th Avenue Jones achieved modest success as a touring band, performing with the The Black Eyed Peas, Sheryl Crow, The Roots and James Brown. However, the group disbanded in 2006 to pursue individual endeavors.
Ahmad retreated to the classroom where he enrolled in Long Beach City College. After graduating as a 4.0 GPA valedictorian, he was accepted to Stanford University.
Ahmad’s current focus is on his new music company WeCLAP (We Change Lives, Attitudes & Perceptions) and his second album as a solo artist The Death of Me. The project will be released on December 15 in partnership with Syntax Distribution a division of Quality Junk, LLC.
The artwork for The Death of Me is already generating a buzz. Faintly echoing the iconic SOURCE Magazine cover of Dr. Dre with a pistol aimed at his own temple, interpretations are varied.
In reference to his latest release, Ahmad states, "I assure you that The Death of Me is going to bring light to millions globally. The authenticity is dripping off of each song. The album is as it should be. My new self is as committed to peace, justice, equality, and liberation as the old one. My art is just better refined, and better orchestrated. I have no fear. It's the only way to fly."
While Wade’s DJ skills can easily be a part of the events, he is most excited about opportunities he will have to share and teach people about music’s impact on their lives and faith. The information can be presented through four different workshop sessions, each lasting approximately an hour long.
- The Reason for Christ-Centered Hip Hop
- From Podcasting to Syndication
- What’s in Your iPod?
- Reaching Young Black Males with the Gospel
“I feel like God has blessed me with a wealth of great experiences and education that it would be selfish not to share it with others,” Wade said. “When you’ve been given a platform like I have, it’s actually an incumbent responsibility.”
Special, surprise guest artists and performances will also play a part.
The tour will be available from Thanksgiving through New Years Eve. The gatherings are expected to be offered to the public for free and can be stand alone sessions or part of an existing event.
To book an event in your area, please contact DJ Wade-O's Management, The Kingdom Minded Group. They can be reached at (212) 203-4400 x 1 or Booking@KingdomMindedGroup.com
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Here's your teaser and link:
I love Caller ID. Hate “Unknown” or “Blocked” numbers.
When my cell or home phone rings and I see those digital disguises I let my voice mail do the dirty work.
If you feel the same and are unfamiliar with Much Luvv Records’ Von Won, then you might be inclined to pass on his new Answering the Call album of gospel rhymes and hooks.
Make an exception.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
He recently reported that he felt God told him to witness to rapper 50 Cent.
Peep the details here.
And read more about Welch's story via Risen Magazine.
Props to Relevant Magazine for the link.
A few weeks ago KJ-52 Tweeted that his blog was hacked the same day he was to release a full stream of his upcoming 52 Television album. Instead of the music, there were photos of some dude named CC Bonz and his new tats.
I felt sorry for KJ and even reported this during one of my segments of The Wade-O Radio Show.
Turns out Tweezy was getting his Ashton-Kutcher-Punk'd-on and it was all a promo tease for the Chris Carlino (aka CC Bonz) character vlogs that tie into the storyline of the project.
I'm a bit embarrassed, but love it all the same. Call me a sucker for the viral vid/meta-marketing stuff. And this one worked.
Check out the intro video for the Chris Carlino "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" type story. And if you chase the rabbit all the way down the hole, you'll be rewarded with a preview video of the "Let It Go" song. Love the stop-motion/still photo clip.
Also catch a leak of "Swagged Out with Tags Out" featuring Da' T.R.U.T.H. over at Rapzilla.com.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
If you're in H-town next Friday night, September 11 be sure to join us for the 3rd Annual Holy Hip Hop for Hunger event organized by Von Won.
It's only $5 to get in or you can roll for free with 5 canned goods. All food will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.
As you can see by the flyer, the lineup includes heavy hitters like:
- Bushwick Bill
- Big Al
- Von Won
- J Xavier
- And many others
Here's the bio and a link to listen to his "It's a Beautiful Day" single produced by west coast sensation DJ Harmz.
Formally known as Kinfolk Caliny, Mikel Anthony had a successful run as a secular artist. Childhood friends with Ruslan of theBREAX, he made guest appearances on two of the last three BREAX albums and came to a saving faith in Jesus after attending a weekly Bible study/accountability group.
With a literal born again experience, came a name change and a decision to start over and leave his secular albums and old name in the past. His debut album titled The Schematic features collaborations with Regg Henny, NomiS, Afaar, theBREAX, Roc Rok and production from DJ Rek, Nathan Soultrain, Jruckers, and Name Brand will be coming later this year.
DJ Harmz, is best known for touring with secular artist like Dilated Peoples, Tash, and the Alkaholiks. Also with his saving faith in Jesus, DJ Harmz now looks to make a transition into producing Christian Hip-Hop and contributed to a third of The Schematic album.
Both of these young men of God look forward to using the platform they once had in the secular world to bring glory to their Heavenly Father and take the message of the Kingdom to those who are lost. Both Mikel Anthony and DJ Harmz attend theMovement church in San Marcos, Ca (along with Ruslan and Beleaf of theBREAX)
Braille Brizzy reports that he’s relocated from Portland, Oregon to San Marco, California in order to be closer to his business partners Syntax Records, The Glue Network, and NOTW Clothing.
Once his fam is there and settled he intends to go full throttle with his Hip Hop Is Music label (which just dropped the excellent Sojournalism: The Summer Articles from Future Shock member Sojourn) and wrap up his upcoming Audibly Enhanced Dreams album.
(BTW, you can grab that Sojourn joint right 'chere. He makes MCing sound easy.)
In addition, he’s still reaching toward that goal of giving away 30,000 copies of his Cloud Nineteen project. Dude’s halfway there now and looking to press up another 1,000. If you’d like to contribute to this effort, find him online at braillehiphop.com.