Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent when Christians across the world enter into the holiest of holy seasons.
I'm observing with a simple fast from sodas and morning drive time radio. In its stead, I plan to listen to audio sermons and Scripture and focus on the coming Resurrection Celebration.
I pray these next 40 days also carry deep meaning for you and wanted to share a cool e-mail Chris Seay, the pastor of Ecclesia church here in Houston, sent to his community last night about the observance of Lent and fasting.
Brothers and Sisters,Grace and peace.
I wanted to speak to you about our Lenten journey and invite you to join me on my Lenten fast. But first let me share with you two concerns that I have observed in previous years as we journey through lent.
• is not a Death March to Easter - The sacrifice of Jesus the Liberating King is so significant that we cannot even begin to express our gratitude by extreme fasts. We need not drive ourselves into clinical depression so that Easter is more of a relief from our fast than a celebration of the resurrection.
• Feasting is as important as Fasting – The historic practice of lent is a 40 day fast. Those 40 days do not include Sundays, which were intended as a break from fasting so that believers might feast together. So, plan to feast well during Lent and make that an essential part of your spiritual preparation for Easter.
This year I am choosing a fast that I pray will help me become more grateful for one of the most basic gifts of God that sustains our life and health – food. Recently, a very simple realization broke my will, pride and I pray that during lent it will break my heart. I realized that I am grateful for the enjoyment that food brings me – which is often substantial. I often joke about praying after a meal so that I know how grateful I am for the food. But I cannot remember the last time I was truly grateful for the food I was eating. It is possible that I never have been.
Gratefulness is one of the clearest signs of a healthy spirituality. When one has been given what they do not deserve, their hearts should expand with hope and love. The opposite is also true – entitlement is a sure sign of an unhealthy spiritual life. I am praying that I will abandon my sense of entitlement and become a truly grateful man.
So, in order to better identify with those that are truly hungry I will be limiting my diet during lent to the basic foods served to the Compassion International children that we sponsor in Nicaragua: rice and beans (they know it as gallo-pinto), chicken, a simple salad, and corn tortillas.
I am not doing this to lose weight, nor do I think you should. But I also have a very simple belief: I am overweight because I eat too much. I want to add some explanations or excuses to that, but in reality it is a simple truth. So, it is likely that by eating less food and fasting from rich dairy based foods that I may become increasingly healthy in both spirit and body.
Tomorrow I will begin a journey to rediscover what the bible says about food, to connect with the poor, enter fully into the story of Jesus, and to hopefully become a different man – a grateful man. If you would like to join me in this fast please send me an email at and make the subject Lenten fast. We will communicate with one another for encouragement, support, and to plan some wonderful feasts on the Sundays during Lent.
I am grateful for all of you and would ask that you join me to pray daily during Lent for the Hobart family and the important decisions ahead for our church as we consider how to respond to our facility needs. It is so important that we are all faithful in our giving and service to the church during this very important season.
Monday, February 23, 2009
K-Jeezy has released six more instrumentals and acapellas for his "Remix the Remix" contest and added a new cut by George Moss (whose "All or Nothing" project I'll soon be reviewing for Rapzilla.com.)
Get your new "Missing Pages" beats and vocals here.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
RAP/HIP HOP ALBUM
1. Citizen Activ; Manafest; Adam Messinger, Manafest, Boi-1da, Chris Stacey, Arion, Josh MacIntosh; BEC Recordings
2. Ordinary Dreamers; Group 1 Crew; Andy Anderson, Christopher Stevens, Sam Mizell; Fervent Records
3. Pull Your Pants Up!; Dooney “Da Priest”; Dooney “Da Priest”; Malaco Records
4. Rebel; Lecrae; Joseph Prielozny, G-Styles, Dion Burroughs, Kadence, Devon Burroughs, Teddy P., Bobby Taylor, JR, k-Drama, Sixth Sense Music Productions; Reach Records
6. Reiterate; Grits; Mo Henderson, T-Dogg, Anthony Johnson, Jr.; Revolution Art
RAP/HIP HOP RECORDED SONG
1. “Beautfiul Morning”; Reiterate; Grits featuring Pigeon John; Teron Carter, Stacy Jones, Mo Henderson, John Duncan; Revolution Art
2. “Do Yo Thang”; The Yearbook; KJ-52; Jonah Sorrentino; BEC Recordings/Uprok
3. “Joyful Noise”; Our World Redeemed; Flame featuring Lecrae & John Reilly; Marcus T. Williams-Gray, Lecrae Moore, Emanuel Lambert, Jr.; Cross Movement Records
4. “Pull Your Pants Up!”; Pull Your Pants Up!; Dooney “Da Priest”; Duwayne Brown; Malaco Records
5. “So Beautiful”; Citizen Activ; Manafest featuring Trevor McNevan; Chris Greenwood, Adam Messinger, Trevor McNevan; BEC Recordings
Congrats to all the nominees.
It was a rough week for gospel rappers.
As you may have heard, CFRN head Octavia Harris had her home broken into and robbed by street gangs and Lapo from The Exodus Movement reported that he was recently a victim of police brutality.
Please keep both parties in your prayers.
Here's Octavia's e-mail about the situation.
Long story short...My place got broken into yesterday. They stole my external hard drive with all my music/songs/sounds/beats/CFRN stuff, programs, My laptop, brothers computer etc. etc. and trashed the place. They got online using my laptop and changed passwords on my email accounts, deleted my myspace profile and who knows what else has been violated.
Interestingly enough they left their calling card by tagging the hall closet with "Blue Devils x3" which the police said was a gang in LA that spread out.
There is a spiritual war going on and my heart and life is for God so I believe God has allowed this to happen in order to do a new thing in me. He also is giving me an opportunity to trust him/praise him through this. I sent a message out to my sisters of the CFRN to pray, but I also wanted to let Family, Friends and Supporters know so you could lift me and my brother up in prayer and also the people who did it. They need salvation quick, because the road they are on leads to death and destruction. Like I said in the subject line of this email.. "They can break in my house but they can't break my spirit!"James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.Ya sister will continue to seek wisdom and count this all joy because I KNOW God is going to reveal something special through this trial/test.Romans 8:28-29Thanks in advance for your prayers.God is faithful,
Dude has officially partnered with the label to launch his WE C.L.A.P. imprint and "The Death of Me" album.
Read the full presser here and enjoy a lil blast from the past below.
And this. Man I miss the Jones'.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I just heard about this on the Jim Rome show and had to check it out.
It comes with this info the filmmaker sent to SLAM online where this was first posted.
i was driving home from shooting a thing with a friend and i spot stephon marbury sitting at the bus stop talking into his blackberry half a mile from my house.
confused as to why starbury would be riding the bus - had the economy really bitten him that badly?
it obsessed and bothered me when i got home and i was trying desperately to think of a comedy sketch idea around this…
so i grabbed my camera and hustled back to where i saw him - turns out he was waiting on his car to be fixed at a shop right behind him - and asked him if he’d shoot some improv stuff with me at the bus stop.
i was a little surprised he said yes but he did and we rolled and goofed and i’m chopping ‘em up into little bite-sized pieces to go up every day…
he did yak a bit about the knicks situation… not in this first ep but by the end of this week, i’ll have put that piece up…
long live the links!
This comes off as some genuine and funny stuff. Certainly much better than the T-Mac and A-Rod public relation disasters we've seen this week.
And despite the dude's head tat, I've always appreciated his take on fashion with the nice looking and economically sound gear and kicks he sold through Steve & Barry's - even if my wife makes fun of me for having his "clown shoes."
Maybe it's just a clever viral video promo for his website, but it made me laugh. And, if you check out the other videos posted by this guy, it appears he's a Christian who regularly films prayers and Bible verse discussions for his page.
Enjoy and be sure to check out the other chapters. The one where he asks if Starbury will add his name to his arm is another that will make you smile.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Best-selling Christian rapper KJ-52 recently selected CY’s remix of “I Got It Got” to be the third song offered to his fans in the Freestyle Friday Free Download part of his “Remix the Remix” contest.
CY’s remake, dubbed “Bottom of the Charts,” is an audio lesson in humility and was recorded on Sunday, February 8, 2009. KJ-52 posted it to his website on just five days later and mentioned it in his weekly video podcast the day after he received it.
“I’m honored to have someone of KJ’s caliber offer my remix to his broad and dedicated audience,” CY said. “When I went through the tracks he offered for the contest ‘I Got Got It’ really grabbed me. It’s a monstrous beat I really enjoyed rapping over.”
KJ-52’s most recent album (titled “The Missing Pages”) is, in itself, a remix of his previous work – “The Yearbook.” As an artist with deep connections to his fan base, he released several instrumental and vocal tracks from that album as free downloads and is currently holding a contest for his supporters to re-interpret the songs for themselves.
In addition, KJ has sought out remixes from other established Christian hip hop artists and promoted those versions via his website. The two previous remixes in this vein have come from R-Swift and Everyday Processes’ Mac the Doulos of Cross Movement Records and Pettidee of Soldier Sound Records.
The first round of KJ’s remix contest ended on February 13 with a second round commencing right after. There will be three rounds total and KJ plans to offer an additional six instrumentals and vocal tracks for fans.
“I love CY’s remake of ‘I Got It Got It’ and the message it holds,” KJ-52 said. “And part of my goal with the Freestyle Friday Free Downloads program was to introduce my fans to other Christian rappers whose work I respect and enjoy.”
Dove award-winning rapper KJ-52 is undoubtedly one of Christian hip hop’s most prolific artists, having sold more than 500,000 units for his career and being known for his constant tour schedule.
In addition to the KJ-52 site link, “Bottom of the Charts” has also been released to record pools and radio DJs. In 2009, CY’s album Circus World Event: The Ringleader will be distributed nationally and be on store shelves on July 14.
You can download your copy of “Bottom of the Charts” here.
To hear the original version of “I Got It Got It” and learn more about KJ-52, visit www.kj52.com
For more information on CY please visit www.dasouth.com/complex or www.myspace.com/cyofmuchluvv.
Not exactly a Christian rap video, it's still a clean and openly transparent track from Kanye's Autotune experiment album.
Just listen to those haunting first lines:
My friend showed me pictures of his kids
and all I could show him was pictures of my cribs
He said his daughter got a brand new report card
and all I got was a brand new sports car...
Where did I go wrong?
Sounds like a guy who could relate to the author of Ecclesiastes, no?
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?
This clip is also wildly original in its visual style. Don't trip, it ain't your PC - it's just 'Ye getting punchy with the pixels.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Did you know that each Monday night KJ-52 has a live video chat?
Always a techy early adopter, Tweezy has now combined his weekly audio podcast and video devotionals into a more personal, interactive web feed.
In these sessions KJ answers fan questions, participates in the chat, and leaks new music and videos. To get in on the action, point your browser to www.mogulus.com/kj52 on Monday nights at 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.
All this week (not just Mondays) the stream will be showing KJ in the Tooth & Nail studios in Seattle, Washington with super-producer Aaron Sprinkle. They'll be working on KJ's next album conveniently titled "52 Television."
And, I spoke to KJ tonight and he told me this Mogulus video stream may be the future of the viewable 52 Televison show.
He plans to get his church's production team behind him which will improve both the visual quality of the episodes and provide additional wisdom to help answer the tough spiritual questions and issues that arise from the live chats.
Be sure to check it out tomorrow eve and catch replays any time by visiting: www.mogulus.com/kj52
Monday, February 9, 2009
DaSouth.com just published my review of theBREAX's "Broken Television" DVD and "Restocked" album that drops tomorrow - Tuesday, February 10.
Y'all remember how much I liked their last joint, so check out what I say about this one.
Here's your teaser and link.
Because they followed their satirical “When theBREAX Sold Out” concept album with a hybrid DVD, it’s conceivable that some would peg Mic B, Ruslan, and Beleaf as a gimmick group.Read it in full right here.
They would be wrong.
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
Adhering to a hip hop tradition of mixtape-style remakes of another artist’s work, gospel rapper CY has recorded and released his version of Pro’s “Where You At?” The new song is titled “Technology” and offers a Christian perspective on modern entertainment.
In January, rapper/producer Pro released vocal and instrumental tracks from his recent album Blackout for free to fans and independent artists. His online message specified that anyone could use them for hooks, mixtapes, and demos so long as proper credit was given and it was not for commercial gain.
“This was a phenomenal gift from Pro,” CY said. “It really speaks highly of his professionalism and provides me a great opportunity to jump on another hot track.”
CY sampled the beat offering and selected the “Where You At?” instrumental for his remix. His subject matter provides a warning for Christians and non-believers who mindlessly consume unwholesome entertainment that influences their lives.
“Technology has just made it so easy for any of us to absorb music, movies, and websites that ultimately starve our souls,” CY said. “You’ve got pornography and violent video games teaching kids how to rob and rape and many people don’t even give it a second thought because they’d rather sit in front of a computer screen than a book page.”
CY said he’s not against technological advances (which would be obviously hypocritical given the nature of this remake process), but wanted to help his audience realize how it, combined with the wrong tools, can harm their spiritual growth.
Before this project, CY was unfamiliar with Pro’s work and did not listen to any of his music until his own version was complete. Now, the two share a common piece of art.
“I really liked what CY did with my track,” Pro said. “It’s a solid message that many people need to hear and it’s always interesting to hear how another MC interprets your work.”
The song has been released to record pools and radio DJs. In 2009, CY’s album Circus World Event: The Ringleader will be distributed nationally and be on store shelves on July 14.
You can listen to “Technology” at www.myspace.com/cyofmuchluvv
To hear the original version of “Where You At?” and learn more about Pro visit www.mynameispro.com.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Who are all these people on stage?
If Tha Carter was full of more songs like the New Orleans tribute and less about his "Lollipop" I could understand.
Also, wifey gave me a poke about the Neil Diamond post - thinking I'm hip-hop biased. :)
Just wanted to share this pic I took with the iPhone last night of CY the Ringleader on stage at Fellowship of The Woodlands. He and the rest of the Much Luvv Fam rocked a youth retreat weekend.
Look for a recap soon.
I think I caught this commercial during the Super Bowl and it provided plenty of laughs.
We know Christian rappers have provided similar satirical commentary for years (most recently: When theBREAX Sold Out), but it's still funny to see that even the corporate suits that will pimp hip hop to their advantage see the emptiness of most of today's radio raps.
Here's the MC Cha Ching (Feat. Squanderah) "Money In My Pocketz" video in full.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
Last week I had the pleasure of hitting two top-notch Christian hip hop shows in two nights. Both reschedules due to Hurricane Ike, I was able to catch Canton Jones on a Thursday and KJ-52 on a Friday. Such is the advantage of living near a major city.
To start, I have to say the Canton show surprised me. For one, I wasn’t that familiar with his music. My main exposure has been via the stuff Wade-O has played and the “Kingdom Business” album I received as a Christmas gift. And of course, I also had my mind cluttered with mess I’d read about CaJo on Christian rap message boards.
And I have to admit that I misjudged the dude. Honestly, I expected a big ego and lots of lots of money talk. Instead, I saw a genuinely funny guy that knows how to put on a performance, lead worship, and spend time with his fans.
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
My man spent a good hour knocking out his hits, mixing in some familiar beats, and then really helping the audience engage in vertical communion with their Creator.
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
At one point, he took a bunch of mainstream beats and flipped them into worship tracks. Normally this would strike me as a corny crutch. But CaJo cut the secular sounds off quickly and totally redirected the songs. The blend from T.I.’s “Whatcha Know About That” to “Awesome God” was particularly well done.
And at the end, he spoke his heart and shared the Gospel. Three young people ventured forth to say they made a decision to follow Christ and Jones closed the show by joining the crowd in a grimy circle hop to “Give U What U Want” and did fan meet and greets afterward.
Photo by Sketch the Journalist
Would I co-sign with everything he did and said from stage? Maybe not – but how often do I do that with anybody?
In the end I was thoroughly impressed and very glad I was able to check him out in person and not rely on second hand opinions that clouded my judgment.
Sketch & CaJo after the show
- A Milli intro
- The Password: Jesus w/ "Planet Rock" remix
- The Professional
- 5 Seconds
- Hater Day
- Stay Saved
- Love Song
- Worship remix: I'm So Hood / He's So Good
- Worship remix: Whatcha Know About That / Awesome God
- Worship remix: Flashing Lights / I Love You Jesus (?)
- Awesome God
- What You Want
Hosted by fellow CHH writer & SHSU alumnus: Dwayne Lacy
Opening act Beezy
Other openers: CNE (Christ N Entertainment)
CaJo on stage
My man DJ Wade-O has just launched wadeoradio.com where you can get all the goods on his most excellent audio.
And a special shout out to those of you reading this in the "Sketch's Corner" in the lower right spot of his site.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Check out some samples of Redd Lettaz' remixes of jawns off of M-Jones' "Morphed" album.