Friday, March 27, 2009

Sho Baraka in Huntsville, TX tonight! (03/27)

Brother X just called to let me know Sho Baraka was going to be in Huntsville, Texas tonight (Friday - March 27) in the Lowman Student Center area of Sam Houston State University. Time should be around 7ish.

Sho is taking the place of Tedashii and this is the event I thought was taking place last week.

If you're not going to the first night of the All Eyes On Me Conference then definitely make the drive to Huntsvegas if you can!

And be sure to download that FREE "Barakaology" mixtape and thank Sho for the "Kobe Bryant On 'Em" remix.

106 & Gospel Cancelled?

Looks like BET's foray into the gospel youth market is done.

Last weekend's episode didn't air and a source who was supposed to be booked on the show told me he saw an e-mail from one of the producers that confirmed the cut. Guess we'll never see that ep Ambassador was supposed to be on.

The show is still listed on the BET website, but it the Magic 8-ball seems to point to "Yes."

My man Tyren put me onto an online petition to get it back though. If you're interested, you can sign it here.

For me, I'm not too surprised by this change. Despite some seemingly good intentions, it was poorly planned and executed and could never really shed the "cheap Christian knock-off" image from its bigger and better 106 & Park counterpart (which at first seemed like a cheap, black knock-off of MTV's TRL.)

If BET does decide to bring the show back to life, here are a few suggested improvemets:

1) The biggest issue is without a doubt the air day and time. For some reason the “Suits” decided to run this show on Sundays at noon.

Really? A program targeted toward the church crowd is shown at an hour when 90% of the audience is still sitting in their pews?

Why not Sunday afternoon or evening? A Saturday morning or midday would work too. At least give us a re-run. As it was before, its connected core had to rely on a DVR to record and replay the show.

2) “106 & Gospel” also seems a bit incestuously biased with its coverage.

In the first five episodes, the artists that received the most amount of air-time included Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Tye Tribbet, iROCC, Kikki Sheard, 21:03, and Tri-ni-tee 5:7 – all people already somehow connected to the network’s existing gospel coverage.

I was willing to lend some grace to a new show trying to catch an audience and gain its footing. But after nearly two months on air they should have really tried to reach past those who already have parking spots on the BET lot.

3) Finally, and I know this is tough, I would ask BET to resist the urge to make “106 & Gospel” a show simply about cultural Christianity.

Leave the silly “church carpet” fashion reports, money-equals-blessings beliefs, and “Jesus-the-Magic-Genie” sentiments on the cutting room floor. Embrace the platform you’ve been given and use it to impart something of true spiritual significance.

BET can do this by offering more opportunities for artist testimonies and devotions. They could also share some actual Scripture and point people toward resources they can use to deepen their faith.

One can only imagine how much more God could move with a willing tool like that at His disposal.

I tried to e-mail the e-mail address on their website to confirm this but my message was rejected. I can't find a decent "Contact Us" section on their site either. Anyone know of a valid addy?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vidz: Lecrae @ SXSW After Party

I'm sure there will be others that pop up on YouTube soon, but here's one of the first clips to come out of our phenomenal SXSW weekend.

Peep Lecrae's intro and performance of "Indwelling Sin" from (rebel). And look for your humble blogger taking flix from the balcony. I'm sporting the khaki Dickie shirt and black cap.

Monday, March 23, 2009

SXSW photo recap coming

Just a quick post to let you know I'll mos def have a photo recap of the 1st Ever Christian Hip Hop Showcase @ SXSW. It just won't be today.

I spent an extra day in Austin with the wifey, haven't had a chance to load in all the photos, and am about to head out to catch Braille's "Cloud Nineteen" show at a mission here in Houston.

But know that it was a FANTASTIC event! Here's at least one pic to whet your appetite.

Talk to you soon.

Dooney da' Priest @ the SXSW stage
Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Friday, March 20, 2009

Twittering SXSW

I'm heading out to Austin tonight and will be Twittering throughout SXSW for those that want to track me.

Find and follow me at

I'll be at the stage tomorrow with B.L.U.E, Dooney, Kaboose, Braille, the Much Luvv Fam and Lecrae.

I also plan to hit the After Party and want to try to catch a Rootbeer (Pigeon John & Flynn) set if I can.

Look for pics, set info, and other randomness.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kobe & DWade on 'Em remixes

Sho Baraka was one of the first to update k-Drama's signature "Air Jordan" tune with someone from the new school for "Kobe Bryant On 'Em" from his FREE "Barakology: Why So Serious?" mixtape. (Download it here.)

Now, Dre Marshall has given it a southern spin with "D'Wade On 'Em." (Listen here.)

Dre's isn't as good as Sho's (plus, Sho took just about every other available celeb) - but I love how cats are regionalizing this joint.

I wonder if Regis knew when he cut this that he was starting a MOVEMENT!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CY recalls old school CHH roots

When I discovered CY was an old school Christian Hip Hop head like me I knew we had to do a story. My man Zee has it up on now.


Here's your tease and link.

The Son of the Ringleader knows his history. Despite being a somewhat new school
voice, CY is well versed in old school gospel rap.

“Both of my parents were pastors and growing up we couldn’t listen to rap. But the first Christian hip hop song I ever heard was Jon Gibson and MC Hammer. I think I was 11 or 12 years old and I heard it on the radio and was like ‘Wow!’,” CY said.
Continue reading

HCR & to merge / Vic resigns

Big news in the online Christian Hip Hop World! Yesterday it was announced that Holy Culture and were merging. The new company will operate under the HolyCulture brand and will offer the full range of services that the previous companies did.

Both Anonymous and Trig assure their community users that there will be a smooth transition as the platforms and services are pulled together.

On a sadder note, Victor “DJ MVP” Padilla, founder of Holy Culture, has decided to resign. Here is what he had to say:

"As hard as it is to walk away from Holy Culture the radio, website, download store, etc., and my active involvement in Christian Hip Hop as a whole, the Lord has given me an amazing peace about the decision!”

He said that now he will devote 100% of his time to serving his wife, kids, and local church congregation.

He continued, “Often times during my years with Holy Culture, the platform somehow began to receive more attention and affections than the God the platform was supposed to be glorifying, and it is with a heavy and broken heart that I admit my guilt in not only being associated with that, but often times being one of the chief architects!

My prayer is that the new partners in Holy Culture will do a better job than I did with the platform in expanding His Kingdom instead of expanding a kingdom. Amen."

You might remember that just three months ago, Vic requested and received control of the Holy Culture brand back from DJ D-Lite after a similar hiatus.

Believe me, I know being the head of a mega-news and info site like HCR can eventually wear you down and out. I’ve seen it happen to several others in the past.

For now, I’ll be lifting Vic in prayer as he begins to release control and pour more time and effort into his fam. I also want to personally thank him on behalf of the Christian rap community for his many, many years of service and promotion of this message music.

And perhaps we can all take a moment to follow his lead and evaluate our own time and financial commitment we give to this game in sacrifice of our own families and spiritual walk.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vidz: Finally tonight, Jesus...

I got this from the Mike McGuff blog - a compilation of the "Jesus-image-in-the-grilled-cheese" type kicker stories from many, many newscasts.

It made me think, how often do we do the same thing? Tack Jesus onto the end of our day/story/life and do it in such a cheesy, good-luck-token type of way?

Lord, forgive us.

Vidz: Rootbeer "Pink Limousine"

Pink Limousine

The Halloween mask scenes are a little freaky, but otherwise I go "loopy loopy like Gary Busey" for this joint.

Vidz: Tedashii's Facebook status

Sadly, haven't we all been...errr....known someone like this?

Monday, March 16, 2009

SXSW "Plus One" After Party

It's on and poppin' - not 5 minutes away from the main venue.

Details on the main SXSW event here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sketch on Much Luvv Radio


Monday night I was invited to stop by 4930 Studios to be interviewed by Von Won & DJ Primo for an upcoming episode of the Much Luvv Radio podcast.

We chatted about my history with Christian hip hop, the Fence documentary, SXSW and a lot of other stuff. The show should be up next week.

In the mean time, check out past episodes right here.

BTW, I know I look mad old in this pic. I blame the overhead lighting for making me look like Benjamin Button. Too bad I'm not aging in reverse.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Vidz: Cam "Platform" / Tre9 "Rise to the Top" video & audio mashup

My man DJ Primo (one of the better mixers in CHH) has a nifty little audio AND video mashup of Cam's "Platform" and Tre9's "Rise to the Top" lead single. Peep it below.

Tre9 - Rise To The Top Feat. Von Won **DJ Primo Platform Mahsup Video** from DJ Primo on Vimeo.

Catch the originals at the links below:

Rise to the Top

The Platform

R-Swfit says thank you for support

R-Swift vlogs a heartfelt thank you to fans and friends who have lent his family support during their recent tragedy.

Tre9 gets SXSW love from Houston Press

Tre9 got some SXSW love from the Houston Press this week. Check out this paragraph from the H-town preview.
Tre9: Not many rappers espouse the joys of driving busted Honda Civics and living for Christ, but that's been Tre9's modus operandi for over ten years. The devout Christian just dropped The Farmer LP, which features Lil' Keke and Big Pokey on a remix of the single "Suburbs." He tours overseas regularly and even owns his own production company — pretty slick for a married white guy who reps area 'burbs like Copperfield and Pear­land like Biggie used to rep Brooklyn. C.H.
Read it all here.

For more info on the SXSW stage, click here.

Pastor Mark Driscoll wants you to Twitter - during church!

Props to Relevant Magazine's Slices section for this one.

Apparently pastor Mark Driscoll (Seattle's Mars Hill Church) wants you to Twitter during church.

Read all about it and a video of the local news story here.

Not sure I can get down with this one.

I understand journaling during a sermon, but at least your notebook doesn't have distracting updates from @THE_REAL_SHAQ interrupting your meditation of the Word every two minutes with quotes from "Scarface.".

How do you feel about this trend?

Vidz: Phi Kappa Alpha wreks shop

Nothing too deep about this other than a really fresh, Blue Man Group-like performance by a Phi Kappa Alpha crew at a recent Anchorsplash talent show @ UT - Austin.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rootbeer's "Pink Limousine EP" out today

"It's the inevitable return of the Pretty Boy Virgins...."

The long awaited Rootbeer EP "Pink Limousine" (Pigeon John & Flynn Adam Atkins) dropped today. It's got five, party-live tracks of alt-club hip hop that'll make you clap your hands off.

It's just a five dollar download so skip your Mickey D's and fire up the PC. Buy it from Amazon right 'chere.

I also see the dudes are at SXSW the same time we'll be so hopefully we can connect and get them to come by the Showcase with Lecrae, Braille, RedCloud, Kaboose, Tre9, CY, and the Much Luvv Fam.

Enjoy a live performance of "So Good" by RB.

Braille's "Cloud Nineteen" tour update

Braille now has a nice little website dedicated to his "Cloud Nineteen" tour and album.

For those that don't know, Braille and producer S1 (Strange Fruit Project) created this project after the excellent "Blessed Man" collab on the "IV" album.

Their goal is to manufacture 30,000 copies and give them away for FREE. They have been performing at correctional facilities, clubs, schools, churches, homeless shelters, bars, and pretty much any venue imaginable.

To keep up to date on their progress, cop the album, and find out how you can support this venture (like I did) hit up:

He'll be Texas again for the showcase at SXSW and then in Houston the next night for a solo C19 show.

k-Drama's "Air Jordan" posse remix - Free DL

k-Drama just flipped a posse cut remix to his career-defining "Air Jordan" track. It now features Thi'sl, Json, Young Josh, J.Johnson and Pro.

I love crew joints like this and the fact that Drama added a whole new verse to his part so you know it's not just a cut-and-paste job. Good work Regis.

My only beef is that he didn't use "Stretch the Plagiarist" as the reporter at the beginning.

Listen and download your FREE copy here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

CHH State of the "You"-nion Address by Ex

Brother Excelsius just shared with me his "CHH State of the 'You'-nion" so I'll do the same.

Chew on this for a bit and see how your heart responds.

From Ex:

Over the past 20+ years, the movement of God in Hip-Hop has made some tremendous strides. But as one who has actively participated in the movement and at the same time keenly observed from afar, I submit to you that we’re not quite there yet. Let’s get candid for a moment . . . The Christian Hip-Hop community is often times competitive, territorial, protective and egotistical. Too many of us think we have original ideas (while few of us do). Too many of us think we know the best way to "do" ministry (few of us do). And too many of us, while we'd never admit it, turn our whole ministry career into a competition with others, who we constantly try to out-maneuver and outwit.

The truth is, all this striving can sometimes drive us to do our best for the Kingdom, but it can also be a detriment to our cooperate success in ministry. Ego and competitiveness can be positive attributes during your ministry career, but even a healthy ego and zealous competitiveness must be kept in check. Otherwise, you'll find yourself building your own cloister, while vastly limiting your kingdom impact (remember what happened to those involved in building the Tower of Babel?) Too many times, while trying to out-do and over-achieve, we end up alone and ultimately unsuccessful.

Society nowadays tends to define success in terms of accomplishments, awards, material possessions and/or profit margin. God’s Word, however, presents a different definition of success – one centered on a relationship with Jesus Christ and a love for God that allows us to love and serve others. God has given all of us unique gifts, abilities and passions. How well we use those qualities to have an impact on the world around us determines how “successful” we really are.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that an unbelievable thing happens when we lay down our competitive swords in ministry; there's actually more power in working together than in looking at everyone else as the competition. I honestly believe part of the reason we have not accomplished even more is because individuals have yet to embrace this profound truth: There is no competition in God’s Kingdom because a Kingdom divided against itself will not stand.
I’m not so Utopian that I’m ignorant to the obvious. Personal convictions, philosophical differences & not having the same ministry objectives will prohibit some from locking arms and coming together to join forces. But having a willingness to seek out those who are like-minded & have the same vision should be the heartbeat of those with a Kingdom focus. When we become so enamored with our own work, greater kingdom impact is sure to bypass us.

When Kingdom Minded people conspire together, the Body of Christ as a whole benefits. For you, maybe this message is a charge to become more open-handed with information and resources. Maybe, this message is an exhortation for you to work side by side with a “rival” ministry in order to serve and reach a community for Christ. Maybe, this message is an urging for you to invest your wisdom and experience into someone who can do absolutely nothing to advance your own ministry. Maybe, this message is a call for you to support another ministry by sowing finances into their endeavors. Or maybe, just maybe, this message is a challenge for you to step away from public ministry for a season, in order to fortify your private ministry.
As I close, I’ve got 4 questions, I’d like for you to prayerfully contemplate:

#1) What has your ministry done in the past month to work with others outside your crew? (sidebar: If your ministry is trying to do everything on its own or if you think that only your ministry is qualified to do it right, then you need to re-evaluate your mind-set.)

#2) What have you done personally to help the Kingdom outside your main ministry area? Have you met with or encouraged a fellow co-laborer in ministry? Have you met to break bread with other ministers / ministries in your locale?

#3) If you’re in a situation where it’s necessary for you to turn down a ministry opportunity, could you comfortably suggest another ministry for the job?

#4) When it’s all said and done, will other people’s lives be better because your ministry existed?

Hopefully, the next State of the “You” – nion address will never come to fruition because the individual members within the Body of Christ will start walking in their respective callings. God has designed the Body to work together, incorporating each individual for His greater glory. Because we cannot see His master plan, we must trust that our individual calling is part of His greater purpose and walk in that trust.

About the Author:

In addition to ministering through hip-hop for over 12 years, Excelsius is the chaplain for the NBA’s Houston Rockets. He and his wife Stacey are the proud parents of 3 kids: Jaren, Madison & Sydney.

Together, Ex & Stacey oversee Joined at the Hip Ministries, a Christian parachurch organization that seeks to edify, encourage and enlighten the people of God by teaching the practical application of biblical principles through bible studies, conferences, devotionals, discipleship and urban gospel music. You can learn more about their ministry by visiting

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Here a Tweet, there a Tweet, everywhere a Tweet, Tweet

Yeah, so apparently everyone in America joined Twitter in the last two weeks. (It even was even awarded VH1's "Best Week Ever.")

I did the same.

You can follow my mico-blogs @SketchtheJ.

Add @The_REAL_SHAQ too. He's legit, funny, and often gives out free tix to Suns games in different cities.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tre9 talks SXSW Showcase


The good folks at the Houston Calling blog got it in with Tre9 recently to discuss the Showcase at SXSW.

Here's my favorite exchange from the piece:

HC: What would you say to people who ask why they should come see the showcase?

Tre9: Because with all the bad news regarding the economy, which you are hearing in the news everyday, why would you want to go listen to other rappers bragging on how big their house it, how many women they got, and how they have so much money that they can make it rain on you. I would think people are in search of some authenticity, truth, hope, and straight up real hip hop. Our music offers that, it is one of the few venues you can watch and truly feel like what you see is what you get: absolute truth through music.

Read it in full here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pray / support R-Swift

As many of you may already know, R-Swift and his wife Stacey lost their infant son on Thursday evening. Rodnie Graham Jr was only a few months old.

Please, please keep this family in prayer. And if you would like to financially support them during this time, you can send funds via PayPal to TeddyP who is coordinating the efforts in Philly.

Send those to: teddypmusic [at] comcast [dot] net .