Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vid: CHH @ Los Magnificos Custom Car Show

Tre9 and the Much Luvv Fam (plus friends like Big Al Cherry) repped Christ at last weekend's Los Magnificos Custom Car Show put on by H-town's largest mainstream hip hop station.

Makes me proud of my city.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dear Internets: Christian Side-Hug Rap is Satire!

Dear Internets,

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.

Many thanks,

Sketch the J

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vid: Martin Luther rap "95 Theses"

On a day when everyone's debating Jay-Z's blasphemy, I found a "99 Problems" parody that is surprisingly deep and well done.


Found at Jesus Needs New PR and here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays - 5th Ward

I'll have to take a late pass on this blog, but think there's still value in showing you what Tre9's Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays events look like.

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

Cover art for Tha Message Mag Issue #4

Payday hit me with the cover art for the next issue of Tha Message Magazine that's fresh off the presses. I wrote the profile on Thi'sl and will let you know when it's available to the masses.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vid: Bushwick Bill "Testimony of Redemption"

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

Please also keep Bill in your prayers as he continues to work out his faith.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Original "Word Up" - Cross Movement feat. Enock

Cruz Cordero recently dusted off and posted this original version of "Word Up" by the Cross Movement featuring Enock. A more polished version was later found on the group's second album House of Representatives.

Here's the version that made the final cut.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Freel DL: DJ Primo's Tribute to Enock mixtape

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

Vidz: DJ Will's World

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

A Q&A with Gifted Da Flamethrowa

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 ( 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

For more information on DJ Wade-O and The Wade-O Radio Show please visit

Sunday, November 15, 2009

20" Rims & the Bible?

The homie Timashion the Visionaire has an interesting take on whether or not the Bible mentions 20" rims in this episode of the Good News Talk Show he shoots on his iPhone.

The show's packaging is getting better too. Take a peek.

Monday, November 9, 2009

LEAK: Gifted Da Flamethrowa "Prisoners"


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:

- Knine
- DMaub
- Prozpera "D"
- Excelsius
- Testimony
- Esop
- The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S.

And others. Pre-order Street Symphony here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Vidz: Vohnbeatz - "You're Looking Over Us"

If you're not up on Vohnbeatz (11-year-old beatmaker/emcee) you should be. He's the son of the Strange Fruit Project's S1 (who also produced Braille's Cloud Nineteen album.)

Peep his beats and lyrics in the clip below. Video shot and edited by his pops.


VohnBeatz - You're Lookin Over Us from S1/ S.K.P. Film and Photo on Vimeo.

Christian Chirp = Twitter knock-off


Christian – 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:

Lil Wayne: Communist?


This morning on VH1 I noticed that Lil Wayne is sporting a red T-shirt reading "Communist" in the new Jay Sean video.

I gotta say, the Cash Money Millionaire is either ignorant or brilliantly ironic.

Da' T.R.U.T.H. confesses "moral indiscretion"


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

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

Lita Rodi - "The Reform" release party - Nov 14


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:

Watch the promo video below: