Thursday, March 25, 2010

Vid: SXSW10 "Welcome to H-town"

Yep, your boy's got a YouTube channel now.

Peep for future clips.

First up: My quickie interview with Dre Murray and his performance of Hell's Paradise's "Welcome to H-town" with Von Won.

Enjoy and feel free to give me some feedback on the vids. I'm a n00b.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vid: "Air Jordan" acoustic freestyle - SXSW 2010

I caught just a bit of this as I was leaving SXSW 2010 for the night. I love it when dudes take it back to freestylin' and I really like the acoustic jam session element of this one.

Vid: SXSW 2010 recap by S.O.M.

Lots of SXSW 2010 videos are beginning to surface.

Here's a recap by the boys from S.O.M.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

SXSW CHH on Houston Chronicle website


This morning our presents The Life in Hip Hop official stage at SXSW 2010 was featured on the front page of the Houston Chronicle's website. (Right under a big photo of the Black Eyed Peas performance at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.)

Here's a direct link to the story.

If you're so inclined, please leave a comment on the page so they know this sort of coverage draws readers.

Reminder: If you're in Austin and planning to hit the show - come early. Only 130 seats in the venue. And if you can't make it, watch it live at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Recap: Alpha Project release party (12/26/09)

Here's another event photo recap from my backlog.

Up next: Joined at the Hip Ministries' Alpha Project release party from Excelsius and DJ 1 God that was held on December 26, 2009.

Rescheduled from Houston's "major" ice day earlier in the month, JATH invited friends like Lita Rodi, Gifted da Flamethrowa, DJ D-Lite, and The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S. to celebrate with them.

Here's the rundown:

Lita Rodi kicked things off with some new cuts off of his "Reformation" album.

I live Tweeted the night and had just noted how hard it was to get the crowd involved in the traditional church setting when these two cats joined Gifted onstage for his rowdy "Want Some, Get Some" track.

Afterward, Gifted led us in worship via William McDowell's "Give Myself Away" song. It was wonderful.

Enock's widow Natalie and his daughter Jana were also in attendance. Natalie spoke and Jana took a nap.

The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S. and DJ D-Lite (background) hit us with their anthem and "No Limits" tracks along with some of their testimony and teaching.

Finally, DJ 1-God (back) and Ex (front) hit the stage on some "Yes, Yes, Y'all" hype.

The Alpha Project's color scheme was black and gold - as represented in Ex's fresh new J's.

During the concert, Ex explained how he met DJ 1-God in his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Stephen F. Austin State University and how he helped disciple 1-God prior to them doing music together.

During the show, it struck me that these two dudes have celebrity look alikes.

Ex = NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb

DJ 1-God = Hollywood actor Jimmy Jean-Louis (aka "The Haitian" on NBC's "Heroes")

Toward the end of the night, the Alpha Project boys invited The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S. on stage for their thumping "Blood Money" collab.

The Alpha Project folks know how to celebrate - with cake!

Ex with DJ D-Lite.

D likes to call Ex his "spiritual twin brother." But as you see above, I've already pointed out his physical doppelgänger.

This event definitely had a different vibe. It was an entertaining show for sure, but it was also an intimate encounter with the One True God among friends, family, and supporters.


Pick up and sample The Alpha Project at Join at the Hip Ministries website right here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Additional Performers for SXSW 2010’s Christian Rap Stage


The list of outstanding performers at the Presents The Life in Hip Hop stage at this year’s 2010 SXSW Music Festival continues to grow.

In addition to the names announced in February, the list of Christian rap ministers now includes:

• Fedel
• Ras aka Lil Raskull
• 007 (formerly of the 5th Ward Boyz)
• Zeeda
• CY
• Peculiar Image
• Xtra Large
• Corey Paul
• Sean C. Johnson
• Eric Merino
• Adalid

Taking place Saturday, March 20 at Austin’s George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, presents The Life in Hip Hop will showcase performances from some of gospel hip hop’s most polished performers.

Admission to all parts of this distinctive stage will be free of charge and open to the community. Tre9 and DJ D-Lite will co-host with DJ Primo manning the wheels of steel in between sets.

Unfortunately, previously promoted performers FLAME, JR, and D-Maub are now unable to attend. Still, headliners like Tedashii, k-Drama, Dre’ Murray, and many others promise to make this an official SXSW showcase you do not want to miss.

For more information visit: or

Related: Initial list of performers for SXSW 2010 announced.

Help promote this event by downloading the flyer image here and making it your Twitter and Facebook profile images and/or e-mailing it to your friends and family.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Von Won Signs Mainstream Record Deal


Houston, TX – Urban Christian artist Von Won’s next album, All-American Felon, will be recorded for the mainstream Def Vibe rap label and distributed through Warner Bros./Asylum Records. This puts Von Won in a category with only a select few Christian hip hop artists (B.B. Jay and Mr. Del come to mind) whose music and ministry garnered enough interest from a secular company willing to invest in their work.

“I’m blessed to have this incredible opportunity and promise to continue to purse God’s will as we move forward,” Von said.

The official contract signing was held at Von Won’s 4th Fridayz Fellowship on February 26 with more than 300 people in attendance. Def Vibe’s president and CEO Money Marc was there to deliver and accept the final paperwork.

Money Marc (left) signs Von Won (center) to Def Vibe as Much Luvv Records CEO Tre9 looks on. - photo by Sketch the Journalist

Def Vibe has been responsible for much of the national exposure and success of Houston’s rap scene since 2003. The entertainment company has coordinated events, marketing, and promotions for names like Twista, Scarface, and Lil Boosie, and recently secured BET 106 & Park airplay for Young Problems’ video to “Boi” featuring Gucci Mane and Mike Jones.

Although Money Marc and Von Won’s relationship tracks back to their high school days, Marc said it was Von’s work ethic and drive that made this potentially risky signing worth while.

“I only get into business with guys that are willing to give it all they have,” Marc said. “With Von, you know you’re always getting 1000%.”

“I was also impressed with his ability to bring people out to support him. That’s a big part of being a successful artist and Von has proven that he can mobilize the masses.”

With such a move, it’s almost a given that some Christian critics will question Def Vibe’s motives and wonder if Von will be pressured to change his content in order to secure additional airplay. However, Money Marc has an answer for them.

“This isn’t even about money – especially since it’s so hard to make in today’s music industry,” Marc said. “I’ve had my eye on this movement for several years and researched it. Tre9 (CEO of Much Luvv Records and co-owner of is a friend of mine and I’ve always told him that when the time was right I wanted to use my contacts on the other end to bring some folks back. I just want to use my talents to glorify God.

“And we have no aspirations of changing who Von Won is or what he says or what he’s about. We certainly want him to do records that will work across the board, but he’s going to retain creative control.”

Von also has a response for those worried that with Def Vibe, he might water down his message and just be a “positive rapper.”

“I am definitely a holy hip hop artist! Given today’s music climate, somebody has to take a stand and that’s who I am,” Von Won said.

Def Vibe is even creating a gospel division and making Von Won an executive to scout additional talent for future releases.

Much Luvv Records CEO Tre9 introduces and prays for his former artist Von Won and his family before the signing to Def Vibe. - Photo by Sketch the Journalist

As such, Von Won will be adding yet another title to his multi-hyphenated job description. He’s already CEO of his own Southern Xposure Entertainment label with several album releases, a solo artist, TV video show producer, husband, father of two (with one on the way) and recently accepted a full-time youth pastor position at Restoring Hope International church in south Houston. How will he manage being pulled in so many different directions?

“In the past, I’ve been the most successful when I’m the busiest,” Von said. “It was in those lazy, empty time spans when I found myself getting into trouble.”

That trouble includes a 2006 felony conviction for resisting arrest and evading with a vehicle when his car was stopped and drugs were found inside. It also led to multiple tazings from police and became the catalyst for Von to change his life and whole-heartedly pursue Christ.

However, all of that seems like a contradiction for this near Ivy League, Rice University graduate who was an All-American track star.

“I’ve been given both of those labels (All-American and felon) and they’re on two very different ends of the spectrum,” Von said. “I’ll be exploring some of that on my next album and hope that people know I’m more than a title. I want them to see me as a man of God.”

All-American Felon is scheduled to drop from Def Vibe/Warner Bros./Asylum Records on August 31, 2010.