Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Win 1 of 3 fantastic Right Out Loud - The Prequel prize packages from Ruslan & theBREAX

One thing I love about the homie Ruslan (from theBREAX) is that he’s a giver.

First, it was a free mp3 of his tough-as-nails remake of Jay-Z’s “D.O.A.”

Then, it was the Right Out Loud – The Freequel mixtape.

Now, he’s giving away three, yes, three Right Out Loud - The Prequel EP prize packages exclusively to listeners and fans of Sketch the Journalist and The Wade-O Radio Show.

Here’s the deal, Ruslan recently released his new project, Right Out Loud – The Prequel EP, to iTunes and various digital outlets.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Domesticated.” It’s a refreshing song that honors and celebrates the joys of being a legitimate family man.

If you’re familiar with the song (and even if you’re not), then you need to check out the fantastic film version here that keeps it realer than just about 95% of all hip hop videos ever created.

I think this is a message that deserves an even greater push. As such, I’ve teamed up with Ruslan and The Wade-O Radio Show for a little “Domesticated” contest.

All you have to do to win a Right Out Loud - The Prequel prize package is to take and submit a picture of you doing something “Domesticated.”

You’ll also need to find a way to creatively work in text that says “Buy Ruslan’s Right Out Loud - The Prequel on iTunes today.” This could be via a handmade sign in the background, a skywriter that you hired to decorate the clouds above you, or a message knocked out on your little kid’s Lite Brite that’s off to the side.

Then e-mail your submissions to by 5pm PST June 4, 2010.

After that we’ll post all valid entries on and open it up to a public vote.

The three entries with the most votes at noon PST on June 11, 2010 will be named our winners. First, second, and third place will be determined by the final vote tally and will be announced by Ruslan on an upcoming episode of The Wade-O Radio Show.


All of our winners will receive a Right Out Loud prize package that consists of:
  • Ruslan – Right Out Loud - The Prequel deluxe digital edition
  • Ruslan – Right Out Loud - The Prequel hard copy
  • theBREAX- Broken Television DVD
  • theBREAX - When theBREAX Sold Out
  • theBREAX – Self-titled debut album
  • Mikel Anthony - The Schematic
  • Heavenly Host - Thornz In My Flesh


First and second place winners get all of that - PLUS:
  • A theBREAX t-shirt in their size.
  • An “Anti-hype Revolutionary” t-shirt (as worn by Ruslan in the “Domesticated” video) in their size.



And the ultimate winner gets all of the above - PLUS:
  • theBREAX hoodie
  • A Movement Church “I Love My Wife” or “I Love My Family” t-shirt (as seen on Ruslan in the “Nothing in Particular” video) in their size.
  • Two pairs of Airspeed shoes in of their choice and size
So get your thinking caps and cameras on and figure out how you can show off your “Domesticated” side. And if I may suggest some theme music for your efforts, go download the track from iTunes for a mere $0.99 cents.

Get going and good luck!

Contest rules:
  • This contest requires a minimum of 25 entries to be valid.
  • Sorry ladies, we’re trying to encourage our brothers here so this contest is only open to the fellas.
  • One entry per person.
  • All submissions must include:
- Legal name
- Rap name (if applicable)
- Age
- Phone number
- Physical mailing address
- Preferred t-shirt size
- Preferred hoodie size
- Preferred shoe size
  • Submissions containing nudity, sexual innuendo, or inappropriate attire, symbols, and messages will not be permitted. Ruslan, Wade-O, and Sketch the Journalist will make the sole determination of any entries that cross these lines.
  • By submitting an image to this contest, all entrants grant Ruslan, theBREAX, The Wade-O Radio Show, and Sketch the Journalist permission to post and use their name, likeness, and photograph (and that of anyone else in the photograph) in any and all online, social network, and printed promotion related to this contest.
  • Entrants also grant Ruslan, theBREAX, The Wade-O Radio Show, and Sketch the Journalist permission to include them on a marketing list for future Christian hip hop and ministry-related endeavors.

Vid: Thi'sl on strategic hip hop ministry

A few weeks ago Thi'sl was in town for an event and I got to catch up with him for a series of video interviews.

In this one, Thiz discusses:
  • His early desire to be a heavy-duty theological rapper
  • Why we each need to find and run in our own lanes
  • What strategic hip hop ministry looks like

I'll be posting two other videos soon where he goes in division and unity within our genre.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Houston Rappers Give Back to 5th Ward Community through Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays

Refuting the stereotype that all street rappers are selfish thugs, Houston’s rap community will join forces on June 8 from 7 – 9pm to kickoff the summer Hip Hop Hope Tuesday series at the Prince Complex (3000 Jensen Dr.) in the heart of the 5th Ward.

Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays (HHHT) is a weekly youth service designed to uplift, enlighten, and encourage young people entrenched in urban rap music culture.

Much Luvv Records founder Bobby “Tre9” Herring launched the first Hip Hop Hope event in partnership with Rap-a-Lot Records on Easter weekend 2009.

“A lot of rappers mention giving back to the neighborhoods they came from but very few actually do,” Herring said. “Talk is cheap, so with Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays, we want to show that the Houston rap community can make good on our word and bring positivity to the parts of our city that need it most.”

The Prince Complex was founded by J. Prince who founded and runs Rap-A-Lot Records also. Prince is from the 5th Ward and developed the non-profit youth center over a decade ago to offer a “Pathway to Empowerment.” Prince and Rap-A-Lot affiliated MCs including Willie D (Geto Boys), Bun B (UGK), and 007 (5th Ward Boys) are also scheduled to participate on the June 8 kickoff event. Many members of H-town’s Christian rap community will also be there in full force.

Andre "007" Barnes @ SXSW 2009 - Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Andre “007” Barnes is a 5th Ward native and frequent HHHT volunteer. His story is a perfect example of how positive opportunities and role models (like those found at Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays) can lead to dramatic life change.

In the mid-90’s 007 gained fame and notoriety as a founding member of the hard core gangsta rap crew the 5th Ward Boyz. Unlike many of today’s street rappers, 007 was never a “studio gangsta.” His lyrics reflected his actual life. That included a murder case for shooting and killing a man trying to steal his car (later ruled a justifiable homicide) and armed robbery as well as selling and abusing drugs.

Eventually greed consumed 007. After a European tour in the year 2000, he was caught robbing three banks and sentenced to more than four years in prison. Upon release he caught another case that earned him an additional 15 months behind bars.

It was there, in jail once again, that Andre Barnes had his “Road to Damascus” experience. Finally encountering and understanding the true grace of God through the sacrifice of His one and only son, Barnes began to change.

When he walked out of the yard this time around, it was with a renewed mind. Barnes pursued ministry, established Taking Back the Streets, and opened Blessings Christian Bookstore with his wife and family.

Now a new creature, 007 has returned to the mic with a much different message.

“I’m just trying to show young people that you don’t have to let street life consume and define you,” Barnes said. “And Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays is the perfect place for me to share that with others.”

To keep up with Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays and Tre9’s other community building efforts, visit his blog at

Friday, May 21, 2010

GodChaserz news

GodChaserz got it goin' on.

In addition to recently inking a deal for distribution to Best Buy stores, the Florida label just dropped an album full of instrumentals for your next show, mixtape, or remix and this video promo for Brinson's upcoming OMG album. The clip at the end looks nice - like DustBrandFilms nice.

Several other upcoming projects have associated promo videos. Check 'em out over at

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Free DL: The LOST LP - JahRock'n Productions

As LOST, perhaps the G.O.A.T. network drama, says goodbye tonight and this Sunday, I wanted to remind you about an overlooked gem released earlier this year by the folks from JahRock'n Productions.

The free LOST LP expounds upon the multi-layered spiritual messages and themes of the show and even has tracks that are rapped through the eyes and experiences of main characters like Charlie and Kate.

There are also some fun tracks that "flashback" and sample some of hip hop's golden era sounds. And they do the joint up right too with professional artwork, lyrics, and liner notes.

Keep in mind though, that this was created in February at the launch of the season, so don't expect any of this year's explained mysteries to pop up on the record.

Anyway, it's a dope project that deserved more press and listens than I know I've given it thus far.


1. Lost in You 04:16

2. Give It To You 04:19

3. Test Me 04:29

4. I Don't Need That (Yemi) 03:20

5. Flashing Through Time I 03:43

6. I Love You, but I Love You (Kate Austen) 02:50

7. Fly Away (Charlie Pace) 03:37

8. The Temple 03:38

9. Flashing Through Time II 03:59

10.Set Free (Faith vs Science) 04:23

11.Destiny 02:20

Click here to download and enjoy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Can CHH vids get too graphic?

I recently ran across a message board thread titled "Most violent CHH music vid I've seen..." and discovered this clip from a Cali cat called Brotha Ruff.

It's definitely "ruff" and has some violent images, blood spatter, and chain saws.

Peep the clip below if you're cool with that advance warning.

From what I can gather online, this is part of a post-Rapture mini-movie they're developing called The Gospel Gorilla Chronicles. Still, it seems pretty edgy, no?

In that same message board post I was hipped to this clip from Fresh IE which also contains some torture-like imagery with a specific purpose of showing the ill effects of crystal meth use.

Here's that video if you're interested.

All of this leads me to ask a few questions:
  • Can Christian hip hop videos get too graphic?
  • Should clips like "Go Dave On 'Em" and "Crystal" include warning labels for imagery such as drug use, torture, gun play, fights?
  • Do they serve a greater purpose?
  • Are they any more violent than some stories in our own Bibles?
  • Do they give Christian hip hop a bolder, more manly face or do they set us back and make it even harder to distinguish us from mainstream hip hop?
Your thoughts?

Props to Samson for the initial post over at HCR.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vid: Ruslan "Domesticated"

When is the last time you saw rappers doing dishes or folding laundry in a music video?

This is how we need to "keep it real."

This track is off of Ruslan's solo Right Out Loud: The Prequel EP. Buy it here and look for some more info about how you can win a copy from me and Ruslan soon.


5 Reasons Why I Love Ruslan's Right Out Loud: The Freequel Mixtape

Monday, May 10, 2010

KJ-52 Can't Rhyme

If that's what you think, or if you think KJ-52 is just a kiddie-rapper, then it appears he made this mixtape exactly for you.

Peep "battle rap KJ" (my words) flexing over tracks like:

- I Wanna Rock
- Carry Out
- Made Ya Look
- Nothing But You
- Forever

With DJ Sematic & Blaze Torch

Free download with his lyrics here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oklahoma is the place to be...

The other day Zee from sent out a Tweet that the state of Florida seemed to be one of the current hot spots for innovative Christian hip hop.

I believe his comments were in reference to guys like G-Notes, DJ Morph, and Rhema Soul infusing a lot of dance/techno sound into their music that really seems to breathe some fresh air into the genre.

This mirrored some of my own thoughts recently - albeit about a different location.

As you know, I’m a Texan and we tend to have just a little bit of state pride, okay, who am I kidding? A LOT of state pride.

Still, I gotta keep it real and tip my hat to our northern border neighbors in Oklahoma. They’ve got guys like Dre’ Murray, Fedel, Kadence, Cam, and Sean C. Johnson going hard body lately.

All these cats seem to really be putting a professional shine on their art and represent well. They’ve also got the collective force of an organization like Positive Hip pushing them to the forefront.

What do you think? If you were to single out a state or region that’s seems to really be hitting, where would it be?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vid: 007 of the 5th Ward Boyz is dead

007 talks about his old life at the release party for his Audio Future album. Peep.