Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Justin Bieber freestyles a quasi-Christian rap over Biggie's classic "Who Shot Ya?" beat

So... the Innuhnets are goin' nuts over this freestyle Justin Bieber dropped for Las Vegas' Hot 97.5 over the "Who Shot Ya?" instrumental the Notorious B.I.G. made famous.

"Beliebers" everywhere already know the kid likes to mess around with hip hop under the nom de rap "Shawty Mane" and are surely keen to the fact that he publicly proclaims to be a Christian.

But who knew he'd be dropping quasi-gospel rap verses with a stolen Lil Wayne flow over a bona fide hip hop classic? Much less while wearing what appears to be a Christmas apron with the words "Bieber Swag" on the front?!?

Sample lyrics include:

"Life is so short but we take it for granted / hand over my life and it was a life that I was handed"


"I'm tryin' to figure out what my plan is / His hand is on my life and my sin just vanished / my filth washes off like her fake tan is"

Here's the clip. What's your take?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another (less pom-pomy) Christian hip hop Tim Tebow song

While browsing sintax.the.terrific's excellent (and impressively consistent) current-events-turned-into-raps Press Junket blog I discovered yet another Christian hip hop song about Tim Tebow.

Here, sintax, aka Slangston Hughes, aka Samuel L. Rhythms, offers a less pom-pomy take on the Christian athlete phenomenon than Brinson's "Tebowin'" and provides some written commentary to go along with his music.
"I’m also a little queasy of Jesus cheerleading. Full disclosure, I wore a “Jesus is BOSS” (as in Hugo Boss) shirt in college. I have spent my entire life being roughly public with my faith. I guess in time I’ve been increasingly concerned about what those displays really say to others and about myself. Jesus himself asked us to do our praying in closets, not on corners. And, there is just something too rote about thanking God every single time you open your mouth. I wrestle with how to keep the name of God precious. The Divine is not something to hide. But, it’s also not something to parade, like a float."
Click here to read the full entry (which provides an even fuller nuance to the Christian/Tebow topic) and the Play button below to listen to "All Things."

Monday, December 19, 2011

Brinson drops "Tebowin'" tribute to Tim Tebow


It was only a matter of time until a Christian rapper crafted a tribute track to Tim Tebow. First to the finish line was Jacksonville, Florida resident Brinson with "Tebowin'."

Before going on sale today, the song appeared to have tons of momentum with "The Mile-High Messiah" having four straight 4th quarter comebacks and six straight wins. Unfortunately, "Touchdown Jesus" and the Denver Broncos fell short of glory yesterday with a 41-23 loss to the New England Patriots.

"Tebowin'" is available for purchase at all of the major digital suppliers (including iTunes) with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to the Tim Tebow Foundation. To hear a sample, click the Play button near Tebow's Bible-verse-laden eye black in the image below.

New Brinson "TEBOWIN" Tribute to Tim Tebow by Brinson Solar GodChaserz

And of course this begs the question: How does "Tebowin'" compare to this DJ Khaled/T-Pain remix?

Friday, December 2, 2011

VIDZ: Press conference for final Man Up Tour event in Houston

My friends at Factor Effects just released this video of the press conference* from a Reach Records Man Up event.

The Houston stop was the last one on their tour and somewhat of a homecoming for participating artists Lecrae, Tedashii, and Trip Lee.

During the presser, the guys discussed:

- Their thoughts about being back in Texas (peep Crayola's entertaining, H-town-influenced flow at the intro)
- Why the Man Up message is needed
- How the tour event has been received so far
- How the Man Up campaign came about
- The budget and logistics of producing the Man Up film (including the name of the Christian rapper who was supposed to take the role of "King" - it wasn't Lecrae)
- The story behind Lecrae's BET Awards Cypher opportunity
- And more

*Full disclosure: I organized and moderated the press event as a volunteer for Eyes On Me Ministries. Click here for a photo/video recap.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FREE DL: "Mix the Groove: Interlude Edition" by DJ Sam Smite


One of Christian hip hop's freshest DJ's (with a legit DMC pedigree), Sam Smite, just dropped a supa-nice tape called Mix the Groove: Interlude Edition.

I loved his Mixx-n-Match project from a few years ago and this one doesn't disappoint either.

Listen for smooth transitions from artists like Lecrae, Viktory (an artist Smite serves as a touring DJ), Mali Music, the Ambassador, and Jai among others.

If you're looking for a polished mix by a real DJ that includes beatmatching, remixes, and custom drops and sweeps, be sure to DL this (for FREE) to your hard drive from the SoundClould stream below.

Mix The Groove: Interlude Edition by Dj Sam Smite

theBREAX release "Never Arrive" cover art and tracklisting


The homies in theBREAX have released the Never Arrive cover art (above) and tracklisting with some pretty impressive guests. (Lecrae AND Shad?!?)

1. Intro – produced by Jimmy Natural
2. Timeless – produced by Jruckers
3. Get Better – produced by DJ Rek
4. Welcome to the Show (feat. Blame One) – produced by Cheesebeats
5. Down (feat. Sean C Johnson) – produced by Cheesebeats
6. Never Arrive (feat. Lecrae & J.R.) – produced by DJ Rek
7. Take a Look – produced by Jimmy Natural
8. If You Knew (feat. Presto) – produced by Sound Collage Musik
9. Share Your World (feat. Chris Lee Cobbins) – produced by Sound Collage Musik
10. theBREAX (feat. Cuts by DJ Rek) -produced by DJ Rek
11. Appreciate You (feat. Shad) -produced by Exile
12. Come With Me (feat. JerVae) -produced by Hezekiah
13. Won’t Die Tonight (feat. NomiS & Drew Barragan) – produced by
Sound Collage Musik
14. Alive – produced by Jruckers
15. Up there – produced by Cheesebeats
16. Outro – produced by Jruckers

The first single is "Welcome to the Show (feat. Blame One)" with a video soon to follow. The project drops Tuesday, December 13 exclusively on iTunes.

Welcome to the Show (feat. Blame One) by theBREAX

VIDZ: "Go Girl" - Corey Paul feat. Reconcile


H-town's Frontline Movement (Corey Paul and Reconcile) has a new clip, partially filmed at the University of Houston, for their song "Go Girl" which aims to uplift and encourage women - particularly those of the Christian faith.

We need more songs like this on the radio and BET.

Friday, November 25, 2011

VIDEO: Tre9's Thanksgiving memory includes adopting homeless kids

Houston hip hop missionary Bobby "Tre9" Herring posted this touching Thanksgiving video yesterday that I really hope doesn't get overlooked.

A year ago this weekend, in the midst of their regular downtown feeding ministry, they came across two young boys who were homeless and needed a family.

This year he and his wife will be adopting them as their own.

I'm proud to call this dude my friend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christian rapper Rawsrvnt rocks NASCAR

Motor Racing Outreach president Billy Mauldin, NASCAR driver Michael McDowell, and Eddy "Rawsrvnt" Puyol
Photo courtesy of Rawsrvnt

When considering the soundtrack for a NASCAR race event, few people would mention Christian rap as the first music genre that comes to mind. But given the passionate, faithful, and youthful fanbases of each, the two growing movements were bound to eventually cross paths. And just recently - they did.

On the weekend of November 20, hip-hop worship artist Eddy “Rawsrvnt” Puyol was invited to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final race of the Sprint Cup Series where he performed and led chapel, met NASCAR driver Michael McDowell, and even got to sit in the driver’s seat of McDowell’s #66 Toyota Camry (a rare honor that was apparently the talk of the track.)
Rawsrvnt enters Michael McDowell's #66 Toyota Camry
Photo courtesy of Rawsrvnt

It all started earlier this year, when Rawsrvnt was waiting on a flight to Jamaica to film a music video and killing time by reading his Twitter feed on his iPhone. A fan sent him an “at reply retweet” that mentioned McDowell had selected Raw’s song “On Fire” as his theme music for an upcoming race.

“I was both shocked and honored,” Puyol said. “I have to admit I hadn’t followed NASCAR that closely before, but to know that their massive audience would hear my lyrics about being ‘on fire’ for Jesus before Michael hit his gas pedal was very encouraging.”

Puyol and McDowell began to exchange notes of mutual appreciation via Twitter which eventually led to more offline conversations about faith and the fast lane. McDowell said he was an outspoken Christian who had been hipped to the “On Fire” song through Billy Mauldin, the president and CEO, of Motor Racing Outreach (MRO.)

“One evening I was home just looking around in iTunes for something new. I like cutting-edge music, stuff you usually will not hear on Christian radio. I also know when a song or a musician stirs my spirit. As soon as I heard ‘On Fire’ I was hooked,” Mauldin recalled.

“I am a 47 year-old father and still very young at heart so not only does this music appeal to me, but then I can introduce it to my children. I am always finding new stuff for them. I am also quick to share music I like with others. This is where the NASCAR connection comes in.”

Every year at the fall race at the Bristol Motor Speedway the drivers are introduced with a theme song. Fans love it and the drivers get a kick out of picking songs that reflect their personality or persona as racers.
Michael McDowell and Rawsrvnt before the Homestead-Miami race
Photo courtesy of Rawsrvnt

About two weeks before that race, McDowell and Mauldin were flying back from Montreal with the Joe Gibbs Racing teams. Mauldin asked McDowell if he had picked his song for Bristol. He replied that he had not, but needed to.

“I told him I had a song he needed to check out,” Mauldin said. “So I handed him my headphones and started ‘On Fire.’ Immediately a great big grin came across his face and he said ‘That’s it!’ The rest is history.”
Rawsrvnt singing during the Motor Racing Outreach chapel service before the Homestead-Miami race
Photo courtesy of Rawsrvnt

At the Miami event, Rawsrvnt participated in the MRO’s pre-race chapel service where he performed and shared his personal story of redemption through Christ. He sung his popular Black Eyed Peas/Hillsong United “I Gotta Feeling/Take It All” mashup and a remixed version of “On Fire” that included a new reference to the NASCAR community.

Afterwards, he handed out over 1,000 copies of his Grammy-nominated No Ordinary Love album and followed Michael McDowell to the track for the pre-race prayer.

“Michael leaned over to me and said this is one of the few sports where you’ll see and hear them so specifically and boldly mention Jesus’ name,” Puyol said. “I told him I thought it was cool that NASCAR is all about representing the faith, family, and pride in our country.”
Rawsrvnt pointing out Michael McDowell's car
Photo courtesy of Rawsrvnt

Looking back, Rawsrvnt said he feels like this story perfectly illustrates how God’s Kingdom operates.

“It’s really all about being faithful over the small things and allowing Him to orchestrate the meetings, events, and elevations that He wants – not us!

“Who would have imagined that one man’s random search on iTunes would lead to me being able to talk about Jesus through my music to a crowd of over 150,000 race car fans?”

Only those who believe in a God as big as ours.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recap: Holy Hip Hop for Hunger 2011


On Saturday, November 12 members of Houston’s vibrant and active Christian rap community joined together for a concert and awards show that raised both food and awareness for Houston’s hungry.

The Holy Hip Hop for Hunger event was organized by Von Won and handed out awards to local hip hop ministries for their efforts throughout the past year. Attendees were asked to contribute 5 canned goods (or more) for entry.

The artists and staff gathered for prayer before the event

The night's music started off with a worship set

Von Won, wife, and son

Rev Rob got things going

The dynamic duo of 007 and Gifted da Flamethrowa also performed

As far as the awards go, there were over 700 online votes for a variety of categories. Nominees are listed below with the winners' names in bold.

Male Artist of the Year:

Corey Paul
Von Won


Female Artist of the Year:

Hilary Pradia
Christ Clear aka Rage
K Mor


Album of the Year:

Govenor - True Seed
F.O.E. - The Word
S.O.M. - The Next Chapter
Bizzle - Tough Love & Parables
Gifted da Flamethrowa - Bulldoze City
Von Won - One City Under God


Single of the Year:

Von Won - "Bow Down"
F.O.E. - "Which Way"
Frontline - "U Rydin"
S.O.M. - "On My J"
Corey Paul - "Go Girl"
J Flo - "Filled With Fire"
Govenor - "Another Chance"

Music Video of the Year:

Frontline - "U Rydin"
The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S. ATX - "All Good"
Bro Blessed - "It Hurts Me"
Von Won - "Bow Down"
Bless't - "Dope Tales"
Bro Joseph - "Forgive Me"
2 Crunk - "Jesus On Da Mainline"

Producer of the Year:

Bruce Bang
Cameron Giddings
Jimmie Natural
Josh Paul

DJ of the Year:

DJ Primo
DJ Hope
DJ 808
DJ Wiz
DJ Revelation
DJ Nonchalant

Mixtape Series of the Year:

2 Crunk - Struggle Muzik
Bizzle - The Messenger
Corey Paul - No Snooze Buttons
Gifted da Flamethrowa - Monsters Do Exist
GS - Warning Before Destruction


Group of the Year:

Frontline Movement
Second Entertainment
The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S. ATX
Youth In The Booth


Hunger for More Honors:
Pastor Terrence Levi

Tre9 played host

Second shows off HillaryJane's FAOY trophy

A small sampling of the canned goods that were collected

Bless't and bigAL

And here's my brief (and nowhere near exhaustive) video recap:

Rawsrvnt to be a part of The Story Tour with Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, and others


Christian rapper Rawsrvnt (aka Eddy Puyol), who you might remember from his stint as a bachelor on Donald J. Trump presents The Ultimate Merger reality TV dating show, has been added as a performer on The Story Tour.

The event is billed as a Christmas spectacular with carols and a musical journey from Genesis to Revelation. It features Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, Francesca Battistelli, Natalie Grant, Selah, Anthem Lights, and special guests Max Lucado and Randy Frazee.

Rawsrvnt is scheduled to perform several numbers throughout the concert including “Bring Us Home (Joshua)” with Michael Tait (formerly of the Christian rap pioneering group dc talk) & Amy Perry of Selah.

The Story Tour will be visiting Dallas on December 2 and Austin on December 4. No Houston dates have been announced. Tickets and details can be found online at

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Former 5th Ward Boyz gangsta rapper's "Blessfest" this Sunday pays rent and light bills for less fortunate

Volunteers register Houstonians at Blessfest 2010

At Blessfest this Sunday, needy Houstonians can register to win one month’s paid rent/mortgage, one month’s paid light bill, one of 50 turkey baskets, $100 Toys-R-Us gift cards, and a laptop computer.

It will be the third annual event organized by former 5th Ward Boyz gangsta rapper Andre "007" Barnes who views the community outreach as a normal part of his life as a rededicated Christian.

Andre "007" Barnes

Over 300 people registered for the giveaways at last year’s Blessfest and Barnes expects over 500 to do so this time around. The day will also be filled with music performances from local gospel and Christian hip hop artists.

The activities will commence at 2pm on November 20 at 5800 Lyons Ave (Fiesta Food Mart), Houston, TX 77020.

Monday, November 14, 2011

INTERVIEW: Pastor Chris Durso talks about the MISFIT movment & the power of prayer

Here's another interview I conducted when the MISFIT Tour was in town last month. This time I speak with pastor/author Chris Durso. Here, we discuss:

- Kicking off the MISFIT movement
- His connection to the hip hop culture
- The power of prayer during his son's recent health scare

Here’s the clip:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saturday's Christian rap concert and awards show used to raise food and awareness for Houston's hungry


Houston's vibrant and active Christian rap community will join together this Saturday, November 12 for a concert and awards show that will raise both food and awareness for Houston's hungry.

The event is being organized by Von Won and will hand out awards to local hip hop ministries for their efforts throughout the past year. Attendees are asked to contribute 5 canned goods (or more) for entry.

On his personal Facebook page, event host by Bobby "Tre9" Herring recently posted:

"I can't express how proud I am of Christian hip hop artists when they put together events that serve others less fortunate. Hip Hop for Hunger is a good thing that I hope all of you make plans to attend. God Bless ya Von for keeping the faith and serving others in spite of your own needs."

A similar event was held in 2009 and included a surprise performance by former Geto Boy Bushwick Bill.

Details on Saturday's affair are below:

November 12, 2011
7pm - 9pm - Preshow begins at 6pm

Park Temple Baptist Church
4027 Irvington
Houston, TX 77009

5 canned goods or more

Performances by:

Corey Paul
Von Won
Gifted da Flamethrowa
Trevor Lee
The W.A.R.R.I.O.R.S. ATX
Jericho Falls
Hilary Pradia
Lil Sizzle

Happy Veterans Day

On this Veterans Day, let us salute and remember those who had to offer a "Last Goodbye" so that we could enjoy our freedoms.

VIDEO: DMX performs new religious rap, "Keep Your Head Up," on "Dr. Drew's Lifechangers"

"When I think I don't deserve it / I think about Jesus and the fact that He was perfect / and that He thinks that I'm worth it..."

DMX, who is no stranger to either the wrong side of the law or putting his Christian faith in his hip hop, has a new religious rap single he recently debuted on "Dr. Drew's Lifechangers."

"Keep Your Head Up" features a gospel choir, Dark Man X's trademark barks, and a confession that it's "usually around the weekend / that I get reckless and jump off the deep end."

We're praying for you Earl.

See Dr. Drew's full interview with DMX about his addictions and prisons stints here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rap/rock band Walk of Christianity looking for extras for Saturday's music video shoot


Houston's Walk of Christianity is looking for extras for their music video shoot this Saturday, November 12.

The rap/rock band will be filming a visual treatment for the song "Get Up Again." I'll be there to report and recap afterward, but if you, your friends, or church youth group would like to be a part, please see the details listed below.

Sugar Creek Baptist Church LYF Center
13444 Southwest Freeway
Sugar Land, TX 77478

11:30am – 5pm … Cameras will start rolling at 12pm!

Anyone who stays from 12-5pm will receive a voucher for 3 tickets to attend the video premiere, a free dinner, and a free concert.

Please R.S.V.P. by email

In your response please include the size of your party as space is limited.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

R.I.P. Heavy D

Sad news broke late yesterday afternoon about the passing of rap superstar Heavy D.

Although he never claimed to be a Christian rapper, by all accounts Dwight Myers was a picture of positivity in his music, acting roles, and life. His brand of fun-filled hip-pop created a template for Will Smith and MC Hammer while his "Overweight Lover" persona set the stage for heavy-set sex symbols like the Notorious B.I.G. and Rick Ross who followed after.

In my own life, Heavy D's raps were some of the first I memorized as a good church boy in Memphis, TN. He will be deeply missed.

In memory, the "ba-diddly-diddly-diddly-dang" of "We've Got Our Own Thang."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recap: Man Up Tour - Houston

Lecrae in worship mode
Photo by Rosalinda Chapa and used with permission

Two weeks ago the Man Up Tour wrapped its six-city jaunt with a stop in H-town. The half-day affair included a film, panel discussion, and hip hop concert focused on teaching the principles of biblical manhood to urban residents.

Top-selling Christian rappers Lecrae, Tedashii, and Trip Lee played a part and were either born or still have family in Houston. Other members of the immediate and extended Reach Records family who participated in the stop included: KB, PRo, Sho Baraka (who wrote and directed the Man Up film), DJ Official, shai linne, and spoken word artists Propaganda and Blair Linne.

Tre9 fighting a cold and getting his hustle on
Photo by Rosalinda Chapa and used with permission

The event was organized by hip hop missionary Bobby “Tre9” Herring and held at New Faith Church in South Houston. New Faith said they would be able to hold the anticipated 2,500 person crowd but that turned out not to be the case.

Pre-event waiting line in the New Faith gym

At one point, wishful attendees were stopped at the doors because there was simply no more room to sit inside the sanctuary. They were told that this would only be for the movie and panel discussion portions and that they might be able to secure a standing-room-only spot once the concert began and more people moved closer to the stage. To help keep the frustration levels at a minimum, Tedashii and PRo even came out to the waiting area to thank people for their support and patience.

Being an event volunteer (I helped coordinate a media-only press conference before the official kickoff), I missed all of the movie and panel discussion parts but did catch one or two songs from the concert. So while this isn’t a full-fledged recap, hopefully the following photos, videos, and notebook dump will give you a flavor of the day.

Crowd notes:

- Tedashii and PRo coming out to address the waiting crowd was a stand up move that exemplified one of the “real men take responsibility” themes of the Man Up campaign.

- Despite his song title to the contrary, T-dot had to ask those frustrated and waiting in line not to (wink,wink) “start a riot.”

Man Up panel discussion
Photo by Rosalinda Chapa and used with permission

Up close and personal with PRo
Photo by Rosalinda Chapa and used with permission

Blair Linne and her husband, shai, dance to "We Can Be More"
Photo by Rosalinda Chapa and used with permission

Man Up concert crowd shot from the balcony
Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Trip Lee going in
Photo by Rosalinda Chapa and used with permission

Concert notes:

- Thanks to the crowd, the Man Up tour concert auditorium fittingly smelled like a lockeroom.

- Even though the venue was at capacity, people were still able to view the show via the free stream on the’s Facebook page. I even saw some people in line watching it on their smartphones.

- The audience reaction to “Dum, Dum” is simply dumb, dumb. So much energy.

- A live performance of “Go Hard” is amazing. Ours included 2,000+ people chanting “Lord, use me up!”

- After I posted that Propaganda’s spoken word slays, @pdavidy8 Tweets me back that “all announcements in heaven will be done by Prop.” Amen.

- I’m not a huge fan of Lecrae’s “Background” song, but can’t deny it leads people to worship. The crowd was simply chanting “Jesus” as it ended.

Who was in the crowd:

- Cheesebeats (producer)
- Bizzle
- GS
- Gifted da Flamethrowa
- Von Won
- Soulfruit
- Dillon Chase
- 007
- D. Davis
- Second (HillaryJane, Wretch, & Archie)
- CCM/worship artist Robbie Seay who Tweeted: "I'm jammed in a room w/ 2k students listening to @Lecrae speak on faith & manhood. Love this guy. The most important hip hop artist anywhere."

Bizzle, Cheesebeats, Gifted da Flamethrowa
Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Second served at the ticket booth
Photo by Rosalinda Chapa and used with permission

Soulfruit and DJ Wiz
Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Dillon Chase and Sketch the Journalist
Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Man Up press conference
Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Learned during our pre-event press conference:

- Lecrae turned down BET Awards Cypher invitation several times before, and this year’s was almost a “no-go” because of his recent newborn. Crayola said his wife said he could do it if it could be done on the same day and in the A-T-L where they live.

- Lecrae’s character of “King” in “Man Up” film was originally set for FLAME. Apparently he had a scheduling conflict and backed out just a few days before filming.

- Man Up’s film budget was approximately $45,000 and shot within 6 or 7 days with a crew of mostly non-actors and many non-Christians.

The night was full of interesting T-shirts, including:

- shai linne’s Martin Luther (see below)

- "Jesus loves you, but I’m his favorite” (moved by me too fast to take a photo)

- Homemade Lecrae shirts (see below)

shai linne's in his Martin Luther tee and Sketch the Journalist
Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Homemade Lecrae "Rehab" merch
Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

INTERVIEW: B.Reith talks about his new album & hip hop identity

A few weeks ago when B. Reith was in town I got to sit down with him and talk about few topics including:

Here’s the clip:

Related: B. Reith performs new song, “2 Steps Forward”, at MISFIT Tour stop in Houston

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lecrae and Reach Records bring tour to Houston to teach hip hop audience biblical manhood

From left to right: Tedashii, Lecrae, Trip Lee, and Sho Baraka

On Saturday, top-selling Christian rapper Lecrae and artists from his Reach Records label will bring their Man Up tour event to Houston. The half day affair includes a film, panel discussion, and hip hop concert focused on teaching the principles of biblical manhood to urban residents.

Lecrae, Tedashii, and Trip Lee will all play a part and were either born or still have family in Houston. Hip hop missionary Bobby “Tre9” Herring organized the effort to bring the tour here and feels those biographical backgrounds can benefit his work.

“Houston’s hip hop community loves and supports their own, so we utilize guys with local ties any time we can because it helps form an immediate bond with our intended audience,” Herring pointed out.

He said that intended audience includes inner city kids, particularly young males, who often come from single-parent homes and are bombarded with skewed images and ideas about what it means to be a "real man" from the mainstream hip hop culture that surrounds them.

Although event tickets are being sold as a fundraiser for Herring’s 501c3 non-profit Eyes On Me Organization (which holds weekly Hip Hop Hope Tuesdays services in 5th Ward, provides meals and clothing to the homeless, and plants churches in group homes and prisons), he has received donations that will sponsor over 150 underprivileged youth to attend Man Up.

“Reach Records and their non-profit organization have done an excellent job at creating a multi-media campaign that shares this important and life-changing message in way that is relevant to the young men and women I work with every day,” Herring said.

“I’m glad we can partner with them and utilize their experience and God-given talents to bring Man Up to our city.”

Man Up Tour event
Featuring: Lecrae, Tedashii, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, Propaganda, PRo, shai linne, Blair Linne, and KB
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Doors open at 5:45 pm / Show starts at 6:30 pm
New Faith Church – 4315 West Fuqua Street – Houston, TX 77045

For more information and ticket purchases visit

Below, Christian rapper KB explains what the Man Up campaign is all about:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

INTERVIEW: Da' T.R.U.T.H. talks about being a MISFIT/outcast

A few weeks ago when Da' T.R.U.T.H. was in town I got to sit down with him and talk about few topics including:
  • The MISFIT Tour
  • If Xist Music is the record label for outcasts, and
  • Whether or not telling his story puts more focus on himself than Christ Jesus
Here's the clip:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

B. Reith performs new song, "2 Steps Forward", at MISFIT Tour stop in Houston

Blue-eyed soul brother B. Reith unveiled a new song, "2 Steps Forward" from his upcoming How the Story Ends album, at last week's MISFIT Tour stop in Houston.

The singer/rapper, who is from Wisconsin and resides in Nashville, seems to have an affinity for the area, having filmed his "Comeback Kid" video in downtown Houston and in 5th Ward and unveiling the HTSE album name at a July "Boomin' by the Bay" concert in Kemah.

Word is that he'll be returning to H-town on November 5 for a "Rock the Night" concert for NGEN Radio.

What do you think of his more hip hop sound from the clip below?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lecrae reps Christ (and Houston) on BET Hip Hop Awards


Christian hip hop's top selling artist, Lecrae, boldly represented his faith among (and to) his mainstream rap peers in a cypher session during last night's BET Hip Hop Awards.

The not-so-extemporaneous-but-still-freestyle rhyme sessions are always a highlight of the event with fans registering their favorites and "winners" online immediately after they air.

Although the network got the artist's birthplace correct (Houston), they misspelled his name. As a result, the word "Lacrae" was a Twitter Trending Topic instead of "Lecrae."

(NOTE: Dismiss anyone telling you that was an intentional, Illuminati-type slight of someone of faith. On the night the show was taped there were reports that screens inside the venue even displayed errors such as "Little Wayne" instead of "Lil Wayne.")

The MC was highly energetic, weaved hip history and sports-reference punchlines into his verses, and even spoke directly to the evening's affairs with:

"But them awards can't follow you to the grave/you livin' for them whips and chains then you a slave!"

Shortly after his segment aired he Tweeted a link to his I Am Second testimony profile and film.

It was a historic night for Christian hip hop and Lecrae represented his King well.

Sidenote: Lecrae and his team will bring their Man Up Tour event to Houston in just a few weeks on October 22. For tickets and more information visit:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Houston Christian hip hop group competing for an opening act slot at Friday's MISFIT Tour with Ambassador and Da' T.R.U.T.H.

Second: Wretch, HillaryJane, and Archie

On Friday, October 7 the MISFIT Tour will roll into Houston. Alongside performances and messages from Christian rappers Ambassador, Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Sean Simmons, Mali Music, Rhema Soul and pastor/author Chris Durso, there will be a MISFIT Search contest that will allow local groups to compete for an opening slot with the rest of the acts.

Houston rap group Second is one of the MISFIT Search finalists so I recently caught with group member Carlos “Wretch” Rebollar to get some more details.

Sketch: Tell me a little bit about your group. How long have you guys been together, how did you meet, and what sort of projects are/have you worked on as a collective?

Wretch: Second has been together officially as a group for about eight months although we've been doing music together for about two and half years now.

Archie and HillaryJane have known each other for several years since they have been a part of the same youth ministry for a long time. Archie is currently one of the youth pastors there and HillaryJane is a graduate of their Generation School of Ministries Internship Program. I came to know them because I would visit their young adult services and started to get to know some people in their ministry as well as the pastor. I eventually became friends with this pastor who went on to plant Sojourn Community Church, which is the church I am currently at and have had the privilege to be a part of since its original core team phase.

When Archie started working on his first mixtape, a mutual friend told him he should contact me and get me on a track and here we are now.

Archie has put out two mixtapes, an album demo and a full length album--all on which HillaryJane and I were consistently featured on.

We are currently working on our first project as a group titled "First and Foremost -- The Mixtape Vol. 1" which will drop December 2.

Sketch: Your group has entered the MISFIT Search contest. What made you guys decide to get involved in this event?

Wretch: We thought it'd be a fun thing to do. Plus, we thought it may help us gain exposure since we are a fairly new hip hop group. We also love the fact that the MISFITs seek to create great art that glorifies God.


Sketch: What sort of connection do you have to the music of the MISFIT Tour's headliners - Ambassador and Da' T.R.U.T.H.?

Wretch: We can say their music has been an inspiration to us back from their Cross Movement days up until now with Xist Music. Everything from the standard of quality to the God-glorifying lyrics they seek to put out.

Sketch: Both of those guys had were seemingly at the top of their music ministry careers a few years ago when admitted acts of marital infidelity caused them to step away for a period of repentance and restoration. How did/have their stories impacted you personally and as fellow Christian hip hop artists?

Wretch: We can say that as fellow believers, we've been reminded of God's restoring work in the life of His children, and that's a beautiful thing.

As fellow Christian hip hop artists, we've know that talent does not equate to godliness. We've been reminded that even those who seem to be unshakable can be shaken and brought to the ground, and this has caused us to strive even more to be dependent upon God and ask Him to continue keeping us humble in everything we do.

As 1st Cor. 10:12 says: "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall." We praise God for the restoring work He's done in Ambassador and Da' T.R.U.T.H.. God is gracious!

Sketch: Aside from a MISFIT Search win and exposure for your group, what are most looking forward to at Friday night's event?

Wretch: We're looking forward to a great show from every performer! Considering the fact that we are a group made up of two guys and a girl, we're very interested and excited to see Rhema Soul in concert for the very first time as well!

Details on the MISFIT Tour’s Houston stop can be seen in the video commercial below: