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