Monday, March 26, 2012
Rice University linebacker making waves with free Christian rap album & Marvin Sapp remake
Just a few years ago Ronnie Lillard was turning heads in Reliant Stadium for his linebacker play with the Rice Owls versus the University of Texas Longhorns.
Now, after an injury sidelined his collegiate football career, he's making waves as a burgeoning Christian hip hop artist named Reconcile with the Full Ride Music Group recently formed by St. Louis rapper Thi'sl.
Thi'sl told me that Reconcile was the "epitome" of the type of artist he would want on his record label and added him to the company after seeing Lillard's work ethic from afar and hearing positive reports from Houston about his character.
He said he was impressed by Reconcile's self-shot and edited videos frequently posted on DaSouth.com. He continued to follow the young rapper's moves and got to really connect with him when Thi'sl was a headline performer at the "Hope for the Tre" concert in Third Ward.
"The thing I love about him most is that when I went to his church they spoke so highly of him," Thi'sl said. "They talked about how he was studying at a top-rated college, actively serving his community, and discipling new believers."
"And on top of all that, he's dope musically!"
I caught up with Reconcile at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin a few weeks ago where he told me more about his connection to FRMG, his post-college plans, and the importance of hip hop to urban ministry.
Full Ride Music's first official drop is Abandoned Hope - a free album released online last Friday, March 23. It contains a remix of the "U Rydin" song (now featuring PRo) that lit up SXSW 2011 and a hip hop interpretation of the Marvin Sapp gospel hit "Never Would Have Made It" (seen below).
Sample or download Abandoned Hope for free via the widget below.