Thursday, September 27, 2012

5 Things You Can Expect to See at Lecrae’s Warehouse Live Concert this Friday


Christian rapper Lecrae returns home to Houston on September 28 for the last of only three release concerts in support of his new album, Gravity, that landed at #3 on Billboard’s overall sales chart the week it debuted.

Here are five things you’re bound to see at Warehouse Live this Friday night.

1. Snapbacks, tank tops, and homemade Lecrae t-shirts

Fashion statements from the 1990’s made a comeback this summer. And despite almost being October, it’s still hot and muggy in Houston so look for hats and upper body gear that appears to be missing all of its pieces.

Also, Christian rap fans can sometimes be a thrifty bunch so don’t be surprised if you see a few youth group members getting their craft on.

2. Bored bartenders

A good portion of Lecrae’s fanbase would consider themselves tee-totaling churchgoers so the staff behind the bars at Warehouse Live might be equal parts bored and frustrated with the lack of drinks sold and dollar bills filling up their tip jars.

So let me speak directly to my Christian brethren and be so bold as to ask them to do Lecrae and Reach a solid and buy a few overpriced beverages while you wait for him to take the stage.

Yes, it sucks to spend $5 on a watered down Coke or drop a ten spot on two bottles of water, but it will also show this non-church performance venue that it can still be financially viable to book faith-based acts like Lecrae.

It’ll also speak well of you and your Savior if you offer a smile and generous tip to the nice folks filling up your glass.

3. Non-Christians*

But, let’s not assume that everyone standing in the general admission area in front of the microphone is a follower of Jesus.

Lecrae’s efforts to expand his “reach” outside of Christian circles (through things like his guest features for Statik Selektah, participation in the BET Cypha, commercials on MTV, and interviews with media outlets like Time Magazine, XXL, and have actually worked. Surely some folks who bought a copy of Gravity just like the guy’s sound and positive message.

So if you happen to smell cigarette smoke on someone or hear a few four-letter words fly out of the mouth of the fella in front of you at the ticket booth, don’t go looking to report him to your pastor. Show some grace and pray that God uses that evening’s performance to stir something inside of him (or her.)

*Again, I’m speaking to my fellow believers on this one. Also, let’s not assume that a person you don’t know but happen to see smoke, drink, and/or curse isn’t a Christian.

4. Von Won performing “Welcome to H-town”

This one is a lock. Reach Records already confirmed that Von Won will be an invited guest (in addition to these other artists) and one of the biggest hits from Lecrae’s Church Clothes mixtape was his remix of this Wit & Dre Murray classic with local boy Von Won on the hook.

Get familiar with it now so you can sing along and don’t be surprised if you see some H’s in the air (I promise, they’re not gang signs or Illuminati devil horns) when hear this beat start its slow roll.

5. A good show

My first experience at a Lecrae concert wasn’t a good one. He talked more than he rapped and there wasn’t anything (or anyone) on stage besides himself and mic. Today it’s much different.

Simply put, Lecrae and Reach Records can put on a good show. It’s something they’ve studied and worked on for years (peep my interview with Lecrae at this year’s SXSW posted below) and have gotten better at.

Sure, you’ll get an uplifting, God-glorifying message, but you’ll also get a dope hip hop performance. And breaking news: it’s okay to simply enjoy that at face value.

Tickets for Friday night’s show at Warehouse Live can be purchased online here. Doors open at 6pm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hip hop missionary releases mini-documentary about work in Brookshire, Texas


Houston hip hop missionary Bobby “Tre9” Herring has released a mini-documentary about the work being done in Brookshire, Texas, a town just west of Houston.

The 14-minute-long movie incorporates performance footage, background information, and interviews with Herring, partner pastors, Christian rappers, and students about how Eyes On Me Incorporated’s Hip Hop Hope Missions program has become a part of their lives.

“To often, those of us involved in the Christian hip hop scene get wrapped up in the industry-side of our calling and unfortunately let the ministry-side slide down our priority list,” Herring said.

“Hopefully this documentary will expose the general public to what we believe is our most important job and inspire other urban ministers to pursue their primary mission with even greater passion.”

The short film was shot and edited by Christian rapper Ronnie “Reconcile” Lillard for Frontline Media.

Other gospel-based hip hop artists who appear on screen include:
  • Von Won
  • Corey Paul
  • Colcutz
To learn more about Hip Hop Hope Missions visit

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Behind the scenes of KJ-52′s Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-type video for “Brand New Day”


Yesterday afternoon top-selling Christian rapper KJ-52 dropped one of the most interesting and creative music videos I’ve seen in a while.

In the new clip for “Brand New Day” from his recent Dangerous album, the viewer gets to choose between several options for how the storyline will play out.

Behind the Scenes

After seeing Tweets about the vid from the artist, I reached out to the Florida-based MC to get some details on how it came about.

KJ told me the whole thing was filmed with a GoPro camera strapped to his chest at the Alive Festival last summer. He was hosting/performing for four days on the main stage and had plenty of downtime so he decided to start filming his day from his perspective.

KJ’s Inspiration

I also asked about his inspiration for the clip’s Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style.

“I think I originally got the idea from seeing a first person shooter type of music video,” KJ-52 said. “Once I started messing around with that then it became sort of video-game type music video. Then from there, I thought it would be cool if you could pick different outcomes based on it being similar to a video game.”

A One-Man Band

KJ even told me he shot and edited the entire video using the iMovie software and a mix of footage from the GoPro camera and his iPhone.

Start the adventure in the window below.* Look for cameos from popular Christian music stars such as Lecrae, Family Force 5, Skillet, and DJ Morph and don’t be afraid to select the less-than-glamorous path options. Here, even your bad choices are good ones.

*Be sure to choose the “interactive” version at your first yes/no opportunity.

Also, because the clip’s interactivity depends on links from YouTube it may be best to view this directly within their portal. If you need that option, click here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lecrae’s “Gravity” hits #1 on iTunes


At the time of this post Gravity, the new album from Lecrae, is currently at the #1 position of iTunes’ overall sales chart.

The Houston-born Christian rapper’s project went on sale today and has received a significant mainstream push due to his recent appearances on the BET Awards, his free Church Clothes mixtape, and collaboration songs with secular rappers such as No Malice and Big K.R.I.T.

Houston will get one of only three Gravity release concerts at Warehouse Live on September 28. Tickets can be purchased online here.