Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beautiful Eulogy on their unique sound and recent collaboration with Lecrae

Beautiful Eulogy performed at Sam Houston State University on October 11 - Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Last week when the Beautiful Eulogy boys were in town I had a chance to sit down with them after a show and ask about a wide variety of topics. Here, we discuss their unique sound and recent collaboration with Lecrae on the song "Misconception" for the Church Clothes mixtape hosted by DJ Don Cannon.

3 Christian rap connections to the Houston Texans


As you may have noticed, people around these parts are kind of excited about the way the Texans have been playing lately. So it should be no surprise that Houstonians in both the hip hop and Christian communities are jumping on the bandwagon to celebrate the team’s record-setting 5-0 start.
Here are three Texan Christian rap connections you need to know about:

1. Quintin Demps’ raps “No Struggle, No Pain”

As you might recall from my Houston Chronicle profile a few weeks ago, strong safety Quintin Demps is starting his own record label for Christian music called Purpose By Faith.

This week he dropped his first rap single, “No Struggle, No Pain” under the stage name Q Demps.
Although he’s currently sitting out a few games due to an injury, it seems like the perfect time for him to release this track (featuring Von Won) about the emotional ups and downs that everyone, especially Christ-pursuing believers, will face in their lives.

And while the song contains lines specific to Demps’ job as a professional athlete, there are also plenty of lyrics that any oxygen-breathing Earthling can relate to.

Free stream and download from the widget below:

2. Local Christian rappers create Texans’ fight song

The team has also had a fight song written for them by Christian rappers World Rejects and Bless’t.

Sample lyrics from “Kings of the Gridiron” include:

Ask that boy Quintin Demps how Jesus is his safety
With Barwin and Cushing on D, that AFC is on lock
From the boroughs to the swat, JJ Watt can’t be stopped

Free stream and download from the widget below:

3. Running back Justin Forsett is a Lecrae fan

During the top-selling Christian rappers’ “Gravity” tour stop at Warehouse Live last month I ran into Texans running back Justin Forsett who told me about how he first got introduced to this message music.

INTERVIEW: Cody Miles on bringing Beautiful Eulogy to Sam Houston State University


I recently caught up with rapper/full-time student Cody Miles via e-mail to discuss his role in bringing Christian hip hop to campus at Sam Houston State University (my alma mater), why he selected Beautiful Eulogy for this week’s show, and whether or not we need to dress like hipsters to enjoy the concert.

Sketch: What most impressed you about Beautiful Eulogy? Why bring them to Huntsville, Texas?

Cody: Honestly, when I get to put on these concerts at Sam Houston State the first question I ask myself is, “Who do I want to meet next?”  And then I convince my team and the Dean of Students that all their wildest dreams will come true if they listen to me.  So, there’s that.

But really, I’ve been following Braille and Odd Thomas separately since I started college in 2009. They are phenomenal rappers and they’ve impacted my life in so many ways as it is.  When they released the Beautiful Eulogy record, they also really filled a hole in a genre that was so needing of them.  It’s funny.  When I describe their music to people, especially church-kids, I tell them, “It’s kind of like combining abstract worship music and dope hip-hop with a little folk.”  It’s just good.

We’re bringing them to Huntsvegas primarily because my team’s focus is on Christian leadership and stimulating conversations about faith.  That involves doctrine.  I think Beautiful Eulogy is able to communicate the character of Christ as the motif for Christian behavior better than most artists in the genre.  Braille is also giving a message about Christ as a leader after they perform.  It’s just a great fit for what we want to do on our campus.

Sketch: What’s the biggest challenge of throwing a concert like this?

Cody: Haha, oh man.  College students.  College students are the freaking worst.  We’re in an environment so saturated with events and promotion that it really takes work to get noticed.  Besides that, we’re not playing the hottest club hits so students are confused as to what we’re even doing.  But, really, does anyone actually like “Gangnam Style”?

This year, we tripled our promotion budget, placed the event on campus and received sponsorship with Monster Energy Drink.  I’m opening for Beautiful Eulogy and it’s kind of embarrassing how many times my face is actually plastered in the hall ways and class rooms.  We have something like 2,000 flyers floating around and another 50 large posters around campus.  So, we’ll see what happens.

Sketch: You’re a public relations major at SHSU. So tell me, how did you put your education to use to promote this show?

Cody: I’ve come to learn that Public Relations can be a very equivocated term.  It’s not exactly rocket science.  Really, it’s just a game of educated guess and check.  In our case, we took some very informal surveys (we definitely didn’t get our research approved by the IRB), confirmed my already-cemented bias for Beautiful Eulogy, and tried to get the attention of college ministries.

In our luck, we’ve teamed up with a nationwide event called Engage24, which serves as a vehicle to encourage all campus ministries to evangelize to a part of the campus for 24 hours.  Our event will culminate all of that at the end of the day.  Then there is radio and newspapers and blogs. Oh my.

We’ll see how it turns out!

Sketch: You’re a recording artist too, so apart from getting to perform and open the show for these guys, what’s been your favorite part of organizing and promoting concerts like this for Tedashii, Sho Baraka, Freddie Bruno, Playdough, Heath McNease, RedCloud, and now Beautiful Eulogy?

Cody: It’s cool, man.  I really live for this stuff.  I’m writing the business plan to do it in Austin when I graduate in December.  I love seeing progress – having a vision for something and seeing it come to life.  I love that people support me in these sometimes retarded ideas.  I love that I get to show people how to put these things on so they can carry the vision when I leave.  I love that, in some ways, this is a legacy that I get to be part of.  Building the Kingdom of Heaven at Sam Houston State University.  That’s kind of an honor.

My favorite part is getting to meet the people you listen to on the daily.  I got to spend 14 hours in a car with manCHILD one time and while he probably hated every minute of it, I was euphoric.  I love hip-hop.  I love the culture, the people, the feeling you get when you write a dope line.  Meeting my heroes is kind of inspiring and also a little humbling.  I remember listening to “Resurrect Me” by Braille when I was going through one of the hardest times in my life.  Now, I get to meet the guy that helped me get through it- and I get thank him from the stage.

Sketch: I know the Beautiful Eulogy guys are from Portland, Oregon. Does that mean we all need to be facial-hair-and-plaid-wearing hipsters in order to enjoy the show? Will I be required to put a bird on Austin Hall or anything to attend?

Cody: I love you, Sketch.  Citing “Portlandia” made my night.  I don’t know what to expect, man.  I honestly don’t.  Beautiful Eulogy is not your typical hip-hop crew.  So, better pull out the plaid and throw away your razor just in case.

Recap: Gravity album release concert – Warehouse Live Houston (09/28/12)

Lecrae takes center stage at the Gravity album release concert – Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Last Friday, September 28 Reach Records brought the Gravity album release concert to Houston to celebrate the chart-topping new project from Lecrae. This recap is already tardy so I’ll just hit you with a few quick notebook dumps, photos, and videos.

J.R. sings “Gravity” with Lecrae – Photo by Sketch the Journalist

On stage:

  • A large video wall flashing various animations throughout the show. Some were lyrics, others were simply logos
  • Opening acts included Derek Minor (fka PRo) and Canon
  • Sho Baraka acted as host with DJ Official manning the turntables and Houstonian Nate Robinson on the drums
  • Song features and added hypemen included: Sho Baraka, Swoope*, Andy Mineo, Von Won, J.R., and former American Idol contestant Ashton Jones
* Swoope’s appearance on stage for “Fallin’ Down” seemed to particularly animate both Lecrae and the crowd who might have let their energy levels slip during the more ballad type songs

Swoope performs “Fallin’ Down” with Lecrae – Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Biggest crowd pleasers:

  • “Go Hard”
  • “Welcome to H-town”
  • “Jesus Muzik”
  • “Dum Dum”
  • “Violence”
  • “Gravity”
  • “Mayday”*
* Vocalist Ashton Jones took the crowd to “church” with her soulful singing. Mainstream rapper/producer Big K.R.I.T. appears on the recorded version but was not in town for this concert. However, that didn’t stop Sho Baraka from volunteering to be announced as K.R.I.T. during the performance just to see if anybody would notice.

The setlist appeared to go from songs that celebrate with believers to ones that can speak to non Christians – something that mat have simply been a factor of Lecrae parading through his back catalog of hits before moving on to his newer, Gravity material.
Backstage: Tre9, Canon, Lecrae, Von Won, and Gifted da Flamethrowa – Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Houston represented

  • From the stage, host Sho Baraka gave respectful recognition to the recently departed DJ Primo (who chopped and screwed the initial 116 Clique compilation album that helped launch Reach Records)
  • As predicted, the Von Won-assisted performance of “Welcome to H-town” was very well received. Check my video of this performance below and be sure to stick around for the end credits.
Derek Minor, Canon, Andy Mineo, and Sho Baraka came out to perform “Power Trip” with Lecrae – Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Quote of the night:

“Regardless of the genre, I still have that same call we all do: to tell the world about Him” – Lecrae

Andy Mineo posted this photo on his Instagram account hanging out backstage with the High Society crew (top), Houston Rocket Jeremy Lin (left) and Houston Texan running back Justin Forsett (right)

Spotted backstage or in the crowd:

  • Houston Rockets star Jeremy Lin
  • Houston Texans’ running back Justin Forsett
  • Active By Faith founder and former Houston Couger basketball star Lanny Smith
  • “25 Lighters/25 Bibles” producer/rapper DJ DMD
  • Gifted da Flamethrowa
  • Corey Paul
  • Tre9 & D. Davis (who brought 30-plus kids from their Hip Hop Hope Missions efforts with them)
  • DJ Chill
  • Lita Rodi
  • World Rejects
  • DJ Millhouse
  • Hilary Jane
  • Trevor Lee
  • Lil Sizzle

Soul Deep Records and Rawsrvnt release “A Decade of Faith” to celebrate 10 years of ministry and music


On October 2, 2012 Soul Deep Records and hip hop worship artist Eddy “Rawsrvnt” Puyol will release the album A Decade of Faith to celebrate 10 years of ministry and music.

Since its inception Soul Deep Ministries (SDM), the 501(c)3 non-profit offshoot of  Soul Deep Records, has shared God’s love in a unique way to those within schools, neighborhoods, prisons, churches, and even the entertainment industry. Its continuing goal is to empower people from all walks of life with the understanding of God’s love and the value He has placed on their lives.

“Over the last ten years we believe we have capitalized on some great opportunities and used them to make Jesus famous,” Rawsrvnt said. “We trust Him for even BIGGER things as we move forward and feel this album is a great way for our fans (who are really family) to commemorate the ways God has used us for His glory so far.”

A Decade of Faith offers listeners a “best yet” collection of hits from the artist and can function as both an introduction and/or celebration.
Tracks include:
  1. I Gotta Feeling/Take It All
  2. Jesus Jam feat. KJ-52
  3. On Fire feat. Richie Righteous, Pettidee, D-Maub & Brad Dring of Rapture Ruckus
  4. No Ordinary Love feat. Lisa McClendon
  5. Beautiful/Be With You
  6. El Shaddai feat. Thrill Da Playa of the 69 Boyz
  7. The Almighty feat. St. Matthew
  8. Holiness feat. Audrey Assad
  9. Bow Down feat. Sean Slaughter
  10. My Statement/The End feat. T Haddy & Malachi of Gideonz Army
A Decade of Faith is available for FREE for a LIMITED TIME only on This is SDM’s way of saying THANK YOU for 10 years of prayers and support. It is also worldwide through all major digital outlets (iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, etc.) Fans and supporters can follow Rawsrvnt online through Facebook and Twitter.

Purchase online at: