The truth is: God is still at work!
Thanks to everyone who is downloading and spreading the "Church Clothes" mixtape.
I'm blown away at the response. It’s humbling and pushes me to keep going.
At the beginning of my musical career, my intention was to enrich and give hope to the listener (it still is). I was volunteering at a halfway house, and the young men there embraced Hip Hop music that encouraged their low ideals and detrimental perspectives. Over the years, some, due to their new found faith in God, had their ideals changed but now had few musical offerings. There were always Christians doing Hip Hop, but the music was usually inaccessible or unpopular. I would listen to the radio and wonder where was the Christian's perspective being heard in Hip Hop culture? "Contemporary Christian Music" had developed, "Gospel" had its lane, but where was Hip-Hop that articulated faith in Jesus? Hard to find.
Interestingly enough, those genres are the only ones categorized based off the content and not the style of music. Though it gives people identifying marks for their music, it can also (in many ways) limit their reach. Many people take these titles to mean the music is for an exclusively Christian audience. If indeed the true Gospel is what transforms people outside the faith, then why should the term Gospel seem exclusive to those in the faith? Of course that's not the intention, it's just a reality that any missionary should consider.
As far as Hip Hop music done well by Christians, there were always a few groups and artists over the years that helped ease my woes; but I was not at all content. The general market was flooded with Hip Hop artists, but I rarely heard anything that embodied a worldview that God would endorse. Trying to be a part of the solution, I took to the studio and recorded an album. It captured my southern roots, love for lyricism, and I tried to make it as current in production as I could. (I produced most of it.) The result was a tool for my fellas at the halfway house and other areas with similar struggles. That project opened doors for me to travel a bit—mostly prisons, churches and inner city outreaches—and perform my songs. I found that I had a gift for catalyzing people toward truth and creating anthems for Christians to live sacrificially and unashamedly for their faith.
Personally, I couldn’t simply talk about change. I had to be apart of it, so I spent my life living in the inner city, doing foreign missions and serving in the local church. All of that was ammunition for my Rebel album. My life bled out in that project, and the result was God showing tremendous fruit and people's lives being transformed by His power.
To read the rest of this blog post click here: http://reachrecords.com/blog/post/Church-Clothes-Purpose-Passion-Progression