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Flickr/christing-O-

It is true that in the Indonesian culture when a person has suffered or endured great misfortune, they can change their name to another. The belief is that in so doing he will confuse the evil spirits that have brought on the misfortune and things will turn to the good. And while you know this to be quite silly and perhaps superstitious, you cannot help but wonder at the implications. You wonder at the possibility of a name carrying such potential, such power. Add a comment
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Flickr / borghetti

“Do not conform to the ways of this world…” - Romans 12:2

I’ve been perusing this website the past few weeks, in order to get a sense of who is on here, and what is their interest. Granted, I’ve been a fan of Rapzilla for some time, but as a guest writer, I wanted to get a bigger picture of who the regulars are on here. I’ve concluded the obvious: there are fans of music, aspiring artists, established artists, and past artists. Our common thread is that, on some level, we all participate in this niche we’ve created. Add a comment
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Producers are no doubt a peculiar breed. At any hour they can be found (in their underwear) at a computer experimenting with different sounds, their wife/helpmate in the next room counting sheep or wondering what they got themselves into with this basket case. This is, in large part, how the producer communicates; he mixes together thuds and echoes and reverberations to form a composition. This is his language, his contribution to the mess that is the music pot. 

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Photo by Philip Rood

One of my favorite short story writers, Flannery O’ Connor, had this to share when asked about the lack of muscle in religious writing. Sorry writing “comes about when the writer supposes that because of his belief, he is somehow dispensed from the obligation to penetrate concrete reality.” Add a comment
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Christian rap’s mostly unknown trailblazers and historical landmarks were celebrated on June 21 in Houston, Texas.  

Although members of the hip hop culture have been spreading the Gospel through their music and art for over two decades, many of its newer members remain ignorant of their own past. As a result, the All Eyes On Me Achievement Awards (formerly known as the Texas Holy Hip Hop Awards) decided to mark its national expansion by dissolving competitive recognition categories and devoting this year’s entire ceremony to honoring its veterans.

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Photo by Brian Solis

Where are all the Christian rap critics? Where are those of us bold enough to say an album, at least creatively, really ain’t hitting? By the same token, where are the artists tough enough to accept negative criticism of their project? 

Let’s be honest, we’ve all heard gospel rap music that is sub-par. Maybe it’s the wordplay, the beats, or the artwork - you know that it just doesn’t compare to the best of mainstream, or even Christian, hip hop.

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FLAME has recently released his new album "Our World Redeemed" on March 4th 2008.
I was eager to see the new Soundscan sales chart to see how well the album sold, which I knew would do a good debut.  The sales chart for Christian Hip Hop for the week ending March 9th was released Wednesday (yes, it takes time for Soundscan to gather all the numbers), well today Rapzilla just updated the TOP 20 Sales Chart page and FLAME debuts at the #1 spot!

This morning Rapzilla received a press release from FLAME's Public Relations firm.  Expecting to see the title "Flame Our World Redeemed debuts at #1", instead the news release was titled "FLAME's Our World Redeemed Goes #1!", okay that's still similiar right?

 Wrong! If you read the news release it says: "The critically acclaimed album jumped an amazing 41 chart positions in one week to hit the #1 position in its second week on the CMTA R&B/Hip Hop Chart." That's great news but it would mean the album debuted at #42 and not #1 as the sales chart declared.  We went searching and found that on the previous sales chart (the Week ending March 2nd), before the album was ever released it was at the #42 spot. How is this so? Very simple some stores sold it before the release date (that's not fair indeed!) which allowed it to be on the sales chart early.

We asked the PR (Public Relations firm of FLAME) if their quote meant the album debuted at #42, their answer was simply: "It debuted at #42..." 

Want to know how many early copies were sold to bring it at #42 before the release date? 53, nothing to be proud of. 

This is really no big deal, FLAME really debuts in my books at #1 and not #42. This was a plain mistake, but who's mistake? The early buyers? The stores? Soundscan? The PR? That's up to you to decide.

By the way if you don't have the album, I recommend it:
Buy now from MusiChristian.com

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Photo by Jonathon D. Colman

As well all know, hip hop is no stranger to war. A quick walk downtown and you face hundreds of fliers promoting hip hop “battles” of some sort or graffiti burners one-upping each other spread over the most visible areas. The top hip hop artists all have well known beefs with each other. Their songs are dedicated to it, their albums are dedicated to it, and seemingly most of the media attention in hip hop is over their beef or lyric wars. So, it’s not surprising that Holy Hip Hop is engaged in its own war. What is surprising, though, is what the war is over. It’s not a war against spiritual powers and principalities, injustice, false teachings, or any other Biblical enemies; it’s a war between the Christian artists themselves; a civil war. Add a comment
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“Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the Door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)  God is right there, right now… knocking.  He wants to come in and be a part of our everyday life in a real way.  But, we have a choice to leave that door closed, or to open it to him.

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