If you've been to a Reach Records artist show recently and thought "wow, those boys put on a GREAT show!" then there is a person you can thank for that experience. That's the legendary DJ Official. He works with the artists and bands to craft a great live experience, and also mans the 1's and 2's on stage with them much of the time. He's been a part of the fabric of the Christian Hip Hop scene as a producer and DJ for 12 years. He's crafted hits for The Ambassador, Da' T.R.U.T.H., Lecrae and many more during that time span. He's a Stellar, Dove and Grammy Award winning producer. He's traveled and rocked crowds from Alabama to Abu Dhabi. He has been the DJ spinning the records that helped shaped a movement. And while he's been doing all of that, for the last 3 years DJ Official has been battling a rare form cancer & a rare form of emphysema.
He has an energetic personality and rapid fire flow. Get to know Canon and his testimony while listening to tracks from his debut album Mad Haven
, set to release October 15, 2013, pre-order on iTunes
It’s easy to see that Christian Hip Hop is a growing entity that doesn’t appear close to reaching its peak anytime soon. While this expansion has brought more options for the loyal listener; it’s also has created a dilemma for those on a tight budget or limited time. Hopefully with this list, you’ll be more confident to take a chance on some newer projects from artists who you haven’t had the privilege of hearing. Though it may be a cultural cliche, these artists have, in one way or another, truly been “slept on”. Consider this your friendly wake-up call.
Trillia is the author of United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (Moody, 2014). You also guest posts at Desiring God and The Gospel Coalition.
When I first became a Christian, I remember feeling “carefree” and to say I was excited about the Lord would have been an understatement. I was also a sponge. Anything anyone said to me I took as “the gospel.” As a young, impressionable Christian this was not good. I didn’t fully understand grace and as people would talk about sin I began to become fearful of not measuring up. I began to fear sinning. I began to question my motives, actions, thoughts--everything and I assumed everyone was questioning them too! I was afraid of the judgment of others. I was terrified of the opinions of others. I feared man.
After an intense opening day takeoff of moving messages, Biblical breakouts and captivating concerts; the Unashamed Conference 2013 reached cruising altitude on Saturday. Day 2's theme revolved around a day of strategic questions for conference participants. From the opening general session to the final moments of fellowship, the collective of the unashamed was bombarded with a flurry of these inquiries, designed to convict and challenge all who fearlessly chant "116".
A rowdy, unashamed crew of believers convened in Atlanta for the kickoff night of the movement's first annual conference on Friday evening. All ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds were merged together to form a beautiful Gospel gumbo united under the name of Jesus Christ. When the 116 movement was unofficially inaugurated years ago, few anticipated a gathering so large in scope that it would draw urban and suburban Christ followers from across the country and even the world.
Timothy Trudeau has worked in the music industry since he co-founded Syntax Records in 1997. Although he has experience in booking, producing, songwriting, mixing, mastering, promoting, management, design and performing, it’s his current role as CEO of Syntax Creative where he thrives. Follow him on Twitter @rocdomz or on Facebook.
I recently posted the title of this article as a status update on Facebook hoping to provoke a thoughtful discussion within Christian hip hop. My heart behind it was not to spread negativity. What I got, however, was exactly that—ending in an unhealthy moment for the provoker and the provoked.
The truth is that I care deeply about this scene. Christian hip hop has been part of my life professionally since 1997… even longer as a fan. The status was a legitimate #FAIL on my part.
To be clear, I reject the notion of a sacred and a secular hip hop (it’s all just hip hop). However, there is most assuredly an organized community of content creators, curators, and consumers—often separatist—surrounding a sub-genre of hip hop, and that is who I intend to speak of and to.
According to published research on the world’s population, 1 out of every 3 people affiliate or profess to be Christian; just over two billion approximately. Of those two billion people, about eleven percent of them live in the United States of America, totaling close to 250 million people.
Now, according to US News & World Reports, the United States in 2012 held just under 313 million people. That would mean that almost eighty percent of the United States would at least check “Christian” under the religious affiliation section on their census forms.
So here is what doesn’t seem to line up. Jay Z in less than two months has sold close to two million copies of his latest, Magna Carta Holy Grail
album. Drake in just less than two years sold over two million copies of his Take Care
album that he released in 2011. However, it has taken Reach Records, the largest and most supported name in Christian Hip Hop, 10 years and the collective album sales of every artist in the history of their label to reach 1 million copies sold combined. It took Reach Records ten years and every artist they have ever had to do half of what Jay Z did in just over a month.
Derwin L. Gray is the founding and lead Pastor of Transformation Church, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community with two campuses in South Carolina (Indian Land and Rock Hill), both just south of Charlotte, North Carolina..
I’m writing this blog for the church planters and pastors who have asked me, “How do you prepare a sermon?”
And I’m writing it for the Transformation Church Family so that “Transformers” will know how to pray for me as I prepare sermons for them that will hopefully cause us to reflect Jesus to our broken planet. So, here it is … my preparation regimen … it’s really pretty simple.