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Already Been Chewed is the design studio of Barton Damer. They work with a variety of clients including Nike, Rob Dyrdek's Street League Skateboarding, Facebook, DGK, and Supra Footwear. You were almost certainly introduced to Barton's work from the video intro and outro on Rapzilla's videos on YouTube. More recently you were exposed to Barton's work with FLAME's cover art for his album 'The 6th'.

Reach Records always does a great job of branding their albums. When Lecrae approached Barton Damer, owner and creative mind behind Already Been Chewed to create live visuals for his Gravity set, Damer instantly had the idea of turning the Gravity logo into a floating city that would rise up and orbit into space. However, there is a lot more thought that goes into the visuals than simply trying to make something that looks dope. Damer always tries to design with purpose to give a deeper meaning to his art and that includes creating unique moments throughout the live show. Add a comment
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Kendrick Lamar's new album, "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City", is brilliant, period. If for nothing else, it fully encapsulates the sound of an emerging (here!) Cali - artists who grew up with (but not as) the bangers, and possess the acumen to convey without glorifying that life through the music. With Dre's help, I'm listening again to a Cali I grew up wishing I knew better. I'm listening again to sounds that only could come out of Cali. Add a comment
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I know this piece won't earn me ANY fans and will likely get me called an Uncle Tom, sell out, house (GASP! can't use that word in 2012, but it rhymes with trigger) and many other misunderstood negative names will be thrown around. With that being an honest reality, allow me to share something with you.

I'm grateful that God saves men and women in hip-hop culture. And make no mistake about it, hip-hop IS a culture. Hip-hop has a certain set of beliefs, behaviors and customs that are very much a part of what makes it what it is and thank God for the men and women dedicated to reaching people shaped by the culture. Like no other culture, urban America has been radically shaped by the culture of hip-hop. With that in mind, we must remember that as Christ is saving us, there are some things we must RECEIVE from the culture, REDEEM from the culture and REJECT from the culture. Add a comment
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Rich Perez is the pastor of Christ Crucified Fellowship in (Washington Heights) New York City.

“My soul takes boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad” As a native New Yorker it’s tough seeing others get the glory or recognition that you would like to be getting. Humility is not the cup we often, if at all, drink. If we are entirely honest, we’d admit that we want as many “likes” on our statuses as the next person. We want as many following up on us and we want as many re-tweeting our self – proclaimed clever and witty statements on Twitter. Add a comment
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Read Part 1 of this article here.

Leonce Crump II is the pastor at Renovation Church in Atlanta Georgia.

This is the lynchpin, because He chose us before the foundation of the world, and in love, He predestined us for adoption. So we are predestined, chosen, and adopted. Before the concept of time itself existed, before the Evil One turned in pride from God to his own works, before the unveiling of creation itself…God chose His children.   Now, I want to slow down, and pause, so that you absorb the great, cosmic, joy-laden words of Paul here…so that you can soak in what is being communicated here. As far back as imagination will allow, before the dawn of time, it was there that God chooses us.    Are you feeling the very tangible weight of such a statement? Do you understand all of the implications of this, that the Father chose us before He even created us? What a glorious realization! Add a comment
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A Preface for my Christ Family

Recently, I had the chance to read an article in XXL Magazine, which had the potential to excite me because it focused on Christian rap, but in the end somewhat disappointed and even grieved me. Internally, I was restless until finally deeming it necessary to respond for the sake of the glory of Christ, the benefit of His people, and the benefit of the mission to reach hip hop with the gospel. Add a comment
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design by Joe Richardson

John Onwuchekwa is the pastor at Blueprint Church in Atlanta, GA.

Here’s the problem
Had a conversation with a good friend of mine this past week as we were on the back porch grilling. Having just celebrated a birthday, we were talking about the “good ole days” and what’s wrong with these “young bucks” nowadays. My good friend shared with me a story about a guy he had a conversation with. He asked the younger guy what he was “learning.” The younger dude responded by recounting all the books he was reading, restating all of the quotes that he tweeted from the books that he read. When he got done, my friend repeated the question, “so what are you learning? Add a comment
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design by Jermaine Haggerty

Rich Perez is the pastor of Christ Crucified Fellowship in (Washington Heights) New York City.

A Gospel Community: A Re-Emphasis on Mission

Right teaching leads to right practice. Gospel intake should lead us to gospel living. Enlightened and transformed by the light of the gospel message, with Jesus as it's center, we are not merely encouraged, but rather mandated by it to live a lifestyle of missions. Add a comment
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A breakdown & insight of one of the most important projects in Christian Hip-Hop history.

One of the biggest gripes with Christian hip-hop is its’ lack of creativity. Either there’s a barrage of Reach/Lampmode clones or a desperate attempt to latch onto trends secular hip-hop threw out the window several years prior (*glares at auto-tune/screwed up hooks & trap beats*). For there to be such an assortment of rappers that are certain God called them to preach the Gospel, it seems a large part have fallen into the trap of saying the same thing in the exact same way. Add a comment
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illustration by hype-ography.com

Leonce Crump II is the pastor at Renovation Church in Atlanta Georgia.

In 1 John chapter 3 verse 1, the apostle John writes, "see what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."

This phrase, what kind of love, literally translates “unearthly, foreign, other-worldly.” This love the Father gives us is so unparalleled, and John so astonished that he wonders aloud “where did this come from?” Add a comment
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illustration by hype-ography.com

Adam Thomason is the Pastor of Damascus Road Church in Flint, Michigan and CEO of Collision Records.

Urban ministry and urban contexts are often treated like a zoo—people come, visit for a short time, take pictures of animals in their cages, leave, and do a show and tell with some of their friends back home. For many people that’s where it ends. Add a comment
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