While Yuletide-themed hip hop isnt exactly a new concept (Kurtis Blow was Christmas Rappin back in 1979), it often catches listeners by surprise. So when you take that recipe and add in sermon samples from and the full endorsement of Greatest Living American and beloved evangelist Billy Graham, expect to see more than a few raised eyebrows.
Thats exactly what can be anticipated now that Lights Up, Eyes On, a 5-track EP by DJ Promote commissioned by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is available to the masses.
I was so honored to be asked to create this project, Promote said. I mean, hes like an icon. To take that timeless message he has and reinvent that in a way where people can hear it all over again is just awesome!
Listeners can digitally download Lights Up, Eyes On for free at www.ransom.tv a new viral media website created by the BGEA. DJ Promote crafted the beats for four of the five tracks and then invited several artist friends to add to the music.
The sound ranges from street rap to classic hip hop, electronica, and acoustic pop. Lyrics were penned by Verbs, Moses Uvere, AntBanx, and Kellen Bowhay. Swiftstyle, Dustin Cavasos, and Othello also contributed to the effort.
Several songs include audio clips from both Billy Graham and his wife Ruth encouraging the audience to reject a commercialized Christmas and embrace the birth of Jesus the Messiah as the true meaning of these holy days.
[Grahams] words are still relevant and thats because the message is foundational. It didnt change throughout the years. The whole time it was just about Jesus and the hope he brings to this broken world, Promote said.
Promote is no stranger to the BGEA, having previously appeared in their Bridge to Life video as both a DJ and graffiti writer. Hes also well known on the touring circuit and has manned turntables for nationally known artists like Verbs, B.Reith, and Propaganda.