With Spring Training just around the corner, Major League Slugger and Baltimore Orioles Player Ryan Freel announced today that he will be using Los Angeles-based Gospel Rapper's (Easop) song titled: "Out Tha Box", as his personal theme music for at-bats during the 2009 baseball seaon.
Freel comments, "Honestly, I had never heard of Christians rapping before... [I] stumbled upon the video from Easop for his song "Out Tha Box" and began listening closely to what this guy was saying in his raps, I was floored that a guy in the video who did not even look like someone you would ever expect to see in a Church was actually Preaching with his raps and is actually a Pastor in Los Angeles. That was 3 weeks ago and now, the only music that me, my wife and 2 daughters have listened to in my car is Holy Hip Hop and we absolutely love it. So, I began to think of how I could give back to this guy and it hit me that if a guy could come to plate with Ludacris, then why can't a guy to come to the plate with Easop which resulted in me doing what my heart told me to do and that is to bring Easop to the plate with me (as my personal at-bat theme song) for all fans to experience in ballparks nationwide where I am fortunate to be able to play in 2009 and beyond.
Since his birth in 1975, Easop Winston has created a place in the world for himself, his family and community. He has become not only a pillar in the African-American community, but an innovator in the world of gospel music. For Easop has taken a vision embedded in him since his youth and turned it into something the world can be a part of. Described as a cross between DMX and Tupac, one of the differences between Easop and rappers of this caliber is his lyrical intent. His ability to dedicate his words and thoughts to God is what keeps his raps simple yet truthful, hardcore yet touching. Equipped with a captivating voice and an anointed delivery raw enough to reckon with the ways of drugs and street mentalities, Easop has taken the message of God's love, light and salvation from the insides of the church and placed in the middle of this intensely violent world. Not only is Easop a true artist, he is also a true businessman. With the start of his company Life or Death Records, Easop has taken a vision and single handedly turned it into an establishment that embodies his hopes for his community. Through the label, he has completed his debut album entitled, "The Time Has Come."
Since 1994 Easop has built a strong following of fans and friends. His appearances throughout the Bay Area combined with his rawness in his rhymes have opened many doors for Easop's career and label both nationally and internationally. Some of his accomplishments included making hardcore gospel rap history by being the first gospel rapper to have his music played on San Francisco's hottest station KMEL. His title cut The Time Has Come ranked #3 on a popular Christian radio play list in Atlanta. He also appeared on the release from L.G. Wise, Ghetto Fables : Da 1/2 Ain't Told, on Grapetree Records in 2000. The crew of three MCs "The End" and Easop formed the LOD Boys.
Easop has also shared the bill with gospel legends such as Angelo & Veronica, Andrae Crouch, Fred Hammond and Gary Oliver. The MC released his debut album "The time Has Come" on his label Life or Death Records in 1999. His sophomore record is entitled "Live Now Die Later", but never got released. Easop Winston was still active as a MC in 2003, but is now a pastor of Realm of Blessings Church in the Bay Area, California.
Easop's inspiration for Gospel rap never subdued. In fact...quite the contrary... It has and continues to be a passion of his to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through unrefined truth in expression via (Holy) Hip Hop/Gospel Rap. God just took him a different direction in traditional ministry as a pastor. He still feels there's an element he and the Life or Death label can bring to the still growing and underground genre of (Holy) Hip Hop/Gospel Rap. Although the presence of Easop was obscure in the larger scope of the Hip-Hop Gospel circuit, he remains true to appearing and performing at various (local) Christian events and venues as he feels led. Also, as a business man, Easop wanted a certain level of financial backing to be in place to do things at a level second to none as a representative of God's kingdom. All of these things are now falling into place. (September 2008). In 2008 the artist is working on a new album called "Back For The 1st Time" to be released in 2009. For More Information on Easop www.myspace.com/easop7