From the looks of things, it appears that Christian worldview and the culture are headed for another collision. Collision records double-threat Christon Gray is turning heads with an announcement of his upcoming album entitled 'School of Roses'.
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If you thought that tune sounded familiar during the big game commercial, it's because it was! W.L.A.K.'s song "King In Me" ft. Christon Gray & Swoope is in the American Idol commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Did you recognize it when it aired?
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Andy Mineo continues to break new ground as a young Christian Hip Hop artist and his new EP Neverland has taken him even higher than many imagined. It has been announced that the project will debut at #6 on the overall billboard charts this week, a monstrous debut for the budding Reach Records star. The 7-song EP will sit right above perennial CCM worship band Casting Crowns and right behind Grammy-winning phenom Lorde. This is also his second appearance on the Billboards in 12 months. His debut album Heroes for Sale also charted strong as the highest selling Christian Hip Hop debut album in the genre's brief history. Considering his recent appearances on MTV in interviews and cyphers, this is yet another example of how much the New York emcee is resonating with fans and followers of the unashamed movement. Congrats to Andy Mineo and Reach Records for their continued success!
Billboard.com states, "Andy Mineo's "Never Land" is No. 6 and Casting Crowns is No. 7. Mineo will likely finish the week just outside the top 10, with perhaps 20,000."
Fresh off receiving a host of awards for a breakout 2013, Reach Records artist Andy Mineo has kicked off 2014 with a memorable bang. The Rapzilla Artist/Album of the Year recipient released his new EP "Neverland" last night to an eager audience of anticipating fans. And his supporters have responded approvingly by placing Mineo at the top of the charts. The EP already is #1 on the iTunes Hip Hop/Rap chart and #2 on the list of Overall Albums.
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Papa San hit #1 on the iTunes Reggae charts in the U.S., as well as several other countries this week with his new album 'One Blood'. The veteran reggae artist collaborated with Da' T.R.U.T.H. on the single "Step Up", and is currently finalizing the editing process of the 4th music video off of the album.
Expect to see the video on Rapzilla in the next week.
Christian Hip Hop artists continue to make a strong presence on the iTunes charts. Female emcee and New York native HeeSun Lee continued the trend today with a solid debut on the Christian/Gospel charts, peaking at #7 with her new release 'Stereotypes'. The project, which is the first album released from the In My City record label, includes notable features from MC Jin, Erica Cumbo, Chris Cobbins among others.
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Since its inception a decade ago, Reach Records has emerged as the most recognizable, profitable record label in Christian Hip Hop. Their expansion has created a host of opportunities for the Gospel to be displayed in art. However, it has also open the door to numerous detractions, the most popular being connections to secret organizations such as the Illuminati. The Atlanta-based label responded to these questions today in an official statement entitled "Reach Records Speaks: Art, Symbolism and Our Mission". It takes direct aim at the mindsets of conspiracy and cultural cynicism that have grown in Christian circles. The statement also explores the viability of art itself as a display of God's glory. Hopefully this statement will stir Biblical dialogue and prayerful reflection about Christian art in the world.
A brief excerpt: "We want to be upfront and transparent when we say that the artistic directions we take are not a result of some mysterious occult group or made with ill-intentions. Many times the choices we make for a particular album design have deeper redemptive, Biblical themes. Other times, they are purely aesthetic choices"