Has Christian Hip-Hop arrived? This question asked to 10 different people may warrant 10 uniquely different responses, but it was the first question Nicola Menzie of the Christian Post asked Chad Horton, co-owner of Rapzilla, and Timothy Trudeau of SyntaxCreative, in an interview on Monday. Most may disagree that Christian hip-hop (CHH) has truly arrived but it is undeniable that it has succeeded greatly amongst Christian and mainstream audiences.
The core Christian fan base has indeed pushed record sales and ticket sales through the roof, making it almost impossible for others within the hip-hop community to neglect CHH artists any longer.
Nate Marquardt prayed for James Te Huna before fighting him at UFC Fight Night 43.
“Please protect this guy so he doesn’t get too hurt,” said Marquardt.
He didn’t believe oddsmakers, who labeled him an 8-5 underdog. Despite losing his last three fights, Marquardt expected to win easily.
His confidence wasn’t rooted in pride. It was rooted in God.
Marquardt is a professing Christian. His faith, and the Christian hip-hop song he used for entrance music, gave him peace against Te Huna. But the last few years, Marquardt failed to prioritize his faith over his career.
The Rapzilla.com 16 Bar Challenge is back for the 2nd year in a row at the Legacy Conference in Chicago! Last year, recent CTF Records signee Los (of HGA) took home the winnings. This year we are giving Los the opportunity to defend his title, however we opened up submissions and received 185 of them. We narrowed down the list to 20 and will now leave it up to you to pick the final 7 rappers to be selected by your votes. The final 7 will be invited to compete in a bracket challenge with single elimination at the 2014 Legacy Conference to win $2,000 in cash and prizes! The 16 Bar Challenge videos with the most votes will be contacted to verify the ability and capability to make it to the Legacy Conference. In the case one of the final 7 aren't able to make it, we will contact the next in line by votes. Remember, this is not an emcee battle, rather a display of the hottest 16 bar verse. Without further delay, watch the submissions and cast your votes!
At UFC Fight Night 43, every mixed martial artist who stepped into the octagon as Christian hip hop sounded throughout the arena won their fight.
James Te Huna, ranked the No. 14 UFC contender to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, entered the main event a 20-37 favorite against Nate Marquardt. Te Huna, a native of New Zealand where the event took place, got creative with his walkout for the home crowd. He arrived as warriors wielding spears danced and chanted.
Spoken-word artist Micah Bournes only released his third solo album Alive & Ill on June 25th because of a disease.
Bournes, a student at Moody Bible Institute, had mapped out his future in pen. After graduation, he would fight for international justice as a Peace Corps volunteer. But his health intruded.
“Whatever,” Bournes thought as he looked down at blood in the toilet. “I must have eaten something funny.”
What he perceived as one poorly prepared meal turned into a week’s worth. Using the toilet became synonymous with pain, but he remained confident that he could shake off whatever bug had bitten him. Besides, he had always been athletic.
Only after a month of suffering did the Los Angeles native fly home for a colonoscopy.
Doctors diagnosed him with ulcerative colitis—an incurable immune disease that, if untreated, causes internal bleeding in the large intestine. Bournes’ condition required advanced treatment and multiple surgeries, dashing his dreams and sending him back to the drawing board.
He rushed to pen a new game plan, graduate school. Oxford, NYU, Northwestern and more rejected his application, closing yet another door.
Ulcerative colitis limited Bournes’ future, but it forced him to live in the present. He stopped mapping out what he would do and just did what he could do.
“I realized that God is not going to be impressed with what I had on my life’s to-do list,” he said.
Th3 Saga (left) battles Notic Da Boss at Battle Another Rapper Showcase. Th3 Saga has been battling since 2012 on multiple stages including URL.
Luis Daniel Lebron is a rapper/singer/songwriter who is originally from and grew up in Brooklyn with his two brothers, mother, and father. Luis, who goes by Th3 Saga, isn’t your typical rapper. He is a battle rapper, but not just any battle rapper. Th3 Saga openly rhymes about his relationship with God and his faith in Jesus.
Th3 Saga began battling in 2012 at the Battle Another Rapper Showcase, and has since then rapped in 5 battles. He has competed on world famous stages like the Ultimate Rap League battling some of the most skilled emcees in the world. Don’t be fooled. Th3 Saga is no corny Christian on the mic. In the 5 battles he has competed in he is sitting with a record of 5-0.
“A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men”
- Proverbs 18:16
From the outside looking in, Christian Hip Hop seems to be a world where theology is often used to critique the so-called legitimacy or illegitimacy of “Christian rappers”. Often times, it seems as though there is a quota that has been given to “Christian rappers” which requires them to mention Jesus, or your favorite theological terminology, a specific number of times per minute. This is a very interesting phenomenon to me because theology is simply how we understand God and His plan for our lives. Theology is similar (key word; similar) to reading a book or taking a class about women in order to better understand them, yet, no book or class about women comes close to actually knowing a woman, talking to a woman, and/or spending time with a woman. One’s personal experience with God or view of God will not necessarily line up with another’s personal experience with God.
Rapzilla.com staff picked around 20 of the new up and comers on the scene and narrowed the list down to the 10 new kids on the block to look out for this year.
The Criteria: The main qualifier that Rapzilla staff utilized was that the artists could not have more than one official release. If an artist has had two official albums released, that would be referred to as their sophomore album. So an artist that has released several mixtapes and been a feature on other albums, yet only released 1 official album, is a freshman by definition, not talent. So lets jump into it...
“I was facing 43 years in prison for attempted murder due to gang violence...I
thought my life was over.” With matter of fact articulation and brutal
honesty, Curt Kennedy isn’t shy about telling his testimony. The artist has
been through more in his lifetime than would typically fit in one sitting.
Born in D.C. and immersed in the street lifestyle, his lingo and slang quickly
morphed to match his surroundings. After a broad daylight gang shooting
resulting in the death of his friend, Curt’s life was close to ending. “I was
in the courtroom waiting for the judge”, he told Rapzilla in an exclusive
interview. “And my lawyer told me I would do at least 10 years.” Facing
such bleak circumstances, Curt had a God-ordained realization. “I turned
around and looked in the courtroom and it was empty,” he explained. “The
Lord used that to show me that everyone who I stood for was gone and none
of them were there. The judge dropped all the felony charges against me. I
went from 43 years in prison to serving less than 4 months.”