Hip Hop with a specific focus on promoting Christ likely started not too long after Hip Hop did, however the first commercially released album in this fashion was Stephen Wiley's 1985 album 'Bible Break.' Now, 25 years later there is a viable niche carved out in the music industry. The niche has been called by several names including Christian Hip Hop, Christian Rap, Holy Hip Hop, Gospel Hip Hop, etc. Like many humble beginnings, this niche was not documented well. Up until a few years ago with the introduction of social networks MySpace and Facebook, communication wasn't always an easy task, making it difficult to stay in touch with pioneers in this niche.

There have been efforts by many over the years to maintain community and push this niche into the mainstream, essentially utilizing Hip Hop to reach a demographic that is influenced by that culture. In the early years of the internet, circa 1994, one of the very first communities dedicated to this niche launched called TruHipHop. TruHipHop was launched by Timothy Trudeau, known to most as owner of Syntax Records. TruHipHop was a newsgroup or listserv where people would subscribe their email and dialogue. Then came chat rooms and message boards which acted as channels for artists and fans all across the world to connect and interact like never before. A few years following, websites began to spring forth that began to provide artists and labels a media outlet for the niche. Some of those websites were HipHopZone.com, HipHopGateway.com, SphereOfHipHop.com, HipHopForTheSoul.com, WTWmagazine.com, and later HolyCulture.net, DaSouth.com, and IllSpot.net. Add a comment
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The 10 year anniversary of Flavor Fest was huge success... but almost didn't happen. Crossover's new facility was scheduled to go through it's final inspections on Thursday afternoon. The inspections lasted longer than expected and the 5:00pm cut off passed. In order to pass inspection the building had to have back up power for all the lighting in the entire 43,000 square foot facility. When they checked the back up generator they discovered the wires had been cut and the battery was stolen. Some of Crossover's mechanics immediately went to work as the inspector was checking the fire alarm system. Within 30 minutes they bought a new battery hooked it up and cranked it... and all the lights in the building worked! The building was passed with a temporary certificate of occupancy at 6:40pm on Thursday night in order to open up Friday morning. The Thursday night pre-event had to be moved to the Comfort Inn Conference Center. Add a comment
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Streetlights is an urban audio Bible that seeks to combine the breathing words of God with authentic and quality music production influenced by the cultures of the inner city. It is a tool that can be used to hear, memorize and assist youth and young adults in studying the Scriptures. Eclectic Hip-hop beats will be composed as an urban score to the Bible. Chapter by chapter, multiple voices with many different accents will be heard reading Scripture as the beats create a canvas for the text. Imagine God's Word shining its light through mp3 players, social networking sites and speakers throughout the cities worldwide.

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Reach Records recording artist, Lecrae, creates an amazing debut for his fourth project 'Rehab'. 'Rehab' sells 25,864 units in its first week. The accomplishment displays the power of the Reach brand while making a statement to the industry that Christian Hip Hop is a viable genre.

Purchase now on iTunes or Amazon.com. Lecrae's last album 'Rebel' sold just about 10,000 units its first week, and Trip Lee's 'Between Two Worlds' did 3500 its first week. Add a comment

While compilations often leave a sour taste in the collective retail mouths, Night Owls continues to gain momentum as a trusted brand and to introduce talented, handpicked artists through exclusive songs, unavailable on any other release. Night Owls 5 features, both, established and up and coming artists. Sometimes on the same song. The project is mixed and mastered entirely at Syntax Studios by the team that is known, above all, for quality.

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Apple recently launched their social network within iTunes. The point of the social network is to find out about new music by following your favorite artists and friends and see what they are posting, what they like, and most importantly, unique, and influential, is showing what you purchased. There isn't much to the service yet, but Apple and iTunes have major potential, especially since they purchased the popular lala.com service that we were big fans of. lala.com was a service that let you "upload" your entire music catalog and access it anywhere you have an internet connection, as well as "purchase" music for streaming rights for a tenth of the cost to download. Add a comment
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Lecrae's new album 'REHAB' is heating up the iTunes charts (view here). He also has a song currently charting #73 in iTunes Top Hip Hop/Rap singles. Which brings me to a question: Why is "Killa" more popular than songs like "High"? Add a comment
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Lecrae 'REHAB' just came out today and already this morning is making noise on the iTunes chart quicker than any other Christian Hip Hop release. Charting #2 in the Hip Hop/Rap albums behind Lil Wayne's new release and #3 over all albums of iTunes (behind Lil Wayne #1 and Kenny Chesney #2).

Purchase on iTunes now, click here. Add a comment
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Update 10AM EST: The album is now #3 in iTunes Australia Top Hip Hop/Rap albums and #35 overall. In iTunes New Zealand it has also jumped to #2 Hip Hop/Rap albums and #23 overall. iTunes in the United Kingdom has 'REHAB' at #3 in Hip Hop/Rap albums.

The Americas still has a few hours before Lecrae's new album 'REHAB' drops on iTunes but in other parts of the world it's out. Already charting #6 in the Top Hip Hop/Rap Albums of iTunes Australia and #3 in the Top Hip Hop/Rap Albums of iTunes New Zealand.

You can buy it on iTunes USA now here: http://bit.ly/REHABiTunes Add a comment



Reports are in that the new Lecrae 'REHAB' album packaging comes with an ad for his next album, he's coming out with another album on January 11th, 2011 entitled 'Rehab: The Overdose' with 11 tracks. Check the promo inserted into 'REHAB' after the jump. Add a comment
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LISTENING SESSION


MC JIN XIV:LIX - Buy on iTunes

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