Mini Documentary: DJ Promote on Anomaly Tour with Lecrae & Andy Mineo
Lecrae knew little about DJ Promote, but the way that the DJ excited a crowd at a conference in Tennessee years ago made Lecrae want to know more.
“[Promote] had the whole crowd going crazy, I think before we went on stage,” Lecrae said. “I hadn’t seen a DJ control a crowd like that in a long time, and so it was really kind of mind-blowing to see.”
When Lecrae’s long-time partner DJ Official stepped away from the turn tables last year to undergo a born-marrow transplant, Lecrae reached out to Promote to sub in. This fall on the 31-city Anomaly Tour, Promote has replicated the excitement that originally impressed Lecrae, opening up for him and Andy Mineo.
“Having Promote on the tour always adds an element of excitement, one, just musically because he’s a beast, and he’s amazing at what he does,” Mineo said. “But, two, because he’s always working. Any down moment that we have on the tour bus or any off day, he’s got headphones on and he’s plugging away and making changes to the set. He’s working on making his own music, so he’s a workhorse.
“I’m inspired when I see it because he’s deep into his career, but he still practices like he’s just getting started.”
Promote, born Carlos Trevino, loved hip hop in its entirety growing up — the music, break dancing and graffiti art. DJing naturally had intrigued him for years, but it wasn’t until he started traveling and attending clubs after high school that he was exposed to the craft.
Around the same time that he bought his own equipment to learn how to DJ, he began to learn about God in church — where he was introduced to Christian hip hop. His embracement of the music wasn’t instantaneous.
“As I started learning about God, it took a long time,” Promote said. “I wasn’t all in for church. I just was visiting … and kind of around it. I wasn’t sold that it was real. I just thought it was fake, and so I was testing it. Is it really better than this? Because I love going out to the clubs and running around with my friends.”
Promote soon discovered that following God did make for a better life. And at a graduation party in Dallas, he experienced how God could use Christian hip hop in his life.
Unlike the conference crowd that blew Lecrae away, Promote could not get the graduation party attendees to dance. Someone then made a suggestion that changed the direction of his career.
“Do you have any Christian hip hop?” an attendee asked.
Promote did, which pleased the room. The teens left the party having danced, and Promote spent the night discarding his old music.
“It was just a transition from learning to DJ and then learning that God had a plan for me at the same time,” he said.
The Anomaly Tour has been further evidence of this plan for Promote.
“I felt like God was like, ‘This may not be what you want to do right now, but this is where you need to be … This tour is proof of God showing me that.”
David Daniels is a writer for Rapzilla.com. He’s been published at The Washington Times, Bleacher Report, Christianity Today and The Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter.