J.C. & the Boyz

Who was the First Group in Christian Rap History?

At the Mic Drop Movie event and premiere, we had the chance to interview all of the pioneers of Christian rap. After asking Stephen Wiley and Michael Peace about who the first Christian rapper was, the next question was – “Who was the first group?”

Some of the artists shouted out P.I.D., some said S.F.C., but ultimately they all pointed to Soup the Chemist and said “J.C. & the Boyz.”

J.C. & the Boyz were Soup’s first group even before S.F.C. who he’d become more well known for.

Soup explained that the group’s founder David Guzman was hosting a radio show and kept mentioning God. Soup had just got saved and kept calling in and told Guzman that he did “conscious rap” that talked about God. At the time, the term Christian rap wasn’t really a thing.

“That night after his show, he came to my house, and I cut a four-track with him,” said Soup.

After that demo was cut, other members joined the group including brothers Robby and Noel Arthurton who would later become the Dynamic Twins. Poetic Lee, M.C. Peace, and M.C. Scroller (Guzman) were the others.

Fred Lynch of P.I.D. said the time frame of the group was around 86 or 87. He then referenced their album from 1989 Never Give Up. He remembers seeing the promo for it as P.I.D. was starting to form.

Lynch explained that he was being told that P.I.D. wasn’t marketable because Christians would be “afraid” of Christian rap. “You’d be too worldly for the church and too churchy for the world.”

Soup chimed in and said on the west coast, people were encouraging them to keep going and when they came to Texas to do a gig, it was with P.I.D.

Chille Baby of Gospel Gangstaz then said it was Soup and his groups that put Gospel Gangstaz “on.” “If it wasn’t for Soup there wouldn’t be no Gospel Gangstaz at all.”

He said that when they came onto the scene, he and Mr. Solo were still rough around the edges.

“Everyone had this ‘believer’ etiquette that we didn’t have,” he said. “We used to sit back and see all these groups and go, ‘Ok, we can’t say that here’. ‘When you’re talking to the pastor, you better say this’.”

He continued, “From all these groups we learned…to be under all their tutelage it was a good thing because they were already rocking and rolling. It was our history and that’s why I tell all the youngsters doing gospel hip-hop, you gotta know your history man.”

Watch the story of J.C. & the Boyz Below:

Justin Sarachik

Written by Justin Sarachik

Justin is the Editor-in-Chief of Rapzilla.com. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has written or edited for Relevant, Christian Post, BREATHEcast, CCM, Broken Records Magazine, & more. He also likes to work with indie artists to develop their brands & marketing strategies. Catch him interviewing artists on Survival of the Artist Podcast.

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