Author Archives: DjIRockJesus

The Rhythm 5 & 6 The Classics

This mix tape series is all about that classic Rhythm & Praise that you love and miss,So download load and enjoy The Rhythm.

Street Heat Mix tape Series

Kirk Franklin Interview at The Breakfast Club Power 105.1

Kirk Franklin discusses his new album "losing My Religion", his career, how God has player a role in his life, homophobia in religion and much more.

Justin Bieber Pray During Album Release Party

justin-bieber-wallpaperJustin Bieber is continuing to put his best foot forward as someone of influence that claims to rep "Christianity." During a live appearance at the Purpose album's listening party Q&A, the singer prayed in front of the crowd of thousands and explained how God guides him through his career. 

The LA event at the Staples Center on Friday November 13 was called "An Evening with Justin Bieber," and for fans of his both in the arena and watching on live stream, they got a little taste of the gospel.

As he was announced to the stage to a raucous ovation, the super cool and confident Bieber yelled out, "What's up L.A.!" as he addressed all sides of the crowd.

Judah Smith, Bieber’s pastor, then took the microphone and said, "It's important for Justin to make an announcement about the senseless acts that happened in Paris and of course the tragedy in Japan."

However, before the singer could even respond, the pastor who came along with him explained Bieber's heart behind the new record.

"Justin's heart on this whole project is to bring people purpose in the midst of pain so we don't want to go any further tonight without taking a moment to pray and acknowledge that there is a lot of people in our world that are in a lot of pain," the pastor said as the crowd began to applaud.

The previously animated and hyped up Bieber humbled himself before God as his voice barely broke a somber whisper.

"God we just come to You right now and thank You so much for Your grace and Your peace God. Though there's these things that are happening that are sometimes out of our control, we trust You and we lean on You during this time," he prayed. "We just pray for Your peace and we need to put our trust in You God, in Your name we pray amen."

The crowd erupted spontaneously with an amen, "You guys didn't know you were coming to church did ya?" said the host.

He then sat down for a Q&A about his new record where he spoke about it being the "biggest" and hoping for the best debut of "all time," but none of that plays any relevance to what he spoke of next.

The question is cut off in the video but Bieber's response is, "I think my relationship with God has definitely grown over the past couple of years. I think what that does for me is it gives me some sort of security and it gives me an anchor, something to hold onto so I'm not just doing this myself. If we have to do this on our own it's going to be way too tough having someone to count on is way special."

Despite dropping 13 music videos and launching his album on November 13, he still took the time to share the impact these tragedies had on his life.

"Still thinking about Paris and my friend Thomas that we lost in the tragedy. He was a part of the team for years and I wish I would've had more time to thank him. Make sure to appreciate people while you have them. Thanks Thomas for everything you did for me. You are appreciated and missed. Thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends #‎PrayForParis" he posted on Facebook.

The full video has been removed from YouTube, but watch a short clip of it below

The People of Christian Hip Hop vs. Lecrae & Reach Records: Part 1


Reach Records is the most successful Christian hip-hop label in the history of the genre. They earned that status before they began to change their approach to their calling as artists. 

Me, I'm an old head. Not as old as the oldest old heads, but I'm definitely a vet. I remember when Christian rappers (or rappers who are Christian) like Japhia Life, who had never strayed from their down-to-earth, non-religious approach to their artistry were interrogated and scoffed at (more like stoned and crucified) for not being more like Cross Movement — the forerunner to the success of Reach Records. I always argued and debated with Cross Movement fans that they were not the be-all and end-all of what it meant to be a Christian who rapped.

This debate is not new. It’s at least 10 years old and will probably continue into the future.

But something is different about the conversation this time around.

There have always been different types of Christian rappers. There's the seminary student rapper, the turnt up (formerly crunk) rapper, the secular conscious backpack rapper and so on. Me, I'm the gangster Christian rapper type. Mean faces, hand signs and threatening bravado, all in Jesus' name. I always saw both sides of this argument about methodology as extreme, as did most of my peers, but we got used to it, and it wasn't even a big deal anymore.

One day, there was a disruption in the force. Suddenly, the Christianese rappers who were heavy on the religious language began to tone it down and unofficially distance themselves from the house of Christian hip hop that they had helped build.

This was unheard of. Until recently, the churchy rappers stayed churchy, and the subtle rappers stayed subtle. And that was that.

Some believers were upset and disappointed. They became angry, branded them as sell-outs and vowed never to support them again. But for some of us, we said, "It's about time those guys stop talkin' all that extra deep youth group stuff all the time."

Which brings me to another point — Cross Movement (including Da' T.R.U.T.H.) and Reach Records were often accused of being too preachy and not relatable to the average hip-hop fan, or the dudes in the street hustling, or the girls turnt up at the club every weekend. Some of us used to say 116 made "youth group music" because much of their music was filled with overt religious language and didn't seem to speak to certain segments of the population at large. That was a critique they knew well.

I'm a rapper who doesn't rap much, so I needed music to share with unbelievers who were cut from the same cloth I was. I sure as heck wasn't passin' off Lecrae's "Jesus Muzik" to my man who I used to sell crack with.

As a Christian from the street, it just didn't seem like music for the hoi polloi. It was gospel rap but sounded more like Paul’s letters than the four Gospels. I know that’s a blanketed way of thinking, but it’s how I thought back then, and it wasn’t without merit.

Now I know better. There’s only one Bible, and it’s for everyone — believer and unbeliever alike. Though God uses the earthly credibility of the messenger, the power is in the gospel, not the messenger or the method.

Which is why I’m not really bothered by Reach’s change of direction.

Perhaps the spot they occupy in our Christian hip-hop culture will soon belong to someone else and both approaches will continue to work together for the good and create a needed and healthy balance. I actually see Reach’s change in direction as somewhat prophetic.

Cross Movement Records, which introduced us to Lecrae and RR, was built on the the foundation of 1 Chronicles 12:32, referencing the sons of Issachar who “understood the times and knew what to do.” Is it not possible that the same Spirit of discernment is guiding Reach Records and leading them in a direction many of us do not fully understand? And that they are discerning the times concerning the vision God has given them?

I’d say so. I’d say that’s very likely.

A lot of Christians want Lecrae and Andy Mineo to be more Christian in five minutes on TV than they are all week. Personally, I have no issue with how often any artist does or doesn’t say “Jesus.” I believe that is a bad way to measure whether or not a work is commissioned by God.

In Exodus 31, God filled the Israelites with His Spirit for construction work. The sacredness of a work has nothing to do with how outwardly religious the work seems. All work is to be done to the Glory of God, and God is to be acknowledged in all our ways, and He promises us that in doing so, HE will direct our paths.

So, if God directed you to the job you’re working at now, you have no less of a responsibility to steward the position God has called you to occupy in this season of your life than Reach Records does. They will fall short, as we all do. Jesus said that men will give an account for every idle word they speak. James says “If anyone doesn’t stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man.”

Scrutiny lends itself to fault finding, so remember to be mindful of your own life and conduct first and foremost.

In Part 2, we'll explore some of the more negative ways that these changes have impacted the Christian hip-hop community.

By Lavoi$ier Cornerstone is the founder and CEO of Christian startup GrowTheHeckUp — the HuffPost meets 700 Club brand for Christian millennials. Voi$ is a Flatiron School graduate who is passionate about music, technology and education. His activity in the world of startup culture and his work teaching kids how to code earned him a shout out on from activist and former White House adviser Van Jones.