How To Be A Christian DJ Series : How Do You Like Your Hip Hop?
Told Ya, I'm A Church Boy!
I'm a church boy at heart. So for me you have to come deeper than deep. After all, I sat at the foot of the bed on Sunday mornings when my mom watched the positive thinking based sermons of ROBERT SCHULLER from the Crystal Cathedral Church in Garden Grove, California.
I was also listening when the allegedly arrogant, yet eloquent FREDERICK K.C. PRICE taught Biblical parables in his own unique way.
I discovered CLEFLO DOLLAR with my mom; MAC TIMBERLAKE and his wife, BRENDA on my own, read Power For Living when it was first advertised as a free book on television, devoured a copy of the celebrity endorsed, The Book ... I mean, if it was good enough for the dad on Family Ties ...
I watched LEO BUSCAGLIA, LES BROWN (The Motivator) and my own cousin, REVEREND TONY CURTIS PARKER ... So I've heard some of the best speakers that have ever come down the pike. Which means I won't settle for less.
When Did I Fall In Love With Hip Hop?
Probably not at the same time that you, your siblings, cousins or schoolmates did.
It wasn't GRANDMASTER CAZ, GRANDMASTER FLASH or GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL. It wasn't KURTIS BLOW, RUN DMC, LL COOL J, THE BEASTIE BOYS or NWA. I like some of it ... But I didn't love it.
For some it was KWAME, HEAVY D, BIG DADDY KANE or KOOL MOE DEE. For others it was WU TANG CLAN, X-CLAN, TRIBE CALLED QUEST, LEADERS OF THE NEW SCHOOL or PUBLIC ENEMY. However I must confess thate even when the Neo Soul flavored stylings of LAURYN HILL, the incomparable jazziness of DIGABLE PLANETS or poetic symmetry of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT ... I can't say that my love of Hip Hop started with any of these commercially viable artists.
The Parts of Speech
I love words that mean something, that say something, that touch your heart, mind and spirit. So it would take a lot more than the talented trinity of WILL SMITH, MC HAMMER and VANILLA ICE to make me fall in love with Hip Hop. Not even if you add TONE LOC and YOUNG MC into the mix.
As well, I'd turn a deaf ear towards any angry rapper with an attitude encouraging me to kill the police, degrade a woman or wreck any other manner of havoc -- then blame it on my parents for not keeping watch when I try to emulate them
So when I heard CHRIS "SOUP THE CHEMIST" COOPER from the group SOLDIERS FOR CHRIST for the first time ... Telling me over some hard, but mellow beats about my mind needs to be Transformed ... When I heard DANNY "D-BOY" RODRIGUEZ expressing that no matter how depressed I felt, a brother like me needed to Pick Urself Up ... And TRANSFORMATION CRUSADE telling me over simple beats about R.A.P. (Rigteousness And Praise) -- what they believe in -- That's when I fell in love.
The Super Producers
S.F.C. was produced by CHRIS COOPER, SUPER C, SUP THE CHEMIST, SOUP THE CHEMIST. From his group, I got what my cousin was getting from CHUCK D's PUBLIC ENEMY; those rugged beats with thought provoking lyrics that you couldn't seem to hear anywhere else. So good that whatever he produced or cameoed on, I had to cop it. That's how I discovered acts like DYNAMIC TWINS, LPG and DJ DOVE.
TIM MINER (Preacher's Kid starring LETOYA LUCKETT) produced D-BOY. Tim is a long haired Caucasion guy who was sounding like BRIAN MCKNIGHT years before Brian's debut album hit the R&B airwaves. And with his Pop/R&B production, I was led to D-Boy's sister, MC GE GEE, a kid named MC RG, E-Roc and a young bubbly singer who went by the name, NICOLE, but later transformed into singer/songwriter, NICOLE C MULLINS.
TRANSFORMATION CRUSADE was produced by the dynamic FRED HAMMOND of the highly influential but sadly underrated R&B flavored Gospel group, COMMISSIONED.
I followed the producers. And if a crew guest starred on a project that I'd never heard of, eventually I would be in line to retrieve their debut project when it was made available.
For instance, Fred was associated with a fiery guitarist named MICHAEL WRIGHT (Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration), who developed into an engaging rapper in the vein of HEAVY D, going by the nom de plume, MIKE E.
Where Did I Go From There?
Along the way I found a couple of music video shows that were kind enough to show fare by other artists that I'd never heard of or only knew in passing.
This was how I discovered groups like D.O.C. (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST), E.T.W. (END TIME WARRIORS), DC TALK (DECENT CHRISTIAN TALK), MICHAEL PEACE, STEPHEN WILEY and T-BONE.
Though my music collection consisted mostly of Pop and R&B flavored acts. But eventually I found harder cats like 12TH TRIBE, GOSPEL GANGSTAS, GOG'Z (GOD'S ORIGINAL GANGSTAS), KING SHON & THA S.S. MOBB, PREACHAS, BARRY G, BRUTHAZ GRIMM and CROW.
Some artists sound like Bizzaro versions of Mainstream acts. Some sampled songs that had already been sampled or used hooks similar to their secular counterparts. But in the end, it was about the words and the flow; the connecting of words even like on my favorite game show, Chain Reaction. Connecting words , themes, ideas , concepts, puns, Pop culture references ... Mixing it all together like one big stew and in essence making a long lasting impression and connection with me.
Top 10 Hip Hop Artists You HAVE To Try
5. IDOL King
6. Soup The Chemist
7. Freedom of Soul
9. DC Talk
TruSoulDJ is a self proclaimed expert on all things trivial to the Mainstream. He is an avid classic comic book reader, non popular music lover and tv-show-on-dvd binge watcher who shops the clearance racks near and far to find the best deals. He would like to think he knows everything important within the realm of Pop culture. But in actuality, he only knows about 99.9 percent of what he thinks he knows.