Tre9 is one of the pioneers for Christian Rap and has played a huge role in forming a community within the genre especially in the Houston Texas area. Tre9 started a a website call DaSouth.com for local artist to build with one another that largely grew in the webs number one source for christian hip hop and community. DaSouth.com became a worldwide success for artist finding fellowship and community within a marginalized genre within its early years. Artist would use it as a catalyst to promote their music as well as booking shows and finding other like minded artist to connect with on features for their albums and trading out concert bookings. Tre9 eventually sold DaSouth.com to JamTheHype.com after hearing from the Lord about his calling within CHH and the community. Tre9 has always been ministry minded when it comes to the avenue of christian rap and has started discipleship ministries to equip younger artist to be effective as not only musicians but missionaries. Tre9 also has led outreaches to local jails and prisons within the Houston area and that’s where he met gangsta rapper Pyrexx. Pyrexx gave is heart to Jesus at an event that Tre9 hosted in the prison where Joseph McSweeny aka Pyrexx as incarcerated. Pyrexx changed his life and upon being released Pyrexx and Tre9’s friendship grew stronger while Tre9 continued to disciple Pyrexx taking him under his wing and letting him share the stage during his concerts. Fresh out of jail Pyrexx looked the part of a gangsta rapper covered from head to toe with tattoos and on top of that already having success as a secular rapper. Many people questioned Tre9 about his affiliation with Pyrexx because he was still very ruff around the edges but Tre9 saw something of worth within Pyrexx and even though he had his own ups and down Tre9 continued to disciple Pyrexx and never gave up on him. Pyrexx is now one of the top artist within the Christian Rap genre and has a successful ministry sharing his story with large audiences all across the U.S.
Tre9 took a five year hiatus and essentially passed Pyrexx the torch to run with while Tre9 retired from being a Christian Rapper. Well, now Tre9 has re emerged on the scene and is working on his 5th album set to release this year. Tre9 is also working with young protege and Much Luvv recording artist Austin Lanier who is already making a lot of noise in the Hip Hop arena.
Christian Rap has come a long way since Tre9 started in the late 90’s and he has seen the genre morph and Christian artist rise to fame and then fall into sin or get caught up in the industry for exalting the platform over the ministry. This is one of the main reasons that Tre9 decided to come out of his hiatus because of the lack of discipleship and discipline within the community.
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okay parcel sold the record truth-seeker and/or its affiliates not responsible for any strange phenomena that may occur during or after listening to this podcast which may include the following heightened senses of awareness psychic abilities UFO sightings alien contact time loss out-of-body experiences ringing in the ears ESP lucid dreaming increasing chronicity astral projection telepathy stronger intuition levitation miraculous healings and all remote viewing please be advised – a simple decision [Music] [Music] see spade to stand when I don’t be [Music] you are now locked into the to think about gaming live a juicy calm to the paranormal esoteric and all paying spiritual yo wassup ladies and gentlemen I’m your host true seeker this is the true seeker podcast thank you guys for joining me numbers are growing so all the new people man who hanging out with us and are getting some inspiration through this podcast you guys are finding it as a form of ministry everybody’s reaching out like that the messages that I’m getting in my inbox on a daily basis lets me know that something I’m doing is working whatever this formula is and I don’t think it’s anything about me I don’t think it’s even much about the guests who I like the kind of network with people but I think it’s more about just showing up and being real and being genuine and and having sometimes the hard conversations to kind of pull the veil back a little bit and let you guys see what goes into the Christian life the spiritual life at that and and and just be open with people and let you know cuz sometimes people try to judge me or the guests that I have on here about whatever type of content they put out and they don’t really get to hear the story like what goes on in the day-to-day and so we like to kind of take some of that mystique away and just be real just be genuine with with these conversations and be candid and I found out that that’s working just to be authentic and not and to be who God called you to be versus trying to have this image or this persona that is you only let people see this one side of you and so I’m excited to be here with you guys thank you guys for all the support and the messages and the love and an box thank you guys for supporting me on patreon man everybody knows that this show is free to consume but it’s not free to produce there’s a lot of money that goes into this of of maintaining it and running it and all that good stuff so everybody who’s supporting on patreon WW patreon.com backslash true seeker thank you guys for supporting some of the newest people supporting this week who just come on and we give a shout out to Tim Boggs Amanda Weidman Luis Rivas Jayson flore amber oh darling I’m no butcher these names every time man but you know what thank you guys for hanging out with us we had a good session Thursday night we do a discipleship discipleship session every Thursday night and patrons get access to that that’s just where we hang out and discuss different topics and pray together worship together all that good stuff so we had a good first go this last Thursday so if you want to get access to that by becoming a patreon at any level you get access to that so you get access to my entire discography which is like ten plus albums as well as all the new music that I’m working on I’m uploading everything to patreon so head on over there everybody’s asking me for new music trust me there’s a bunch already over there thank you guys for the support it means the world today’s guest is someone who has been doing this for a very long time when I came into the game years ago doing Christian rap music this person was already established and already had platforms and for artists like myself to come on and promote our our work and for us to come on actually networked together it was pretty cool back in the day I want to talk talk a little bit about some of those early days today but this person has been a pioneer in Christian rap music this person has is responsible for some of your favorite artists who’s out there right now they have a platform because of the work that this guy has done and he’s a rapper himself and he’s coming out of retirement and we’re gonna talk about it today so welcome to the show trained on what’s going on my brother amen glad to be with you man I love your backdrop thanks bro I love your stood the dusk of night the you know wardrobe is a nice touch yeah enter into Narnia yeah heaven this is look at my mine is Narnia look at these symbols and shapes and stuff hey man thanks for coming on to hang out with me man a lot to talk about you got a lot going on right now before we get to what you’re bringing to the table now I want to rehash some some old memories man and talk about some of the early days bro just to kind of build a foundation about who you are some people have no idea who you are who are watching this but then there’s people who have who are day one people who are watching this and then there’s people who are just coming into Christian hip-hop and and you know I’m saying they don’t really I guess they’ve never done their homework but before rap Zilla before Jam the height before hope beat dinette all of these platforms there was a website or form I guess to start off as a formal called the South calm and the South calm was huge back in the day talk a little bit about those early days and what the South calm was so yeah like you said it started out as a forum for Houston artists to unify and kind of have one hub for all their websites that didn’t really play out the way it was planned and eventually the the owner of just SOUTHCOM who I was kind of partnered with in it Richard Douglas he passed he had up passed it over to me before he passed away and and I partnered with a guy named Z who was a phenomenal web designer and we just wanted to do a web site that would promote Christian hip-hop news stories events everything Christian hip hop and take it to the next level we wanted a website that was quality so eventually the South com became you know your number one news source for Christian hip hop it was huge it was big I mean we were seeing so many numbers just climb-climb-climb with people logging in and being exposed to Christian hip-hop you know Instagram and you know a snapchat all that really wasn’t out so I think myspace was out [Laughter] but it was it was the place you found Christian hip-hop we had the bus shop there you bought Christian hip-hop you know now nowadays you know you have such a touch of your fingers you can access anything you really don’t need a media site like the South was however we did eventually come to a point where it was becoming such a burden we had you know you really had to have a super love for that because you would see what we go on behind the scenes yeah see kind of the greed or the selfishness the pride the self-centeredness of music and you had to really have a high tolerance for that to say you know what i’ma work hard stay up all night publish the article write articles to put out you know some people who will never care about it or appreciate it while I had while it had a lot of positive benefits and people loved the South yeah we got the offer to sell it to jam the hype we jumped on it because I wanted to go do do eyes on me Inc the nonprofit organization I started in 2008 and Z wanted to go on and pursue other career options in gaming so he he does a gaming website now that’s awesome yeah dude those early days was awesome way for artists to connect who you know to kind of connect before social media with their favorite artists I mean I was a fan of Christian hip hop music and I was able to come on there and get into the discussion and then I started doing it so the early days man I remember SOCOM on the I remember here you know I’m saying some of his first music Mike Shelton was a big you don’t saying user of the SOUTHCOM and I was able to connect and work with those guys and many many other people to connect through that man we were we were we we took you know one of the things with me is I’ve always you know not been a respecter of persons or you know their platforms I always considered everyone on an evil play evil even playing field and no matter the quality of their music because I saw as people that were trying to you know minister the gospel so me and Z always said you know what we want to give the little guy the the upper hand as well as big guy his props and so will he maintained a balance of artistry there it wasn’t there was no politics involved it wasn’t if you paid us more it wasn’t if you rubbed elbows with us the right way it wasn’t it you know for us it was we’re gonna represent Christian hip hop in his fullness the good side the ugly side the weak the strong and and that was what we set out to do it when that became and that became a when it became a competitive thing with other websites and we kind of saw some of the artistry I mean some of the artists began to lock arms and get you know get these uh you know private agreements with with others it was just such a turn-off to me and I was like man I’m not in this to to compete for business I’m in this to to spread the gospel through Christian hip-hop and God knew our distaste was starting to happen and he said a blessing for us to kind of exit you know on a positive note yeah and and that’s good to man know knowing you and you know I’m saying what you do in the I guess we can even call a Christian entertainment industry because there is the entertainment side to the music there and people want to say that is just ministry it is but that I mean there’s a huge ministry in the entertainment because this is so much influence they’re so seeing you move in that four years and be there and you’re still here you haven’t left you haven’t gone anywhere you you took a hiatus for a couple years we’ll talk a little bit about that but just to see your character and as it wasn’t something that got to your head or you you were a superstar even with like numbers and Fame and things like that that came it’s always been about ministry for you man so talk a little bit about like like why you got started dealing with Christian hip-hop or even you know I’m saying trying to rap or put our music to begin with as far as where it comes from the ministry perspective you know all throughout junior high high school for me would write rhymes and and when I gave my life to Christ after high school I was 18 years old and I was like what am I gonna do with this this this rapid thing that I was I was already recording an EP very explicit very foul you know nothing you would expect from me for sure but when when God changed my life I remember thinking man I’m gonna I’m gonna have to do something positive because when I was listen I listen to Christian hip-hop there was just a few artists out and the sounded corny I was behind about 10 years yeah from the main and and I was like you know I’m gonna just do positive rap well it wasn’t too long after that my lyrics were you know about stories that related to God and things like that so I started rapping for God and I said you know man maybe I can you know blaze a new trail you know every Christian rap or early on thought they were the first Christian rapper and we found out quickly in our city that there was new wine there was brass bull you know there was a whole little community and um and I just I said man I there’s no labels really to sign with of course there was great tree records there was sin tax records and a few others but I just decided man you know I’m gonna I’m gonna start my own label when I started much love records in 1998 and everything that I noticed was lacking Christian hip-hop I could either cry about it complain about it yeah find some other avenue or do it myself and it just so happens God blessed me to be able to kind of create a pathway myself and opened up the doors for for many artists across the United States and even the world but more focused on the United States and then in my city I always wanted to blaze a trail for us to have a platform for this music to reach people that was always my passion it was never it was never about my talent being so great or the artists on my label having such a great talent that we would sell a bunch of records get famous it was always this music versus that music the option of listening to explicit music that tears people down that degrades women that for most drugs violence and you know sex before marriage and things like that or this wholesome music that that would you know deter people from that stuff as well as help them get a relationship with God that’s it’s always been about that for me and so when that’s your perspective you really don’t get caught up in the greed of the industry or the selfishness of the industry or playing the political games or showing favoritism and things like that and and all I had to do was how do i navigate so this gets exposed more you know without losing myself in the industry so early on there wasn’t a lot to lose yourself in we’re talking before lecrae and Reach Records and all that success so I began putting on award shows in our city since the doves and and the Stellar’s wouldn’t recognize us begin you know putting on are going to holy hip-hop in Atlanta oh you know award shows and go on to Tampa to flavor fest and support and others and that’s kind of how it became the the point person for usin it’s just because I really had a heart and a passion to see Christian hip-hop popular in the world in order to better the lives of people and so that made that that created naturally created a platform for me to be influential whether or not that’s that’s gotten lost today you know we could talk about that later but there is a distinction between ministry and industry that’s clear there’s there’s a couple people who I see who are handling it really well they’re doing it really good and it’s just a couple that I see honestly but so what I mean because it’s part of it like eventually you have these people who start out from it from like a good place and I’m speaking from experience too I’ve been there I’ve been I’ve been you know I’ve said the prayer god I’m gonna perform for these three people as if it was ten thousand and I will always do that like my always give it my all you I’ve said those prayers and and I’m I meant them and I mean them right but eventually you start out from this honest place but money does get involved crowds do get involved and the applause of men is intoxicating so what was the place for you maybe you’ve always been good with money maybe you had other people handle the money but what does it come off to like we’re making phone calls hey can I come perform at your church you don’t have to pay us nothing just let us come we’ll sell CDs and we’ll minister to the youth verses okay now hey we’re gonna give you $500 $1,000 to come and there’s other people and everybody wants the money like what does because I mean that’s gonna come if you’re doing this the money events eventually is gonna kind of use people’s started I don’t want any money well everybody around you is making money it costs money to make music and to travel and expenses how do you navigate in the early the early years or early days of making money doing ministry in general not even Christian hip-hop just ministering in general well just remembering the fact that Christian hip-hop was so rejected early on by the church we were fortunate enough if there was a pastor or youth pastor willing to allow it in their church and so early on it was take what you can get I remember in Houston we had place called Club glory to glory they had rock music they had b-boy battles they had us Christian hip-hop guys and created a little platform just a little bitty platform where we could get together and do this and talk about man how do we get these churches to let us and man how do we get some of the radio shows the place and well that was a 10 year you know conversation but eventually it did come to a point where it was like okay we’re accepted now but now we need money because it’s it’s taken ten grand to make an album you know it was a lot more expensive back then to make an album than hey yeah videos even to write absolutely videos everything because you can anybody get a camera that’s digital and say I’m gonna make a video today but not necessarily gonna be good sending with studios you know you could have a studio in your home in a little corner yeah but spending 10 grand an album thinking how am I gonna make this money back you know we started to see Christian bookstores open up distribution for Christian hip-hop and so the number one aim of a record label like mine was get distribution get it in the stores so it’s access it’s accessible to consumers to buy that doesn’t even matter today to be in a store it’s all and so CDs yeah I had cassettes I mean I still have some cassettes it’s more like memorabilia now but we used to print up cassettes for great redistribution when they gave us a shot and that was the aim get it in the store if you did that you were pretty much successful as a Christian label whether you sold or not that’s how you would generate revenue but the other way was do a show you wanted to be paid for it and so you walk a fine line between am I gonna do this for free for the for exposing it to their youth group so they can hear the gospel and be exposed to Christian hip-hop or do they need to pay me you know because they’re paying other guest speakers yeah pan these other and so I always had to I always had to maybe make the ask you know could you do an honorarium we call it an honorarium or love offering yeah found that yeah I mean that’s on several hundred you know exactly but there did come a time where right now put out three albums and on that third album you’re like okay hey I’ll charge 500 to do an event and they might say wow we could do 200 you know and I’m there you know I’m saying I just I just want you to value exactly yeah and so it became an issue of value versus I got to get my paper you up you feel me yep I was fortunate enough and so I’m from my perspective I had a janitorial business that I started from the ground up and my janitorial company every year would become more and more successful I was my own business my own boss and so I could determine my income so I at least had the money coming in to sustain while my label and my family yeah as they didn’t have that luxury and privilege it was a little bit more desperate for them yeah where your faith in God your trust in God your reliance on him your you being able to hear from the Holy Spirit that you’re supposed doing it full-time really made a difference because if if God wasn’t providing for the artists and they’re losing their their their relationship with their wife is rough they’re they pay their bills it became really hard for artists early on to make it you know I think so yeah some of this is uh you know I’m saying for many artists let’s be real it’s a pipe dream it’s a childhood dream a childhood fantasy on the you know I’m saying they may not be called to do it or then again they may be called to do it right but it’s it gets into this weird place early on and maybe most of us have to do this but early on like you would spend your income tax money or just money out of your paycheck to buy CDs or whatever and so I seen in a lot of people’s lives around me because I was kind of like the go-to guy in mobile I would set up the show is I would book I’d rent the skating ring out I would do those you know so um but I would see people put their families in their bills on the back burner to buy like to invest into their music whether it’s the buy a bunch of CDs and just or clothing for a video shoot or whatever the case was man and it’s like it I think it should get to a place where like your ministry or your hobby we can even say hobby in some of those cases that’s don’t be afraid to call it what it is your hobby you’re not taking from your family to support your hobby what you you love to do or you enjoy doing eventually I think the goal is to kind of get to a place financially where it pays for itself you’re paying for a feature let’s say some artists charge for features you don’t have to take away from your family to actually purchase this feature to go on your album but you can actually make album sales or do shows or sell merch or whatever to have a budget okay now I have money that and and that’s why I got to a place that was okay that I didn’t have to hey babe can I can I have a hundred bucks to get this mixer I need the mixer whatever so like whatever was cup without whatever I was putting out how I already come in through the ministry or the or whatever um because a lot of people get to this place man that where they just start spending money and they and and and then again they may not even be called to do it you know yeah for sure well you know you mentioned that word calling and I used to wrestle with that because I was you know I didn’t see I saw the calling to be apostle prophet evangelist Shepherd teacher I think it’s fun we kind of lose used loosely but you know artists would say you know I’m called to do this and and and it it wasn’t something that you could really make a living off of back then I mean we thought both did we know gospel gangsters did you know you know even today I think we would think there’s more people making a living off of it yeah it’s very little yeah but they’re still very little you know it’s it’s always in Christian hip-hop it’s always been this one label or one group of people that kind of made the money off of it it made the living yeah off up you know for the most part at least comfortable living and cutting you know yeah a lot of money and it’s it was that way before you know when it was you know gotee records and gospel gangsters and you know caught cross movement records and then reach records now and you know you got a few under that that but it’s very grateful for all that right I think broke broke the mold you know for Christian hip-hop and making money but when it comes to industry and ministry those lines can be very blurry so I always tell even artists that I disciple and raise up like speak of them in two different veins because when you start intertwining them you mess things up you know lyrical content the image that you uphold the the the revenue side of things the marketing promotion they fall in one of these two categories they’re not always intertwine you know for instance lyrics Christian hip-hop lyrics if you’re boasting in your skills more industry cause any ministry but every rapper boast on their seat I don’t care who you are you Lecrae or anybody there’s some boasting going on but it’s more of a hip-hop acceptable thing yeah you don’t judge a person’s heart by that now I gotta have the latest Jordans and I gotta take this picture and from this car and I gotta look fly that’s industry you know ministry would be you know I’m gonna deliver this message so that it touches some a lot someone’s life and points them to see Jesus I’m gonna make Jesus famous and so there’s moves that an artist has to make to advance his career in the industry and then there’s the ministry side where you know hey I want to I want to make sure my music impacts people’s lives very few can combine those two they say they very few can combine those two and when you do it’s a beautiful thing yeah but it’s very difficult talking about everybody being a gospel rapper I remember you know early on it was just a couple people we’ve seen and then now it’s like everybody raps and in and it’s whether it’s Christian or not everybody’s a rapper and I mean Logan Paul and and Jake Paul the two you know I’m saying YouTube bloggers they make rap songs and they get millions of views off of it just to their platform it doesn’t mean that they’re rappers or they’re good at it or whatever the case is but everybody’s a rapper now so when I would gimmick yeah so when I would go to a lot of churches early on you know I hate my uncle raps and it’s like an old man gets up there he raps and then they’re little babies rap like everybody would rap you know and we’d be doing this show where for you it’s your ministry and then it’s like all these people are rapping and then I talked about the applause of men can be intoxicating right there’s just dilemma that I found I’m gonna get your take on it man um because you can get up there at a church you’re not gonna get booed at a church I don’t care if you’re the worst gospel rapper if you can’t even wrap there’s no like if you suck really bad you get up there you perform you do it before God you meant it with all your heart you’ll get a standing ovation you’ll get an applause from the entire congregation if you go to a church and they got a lot of people even a few people and you get an applause you’re like hey it’s like a false sense of security as false sense of karbala hey I may have a future in this this may be everywhere every time like every time I touch the mic they applaud you know what I’m saying so there’s this weird sense of whether I don’t know the word false sense of security but if you go to a club if you go to a regular secular Club and you try to do that they’re gonna boo you off the stage if you don’t have talent or anointing whatever you want to call it in our case but um talk a little bit about that man because if there’s an it’s over oversaturated and there’s that there’s that aspect man a lot of people I don’t think it’s healthy man I don’t think it’s healthy for somebody who isn’t good to applaud them it’s almost like everybody gets a trophy you know understand this whole culture now where you get a cut you get a trophy even though you lost just for showing up just so we don’t hurt your feelings yeah so what what’s the I guess what’s the solution to that I mean we’ve always seen guys who feel that they can rap get up and really make Christian rap look bad you know and I and I will always kind of leaned on the side of you know bless his heart but there was a season where I was like okay this is hardness yeah and you try you come to a point where you’re like am I gonna be a part of a solution for this or am I gonna be the complainer or am I gonna tear people down I’ve always wanted to be a part of the solution and there were times where I was like let’s create an alliance we had the use of holy hip-hop alliance so we can bring them together build a relationship and maybe either cultivate their rap to be better or or just let them know like your music quality isn’t good enough I think early on we had a lot of workshops we had a lot of seminars that addressed it that address the quality of the music I don’t see a lot of those discussions today I feel like one of my roles today now is to come back and put a lot of those measures back in place starting with my city of Houston because we had a lot of that and we used to talk about if your wag is if your rom is wack you know if your music is wack if your production qualities wack you know then you probably should wait I used to tell artists while you create an album of 20 songs when they’re all poorly mixed poorly mastered terrible beats when you could have created one song and maybe made a name for yourself that was alright and and I used to really push that but it was more solution oriented it was less tearing a person down so so what do we do with artists who don’t have the talent but they’re they’re doing this I think it’s the same old go to your brother and try to have that conversation yeah if they’re becoming a problem you know now there’s some there’s some churches and some venues that don’t want that don’t value Christian hip-hop anyway and they just want to throw a rapper up there and it’s not gonna do it’s not gonna have any impact whatsoever so let them have fun and get their applause from the smaller crowd because at the end of the day we know today and everybody knows Christian hip hop has a standard now everybody knows Lecrae I think you kind of raised the bar set are so they’re comparing everybody – what Reach Records has done Andy Mineo and now up now uh yeah I was thinking of the UH in F that’s why I’m saying I hear they’re you know the par is really really high now so if you’re wack you’re probably just not gonna get any attention or any fans versus it look just look bad as a Christian hip hop industry that doesn’t even that mattered to us early on but now it’s like okay everybody knows we’ve arrived I always say like Christian hip hop has arrived and that was always a goal of mine is to see it on a level playing field with our mainstream counterparts so people could be touched and changed so now I think it’s a one on one thing go to those artists and just be like look man you sound like you you’re rapping from the upgrade and if they just get offended then it’s like okay we’ll stay in your lane and keep doing what you’re doing but if you don’t get the same praise as as this guy just know I told you I you know yeah yeah because it’s up to you to make those changes but it could be a hard pill to swallow if you’ve always been applauded you get distraught you get mad or he’s just a hater that’s the devil coming against me you had to come to terms with reality man and I’ve been I’ve been more open and vocal as well like I get a lot of people I’m saying sending me beats and stuff and then and I’ll tell them straight up like the beats dope I see the potential but I can tell you’re using the default drum kit that came with the program I gonna have to get some new beat you’re gonna have to get just like a new kid you got potential and just tell them the truth versus like yeah man I’ll think about it bro not to hurt their feelings and to really give the the constructive criticism whether it’s with some buddies rhyming scheme yes sir like with anything hard work pays off and that’s with becoming an emcee ramen recording doing your own stuff so just doing it over and over and learning if you’re really there’s people who start out wack I actually laugh at a lot of my older stuff when I first started bro I don’t even like to promote it I don’t like people knowing it’s out there but um because I’ve come come so far right you know but do I want to go ahead I want to go and say this is why we got people watching live everybody in the chatroom give a shout out to everybody holding us down live phone lines are open if you want to call in and say hello to train on if you have a question or you’d like to bring something to the conversation and the numbers scrolling across the top of the platform also it’s in the description as well and I did see that I see some chats going on in the chat room I did see the people who called in a while ago so if people say I don’t think they’re answering we’re just we’re just going to open up the lines towards the end so call back in if you want to get in on the conversation so with it being over saturated and it’s like we see the la craze and everybody wants to be a Lecrae everybody wants to be a Brian Trejo at this moment you know a pyrex but and I was joking around because I just did an interview with with Caylee I don’t know if you caught that interview I interviewed Caylee I saw it I wanna watch it cuz I that was interesting that the heading was it yeah yeah yeah all that yeah he just uh he in secular music now but Kaley in those early days was part the self and mingling with everybody but I interviewed him and somebody said well maybe he left gospel music because he’s he’s a hater at war because I’m sorry he left gospel music because he couldn’t get famous in it and there’s people who do that I don’t consider I don’t consider my music gothic gospel like gospel hip-hop or whatever but it’s it’s not because I’m not famous but people were like making fun of him while he’s leaving because you’re not famous and that but then I’ve heard that argument on the other side you’re doing gospel because you could make it in the secular so they that’s what they come at gospel artists we’re trying to look step down on them but somebody commented and said that and and I joke in Lee said this it just does a joke but there’s some truth to it and I said that you know this quote-unquote making it as a gospel artist like or a Christian artists I said and I was joking but I had some weight to it I said the devil does the same thing he does just like in an in a secular he exalts a few and makes everybody feel like they can eventually obtain that and I’d said it jokingly man but I think it’s the case though I think that we see the look craze in the Bryan Trejo and everybody’s pulling from their family they’re pulling all their resources and pouring into stuff and wasting money and all kinds of stuff wanting to do full-time ministry I think I think everybody wants to do their passion full-time right but it’s this thing that’s like I think the the amines in this case sometimes don’t justify the ends you know what I’m saying yeah you know I’m blessed since 2008 to be able to do my passion full time which is hip-hop ministry um but it but it’s not the record sell CD sells shows things like that there was a time where I did rely early on in my jump to being a hip hop missionary or urban missionary yeah I did need that little 500 all the show and things like that to carry me because I had sold my we had sold the song calm I sold my cleaning company I sold my recording studio and media business and so I did have to dip here and there but I was building a ministry yeah nonprofit organization which relies on the faithful support of donors yeah artists who desire to go into full-time ministry or I don’t know if it’s ministry it may be industry depending on what where their heart really is artists who desire that today it is kind of a lure of Satan to real a man through Santa look how big lecrae is look at all the shows KB is doing look at yeah you know look at in there if he’s number one you know billboards and excuse me one second thank you but you see you see that and you know think about this so as an artist myself who said you know what I’m good I’m gonna leave rap my wife was sick I had little boys I had to raise I had to change diapers and things like that I had pirates come into my life and I was like you know I can pass the baton now I’m good I think Christian Rick I rap has arrived I feel like there’s enough MCS they’ll be ok without me you know and I had a retirement party and was done and then you know there’s another story to it but so I’m I’m back doing an album but not for industry purpose for ministry purposes I can I can easily see even in my own heart I’ll look and I’ll be like well if I post a music video obviously I want people to see it and hope they get the message and receive it and it’s very easy to get caught up in what thang this guy’s video I mean he got a thousand views in one day and it took me two weeks to get a thousand years you know you can’t get caught up in that yeah the person with a good heart and I myself mature in the word very easy and I wouldn’t I wouldn’t be so hard on myself as an individual out there if you do that if you’re you know follower watching but I would say that we gotta always go back to our identity in Christ we’re not who them numbers say we are we’re not who our bank account are Christian hip-hop bank account says we are you know who God says we are in where new creation and we’re in ambassador work and he gave us a Ministry of reconciliation and a message of reconciliation this all comes from 2nd Corinthians 5:17 through 21 and we really have to know our identity I think to become an art this in Christian hip-hop because it will it will consume you it will make you hate you know music ministry it will make it others it will make you gossip slander and everything under the Sun and it might make you go back to secular music you know what I’m saying if you’re not careful mm-hmm I think our identity I do this because I see I go to prisons right let’s just say I did an album because in prison these guys I have a captive audience and they soak everything I say up and they love it but let’s say when I get on stage next to you know this new artist Austin linear that the just crowd is screaming the kids are excited yeah they are performed before him he performs after me and everybody rushes to his table and everybody wants his autograph but they don’t mind what’s that gonna do to me yeah you know you get to test your heart and you really get to see if your about ministry when that goes down you really get to see how humble you are when nobody comes to your table and when nobody asks for your autograph yeah as the older mature man I can deal with that but young guys coming up in the game that’s hard yeah you know so be careful before you say I’m doing this for ministry yeah yeah it definite to man and I and I will say that I was on the opposite end of that like I made sure that just because I can do my graphic art I can edit my videos I can order my t-shirt I can design my teachers so when we would go together yeah exactly so when we would go do shows early on like I would have the merch table with stickers and buttons and CDs and several different posters and signing them and the other artists would be there be hating like I’ve had them tell me that repent and come to me and be like man I just I want to I want to get it like you got it’s like look man spend some money you got to spend money to make money if this is if you’re trying to make money you guys put something like and I would I would talk to those artists too and they would go out and buy a new a new wardrobe before that show I didn’t do that so that that whole wardrobe money could have went towards some fliers spend $30 on fliers or whatever the case is and to have because I had it all but yeah and and then and then when we would do the shows I would I brought the crunk music you know that was a big difference to it and that it that did breed competition of who can get the crowd to caucused right and there was a whole thing and I was really good at it and the other man I wish I could move a crowd they’ll tell me because they were friends right but they would do it all even from a place of of envy or whatever or see how much social media reach you get and they do it and they come at you from a place of envy and bitterness like I got friends who are like bitter that I have reached and I share articles or information that they don’t that doesn’t line up with their theology whether because that’s a big thing we can get into as well man that was a huge split when people went when the crichton them guys got into the reformed theology and I come from the charismatic circles right and so I had a bunch of friends who became essentially disciples of the Cray they got in the John Piper they got into MacArthur just because Lecrae promoted him and the Craig was into him and then they would see me or hear me talking about Benny Hinn or something like that some more spiritual title type of dudes or whatever and I got love for them all at this point but but it did cause a split like they’re like you know what we don’t want to be we can’t be on we can’t do songs with you no more we can’t be on the stage with you because you remember that like like Benny Hinn it was like oh this is weird or we can’t get a beat from a secular producer because he’s not a Christian and their spirits on that beat like all types of stuff man I don’t know if you could talk a little bit about that but I definitely lost a lot of over that stuff you know I’m Sam well yeah they evolved the evolving of Christian hip-hop I’ve seen it all and I mean I remember you know when gospel gangsters it was a big argument over how you gonna be a gangster and be gosh yeah yeah you know if people used to divide over that you know they still act like gangsters you know it and this family gets it hard yeah movement had the throne as a record later I and and you know it’s I’ve already talked to them and things about stuff like this but we always felt isolated no matter how pure our hearts were from the film as the elites because there was such a high high expectation of if your Christian rap well you don’t do songs with secular artists you know we ain’t talking about nothing crunk or nothing like we we trying to be theological and basically preach the Bible in our rap and just know and so but in the South you know we were like trying to reach out to lost people and we didn’t want to always go that route yeah well there was that divide you know on who’s preaching enough in their lyrics who’s got enough Jesus and who don’t and then now we’ve kind of evolved past that and now it’s it’s kind of switched it’s like oh no it’s it’s cool that Lecrae is working with secular artist I love to see the crossover and trying to reach the set I was doing that like 15 years ago you know doing songs to reach the secular market with secular hardest that are famous but even that’s debatable about that Lecrae thing because he’s got man that Joker called flag you could tell it had mess with him hard you know and and you know I personally you know loved the diversity and everything if it reaches people so but but I know that we always find a topic that we can divide over and the charismatic the the Calvinism I remember that era I kinda feel like that a lot of that is not the window now is purely Allen you know how dope is this artist it’s not like amigos – I think member when biting was an issue mm-hmm remember when we used to go man he’s bite and so-and-so and you would be an outcast for that yeah bvj experience that you know BBJ like like notorious b.i.g yeah you know he saw a friend of mine back he sounded like Tupac so you that was an issue biting an issue you can you could be a replica I mean nf sounds like Eminem there’s no question yeah that’s the issue young kid they don’t even care about that no more so we have to evolve with it we have to let go of all this and that and you know and we and we have to say man God how can you use us to strategically reach more people with ministry of music and how can I not be the the old grumpy you know person complainin what my old school hip-hop no how can we catalyze these young men that are rapid now these young women that are rapid now to not lose their identity in the process and pour into them in a positive way versus tearing them down because it ain’t like we used to do it that’s that’s more on what I’m on and trying to trying to set a standard and give them a standard with it versus a men you got to be like us back in the day you know you know tell you to your question if somebody is still doing that you know and you know remember the other thing we communicated through message boards and it got ugly on message I got to a point I won’t even talk about that type of stuff over a messenger or Facebook like you got to call me you got to tell them have you yeah that’s all we had we didn’t have messenger we didn’t have snapchat we didn’t have you know quick texting we did have FaceTime you know so it was a message board post would just divide us all yeah and and now it’s like everything’s so quick and fast you can settle things quickly people could say oh who cares you know look at how many numbers he has on his following and hit and so anything goes now and that’s that could be dangerous – mm-hmm some people know I know you you mentioned it briefly and I know you don’t want to take credit obviously all the credit goes to King Jesus you played a huge role and maybe winning Pyrex over or essentially winning is disciple spending time disciple and Pyrex visiting him in jail before he was ever thinking about becoming a Christian or doing Christian music for that matter and it worked like it’s good like when the ministry works especially if somebody who’s got a name out there like cuz that’s the stuff you see you don’t always see the dudes who were struggling with addiction who will never be an alarm light but for for people who are like who love power excess music they they get ministered to from it they follow him he’s one of the best Christian artists out there doing it right now talk a little bit about your relationship with Pyrex like in there in the early days and even to where you are now with them so I think it’s been 7 years 6 7 years that I went into the Clemmons prison unit doing prison ministry which is something that I’ve always loved to do been doing it for 20 years going in rap and doing a concert and this particular day was with Mike barber prison ministries we were gonna walk the tanks to people who were far from God these are guys not the Christian you know the Christian worn book this was the gangsters and everybody when I would walk they would I was inviting them to our concert now remember I was rocking blonde hair back then you know I some people might have not been like man it’s just corny white rapper you know but we remember once again my heart was pure and regardless of what my talent was like my heart was set on reaching people so they said you gotta go meet these got pie race he runs with avian and traded truths and all them I said sure you’re are gonna be too met him I said man why don’t you come from down to the concert he comes to the concert he’s sit still he doesn’t get into the concert he’s just on face looking afterwards he was like man you know I’d like to chop it up and do a little more man let’s take a picture right quick we took a picture because we had permission to have a camera and and I wrote him after that and we began this conversation about why he was angry with God and I I just tried to tell him to get angry was say because it was Satan that took his mom away it was Satan they got him involved in drugs I got a in prison that he gets out a year later miraculously and then we hook up I go to acres homes we take a picture time like mango broccoli try not portray the truth he chose the rock betrayed the truth for three years he lived that street lights in and out of jail I become a volunteer chaplain at the Harris County Jail they put him on my floor you know we we chop it up I’m like bro talk to this gangster right here a guy named Sonic that was real gangster I said man listen to his story he pours into him pyrex kind of hears it in his own language he breaks down from that point on what his case got dismissed he comes out we begin working out in the gym I began to cycling him and walking him through what it means to rap for the Lord and I guess it’s been you know five years or so of doing that and I can say one of the proudest accomplishments in my life is what God did in his in his life and how God used me it’s because he’s impacted so many people I I can’t tell you how many people gangsters especially guys that are tatted up hopeless will hit me and say man I really need a guy like you in my life or I need you in pyrex I’m really inspired by by your boy pyrex and you know me and pirates we’re friends till we die and one thing I respect about pirates that many artists or many people that you’ve played a role in their life don’t do his Pirates will never deny my role in his life pirates will never forget the the moments that that we had before he moved to doubtless he’ll always it’s like and I don’t need it but he’ll give this credit yeah to me that furthers the ministry because then people go man if Pirates had a dude like this in his life that’s what I need and they’ll begin looking for a train on in their life or mentor or a big brother in their life and so what me and him ham is so special even though we’ve had disagreements we’ve had moments we’ve divided even though we have rough spots in our relationship it’s a beautiful picture of what could happen with somebody at the bottom with all odds against them with with being judged to the highest degree for their looks and a guy who has been seasoned in the church you know walked with the Lord for a long period of time it’s a beautiful picture of what reconciliation looks like and I’m just I’m proud of that story today I wish he lived in Houston so we don’t I didn’t close yeah but he doesn’t and fortunately when people say how spy ranks I say well all I can tell you is he still raps about Jesus he still is a loving husband and he’s still a loving father and the Pirates I knew before that his wife was distraught out of control just didn’t know what to do his son was neglected and without a father and his lyrics were full of Filth and and promoting gangs violence drugs and everything else under the Sun so I would say hey pirates is doing pretty good mmm I heard that man yes somebody who definitely he looks the role of a rapper so I think that a lot of rappers would like want to look like him or get or want to check out his music I remember when I first ran into a dude locally who was tatted from head-to-toe you know I’m saying homey King James I was like this dude looks like a rapper let me check him out let me take my so there’s like yeah there’s something that kind of fits with the look or the other lifestyle or whatever but then again so I think that an audience would are people who listen to hip-hop or whatever like they would gravitate towards him but then again when he would go out to do churches in his promo pics he’s got tats on his face his shirts off in a promo pic and things like that they’re like oh this guy here talked a little bit about I believe it was the concert y’all did together and the first time he did it he took off his shirt because he’s tatted head-to-toe he took off his shirt in the church at the concert talk a little bit about that video clip man so early on and this you people can learn from this as you disciple guys like that from the street you know when they come over you don’t say okay you got to stop doing this stop doing this stop doing this stop doing this I’d rather allow my baby to learn how to walk or learn how to crawl learn how to walk learn how to hold the bottle and think but but in the beginning you got to carry that so I was willing I had I have a good reputation in the city of Houston so people were like okay I trust tre yeah this dude I don’t know about this dude you know this dude that I don’t know if his motives arrived was he trying to do and so they had this this thing like I don’t know let’s just wait and see so when pirates would get on the show with me because I’m putting them on my shoulder Leon and getting him exposed and I always told him I said when you go do these shows bro I’m passing the baton to you I’m trying to get out of out of this rapid you need to build your own relationships and so he would pop his shirt off at a show and I was like I’m not gonna tell you what to do but that’s probably gonna hurt you moving forward people aren’t gonna be receptive that over here like in the streets now when we go to the streets and it’s it’s a non-believing crowd to pop the shirt off or whatever but if you do it over here there’s gonna be consequences and so he did it a few times and then at some point in our journey someone else I can’t remember who he told me had brought it up to him like Pyrates you know the shirt you take it off let me tell you why that’s not wise and so I just kind of let it go and with tell him there’s consequences but someone else kind of watered that seed and he finally said you know what I’m gonna keep this shirt on now as far as tattoos that worked in his advantage on his face you know people were just like man what does this do what is his story oh my he gotta have and and he’s with Trey so I know he’s in good hands and it became this perfect this perfect mix so if you’re out there and and you’re you know you you don’t look the part of a thug or a criminal or a gangster or a rapper but you get somebody like that it can be very powerful but you got to be precious and gentle you got to take that that relationship with gentleness and not try to change that person and conform your ways on them so quick or even the Bible try overdo it give them time to grow know when to be firm know when to exercise grace and let God do their work in their lives but it was it was a part of a great story you know people who learned a lot oh yeah I’m really proud of allowing him to take his shirt off and possibly ruin my refuge you know my clean reputation but it was worth every bit of it and I would do it again if if I had to and I do do it today I work with guys that are yes but rough around the edges um yeah so what people would see someone like Pyrex or a lot of other rappers or all because all the rappers did I mean they’re covered in tests today everybody’s basketball players everybody’s covered in tats so there will be some people from the suburbs who would see that and they want to do gospel rap and actually I’ve had there’s somebody on the line I know they’ve got a question for you want to say hello but I’ve had this conversation with this person because they were they don’t look the part of a rapper right so they would look at Pyrex layer you know what I want to reach the streets I want to be a gospel rapper I need tattoos I used to think that years ago I was like okay I want to I’m in the metal scene I’m in the hip-hop scene I want to get tattoos I want to stretch my ears out if I look like them then I can reach them I can go down there and essentially be a sheep in wolf’s clothing they think I’m one of them but I’m really set from God but then it changed you know tell my perspective changed and it’s like it’s not if I look like them like that’s not gonna win them it’s the Holy Spirit being led and filled with the Holy Spirit and giving you the words to say to these people I think you’re a prime example like you just like
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