Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
This verse has almost become synonymous with Christian Hip Hop because of the success of one of the genre’s most prominent labels, Reach Records. The 1-1-6 Clique took this idea of being “unashamed of the gospel” and inspired a movement of people, young and old, boldly proclaiming the gospel in every possible context, all across the country.
Using the medium of music to deliver their message, the movement has been fueled by the success of the label.
It’s not just Reach Records that has fueled this movement though, a big part of what has made the 1-1-6 has been ReachLife Ministries. ReachLife is the ministry behind the music for Reach Records. It has brought fans incredible resources for years. From “Before you Die” to the “13 Letters” curriculum to “Man Up.” These are just some of the resources ReachLife has brought to the public. With the goal and motto of “bridging the gap between biblical truth and urban context,” ReachLife uses the music that is made by Reach Records as a platform to teach the church how to apply the music to their lives, and reach the lost with the gospel of Christ.
They took this purpose to a whole new level in May of 2012 when they held their first ReachLife Institute in Los Angeles. The ReachLife Institute is a one day training session for believers to learn how to take the gospel, go out into the world and boldly proclaim the love of Christ. At a ReachLife Institute fans get to experience intense sessions taught by experienced pastors, corporate worship and prayer, introductions to valuable resources and a concert to top it all off.
On March 16th, hosted by Kingdom Promotions, ReachLife brought this event to Orlando. Christians from all across central Florida attended the event to hear teaching from Blueprint Church pastor John O, Tedashii and D.A. Horton, Executive Director of ReachLife Minsitries.
The one day event started at 3p.m. and didn’t let out til about 10:30 that night. There were three sessions in the afternoon, a short dinner break, and then a concert featuring Collision Records, Derek Minor and Tedashii. From start to finish, the ReachLife Institute was a terrific event. It built up, encouraged and then sent out believers fired up with a better understanding of how to share the marvelous gift of salvation that we have been given, with the world.
Here are four things that I learned from the ReachLife Institute in Orlando:
4. Tedashii is much more than a rapper
Tedashii has proven over the past five years that he is an talented rapper. He has grown with each project and has become one of CHH’s best (and most popular) features. At the ReachLife Institute this year, he wasn’t just rapping, he was joining John O and D.A. Horton in speaking and leading one of the sessions.
I’ve never heard Tedashii really speak. I’ve only heard the stuff he’s done to set up songs during performances and give the final word at a Reach event, so I was excited to hear how he’d do. He did great. He lead a session on Eschatology, which is the study of the end times. This is a tough topic to navigate through.
Every time I have heard a pastor address this topic, I couldn’t help but leave nervous or even scared about the end times. This time was different though. Tedashii delivered his message beautifully and with a peace that didn’t intimidate me but rather encouraged me. He had poise, humor, command and nailed it biblically. It was a solid message that remained consistent with the overall event theme. Tdot showed that he was more than just a talented rapper, he is also a very talented speaker and communicator of God’s word.
3. There is one thing that Collision needs to work on
I like Collision Records just as much as the next person (probably more). Over the past year, everything they have touched has turned into gold. Each artist on the label has shown a level of greatness behind the mic, and from top to bottom, Collision has shown that they have a roster that can’t be compared to by many. I didn’t think there were many weak areas with this label, but after their performance at the ReachLife Institute, I could pinpoint one. It was their group performance.
They lacked good stage chemistry and you could see they were still trying to figure out how they should perform together. This is expected though, when you take four solo artists and put them on stage together, without much experience doing it. It wasn’t terrible, but having two solo artists as polished as Derek Minor and Tedashii follow them, didn’t help.
There were some flashes of chemistry and they had great crowd involvement. Their set opened with Christon Gray and Swoope both doing individual sets. They performed some of their more popular songs like “Long Way Down”, “Captain America”, “Schizo” and “King In Me.” Swoope’s set even had him perform a remix to “Robot” by Trip Lee that had everyone in the crowd completely captivated. When the group set started, is when some trouble began as well. They performed what is widely considered their biggest hits “Imagine”, “All In”, “Reign is Coming” and “YHWH,” but with the exception of “YHWH” the performance didn’t live up to the songs.
It was a little disappointing, but I also understand that they just need some more time to perform together. Collision is a fantastic label that has done great things, and I’m sure that before it’s all said and done, this would be just another thing that they do great.