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Family Ties: 23 Christian Rappers You Maybe Didn’t Know Were Related

23--christian-rappers-you-maybe-didnt-know-were-related

If you’ve listened to the Wade-O Radio Show for any length of time you’re probably aware that the Christian hip hop scene is a tight-knit community. Some might even call it a family.

But did you know that several of its members are actually connected by more than the blood of Jesus?

Here’s a look at 23 Christian rappers you maybe didn’t know were related.

By Marriage

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Photo courtesy of K-Drama

K-Drama and Charde Jones

Drama’s been dropping Christian rap records since the late 90’s. They always featured his Ohio brethren like Wonder Brown, D-MAUB, and Yaves but a name you’ll frequently find in the credits belongs to Charde Campbell, who would later become Charde Jones. She first appears on 2005’s 14 2 Life: Illustrations of Self and pops up on most K-Drama albums thereafter. And earlier this year, she dropped her first single as a solo artist titled “Is It Worth It?”

True II Society album cover from Amazon.com

True II Society album cover from Amazon.com

True II Society

The husband and wife duo of Sir Fish and Pooh launched as True II Society on Grapetree Records back in 1997. It was an era of Pen & Pixel graphics and multiple stage names for the label’s roster. (Sir Fish was better known as Prime Minister.) The crew released three albums plus a “Best Of” record for GT and dropped an indie effort titled Back 2 Business in 2005.

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Photo by Sketch the Journalist

Gifted and Zeeda

Before he became RAW mixtape monster, Gifted da Flamethrowa was linked up with his wife Zeeda on Bound 4 Glory Records. Both artists had established rap careers and even entertained offers from some of the big mainstream record labels in their native New Orleans before becoming Christians.

beleaf_JohnGivez

Beleaf & John Givez stillshot from Dream Junkies’ “Get a Bar” music video

Beleaf Melanin and John Givez

No, these Dream Junkies aren’t a couple, but they are related by marriage. John Givez‘s sister is married to Beleaf. And the plot thickens when you learn that Givez and J Givens (don’t worry, you’re not the only one who still gets those names confused) are actually distant cousins.

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Photo courtesy of HumbleBeast’s Facebook page

 

Siblings

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Photo courtesy of Macho Ortega

New Breed

This Boston-based brother/sister duo of Macho and Elsie Ortega rapped as New Breed and helped bring an East Coast balance to the mostly California-centric Tunnel Rats crew. New Breed dropped two albums via Uprok Records including an entire project, Nine, based around the Biblical “fruits of the Spirit.”

Hazakim_LampModeRecordings

Photo courtesy of Lamp Mode Recordings’ Facebook page

Hazakim

As Hazakim, Michael and Tony Wray comprise one of the most unique rap groups of all time. Not only are they blood brothers, but they also come out of the Messianic Judaism movement and use their art as a form of “hip hologetics” to defend the faith. Their new album, Son of Man, dropped in September.

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Photos courtesy of Lamp Mode Recordings and Believin’ Stephen’s Bandcamp page

Timothy Brindle and Believin’ Stephen

Timothy Brindle was one of the first artists to release an album for Lampmode Recordings and helped popularize the “lyrical theology” scene of Philadelphia-based Christian hip hop. His brother, Stephen Brindle, has a somewhat similar sound and is known for his “repeat rhyme” schemes on projects like The Suffering Servant and Battling Unbelief.

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Photo by Sketch the Journalist

MaxOne and sirROCDOMZ

Steve Trudeau (Mista Tru aka Uni-T aka MaxOne) and Tim Trudeau (sirROCDOMZ) first hit the national scene as members of the San Diego-based Sackcloth Fashion crew in the late 90’s. They’ve since grown into entrepreneurs who have helped provide significant infrastructure to the Christian music industry via the founding of Syntax Records, Syntax Distribution, Syntax Creative, and KingKulture.com.

Cousins

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Photo courtesy of Dax Reynosa

LPG

The crew literally started in the 80’s as “Cousins 3” and later morphed into LPG (Lord’s Personal Gangstas or Living Proof of Grace) featuring Dax Reynosa (then known as Theory) and Jurny Big. The team founded the Tunnel Rat collective that pioneered the “rapper who is a Christian” mindset and included another family member in Zane One, who was Dax’s little sister and thereby another one of Jurny’s cousins.

KambinoGrayBrothers_combo

Photos courtesy of IAmKambino.com and Taelor Gray

 

KamBINO and Christon Gray and Taelor Gray

In 2007, KamBINO’s The Preface EP featured a group called The Elevationists. That crew included his cousins Christon Gray and Taelor Gray, who would later become part of the We Live As Kings and Middle Clash collectives respectively. It’s a fun family connection even I didn’t know about until Kam mentioned it near the end of my 2013 interview with him surrounding his InDependence album.

The author and DJ Will

The author and DJ Will

DJ Will from Jacksonville and YOU!

If you’ve ever been around this ubiquitous DJ from the home of the Jaguars, then you already know we’re all considered his “favorite cuzzin.”

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Sketch the Journalist is a freelance hiphop writer living in the thriving country metropolis of Cut-N-Shoot, Texas. Down with gospel rap since Stephen Wiley’s “Bible Break” in 1986, he has chewed, reviewed, and interviewed most of Christian hiphop’s major players. Sketch holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Sam Houston State University and was once an intern at the New York Times Houston Bureau. You can follow Sketch on Twitter @Sketchthej or log-on to sketchthejournalist.com.

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