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New York Event Rap Fest Ends After 21 Years

RapFest2014

Via Rap Fest’s Facebook Page:

Last August, during Rap Fest 2014, as some artists were gracing the stage and others were hitting the vendor areas skillfully securing their next feature, cypher, sponsorship, gig or tour, the Lord impressed a powerful Word upon my wife and I and our hearts were heavy.

Rap Fest was created with the purpose of evangelizing local neighborhoods by delivering God’s Word, the Gospel of hope and salvation, using hip hop as the tool and format of choice.

This local outreach has made a powerful impact in the lives of many people for years and gained international recognition, which can only be attributed to God’s grace and favor. Noted for introducing some artists to the masses, quoted in nationally published books, the inspiration behind the creation of many other events and outreach efforts worldwide, Rap Fest has definitely covered a lot of ground. However, after 21 years of this outreach ministry, Rap Fest 2014 can now be dubbed as the very last one. Yes, you read that correctly. Our vision, heart, passion and mission for evangelism has recently gained momentum but this avenue by which we have been doing it for so many years has now faded away.

You may be asking yourself, “Why?” All we can say is the following: The Rap Fest “stage” became more of a platform for artists’ career advancement and bio highlights than a platform for reaching the community. We will work prayerfully and arduously to maintain the integrity of what we do at all times and we feel this decision is no different.

We are not disconnecting ourselves from everything and everyone. We still make ourselves available and are willing to help any artist with their ministry and music. We will continue to consult artists accordingly, leaning heavily on the knowledge, experience, connections and credibility that we have attained over the years. Our years of the Rap Fest ministry will not go to waste but we must remain obedient with the call God placed in our hearts back in 1994. Methods may change and upgrades may be applied based on current trends and technology, but the initial call and purpose will always be…the call and purpose. We vow to stick to that.

We thank God for all of those ministries that sincerely have a passion for evangelism and have shared their talents and gifts with us. We pray that God will continue using you in that field. We thank all of the countless vendors and sponsors that have showed us love through the years. We also pray for the artists who have shifted the majority of their efforts to “trying to get a deal” or “do this full time”. May His will be done.

In closing, please continue to keep Alice Ramos Bocachica and I in your prayers. We are still heavily involved in outreach locally at our church, The Sanctuary Fellowship, and we will also be helping other outreach ministries locally and overseas. These are doors that God is opening for us and we are humbled by the opportunities. Oh, and I will still drop 16 Bars when I have to. It’s part of who I am.

Thanks and God Bless You,
Bert and Alice Bocachica

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Wade-O Radio is a ministry dedicated to helping young urbanites grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The ministry includes a widely read blog and weekly podcast, The Wade-O Radio Show, that has been downloaded over a million times. You can follow them on Twitter @Wadeoradio and like them on Facebook or subscribe to their free podcast in iTunes.

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