The Freedom Tour Recap
Doors opened promptly as fans were led to the sanctuary of The Vine Fellowship in Arlington, Texas. It was announced at the doors that before the concert began, fans would be privy to a panel discussion about the social injustices happening in areas around the United States like Ferguson, Baltimore, and McKinney. The panel consisted of Alex Faith, Reconcile, Corey Paul, and Street Hymns the battle rapper from Dallas, Texas.
The host of the panel challenged each panelist to help the audience unpack what believers should do as a response to the social discriminations. Reconcile challenged believers to be more compassionate and understanding. He noted that the media only gives a snapshot of the whole story. The media will only highlight the points that will generate the highest ratings. Therefore, it is our responsibility as believers to seek understanding and not just believe what the media tells us to.
After giving a little background of his life, Corey Paul shared how he has seen the good and bad sides of the police and how it’s impossible to paint one broad stroke. He’s seen the police come to his aide when there was a domestic dispute and how he experienced DWB, “Driving While Black”. He said it’s important for believers to be a part of what we want to see changed in this world, and how important it is to invest in the lives of those around us before a video of racial injustice is even made.
Street Hymns added to the discussion by stating that believers must respond in love. He mentioned that we cannot take on the views of the world by wronging those who have wronged us. We must respond like Christ at all times. He noted that when we respond in love, it confuses the enemy. Alex Faith contributed to the dialogue from a white guy’s perspective. He declared that we have created opinions about the world and the people that live in it based on the way we were taught. Because of these constructs, believers cannot dismiss the riots and call them stupid without understanding the perspective and the background of the rioter. Overall, I thought the panel was very good and gave applicable actions that believers can do besides just talking about the problem; we hold the solution with Jesus Christ.
The Houston rapper started the concert with his set and crew. He gave a lot of energy and hypeness which definitely set the pace for the rest of the concert. PyRexx was cool but Lil JoJo stole the show. Lil JoJo, from TBZ and son of PyRexx, performed alongside his dad as a hype man and even featured a verse of his own. Ladies took a few steps back as excitement crept in and water was splashed across the audience. I am not ashamed to add that I was indeed one of the ladies who had to retreat.
Following PyRexx was none other than a group of artist that collaborated to bring us #SameTeamDallas. The cypher includes artists Street Hymns, LaToria, Adrion Butler, Shy Speaks, Meek the Servant and many other artists from the Dallas area. For those unaware #SameTeamDallas refers to a group of local Dallas artists who performed a cypher over Swoope’s #SameTeam instrumental. I would’ve loved if they had a table to promote their personal projects after the show.
The concert shifted gears when Joseph Solomon hit the stage. His poetry and acoustic sound added a different element to the Freedom Tour. His set was short and sweet with one song, “Made For You” and one spoken word piece. He later came back to the stage at the end of the concert – during an altar call lead by the Vine Fellowship pastor – for the Gospel and prayer singing “One Thing Remains.” He created a very worshipful atmosphere in which many came forward for prayer. All artists were available for prayer and conversation at the front when the Gospel was presented.
It has been great to see Alex continue to grow in stage performance and getting more comfortable leading the audience. Immediately engaging the crowd, he began his set with DJ Overflow and one rule: Turn Up! And that’s exactly what everyone did. Alex Faith performed songs from WLAK, ATLast, and most recent project Southern Lights: Overexposed, including “Reign is Coming,” “City of Nightmare,” “All Around the World”, and “Wake Up Music.” He did a great job tying in the theme of his latest album with Dre Murray to a lot of the struggles that continue to happen today.
The newly signed Collision Records artist kept the energy going with drummer, Byron Matthew. Performing songs like “Momma We Made It,” and his verse for “#SameTeam”, breaking down the bars immediately following the songs. I personally appreciate when Corey Paul breaks down his lyrics after a song because of his thick Houston accent. He took us back tying in how songs like “Bling Bling” by BG and Cash Money Millionaires and “Make’em Say Uhh” by Master P shaped his early hip hop experience. He closed out his set by sharing a story from his childhood. He brought to life the memories of seeing his mom shoot his dad in the leg one night and other things he witnessed as a child and how the Lord has give him favor.
I last saw Reconcile as the opening act at the Tomorrow We Live concert with KB and Social Club in Plano, Texas. I didn’t feel like he was truly able to connect with the audience because of different cultural aspects, Dallas however was completely different. Coming out to “Forty8,” Reconcile’s set and music fits perfectly with The Freedom Tour’s purpose which gave room for a great connection to the audience and a great show. After sharing his personal experiences with social injustices, Reconcile performed crowd favorites like “Plottin” and the Marvin Sapp’s sampled song, “Never Would Have Made It.”
The concert was fun for everyone, with an incredible message about seeing and understanding different perspectives and responding in love at all times. Being challenged to get involved with surrounding communities and accept the call of The Great Commission was a great response for believers. I personally can’t wait to see these guys in concert with an audience who really knows their music.
All artists were available for pictures and prayer following the concert.