I can’t remember my exact first experience with Christian Hip Hop, or some like to call it Holy Hip Hop. However, I do have many memorable experiences that have stayed with me. The one that sticks out the most is when a friend, who at the time went by the rap name Son of Jesse, invited me to a workshop and award show in Houston, I believe it was the Texas Holy Hip Hop Achievement Awards at that time. I figured I would give the events a try, not to mention SOJ was a speaker for one of the workshops — we in there!
Attending the Texas HHH Achievement Awards that weekend, I learned so much about the movement, the music, the artists, the businesses and fans. It was cool to connect with people who were committed to the cause of Hip Hop being used to bring a message of hope, centered on Jesus. After attending the Achievement Awards, I was excited about what God was doing with the Holy Hip Hop movement. Seeing people come together to push a cause forward and seeing it done in many other cities as well had me so hopeful about music having substance again.
I went home after the awards and vowed to research and find everything I could on Holy Hip Hop. It was refreshing and considering I’m always interested in positive movements and learning what I can about things that really move me, I wanted to know everything. I researched every award show, every tour, every article, you name it I was looking it up.
It seemed the more articles I read, the more I kept coming across one name in particular – Sketch the Journalist. Sketch, a freelance Hip Hop writer, was the only guy I found that was consistently providing articles about the subject that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. He has a blog, Jesus Musik, that I began to follow and every chance I get I’m reading what he has to offer.
I was able to catch up with Sketch and talk with him in Dirty South Club fashion. Talking with him was like meeting someone for the first time and you both hit it off immediately. He was real down to earth, easy to talk to, all real and no gimmicks and I salute anybody these days who is able to be completely honest about who they are, what they do and what they believe.
Today’s Dirty South Club spotlight honors go to the homie Sketch the Journalist. Definitely glad to have had the opportunity to talk with him on a personal level for this feature. Below are excerpts from our discussion. Enjoy kinfolk!
What’s your name and where are you from:
Sketch the Journalist. I live in Cut&Shoot, my wife’s from there.
What do you do and what inspired you to do it:
I’m a journalist. My faith and desire to promote this music and message I love!
Best business or personal advice you’ve ever received:
Write what you know. I’m not trying to write about things I don’t know. I didn’t just come in and put this on as a costume. I write from a genuine perspective. I’m not hopping on a trendy thing. I’m not trying to write about a lifestyle I never had.
Another bit of advice I’d share with people is to spend more time promoting what you love than talking about what you hate. Not only does it help the people and projects you champion, but it relieves you of the negative energy expended elsewhere.
Instead of me whining on social media or blogs about rappers who I don’t think are very talented or have quality content, I try and use that space to tell people about what I *do* enjoy. It’s a win-win.
What do you like to do for fun:
I’m kind of a wrestling nerd. [Laughs] I listen to way too many wrestling podcasts. I’m intrigued by the behind the scenes. I really love the nuts and bolts.
Any words of advice or encouragement for those who wish to follow in your footsteps:
Write what you know obviously. Do it because you love it. There’s not a whole lot of money in this thing. It’s a service to the artist and to your God. And love the culture. I get frustrated even with my Christian brothers who use it only as a ministry tool.
What’s next for you or what can we look for from you in the near future:
I do it as a freelance so it’s hard to project. Continue to check me out at YouTube to see how artist got introduced to Christian hip hop.
What do you love most about the Dirty South:
I would say that it has soul. Soul in our food. Soul in our music, that’s one thing. Two, biscuits and gravy, particularly chocolate gravy. You ever had that? It’s like a thick pudding. We would have it at dinner and breakfast.
Be sure to connect with Sketch below
(Houston Chronicle’s Belief subsite)
The Wade-O Radio Show:
Photo : Sketch the J. with artist JGivens
© 2016 C. Huey for Dirty South Club