Images and notes from recent shows, outreach events and other appearances.
LOWERTOWN BLOCK PARTY (OTTAWA, CANADA) 08.19.16
Lowertown is an enclave in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada made up of a diverse range of peoples from many religious and ethnic backgrounds. Through an association with The Extreme Tour and a ministry known as MoveIn, I was honored to visit Lowertown as a featured guest at their annual block party; but, more importantly, as some one who could serve their community if even for just that brief moment.
I stayed in the house with the MoveIn team and worked with them in the days and hours leading up to the party to make sure that everything was in place. We sorted through clothes and school supplies that would be distributed to the community and we gathered groceries for the food that we would serve at the event; but, the best part was getting to meet the kids in the community who took care of me when I developed a splitting headache, and took me sight-seeing around the immediate neighborhood.
The event went well; and, it was really fun to see Christians, Muslims, seekers, black, white, English-speaking and French-speaking all engaged with one another. What was even more fun was getting to meet with and talk to so many of the residents of Lowertown. The were excited to meet an artist from the States; but, I was excited to meet a people who’s hearts were as big as their smiles. If there is ever a chance to go back and do it again, I would go in a heart beat!
EXPRESSIONS TAMPA 07.01.16
Sometimes, you just want to get out and let your hair down . . . Yes, even Christans . . . LOL! In Tampa, the first Friday of every month plays host to an event known as Expressions Tampa. This is an opportunity for Christians to get out of the house and go to a place where they can fellowship, party and enjoy some dope music without the temptations that come along with going to a regular club.
This was my second time performing at Expressions and I had just as much fun as the first! What you can’t see in the pictures that follow is that the house was packed.
I brought my wife, my daughter and her boyfriend along for support, but the ended up being my “street team” helping me to sell merchandise and collecting contact information. I had many people come talk to me after my set and share their stories with me. I was honored that they felt comfortable enough to share with me. I was glad that God had me right where He needed me to be that night :-)!
COMMUNITY OUTREACH (TAMPA) 03.26.16
Whenever there is a chance to engage the community, I am all for it. Thanks to my family Danyelle, Sonya LaChelle and Eso of Denoted Poetry Ministries, I had the opportunity to participate in an outreach event right here in Tampa. It was a bit of an overcast day, but that didn’t stop the people of the community from coming out. There were a ton of community resources available to the people and we were there to provide some “background” noise.
Far from being in the background, the community really engaged with us as we shared our hearts and our stories on stage. And as I have said before, the best parts of these events is when I get to meet with the people one-to-one and hear their stories first hand. On this particular occasion, we were able to get a prayer circle going which brought encouragement and hope to not only the people from the community; but, also to us as artists and ministers. This was the start of a beautiful day!
THE VERB (ALTOMONTE SPRINGS) 03.26.16
Earlier in the day, I performed at a community outreach event in Tampa. On this evening, the wife and I drove out to the Orlando suburb of Altomonte Springs so that I could participate in an event at The Verb. Similar in nature to Expressions Tampa, The Verb is an ongoing event where Christians can go and enjoy an evening of fellowship and good music, again, without the threats that are associated with going to a regular club.
This was a special night for me because I had an opportunity to meet and share the stage with other artists of whom I am a fan and also look up to. Also performing on this night was Orlando emcee and beat maker (producer of two tracks on my “Renaissance Man” album) Knaladeus, Atlanta emcee and collaborator on the track “Higher Level” JusThoughtz and the featured artist of the evening (and a group that I have listened to since first discovering Christian Hip-Hop nearly a decade ago) Hazakim of Lamp Mode Records.
The Orlando crowd showed mad love that evening; but, the best part was the impromptu freestyle session at the end of the night and then the fellowship amongst the artists that followed!
THE ORPHEUM (TAMPA) 07.26.15
I called this performance “Return to the Belly of the Beast” and for good reason. This was one of those occasions when I went into a secular establishment with the full intention of sharing the gospel through my music. I had done this before (hence why I called it “Return to the Belly . . .”); but, this time, I had the support of my church family in the audience!
My church family made the night fun; but, what made the night special was the outpouring of support that I received from patrons that were not a part of our church family. I stayed at my merchandise table for over two hours after my set talking and praying with people; and, signing the occasional autograph :-).
God confirmed for me on this night, that there are always opportunities to reach seekers no matter where we are!