Friday, January 18, I had the opportunity to attend the 2008 Holy Hip Hop Artist Showcase at Center Stage at the CW Megaplex in Atlanta. I was there to support an artist I’ve been working with for the past couple of years, Tigah and an artist I just started working with, Credo Clay.

Both Tigah and Credo Clay are talented rap artists that are a part of the record label owned by my business partner, Troy and Tigah, called Solomon Sheppard Music. They are rappers that talk about God and good, clean living in their rhymes. For more information about Tigah, visit his myspace page at www.myspace.com/tigahtraxx For more information about Credo Clay, visit his myspace page at www.myspace.com/credoclay.

The showcase was very interesting. I haven’t been able to really get into gospel or inspirational rap music because it tends to sound very watered down to me, but I do like Tigah and Credo’s music. When I went to the showcase, I had high hopes that it would be an interesting and uplifting event.

Unfortunately it wasn’t. Although Tigah and Credo did very well in their performances, the other artists confused me a bit. As we walked into Center Stage, I heard the chorus to a song that was really popular in the clubs over a year ago. This bothered me because as the night progressed I noticed a trend. A lot of the artists were simply “converting” secular rap songs and making them gospel rap songs. Not only did this make me cringe due to the limit it put on creativity, but some of the songs they were “converting” were not great songs to “gospelize”.

Also the showcase felt like any other type of showcase that I’ve attended that wasn’t for holy hip hop, only without the noticeable smell of smoke and drinking. While I appreciate the spirit of holy hip hop and gospel rap, I would prefer the artists make more of an effort to truly create good, clean rap music without feeling the need to “convert” popular secular songs by changing certain words. Overall it was an event that I would encourage more people to check out. More people should be aware that not all hip hop music is about money, sex, partying and loose women. Now don’t get me wrong, Holy Hip Hop is a good concept and a great way to broaden the scope of hip hop and rap music, so read up on it. Besides, its a great way for young kids to experience hip hop and rap music with their parents blessing and clean lyrics.

For more information about Solomon Sheppard Music and the Truth Music Movement, check out the website www.solomonsheppardmusic.com.

For more information about Holy Hip Hop, check out the website www.holyhiphop.com