“Don’t rap. Preach the gospel,” sophomore Dave Berkeyheiser said.
Berkeyheiser, sophomore Jason Petrilla and junior Sean Matthews are in the process of creating their first hip-hop album together. They hope to release it by the end of December or the beginning of January.
Accordingto Berkeyheiser, the main artist featured on the CD, the lyrics “address the issue of how Christians are to walk through the gospel in everyday life.”
He said the CD is extremely controversial and that his main hope is that people will give it a chance and consider the content.
“It deals with real life issues such as relationships, drugs and secular music and how it affects the soul,” he said.
The purpose of the CD is to reach people by connecting to them in ways that secular hip-hop cannot.
“It’s for everyone, from college campuses to children to adults,” Berkeyheiser said.
Berkeyheiser goes by the rap name Cede, which means “to surrender or completely give up control.” He began rapping when he was 15 years old. His first CD with Matthews, Paraphrased, was a learning experience. It serves as a basis for the qualities they wish to pursue in the upcoming album.
Christline Ministries, a nonprofit organization with a mission of reaching out to the community by means of music and conferences, is where Berkeyheiser, Petrilla and Matthews showcase their talents.
They perform at venues both local and across the country.
Petrilla, who goes by rap name Trilla, is featured on four tracks on the forthcoming CD.
He said he hopes to have his own album out by summer or fall and already has five songs lined up for it. His mission for the upcoming CD is to “address the issue of secular rap as it is now and answer the call to expose secular rap for how empty it is.”
He said that by rapping about God and Christianity, they are working to present a different face to rap, one that will promote truth and value.
Matthews creates the beats for the songs. He began making beats four years ago. Matthews is Berkeyheiser’s chief critic.
“I’m kind of like the Wizard of Oz; I sit behind the scenes and pull the levers,” Matthews said.
The guys find their work to be a necessary voice in the current rap world.
“This has to happen,” Petrilla said. “Rap is repetitious, and they are running out of things to say.”
More information concerning upcoming events with Christline Ministries and their upcoming CD release can be found on www.Christlineministries.com. Berkeyheiser can be contacted at Christline@comcast.net.