There is simply not enough hip-hop on this site. Let’s fix that! I grew up in a small, very monochromatic town in Oklahoma, where most of the people had my skin color. In that part of the world, there were two kinds of music–country and heavy metal. In the 80s, a few of my friends who were more hip had started getting into this new “rap music” that I knew very little about. But growing up in a country-western family and then discovering rock on my own, I wasn’t really predisposed to listen to rap.
Fast-forward a few years, and Oklahoma City has perhaps the most innovative Christian radio station ever, where I was exposed to a lot more styles of music. “Freedom of Soul” was one of the first hip-hop tracks that really forced me to listen. That sick drum beat with that mini-guitar sample was all it took to hook me in.
I recognized the opening sample right away. Not only was it lifted from the disco/funk tune by McFadden & Whitehead originally, but seminal holy hip-hop crew JC & the Boyz had featured it on their debut album as a key ingredient to the title track. Now here’s where Christian rap really starts to get interesting. You can track so many early groups, rappers, and DJs to the original JC & the Boyz crew, including S.F.C., Super C/Sup the Chemist, DJ Dove, Dynamic Twins, and of course, Freedom of Soul. So it was an interesting way to start off their debut album Caught in a Land of Time, as it served both to pay homage to their beginnings, but also serve as a jumping off point for this new project.
I contend Freedom of Soul is still one of the best and most creative hip-hop duos to emerge from the Christian scene.