Friday, November 9, 2012

Flashback Friday: Jesus Freak

"What will people do when they hear that I'm a Jesus Freak?
What will people do when they find that it's true?
I don't really care if they label me a Jesus Freak
Cause there aint no disguising the truth."
(DC Talk, Jesus Freak)
If there ever was a supergroup in Christian Music, then DC Talk was it. Christian Music is itself a niche in the Music Industry, and Hip Hop is a small (though growing) niche in it. While Hip Hop and Rap have a lot of fans, I don't think, at least in the CCM world, any would deny they are a fringe group, compared to the vast AC/Pop/Country contingent. (Nothing against the fringe, Industrial, Techno, Metal, Folk. All of them are pretty much fringe niches.)

That being said, the thought that a rap trio from Jerry Falwell's Liberty University would rise to the top of the Music Industry would have been summarily dismissed as insane, but facts are stubborn things. Kevin Max Smith, Michael Tait and Toby McKeehan. To Millions of Christian music fans as DC TALK.

The name originally stood for Decent Christian Talk, and rap was originally the sound. The group (can't say band because none of them played instruments) released 5 studio albums in a career that stretched from 1989 until the turn of the century.
Free at Last (1992) was the dividing point between phase one and two of the groups existence. Phase One: Rap Phase Two: Rock. I was introduced to the group at this point. They were headlining a tour where the warm up act was some group that never seemed to catch fire in the Christian World. I think their name was Audio Adrenaline. (Yes that was sarcasm). Also a warm act was East of Eden ( I believe that was their name). This is the video for Luv is a Verb from the album.

Jesus Freak (1995) launched the group into super stardom, and the hip hop laced rock group had their album go double platinum and got signed by Virgin Records. There is no better way to describe it than show it. This is Jesus Freak.

Finally we came to Supernatural (1998). The group went its separate ways after this, and hopes for a reunion are dead. Michael, Kevin and Toby all went into solo careers, though not much came of Tait the band, and Kevin Max was more of an artiste. Only TobyMac achieved solo stardom. This is consume me from the album.

The epilogue to the band. Michael Tait became the lead vocalist for Newsboys, and Kevin Max has signed on to a reformed Audio Adrenaline. As to the latter we shall see, because Audio Adrenaline's style doesn't exactly fit with the "shimmering voice" of Max. I hope you all enjoyed this edition of Flashback Friday. We begin a new rotation next week as we cover one of the bands mentioned in this post, that of the Australian Pop Rockers Newsboys. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.