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The best kept secret in music


"Rapper Turns Rebellious Nature in to Renewed Faith"

By Donna Kelly
The Ledger

WINTER HAVEN -- Nearly six months ago, rapper Andrew Martinet was watching the crowd go wild as he performed onstage. But while he felt the power of his performance he also saw the behavior of the audience. It moved him to make a change.

He was in awe of how people were reacting to the music -- clapping, moving to the beat and shouting -- but they were also drinking too much and acting aggressive.

"I felt the power (of the music) and thought that if I could get that reaction with the right message, then that is what I wanted to do," said Martinet, 22.

He redefined the purpose of his life and the message of his music.

"I had been working all week and partying with my friends on the weekend. I was working for money to party," he said.

Often he'd participate in dance and vocal competitions at clubs.

"I liked the audience and the crowd singing," he said. "I liked applause."

But now his rap music has a new message.

A warehouse employee who loads trucks during the week, his true calling is his own brand of music ministry.

He rededicated his life to Christ and reaffirmed his love for rap.

"I started with the positive and intelligent," he said. But he continued the style of music he had been performing since he was a member of the GQ Rappers at Haines City High School.

For years Martinet has listened to Eminem to "learn how he puts his lyrics together." He defines rap as a form of poetry, a literary form he's always found interesting.

It is his brother, Michael Martinet, 23, who has most affected him.

"My brother is a big influence in my life," Andrew Martinet said. "I wrote my first rap with him."

Michael is also responsible for Andrew's decision to stop the weekend partying and return to church.

"He never stopped trying to get me to go back," Andrew Martinet said. "When my brother is around, I choose to follow him."

The lessons Andrew learned from his brother are repeated often in his song lyrics: Don't follow the crowd and be your own person.

Now rap is a vehicle for spreading his message -- this is a real world where God is real -- to youth.

"So much rap music is nonsense, it is so random," Martinet said.

But his lyrics contain phrases like "with God all things are possible," "I want to stand courageous," "praying every day is just what we do" and "I'm a soldier for the Lord."

"With a good beat behind it, the crowd can get into it," he said of his new lyrics. "It doesn't just appeal to the church, but it appeals to the streets."

According to Tony McQuer, student ministry pastor at NorthRidge Church in Haines City, Martinet's music does get his message across to teenagers. He's known Martinet for seven years -- as a former member of the church's youth group and as a performer.

"You can hear his words. They have meaning and you can understand him," McQuer said. "It doesn't matter if it (music) is hard or soft, but you have to understand it."

As powerful as Martinet's music may be, McQuer said the man behind the music who makes the message stick.

"He is very cordial and polite," McQuer said. "He has almost a stealth personality. He's sort of laid back. His passion surprises you."

McQuer has watched Martinet grow from a slightly rebellious teenager to a young man with a heartfelt mission.

"He really came to a place where he said, `I have to do something with my life,' " McQuer said. "I'm glad he chose to do something that will benefit others."

Martinet will be performing at Real Fest Saturday in Seffner. - The Ledger




Feeling a bit camera shy


Andrew Martinet always loved the southern style of rap but never liked what it represented. He tried listening to Christian rap, and although he liked what they were saying, he didn't like how they said it. Often looking for that one Christian rapper that could hold his own in the mainstream world, that everyone looked to and saw God's light shine, he realized God had actually given him the talent to be the leader he was looking and waiting for someone else to be. In June 2005, Andrew started working on his first Christian album. By December, he had his first show and that lead to other contacts leaving him booked with shows for 6 months straight.
While getting contacts and meeting the right people, Andrew Martinet is making the "Jesus Christ Crews'" presence know, and leaving every crowd doing the "Jesus Stomp"!!!