Armed and Ready 777
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Armed and Ready 777

Stafford, Virginia, United States | MAJOR

Stafford, Virginia, United States | MAJOR
Band Hip Hop Gospel


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Deputies pick up rap beat"

Deputies pick up rap beat

Stafford deputies spread the Gospel with microphones and a hip-hop beat

Date published: 8/14/2010


By day, Angel Irizarry and Johnny Kyle are Stafford County Sheriff's deputies, working as school resource officers in middle schools. Behind microphones, they become Angel I. & Johnny K., and they want to be the next big thing in Christian hip-hop.

"Our whole concept is to change people's lives," Irizarry said. "Our vision is to take Stafford by storm, to take Fredericksburg by storm to take the world by storm.

"It's a message ordained by God," he added. "It can't be stopped."

Mixing the crass braggadocio of popular hip-hop music with Christianity might not sound like a match made in heaven, but gospel rap has been around almost as long as rap itself.

From Michael Peace to DC Talk to Group 1 Crew, there is plenty of proof that the word of God lends itself to a poetic flow. Even superstars MC Hammer, 2Pac and Kanye West have worked Jesus into a popular hip-hop context.

But Irizarry and Kyle want to do more than shout-out to the Lord--they want to spread the Gospel, live the word and convert their listeners.

"We see a lot going on with the youth," Kyle said. "We want to get out there and really change some things; reach some people."

They hope a recent record deal with Tate Music Group will spread their rhymes to a wider audience. Their latest album, "I See You," is scheduled for a Nov. 2 release, and will be available on iTunes.

The opening track is "Foolish Man," a cut that features what Irizarry calls a SWAT intro. It sounds like heavily armed officers are about to break into a gangster's hideout. At face value, it's difficult to differentiate it from the sort of violent skits rappers like Ice Cube and Onyx used to litter albums with.

But the lack of bad language is a giveaway. Despite the gun references, these officers want to slay evil with morals.

"We act as people with authority--people who are bold," Irizarry said. "We're armed with the word of God."
Deputies pick up rap beat page 2

Stafford deputies spread the Gospel with microphones and a hip-hop beat

Date published: 8/14/2010

Kyle said that their music is a reflection of their professional lives, and vice versa. He and Irizarry fully embrace their charge to "protect and serve." Both men spoke of using their profession to offer salvation to kids and adults who chose the wrong path and wound up in the back of a squad car.

"No matter where you've been, no matter what you've done, you're somebody," Irizarry said. "That's how we treat everybody. It's empathy."

The two deputies were working security at the Virginia Gold Cup Races in Fauquier County when they discovered a mutual interest in music.

Kyle perked up when Irizarry mentioned his "demo." Kyle had been playing guitar since he was a kid in Northern Virginia. He had his own home music studio in Stafford. When he finally listened to Irizarry's rhymes, he heard potential.

But Kyle, 34, wasn't exactly a hip-hop expert. He grew up with rock 'n' roll, playing in a number of rock bands in and out of church. His heroes were Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix.

"I had to learn a lot about hip-hop," Kyle said. "I think God just entered into it for me. I started picking up on things and was able to create rap beats. It was awesome."

Irizarry, on the other hand, was well-versed in hip-hop. The 32-year-old grew up in York, Pa. He said that as long as he can remember, "he always wanted to be an entertainer." He was drawn to popular hip-hop like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and the Wu-Tang Clan. He performed in a group called the Young Godfathers.

"I was into everything, but I loved hip-hop," Irizarry said, "I couldn't just make a rhyme, I could make people's heads bob."

After a stint in the Marines, he decided to stay in Stafford. He was saved in 1999, and got married in 2001. His musical life changed when his pastor suggested he use his talents to write a song for Jesus.

So now Irizarry does the writing and the rapping, Kyle makes the beats and produces the songs.

"We've got something," Irizarry said. "Everyone can jam to it."

Part of the music's appeal is that it relies on the familiar tones and aggressive posturing of popular rap. In some cases, the spiritual message almost becomes subliminal, available only to those listeners paying close attention. But Kyle and Irizarry have a decidedly different attitude than their sound implies.

"So much of gangster rap is negative," Kyle said. "I think, with us being police officers, it's so awesome to bring it to a positive. Being on patrol and being on the streets, we've seen a lot of things. We're here to bring a positive message and reach the youth."

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
- Free Lance Star


Still working on that hot first release.



Johnny K entered into music at the age of seven and in his teen years he started playing with multiple bands. He was influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Joe Satriani. At the age of 16, Johnny accepted Christ. Although his life style did not reflect this change right away, Johnny continued his musical path by playing in several bands into his early 20's. In his mid 20's, Johnny took a break from the music he was playing and began soul-searching about what kind of music he should play. He stepped out on faith with help from his wife and now serves the Lord with his gifts. Johnny writes, sings, and plays guitar while mixing and producing in his studio. Johnny's musical influences are Newsboys, Third Day and Delirious. Angel I's passion for music began in the 80's listening to artist as Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Run DMC, NWA, LL Cool J, and many more. Angel began singing, writing and performing for his family. During his youth he wanted to express his life on the streets and what he saw. He started writing gangster rap lyrics in the early 90's while listening to Naughty by Nature, Onyx, 2 Pac, Biggie Smalls, Ice Cube, Snoop Dog and Wu-Tang. Angel always had a rhyme in is head that he wanted to express.. Since Angels rhymes stressed about the weight of the world people, loved his style and could relate to his message. Angel accepted Christ in 1999. He started writing lyrics and performing for Christ while keeping a solid hard core street edge. Angel's musical influences are Ritchie Righteous, Toby Mac, KJ 52, Gospel Gangsters and much more.Together they have developed a group with a unique musical style that blends the skills of rock and rap.