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Upper Marlboro, Maryland, United States | MAJOR

Upper Marlboro, Maryland, United States | MAJOR
Band Hip Hop Hip Hop




"ASON Signs $30,000 Deal"

April, 2010 - SonnyWorld Music, an urban gospel label, will be partnering with the Tate Music Group (TMG) to promote and distribute ASON’s next album “Two 4 ONE,” the highly anticipated duo project with singer Christy LOVE due Spring 2011.

TMG will add $30,000 of marketing muscle to SonnyWorld Music's $15,000 budget for the project in this one album deal, including commercials for cable TV, a variety of PR, tour support, and a push to radio. Ingram will provide national distribution.

The gospel rapper and label owner returned to the scene in 2009 after a two year hiatus, beginning recordings for the upcoming album, shooting two new music videos, and accepting select performances around the country. A regional favorite in the DC metro area, ASON co-headlined with Deitrick Haddon at the Verizon Center in a special Gospel concert after a Mystics game in July of last year.

The nationwide “Be Inspired Tour” is scheduled for September – November 2010 and will feature ASON & Christy LOVE in full concert along with local opening acts. The Two 4 ONE project will feature production from B Heat (Beyonce, 50 Cent) and Marked Quest (Timbaland) and will be available April 2011 everywhere CD’s are sold.

For more information or to experience tour: BIGSONNY.COM or 877-LIFT-UPP (543-8877)
- AP

"Gospel artist hopes for airplay in nightclubs"

Bowie rapper Ason wants his music to sound like Kirk Franklin's, something you hear on all radio stations, not just the gospel stations.

Ason released a second edition of his gospel album last month and yearns to eventually make music that will play on mainstream radio and in nightclubs.

"I just want to be as effective as I can," he said.

Ason, born Thurman Custis, blends the positive word of God with the beats of rap and hip-hop music.

Initially, it is hard to tell that the music is gospel and not rap music filled with curse words and racy lyrics, Ason said.

He has already performed his songs in a few Baltimore nightclubs and chose not to announce that he was a gospel artist so the crowd would not put their guard up, he said. The crowd danced to his music. He was not surprised.

"I've never had any person say they didn't like my music," Ason said.

Ason's newest album called "The Recruiter Part One, the Special Edition," includes five additional songs to his first albums and live performance footage.

The chorus of one of the songs, "Get ur mind right," is "Get your mind right. I know it's dark. Try to focus on divine light. What you think about defines life. Be prepared when the time's right. Get your mind right."

Since his first album, Ason's music has been played on gospel stations such as Heaven 600 and stations such as WPGC and WKYS on Sunday mornings during the gospel hours. He has also opened for the big names in the gospel world including Mary Mary, although he has yet to open for his idol, Kirk Franklin.

But, Ason said he is not satisfied because his music is not reaching his target audience.

"I'm looking to make songs that mainstream radio will play," he said. "I'm just going to have to open my boundaries." With his next album, he is planning to produce more songs that are "club friendly," by changing the beats, but keeping the positive lyrics.

Shawn Broadnax, a Lanham gospel rapper that goes by the name, Riff-Raff, said that Ason sounds more humble than other gospel rappers.

"He has a new flavor to him," Broadnax said. "He doesn't sound like everyone else."

If Ason wants to go mainstream, Broadnax said he would have to change who he is talking to in his raps. Right now, Ason is rapping to youth in the church while Broadnax said he needs to rap to the unchurched.

Ason's last album has sold 2,000 copies since its release a year and a half ago.

The newest album has already sold 800 copies since he started handing out copies in April and it has been in stores since June. He hopes to sell a total of 8,000 copies of that album.

He is also looking forward to being the featured performer at the Annual Youth Explosion held at his church, the First Baptist Church of Glenarden on July 30.

Ason was chosen because of his ability to explain the word through music in a way that the youth can understand, said Tylunda Greene, event coordinator for the youth at the church. She said it is possible for Ason to go mainstream as long as he keeps his integrity.

With Ason, "it's more about the word than the music," said Greene. "And that's rare."

His album can be found in any Christian bookstore.

E-mail Deitrich Curry at

- Gazette

"What Would Jesus Rap?"

As he watched Los Angeles-based artist Tonex performing slick dance moves on stage several years ago, Thurman Custis says he felt God call him to a special ministry.

"I felt he was saying to me: 'I want you to do this,' " said Custis, 28. "But I can't dance or sing, so the only thing he could be talking about was rapping."

Now Custis is known by his stage name, "Ason" - as in "a son of God" - and tours full time in the D.C. area and across the country. He is part of a growing nationwide Christian hip-hop industry that seeks to capture the soul of young urbanites.

Last Friday night, after playing at a Christian coffeehouse in Hyattsville, Ason (pronounced ah-SON) arrived for a similar event at Jammin' Java in Vienna. Dressed in a black-and-silver tracksuit, Ason seemed immediately at home in front of the crowd of 20- and 30-somethings.

After asking the audience to sing along with the chorus or "hook," Ason launched into "Nod Ur Chin," a song that describes the joy - and complexity - of life after being "saved" by faith in Jesus Christ.

"Nobody told me 'bout the joy when I let Him come in/I found out life still goes on/That I still do wrong/Haters still hate and the bills ain't gone," he rapped.

Declining relevance

In Ason's view, Christian churches are becoming less relevant to young people.

"Even churchgoing youth - God is not in their heart," said Ason, 28, who lives in Greenbelt with his wife and their two children. "When they leave services on Sunday, they get in their cars and listen to 50 Cent and Eminem" and other mainstream rap artists whose lyrics are explicit and, some say, "un-Christian."

Ason argues that Jesus was a plainspoken man who used agricultural metaphors that common people of the day understood.

"Today preachers still use those agricultural metaphors. But that's not the society we live in today," said Ason. "In 2005, we live in a society dominated by hip-hop."

Ason's mission is to give young Christians an alternative to mainstream rap, whose lyrics he says deal primarily with "drug dealing, womanizing, murdering and clubbing."

Kevin Parker, co-founder of, an online magazine for the D.C. area, said that Ason is just one of many local Christian artists who are helping to fill the "long gap between Sundays" for many young believers.

"A lot of people think that fun stops after you start going to church," said Parker, whose Web site targets "edgy, urban" Christians ages 18 to 35.

The site's "First Sunday" music and mingling events - held monthly at H2O, the Southwest lounge and restaurant - draw more than 250 people, said Parker. And interest in Christian hip-hop has taken off in the past three years, he said.

"Everyone loves hip-hop. And with Christian hip-hop, you get a good beat, a good bass line and a good message," said Parker.

William Romanowski, a professor of communications who has studied the Christian music industry, said Christians have long been striving to put a faith-filled spin on pop culture trends.

"There was a time when everyone was looking for a Christian Lionel Richie," said Romanowski, who teaches at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The recent popularity of mainstream rapper Kanye West's song "Jesus Walks," however, has given hip-hop artists permission to talk about Christian faith, said Flynn Atkins, an artist with Christian hip-hop group LA Symphony.

Ason said his own artistic philosophy is still evolving. While "The Recruiter" is an explicitly Christian album, the rapper says he is working on a more mainstream album so he can reach a wider audience.

"Kids today want to dance. They don't want to hear you just preaching over beats," said Ason. "You have to be more sophisticated in your presentation of the Gospel."

By Andrea Useem - DC Examiner (Front Page Article)

"Music Brings Bowie Youth Back to Church"

It all began in April 2003 at Bowie State University. Fans packed the Samuel Myers Auditorium in anxious anticipation waiting to hear the debut of the newest gospel sensation.

His name: Ason, A Son of God. It was his first performance.

"I performed 'Prayer for A Son' for the people," Ason said. "It was wonderful. I got a standing ovation."

Ason has performed 50 times since that eventful day.

Born Thurman Custis, this 27-year-old Bowie resident fuses hip-hop music with God's words in an attempt to bring the community's younger generation closer to Christianity.

Ason has always loved music and said he has always been an eclectic soul, listening to everything from rock, pop, rhythm and blues (R & B), and gospel.

As a young child, he played the saxophone and clarinet but said he never really thought about pursuing a career in music until he was 25 years old.

Ason says that many doors have opened during his year and a half of musical performance. He is on the verge of signing a major distribution deal with the largest African-American record distribution company in the world, a deal that would put his debut album, 'The Recruiter: Part 1' in music stores nationwide. The deal came as a surprise to him.

"I actually didn't expect to hear from them because distribution is very hard to get," he said.

Even though Ason composes and performs his music to bring the youth into Christianity, his lyrics are not overly saturated with quotes from The Bible. He said he wants to provide an alternative to the mainstream rap on today's radio.

"My message is to just tell people to get God in your life and I try to tell people not to make those drastic decisions to derail you from the right path," Ason said.

Though Ason is actively involved in the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, he wasn't always enthusiastic about Christianity.

"I felt the ministry calling when I was 15," he said. "I was into other things and I felt it was time for a change."

Originally from St. Paul, Minn., Ason has lived in Bowie since the age of 10. He graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt and then went on to Florida A & M University. He did not finish school, however, because he decided to pursue the ministry, an ambition which was fulfilled when he was licensed as a minister at age 21. He briefly oversaw his own ministry in Florida before moving back to Prince George's County.

Ason says that he did not get into the music business for fame or fortune, he sees it as a calling from God.

"I'm merely an instrument for the Lord to use," he said. "When I perform, I don't want the fans to chant my name. I want them to chant the name of Jesus."

His album 'The Recruiter: Part 1' is available in all local Christian Book Stores or on his website,

E-mail Marcus Moore at

- M. Moore, The Bowie Star (Gazette Papers)

"5 Star Review"

For those who dig the east coast flow, yet aren't so keen on being inundated with the broken record same-ol' of thug and gangsta style, Ason brings a well-defined edge, a sharpened delivery over plump, cultivated beats in a well-proportioned package along the lines of Jay-Z, Rakim, and Nas. Bringing his Christian background into his music's message, there's so much more to this game than the hype. Check out this brother - Derek Sivers, Founder/CEO CD BABY

"CD of the Month"

Just listen to the first track “In the Booth (Pt. 1)” and you will understand why you will not find Ason’s (A son of God) latest CD “The Recruiter (part 1)” under the “Gospel” category on the CD Baby website (, it is appropriately listed under the “Hip-Hop/Rap” category. Don’t get it twisted, this message was put out to win souls for Christ, no thug/gangsta tracks and you won’t be smothered with bible verses. Ason delivers a message of faith, love, and obedience in God with an east-coast flow.

After listening to track 2 “Representin’” and track 7 “Rollin’ wit Him”, a few friends have compared his flow to Jay-Z, Rakim, and KRS-ONE. I totally agree. Brothers, do not sleep on the hidden track, it is message that will speak to your soul.

11 tracks to keep your head noddin’….. 11 sermons that gets your spirit jumpin’, how ever you want to call it, Ason is on point. Get this CD, and then get your praize on.

For more info on Ason go to

- F. Smith
- Denise Hill "The Gospel Lady"

"Letter of Recommendation"

To Whom it May Concern:

This letter is written to inform you of the extraordinary ministry experience given to our school through Ason.

Ason was invited to our school for a special chapel presentation. He was eager to challenge, encourage and minister to our students from kindergarten through sixth grade. It was great to hear and see the interaction between the students and the artist as he invited them to sing along and praise the Lord with a dance. Integrated throughout the music and rap songs was a message of faith in Christ and a high standard of Christian ethics and behavior. Ason was not merely a performer, but was a minister of the gospel as he ministered between songs engaging the students to think about their musical choices and invest more time in the word of God and other Christian music alternatives.

Ason has integrity and is a member of First Baptist Church of Glenarden. My initial exposure to his ministry was a a BAM JAM youth and young adult service at the church and at our Mens Conference. Once exposed, I was eager to get him at our school to bless our children. He has a passion and gifting to teach young people the word of God in a creative way. He conducts himself in a professional manner and adheres to the authorities that exist in the school and church.

I highly recommend the ministry of Ason to any school or church organization. I believe that he would be a blessing to your organization as he has been for ours. If you are in need of any additional information, please do not hesitate to call me at (301) 583-5336.

In Christ,

Craig Barnes
SCA, Vice-Principal - Craig Barnes, Shabach! Christian Academy

"Endorsement from CEO"

To whom it may concern:

ASON is the secret weapon in the Body of Christ, raised up a such a time to reach urban America. His lyrics, beats and delivery is captivating and competes head-on with the likes of Jay-Z, NAS and any other hip-hop artists topping today’s music charts.

ASON is sure to be received by the hip-hop culture because of his authentic style and honest presentation. Best of all, he is skillful in handling the Word, which pierces the hearts… ASON is today’s God-sent weapon for Teen and young adult ministry.

April Washington-Essex, CEO
Threefold Music Group, Inc.

- Threefold Music Group, Inc.

"CD Review (UMC.ORG)"

Ason: The Recruiter, Part 1

Label: Toe2Toe Records (Independent)
Sound/Style: Street-style rap/hip-hop with a Christian message

By Steve Morley

(UMCom) -- In the 1920s, jazz was the sound that scandalized adult America. By the 1950s, rock ‘n’ roll had become the rebellious voice of youth culture. Rock is still capable of alienating the older crowd, but rap is the sound that truly divides cultures and generations in the 21st century. Preacher-turned-rapper Ason, a Washington, D.C.-based minister discipled by Bishop T.D. Jakes, evidently understands the seeming contradiction of using the urban style as a vehicle for Christian ministry. His debut disc, The Recruiter, Part 1, is largely devoted to addressing anticipated objections to his ministry and confirming the validity of his calling. Ason disarms much potential criticism with not only the sincerity of his intent, but also with humor and transparency – elements alone that separate him from mainstream rappers who rarely, if ever, express either. He nails the reality of being misunderstood by his elders in a genuinely funny sketch titled “Pray For Me.” On the track, the artist calls his grandmother to ask for prayer before going onstage. His patient attempts to explain rap music as ministry are fruitless, as Grandma couches her hesitant prayer in a media-based understanding of rap’s trappings: “Lord, please don’t let him get no big ring that cover all four knuckles, and don’t let the booty shakers be all in his mansion.”

On the vulnerable “Prayer Of A Son,” he resembles Moses at the burning bush in his initial reservations about following God’s call to go against the grain. “Christian rap – man, who am I kiddin’?/If it was up to me I’d just go back, but man, You keep calling.” The song’s tuneful, Latin-jazz chorus takes the form of an encouraging response from his wife, Christine, who sings “who is like our God?/there is nobody that can ever separate His love from you.” Ason co-produced the album with his wife, a heartening show of defiance of rap’s typical image of male dominance over women portrayed as mere accessories. Nonetheless, Ason convincingly delivers streetwise, edgy tracks like the hypnotic “Representin,’ ”packed with complex internal rhymes and unpredictable phrasing, sonically garnished with both tonal and non-tonal textures. The cut’s rapid-fire latter half finds Ason spitting out an onslaught of words that are felt as much as, if not more than, they’re comprehended. His aggressive tone and diction suit the fervent call to worship in “Raize Up,” which is as hard-hitting as a Tony Evans sermon. “If you’re in your seat tryin’ to keep it neat, I’m afraid that you’ve got it wrong/when the praise is weak, the prayer’s obsolete, so here’s your chance, start singin’ along.” On “The Need To Know,” he says “the world’s apprehensive, the church is afraid when the youth introduce a new version of praise, but the Word is the same even if you change methods to makin’ records of blessings so the urban get claimed.”

If Ason seems to be focused less on evangelizing and more on convincing the church that he’s doing God’s work, it could be because he rightly seeks the support of fellow believers before moving further into a spiritually dangerous arena. Even if he gets their nod, the church as a whole isn’t likely to embrace Ason’s sound. His soon-to-be released follow-up to The Recruiter, Part 1 hopefully will take strides into the rap community, where his credible and well-constructed work rightfully belongs.

Steve Morley is a freelance music journalist living in College Grove, Tenn.

This review was developed by, the official online ministry of the United Methodist Church.

- (United Methodist Church)

"Review by Altared Lives"

Big Sonny. Ason. Remember those names. It's fo' sho' you'll be hearing more from this emcee in the future. You can tell when a veteran in the ministry spits vs. a novice. Ason admits he's new to the game, but it's obvious he's not new to the ministry. His lyrics show an integration of a knowledge of the streets alongside a knowledge of the Savior, His call, His Word and His commission. With all this, a brother can't help but succeed.

There's a realness that flows through Ason's flows, and I have to admit that joints like this always minister to me. But given the depth of conviction and honesty, I know the release will minister to it's target -- God will bless His Word and those that walk in an understanding of the depth of their calling.

That's what "The Recruiter Part 1" illustrates. The title says it all -- well, not quite. Let me say the rest. :-)

Ason's characterization of himself as "the recruiter" speaks on 2 fronts. First is the obvious meaning of recruitin' kids to the Kingdom. But don't forget that this is a war, y'all, and not a game. So he's a recruiter for the Lord's army.

This release transcends the average review -- "infectious beats," "bangin' heat," and all that kinda junk. Though it does have those characteristics, the depth of the lyrics and beat concepts takes it deeper than that. I first got a taste of Ason from where there are a couple of beats to download: "Walk Upright" and "Stop, Drop and Roll." I immediately copped the beats (under full rights of statutory licensing for Internet radio, of course!). But at some point, the emcee heard about ALR and sent me his CD. That was when I heard the full impact of his ministry.

Not that all emcees should be ordained ministers of the Gospel. But you can fo' sho' tell those who are. You can tell the seasoned veterans who understand that they are recruiters, nah mean?

To pick faves from Ason's joint is difficult because every beat has something to offer in the message that he spits -- even the short accapella joints, "In the Booth (Pt. 1) and "In the Booth (Pt.2)" which speak of his heartfelt commission. Ason is the type of holy hip hop artist that would fit in the adult service or youth service. Some artists are so real and raw that many churches couldn't even invite them in for a Sunday morning service. But Ason could fit. He shows a balance between realness and righteousness along with a respect for authority (a quality which rookies in the gospel rap game and in ministry often lack). Finally, he shows a balance between exhortation and encouragement in his flows.

To give a quick acknowledgment of the heat, faves include "Representin' (feat. A.S.G.)," and "Stop, Drop and Roll," (I love the visualization this conjures up 'bout the Holy Ghost fire!). The realness is felt on "Walk Upright." I wish more emcees would really call our brothers to a higher walk of purity of mind, body and soul. Men of God with a depth to their calling find the metal to minister this oftentimes hard message, because you can't just preach it -- you have to walk it, nah mean? I believe that's why it doesn't find it's way in many sermons or songs, unfortunately. Oh, but I'm preachin' now...

Anyway, peepin' the titles of the beats on "The Recruiter Part 1" shows that this isn't your ordinary Christian hip hop release: "Raize Up," "Prayer of a Son," "Walk Upright," "They Need to Know," and so on. All are deep but are pleasin' to the earholz as well. Need I say mo'? I don't think so. Check this cat out; invite him to your church: Listen to his beats on ALR. And let's pray for a soon release of "Part 2"!



Major Releases
• The Future Is Now, SonnyWorld Music - Nov. 8th, 2011 (Central South/Ingram Distribution)

Independent Releases
• ASON vs Drake: The Hitlist Mixtape - Fall 2010 (Online Distribution)
• The Outcome (Recruiter Part 2), Toe 2 Toe/Penn Ave Records - 2006 (BCD/Central South Distribution)
• ASON - The Recruiter Part 1: Special Edition, Toe 2 Toe Records - 2005 (EMG/Central South Distribution)
• Best of the Submissions Vol. II, Beatmart Records - 2005 (Word Distribution) - Guest Appearance
• Gospel Skate Jams Vol. 1, BG Records - 2005 (Malaco Records Distribution) - Guest Appearance
• Pee Wee Callins - Street Soul, Beatmart Records - 2005 (Word Distribution) - Guest Appearance
• Pinnacle Project: B.I.G. - 2005 (Sony/BMG Distribution) - Guest Appearance
• State of Mind, Penn Ave Records - 2005 (Central South Distribution) - Guest Appearance
• Best of the Submissions, Beatmart Records - 2004 (Word Distribution) - Guest Appearance
• ASON - The Recruiter Part 1, Toe 2 Toe Records - 2004 (Liaison Distribution)



Ason (a.k.a. Bigsonny) is a rapper and youth speaker with pronounced song writing talent, skillful delivery, and a gift for including uplifting messages through lyrically profound holy hip-hop. His engaging live performances have earned him numerous invitations to perform throughout the United States. He has shared the stage with artists such as Ciara, Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, Israel & New Breed,... Nicole C. Mullen, Cross Movement & da' T.R.U.T.H. just to name a few.

The successful independent label owner of SonnyWorld Music, Ason's first three albums sold over 42,000 units and digital downloads, gaining profound success in the fast growing holy hip-hop underground world. Ason will debut his first major mainstream national release The Future is Now, a hip-hop and R&B styled collaboration on November 8th, 2011.