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Holy Hip-Hop
Christian rapper and producer blends hip-hop and divine salvation to save souls
By: Charlie Denison
Issue date: 1/11/06 Section: Welcome Back Special Section
Article Tools: Page 1 of 1

"When I grow up, I want to be a pimp," said a second-grader in a class observed by Joe Fields, producer of the newly formed Serious Bizness Records.

That bothers Fields. But he's trying to do something about it.

Hip-hop may be notorious for having lyrics about sex, drugs and power, but Joe Fields and Serious Bizness Records use similar beats with lyrics about being "saved" by Jesus Christ. The message is "full of wisdom and knowledge," Fields said.

Fields, a born-again Christian, rapper, businessman and UK Chandler Medical Center employee, has set out to spread the word of Christ through hip-hop.

"We're trying to make a difference in the community," Fields said. "Hip-hop is just a vehicle to draw them. The Word comes through the Lord."

Now doing promotional work and about to begin a state-wide tour, Fields and Serious Bizness are ready to spread the word in the best way they know how.

"We're bringing hope to the hopeless," he said. "A lot of people have given up, and we want to reach out to them."

Fields, whose rap alias is Big Minista, is overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the music he is producing and rapping. Years ago, Fields lost his first wife and his child because of complications during childbirth. Since, Fields has grown in his faith and has been rooted and grounded by the work of the Lord. His new album, "Only Way," is a testimonial account of his experiences and an account of how positive God's impact on his life has been and how positive it can be in anyone's life.

"It's more daring today to get in there and take a positive message," he said. "We do and say what God is telling us."

The other rapper Serious Bizness is promoting is Jeremiah, a local rapper whose main thrust is to encourage the young at heart.

"Jeremiah has a very unique style," Fields said. "I can't think of anyone he reminds me of."

Jeremiah's new album, "A Child of the King," due out this year, is his first release with Serious Bizness.

Serious Bizness is not just about music. Monique Richard, a Christian comedian, has a routine where she role-plays as an old church mother. The character, who speaks the Word in witty, unusual ways, is called Miss Viola Jenkins. Her DVD is due out early this year.

Another artist on the label is Fields' second wife, who goes by Quiet Storm. Her first single, "The Eye Of The Storm," is due out early this year.

"She's got such a quiet demeanor," he said. "If you didn't see her presence, you wouldn't know she's in the room."

To get the message out, Fields and other Serious Bizness associates plan to hand out CDs on the streets.

"A lot of the less fortunate people out there need to hear our message," Fields said. "You've got to give sometimes until it hurts."

Big Minista's album features hard-hitting, original lines such as, "You got a Burger King spirit/Gotta have it your way or can't hear it." But Fields says that the recordings aren't the total picture.

"To see the show and hear the music in person," he said, "you get the full understanding."

E-mail features@kykernel.com
CHARLIE DENNISON - THE KENTUCKY KERNEL (Jan 20, 2006) - THE KENTUCKY KERNEL


Review by Mike McGonigal, eMusic

An instant classic of gospel hip-hop, It's On is real, intense, nitty-gritty rap that's as spiritually affirming as it is head-bobbing. - MIKE McCONIGAL


Discography

2000 - YOKE BUSTA
2001 - SPIRITUAL AWAKENING 1
2003 - IT'ON
2004 - SPIRITUAL AWAKENING 2
2005 - ONLY WAY
2006 - TAKING BACK WHAT WAS STOLE

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