carriers of the cross
Gig Seeker Pro

carriers of the cross


Band Hip Hop Hip Hop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Against the Grain Album Review by"

Reviewed by: Andy Cooper

This is the second full album from the New Jersey duo Eddie (aka Substance) and Jeremiah (aka Prophecyer), but the first release on a major label (EMI Gospel). It is truly down-to-earth Gospel for the streets, with unashamed use of this medium for evangelism and encouragement for believers, while generally keeping it credible with deep heavy grooves and rapping with attitude. It's not as creative as some current big hitters such as Eminem or Kanye West, but they have a genuine style of their own: the backing and samples are smooth, solid and well produced, sometimes drawing from R&B styles, while the rapping is deep and focused with good interaction between the two rhymists. Subjects dealt with include fatherlessness, life after death and the degradation of society, while the chorus from "Warriors" is the closest to worship I've heard on a hip-hop album for a long time! All credit to these musical missionaries for bringing such tough subjects to the places and people where they're most needed.

"Against the Grain Album Review by"

Carriers Of The Cross
Against The Grain

Carriers of the Cross are known as emcees who carry the Gospel with every lyric and every show that they do. They keep reppin’ the Lord with their new and appropriately titled release, Against the Grain.

Beats are laid by fellow warriors, 4 Sight Sounds, Bang Theory, M Lawhorn and Table Beats, so of course, this is going to thump in your rides.

Things get pumping with the bangin' "Anthem Live", with Substance and Prophecyer laying down their mission. In today's secular society and even in Christian circuits, people are often more worried about material things than anything else. On "Who You Rep", Carriers of the Cross make it clear that they are putting their total trust in Christ while encouraging others to do the same. P.U.R.E. Music and Table Beats combine on the production to give a piano-laden, mid-tempo, beat-driven number for pondering and vibing to.

These cats are not scared to address controversial subjects —like they do on "Beyond the Mike". The cut challenges emcees to live the life of the Christ that they spit about, and also addresses those who exclude the name of Christ for monetary gain.

Reggaeton gets some love on the "ReBirth Remix" featuring Mister L. On “Letter from the Grave", the Carriers relate the hypothetical and unusual perspective of a young man who was killed and who warns his friends from shunning the admonition of preachers of the Gospel, and encourages them to accept Christ.

"Introspective" is the dopest song on the project, with its laid back but nevertheless bangin' beat courtesy of M. Lawhorn. Substance and Prophecyer each take a look at why they are living and what they are going to do with the calling that God has given them.

Holy hip hop encompasses a diversity of emcees. Carriers of the Cross are a crew that overtly rep Christ in their music and challenge others to live for Him. Against the Grain, that’s for sure.

Production: Various
Album release date: October, 2006
EMI Gospel

— reviewed by Dwayne Lacy — -

"Interview by"

Conway's Interview with Carriers Of The Cross

“Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
-Matthew 10:38

“If God is so real, then why isn’t He in hip-hop?” Years ago, that was a question that stumped Eddie “Substance” Cortes. Now, it’s no longer the puzzle it once was. Substance and his partner Jeremiah “Prophesyer” Smaha form the gospel rap duo known as the Carriers of the Cross, and with production by Remy “Remyx” Basuri, they’re exhibiting God’s power through rap and proving that there is a certain hunger for God’s truth that holy hip-hop is perfect for satisfying.

In August, the guys released their current project, “Against the Grain.” This time around, the guys were blessed to procure national distribution. However, it’s clear what their focus is; for them, the sales will establish them in the industry to continue the work they do, but the souls are their biggest reward. That’s easy to tell considering that the Carriers are more than a rap duo, but a multi-faceted ministry that seeks the well being of their physical and spiritual communities. Each year, they host “2 Restore”, an event where they bring churches together to bless their community through music, charity, and the love of Christ.

I had the opportunity of sitting down and talking with Substance. He’s a humble guy with deep rooted convictions, and while speaking with him, it was obvious to me that his experiences are what have emboldened him with a profile fit for being “against the grain.”

Conway: How did you come to know Christ?

Eddie: I didn’t really have a relationship with Christ or go to church when I was younger. I met this pastor who challenged me and presented me to the God that’s beyond the walls of the church, and that’s how I started my relationship with Christ. I experienced Him in missions trips that I attended as a teenager; we did things out of the box to present the word of God to people that didn’t know Him. That really touched me and influenced me in my walk with Christ. I changed my life and got rid of some old friends. Then I went to an institution where I met a kid who belonged to the Nation of Gods and Earths and he introduced me to his mathematics and supreme alphabet and all that stuff, and it intrigued me, so I explored what he was talking about, and I was like, “Dude, you’re crazy!” They believe they’re gods, and it was mind boggling, so I took what he showed me and countered that with the Bible. This went on for months. One day after class, we were walking to my car and he says, “Eddie, you made a great argument today, but if God is so real, why isn’t He in hip-hop?” I didn’t know what to say. I went home and I wrote my first rap song.

Conway: Was this your first experience with rap in general, or had you already been involved with it?

Eddie: I was a poet. I enjoyed listening to rap, but it wasn’t something that interested me until that point. [In one service], my pastor challenged us to be proactive in reaching the community and our peers, and he presented us with Matthew 10:38, and that’s where we got the name Carriers of the Cross.

Conway: How did people react to your ministry at first compared to how they’re reacting now?

Eddie: [When we first started], we were invited to the college we were from to perform. By the grace of God, we pulled off the set and we were actually greeted with a standing ovation, which was kind of hot. Now, we’re more mature musically and biblically, and we can tailor our music and approach more [towards] presenting the gospel as opposed to just running on pure zeal. Our approach is more relational now, and we use the music to create that. We’re blunt in our music; we’re straight up gospel. That scares some folks, too, but that’s our approach now.

Conway: You guys won a holy hip-hop award for your ministry. Considering how the ministry started and all the work you’ve put into it, how did that feel for you?

Eddie: We were excited. It feels good to receive an encouragement here and there. That definitely was an encouragement for us. We’re working hard not only to create quality music, but to present the gospel of Christ and bring ministry. We were honored and humbled to even receive that.

Conway: How else have you been rewarded in your work?

Eddie: Just hearing the testimonies from kids. Whenever we have the privilege of receiving an e-mail or a My Space message from someone who heard our music, it’s rewarding to see how God is working through our music. For instance, we were at Rap Fest, and right before we went on to do our set, a young lady approached me and told me that her uncle passed away, and right before he passed away he received Christ because he was listening to our last CD. There were two songs in particular that really spoke to him: “You Never Told Me” and “In For Life.” Those two songs really touched him, and he played them over and over until he passed. We don’t credit those types of messages to the m -

"Write up on Carriers of the Cross by OnCourse"

Against the Grain
Carriers of the Cross

Genre: hip hop

In 1998 a question was posed, "If your God is so real, omnipresent, infinite and relevant why is He not being represented in the Hip-Hop Culture?" Eddie Cortes, also known as Substance, was left speechless.

Hoping to prove his peer that God is the God of all things including Hip-Hop Eddie went home and wrote his first rap song. He soon realized that there were many more of his peers who questioned God's triune existence and searched for the answers within what they found to define them, what they related to; the Hip-Hop Culture. Soon after the word of God spoke to Mr. Cortes during a sermon where his Pastor referred to Matthews 10:38; "anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me." Searching to find a way to be worthy and reach his peers Eddie picked up his cross and the Carriers were born.

God continued to strategically piece the Carriers ministry together. The Hip-Hop group was formed in Oct. 1998 with the additions of Remy Basuri and Jeremiah Smaha; weeks later they were invited to minister at Nyack College where they received a standing ovation. Since then the Carriers have been invited out across the country to Colleges, High Schools, Churches, Youth Groups, Outreach Programs, Camps, Coffee Houses, Cafes and festivals such as Rap Fest, Flavor Fest, Generacion Nueva, Worship Fest, City Fest, etc. to minister God's message of reconciliation.

As Hip-Hop Missionaries the Carriers Ministry is focused on effectively reaching the lost more specifically those influenced by the Hip-Hop Culture and encouraging the saved through the means of Rap Music anointed with biblically inspired lyrics. This tool is powerful. Rap Music is a universal voice that will leak through many political, ethnic, and economic cracks to speak to those that other great servants would not conventionally be able to reach. This medium enters the minds of young people across the globe. We break that bias barrier by coming to them at their level, by speaking their language. Like Paul the Carriers believe that we must become all things to all people, without compromising the living word of God, so that by all possible means we may save some; those that are influenced by the Hip-Hop Culture.

In 2001 the Carriers were officially incorporated as a non-profit status 501 (c)(3) organization. They also independently released their first full-length album entitled "Carriers of the Cross." In 2002 they released their first music video tittled "Judge Me Not." In 2004 Carriers of the Cross were honored with a Holy Hip Hop Music Award for ecellent and effective ministry within the Hip-Hop culture. In 2005 they signed a national distribution contract with EMI. In 2006 Carriers of the Cross will be releasing their sophmore album tittled "Against the Grain."

Lives are being changed and souls are being reached. In the scriptures it states in Acts 2:17 (also Joel 2:28) that "in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." God is breeding a new generation of young thirsty warriors willing to serve with a tactic that is new to the human eye; the Carriers are on the front line ready to serve.

Carriers of the Cross bring a bold and non-compromising message of Christ Jesus through concerts, seminars and speaking engagements.

For more information on Carries of the Cross go to:

"Spreading the Word (up) "

Thursday, August 18, 2005 

First there was Christian rock, then Christian R&B; now taking the stage in the evolving world of Christian music is Christian hip-hop, or gospel rap.

After a decade-long struggle to find its audience, gospel rap is finally catching on, and New Jersey artists and ministries have played a large role in its success.

At the 11th annual Rapfest, held last Saturday in the Bronx, N.Y., 26 gospel hip-hop acts performed for eight hours straight, while close to 4,000 people braved the heat and bobbed their heads to the artists' godly rhymes. Several of the 26 acts hailed from New Jersey, including The Carriers, Messenger 777, Jersey Chica and Runaway MC.

Compare that to Rapfest's inaugural event in 1994, where only five artists performed for 50 people, according to Rapfest's spokesman.

This fall, the Bridge, a Howell-based Christian radio station serving central and northern New Jersey and parts of New York City, signed on for its first gospel hip-hop radio show.

And at the recent Victory in Praise Music and Arts seminar in Miami, more than 60 percent of the artists in the new artist showcase were gospel rappers. "Definitely an increase from years before," said Garland "Miche" Waller, musical director for the award-winning Rev. John P. Kee choir in Charlotte, N.C. Waller's been involved with the convention for more than a decade.

"There's a whole underground movement that's launching," said Minister Floyd Cray, host of the Bridge's "Gospel Vibrations" show. Cray has hosted various gospel rap shows for the past 12 years and thinks of himself as the Russell Simmons of gospel rap (he's a producer, manager and radio personality). 

"It's going to the forefront because of the way the world is going right now," he said. "You get all these artists out here glorifying bling-bling and a materialistic lifestyle, but you don't hear one song saying, 'I have chlamydia, I have an STD, I had a child out of wedlock ... you hear about what you can do for self-gratification.

"That's not the reality of this music and this lifestyle, because people do hurt and people need to know why they're here and what their purpose is in life."

The gospel hip-hop movement is centered on two basic themes: countering the negative influences in contemporary hip-hop and ministering to the younger generation in a language they understand.

"Hip-hop is a tool," said 28-year-old Eddie Cortes, one-third of the Paterson-based Carriers, which also includes Jeremiah Smaha of Paramus and Remy Basuri of Clifton. It's a way to reach out to all the kids put off by traditional church services, but turned on by the rap music booming from
every street corner, radio station and club, he said.

"There are some churches out there that still use methods from the '70s to reach out to kids, but it doesn't work. We have to keep up with the times and trends to reach them," said Cortes, who recently moved to Kissimmee, Fla., to expand the group's ministry, Carriers of the Cross.

Speaking their language

By using a medium that young people can relate to and messengers that aren't so intimidating, Cortes hopes he'll be able to close the divide between church and street.

"Most kids complain, 'Oh, church is boring,' and this really grabs their attention," he said. "I think our generation, our age group, as we're growing up and becoming leaders in our communities, we know what we liked and caught our attention and we're using that to reach the younger people. ... But, if God ever said, 'You can't use hip-hop, you need to use something else to reach the kids,' I would definitely do that."

And there are certainly people who would welcome something else. For while gospel rappers may have the ears of the youth, it's the older, more traditional generation the rappers are having trouble wooing.

"The most difficult part is not being credited as a real ministry to some of the traditional folks," said Cortes.

That resistance stems from the belief by some that gospel hip-hop is an oxymoron and rappers, Christian or not, are the antithesis of what constitutes a "good Christian," said Waller, of the Kee choir.

"They're used to the hymns and choirs and things like that and maybe the whole attitude of the street coming into the church has not been accepted," he said. "Grandma still wants to hear regular church music and the artists have to understand as well that some places are not ready for it." 

Waller said the "street" appearance of some artists could be off-putting as well. "Baggy pants, the jerseys and the hats on backwards, all of that plays a role into what people think about what church is and what church isn't."

Messenger 777, born Aaron Warner, 28, has been writing rhymes and performing gospel rap since he was a 13-year-old in Salem. He resents the attitude that some traditionalists have toward Christian hip-hop, and says the church needs to focus on the message and not the methods if it wants to - NJ HERALD NEWS (2005)

"Carriers of the Cross secures Distribution through EMI"

Carriers of the Cross and Holy Hip Hop Music form Alliance


Holy Hip Hop Music enters into Strategic Alliance - To Distribute Ministers of the Gospel: 'Carriers of the Cross' - Worldwide Via EMI Gospel

January 11, 2006. Atlanta. Atlanta-based Holy Hip Hop Music announced today that it has entered into a multi-year Strategic Alliance to exclusively distribute, as a part of its Agreement with EMI Gospel, Renowned Ministers of the Gospel: Orlando-based: Carriers of the Cross.

"Carriers of the Cross, well-known and respected Hip Hop Missionaries with a combined 7 years of dedication to advancing the Gospel, have worked steadily to build fan-bases stretching from coast-to-coast as well as putting in the time necessary to solidify key media relationships (radio, tv, interrnet, print) for the global advancement of their music ministry.

Carriers of the Cross will serve to expand established exclusive distribution and marketing partnerships currently in place, as well as provide a platform for continued innovation and growth, as music continues to serve the evolving musical tastes of the dynamic and growing 14-40 consumer demographic.

EMI Gospel and Holy Hip Hop Music are honored to be in partnership with Carriers of the Cross in the advancement of Street Ministry Evangelism, and are look forward to their August 2006 CD Releases to be distributed worldwide by EMI Gospel," said Panchetta Harris, General Manager-Holy Hip Hop Music.

*** For more information on Carries of the Cross, Click Here; or go to: or

EMI Gospel, a division of EMI CMG, is a global leader in the production, marketing and distribution of the best in Gospel music (including but not limited to: Kierra 'Kiki' Sheard, Smokie Norful, Bishop Eddie Long, Myron Butler and more). For more information, log on to:

About EMI CMG: Billboard Magazine's annual Top Christian Music Distributor since 1995, EMI CMG Distribution was founded in 1994 to serve as the main distribution outlet for EMI CMG's owned and distributed labels to the US Christian and general retail marketplace, and the international Christian marketplace. Awards given to EMI CMG Distribution include CBA Supplier of the Year 1998, 1999 & 2002, CBA Customer Service & Distribution Award 1998-2002 and CBA Impact Award 1998 & 1999. EMI CMG Distribution is a division of EMI CMG, which is a unit of EMI Music. EMI Music is the third largest recorded music company in the world operating directly in 50 countries. EMI Music represents more than 1,000 artists spanning all musical tastes and genres.

Holy Hip Hop Music, distributed world-wide by EMI Gospel, committed to consistently adhere to the following three (3) principles: (1) Provide Affordable Music; (2) Provide Music of Sound Production Quality; and (3) Provide Music that is Inspiring and Enlightening to the Heart, grounded in Christian Ministry First, and devoid of obscenities and innuendo harmful to children, youth, adults, the community and interests of mass media, in general. Holy Hip Hop Music, in strategic alliance with EMI Gospel, serves as the exclusive distribution partner for Arrow Records Recording Artist: Canton Jones, Holy South Recording Artist: Mr. Del; SGR Music Recording Artist: Tragegy; Crossover Community Church Recording Artist: Urban D; Carriers of the Cross Ministries Recording Artists: Carriers Of The Cross and This Click Records Recording Artist: K-Drama. - - Jan. 11, 2006

"The Name Says It All!"

The sun is beaming down on the closed-off street in the middle of Paterson, New Jersey on June 29th. Four large projects loom overhead to the left and to the right newer housing units line up in a row. Matlock street is about to get a dose of God's love with an outreach called "2Restore." Sponsored by the rap ministry Carriers of the Cross, "2Restore" is an event that saw many churches pull together and bless their community in a unique way.

By noon the street was filled with several stations. First up was an air castle where kids can jump all their energies off! A basketball hoop attracted a crowd that was willing to show off their skills. Off to the side were tents in the shade where baby-sitters gave parents a break and enabled them to enjoy the day's activities. In the middle of the street was a huge tent where free food and clothing were being distributed.
Finally, the stage at the back end of the street featured several area Gospel artists who punctuated the air with praise and ministered to the people, Holy Hip Hop style. Some of the guests included: The Process, 4th Dimension, Judah Priest, 39 Lashez, MDD, P.U.R.E., King Cyz, Okima, and Mizchief. Women from Cassa Lydia, a women's rehabilitation center in the Bronx, shared testimonies as a part of the afternoon's ministry.
According to Carriers of the Cross, the best part of the day was watching various churches and individuals pull together. One church that played a key roll was Central Baptist Church; Carriers noted the support from Eric Paternina in particular. Other key supporters included: Ruthie and Pete Rios from The Gathering Place; Open Door Ministries; and ministers from the Paterson Pastor's Workshop, including Rev. Miller, Rev. McCombs and Rev. Castro.
Carriers of the Cross started the event in 1999 in an effort to introduce Christian Hip-Hop to churches and youth in the area. As the group began to mature, they wanted to do more than just reach out through music-they wanted to have a positive effect on the life of their community. Carriers has been so effective in communicating their vision with various organizations around Paterson that the Mayor actually visited the event during the day. He was so moved that he pledged the City's support of future "To Restore" events. For that dose of favor, Carriers definitely gave God the glory.

Definitely "sparking" it in New Jersey, Carriers of the Cross is not your usual group of rappers. The fiver-year-old ministry is comprised of Eddie (Riz) and Jeremiah (The Prophecyer) who are the two you'll usually see rapping on stage. But then there is Christian, Izzy and Remy who round out the team, providing music production, photography, technical support for the website and administrative help for their ministry events. Taking a page out of The Cross Movement's book, Carriers has its official non-profit status (501C3) so people can make donations to help with outreach efforts. Event though they drop albums (the newest one simply called "Carriers" hits Christian bookstores in October), they are here to "carry their cross" complete with spinters and all.
Next up, they are planning an outreach to target young people who would quicker go to a club than church. Set for October 5. "Kemistree" will be taking place at the Paul Robertson Theatre in Brooklyn. Lined up to minister that night are Corey Red and Precise, T.R.U.T.H. from Cross Movement Ministries, The Process, and Carriers of the Cross. If you'd like to know more about Carriers of the Cross, visit, E-mail them at or call 800.933.1588

By: Nicee D - Tri-State Voice Aug 2002

"Pick of the Month"

Artists: Carriers of the Cross
Album Title: Carriers of the Cross
Executive Producer: Carriers of the Cross Ministries, Inc.

This Holy Hip-Hop group has a special flow. Featuring slammin' and anointed rap lyrics, every song on this CD is "Off the Hook." The production is tight and features artists like The Process, Haj, and Hazakim. Carriers is a cutting edge joint ant it is to be taken very seriously - it will reach youth and anyone who loves Holy Hip-Hop. Get this one!

-Floyd Cray, Tri-State Voice

WFDU 89.1 FM Gospel Vibration
- Tri-State Voice Jan 2002

"Carriers of the Cross Album Review"

There’s new movement in East Coast hip hop territory, and it comes courtesy the youthful four-member NJ-based crew, Carriers of the Cross.

Full independent and weighed down with quality from album cover to liner notes, beats, concept and the always-crucial lyrics, on their debut self-titled 14-tracker, Carriers nods to peer crews such as The Cross Movement, yet remain true to their own style and calling.

Remix and Ben deCido handle beats and mixing; Prophecyer and Rizenson spit out meaningful, sincere and deeply scriptural rap flows. Together the potency is high, with track dosing consistently heavy in rich and organic orchestrals. As is always a bonus, Carriers has a blast in putting it all together.

Scan to track four for a perfect example. You’ll find yourself jabbing your finger the air to the syncopated bass beat that defines this cut, titled “It’s On Tonight”. Jersey-accented flows on this Christ-centered celebration encourages the immediate revelling in God’s word, to ‘sharpen your sword and fight to praise the Lord of Life”.

“Where Ya At”, dense and aggressive, presents a similar call. The poetic backgrounds of Carriers serves them well here, as it does through much of their material, with creative, fast-flowing rhymes evident. Beginning darkly but quickly transforming into an upbeat invitation for saints to represent, testify and be seen, the track is driven by furiously-working strings.

Diziple shows up with DJ scratches on “Carriers”, and Darlene Camargo drops the crew's theme via occasional vocals over this self-defining cut ("Carriers bringing hip hop to the cities of the saved saints...and the lost"). You don’t often find harpsichord marking hip hop, but that's what you have here; Remix and Ben deCido make it phat and make it work.

Moving to the tracks feauturing guest MCs, it needs to be acknowledged off the top that it’s likely that Carriers could have made this project well work all on their own —no outside help needed. Yet they enhance the experience by bringing a trio of new jack MCs aboard, showing unity in the process, and making you appreciate it all the more.

In fact, this crew is the first to drop in —The Process. On “Lyrical Battle” the multi-syllables fly back and forth between Carriers and Christianos and L.P. the Doulos of Philly's The Process. The title describes not so much a war waged between the artists (although the style is definitely there), but rather describes the spiritual battle through the testimony of our lips —lyrics. Firm symphonics support the track.

“Rumble” serves as another call for war-footing in the concrete jungle of urban environs, and features Haj with Rizenson and Prophecyer on mic handling this rap written by Jesus Hernandez.

Two notes —back and forth —intro “How Dare You”, as guest duo Hazakim tag-teams with the two mic-carriers from Carriers. Over those same two notes, with dry snare frequently cutting in, speaks prophetically to those living in secular hiphop, warning about the dangers of blasphemy in lyrics and in lifestyle.

That’s only touching the depth on this album. As Rizenson himself says, “some tracks make your neck hurt and there are some tracks that will make you think twice on how you are living life”.

Couldn’t put it any better ourselves.

Producers: Ben deCido, Remix
album release date: October, 2001
Carriers of the Cross Ministries

— reviewed by Stan North — - Gospel Oct. 2001

"Christian Group uses Rap to Bridge Hip Hop Divide"

PATERSON - Eddie Cortes, a young Paterson evangelist, sometimes encountered skepticism when he tried to share his faith with urban youths who preferred rap music over rapturous sermons.

"My friend asked, 'If your God is so real, why aren't there more people representing him through hip-hop:'" Cortes remembered.
That challenge forced Cortes, a member of Iglesia Bautista Central (Central Baptist Church) on East 20th Street to retool his evangelic pitch.
"Paterson is hip-hop, ...I realized that there are people out there, and I need to reach them," said Cortes, who set about creating a hip-hop ensemble of his own.
Cortes' revelation inspired Carriers, a Christian rap group that will perform Saturday at a free block party outside Iglesia Bautista Central. 2Restore: Tha Counter-Attack, as the event is called, will feature performances by half a dozen Christian music youth groups performing from rock to merengue in English and Spanish.
Hip-hop is an urban street culture, including rap music, graffiti art and break dancing. The block party's name represents the group's goals.
"2Restore means that we need to restore Paterson," said Cortes, "and we're counterattacking Satan, drugs and violence."
The Carriers are a musical component of Carriers of the Cross Ministries, a three-year-old mission established by Cortes to promote the Gospel to youth through music, seminars and exhibitions.
The Carriers sprang into existence when Cortes met Paramus resident Jeremiah Smaha at Nyack College, where both were students. Carriers' DJ Adrian Orbe of Paterson, along with Remy Basuri of Clifton and Ben deCido of Passaic are current or former members of Iglesia Bautista Central.
The Carriers typically feature Cortes, Smaha and Orbe on stage, with Basuri and deCido serving as music composers and producers when the group steps into the recording studio. The group has recorded one compact disc sold through the Carriers' web site:
Despite their musical trappings the Carriers don't want to be perceived as showmen.
"Hip hop is just a tool we use," said Cortes, emphasizing that the Carriers' true purpose is evangelism.
"We're not entertainers. We consider ourselves preachers," Smaha added.
The Carriers deny that rap music is incompatible with a Christian message, insisting that they live their spiritual message despite rap's reputation for delinquency.
Nonetheless, culture clashes emerge when rap meets Christianity. On "You Never Told Me," a song they will perform Saturday, the Carriers sing about a young Christian who has lost a friend to street violence. The spirit of the deceased visits the young Christian to ask why he did not share his faith with the friend, whose spirit is now burning in hell.
Cortes and Smaha said the song represents a Christian rap fan's fears that he will drive his friends away if he tries to share hi love of Christ.
Saturday's concert is the third time Carriers of the Cross Ministries have staged an outdoor event at Iglesia Bautista Central, through in the past the entire block was not closed. The Carriers have invested much of their own money to stage the block party, which they said does not bother them.
"We believe this message needs to get out there. Jesus didn't charge to preach," said Smaha.
During the block party, which lasts until 8:30PM, evangelistic street teams will answer questions about spirituality. Orbe said he will be satisfied with Saturday's concert no matter how many people attend or speak with the street teams.
"We would like the street to be packed," said Orbe. "If one person is saved, there will be a party in heaven."
The Carriers will perform at 2Restore: Tha Counter-Attack on Saturday. The free event starts at 2:15PM in front of Iglesia Bautista Central, 6 E 20th St., Paterson. For information, call 1.800.933.1588

By: Ernie Garcia
Herald News - Herald News NJ June 25 2001


The Breakthrough (coming soon)
United Vision Mixtape (2007)
DJ Lace Mixtape (2007)
Against the Grain (2006)
Recreation: Anatomy of the Remix (2005)
The Rebirth (Single) (2005)
Carriers (Full Length National Release) (2002)
Carriers (Independent Release) (2001)
Chess Masters (EP) (1998)
Sphere of Hip-Hop Compilation #1 (1997)

Music Video
Judge Me Not (2003)
Against the Grain Album Promo (2007)
The Rebirth Remix (coming... 2007)



About Carriers of the Cross

EMIgospel Recording Artists Carriers of the Cross are a dynamic, passionate and culturally relevant Hip-Hop duo made up of Eddie Cortes and Jeremiah Smaha. They hold fast to their convictions and are outspoken about them in their art form. “The only thing that far exceeds their musical talent is their commitment to Jesus Christ” said Youth Pastor Darren Ojeda. Signing nationally just adds to the credibility of their artistry but their hearts define their ministry.

Carriers of the Cross are quickly becoming one of the most sought after Hip-Hop groups today with a captivating stage presence that just draws you into their performance and they’re approachable and personable; often seen holding lengthyconversations with people that they just met, smiling, giving high-fives to almost everyone and anyone they come in contact with.

There is a definite passion that radiates from them, a passion to positively impact the lives of youth with the love of Christ, by any means necessary. Their message is clear, artistic, heartfelt, passionate, it’s cutting-edge, relevant, innovative and most importantly it is ministry. Rap Festival Director Bert said that “through their music you can hear their passion for saving souls and their genuine love for living life according to God's commands.”

Eddie and Jeremiah take their ministry very seriously and have incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. They see themselves as missionaries to the Hip-Hop and youth culture. Their mission is clear, “to present the redeeming Gospel of Christ to those influenced by the Hip-Hop culture and to encourage, inspire and challenge believers.”

Carriers of the Cross bring a bold and non-compromised message of Christ Jesus through concerts and speaking engagements. “The spiritual impact they will impart to your church will be memorable” said Pastor Yeathus Johnson.


Substance also known as Eddie Cortes is the founder of Carriers of the Cross Ministries, Inc. is responsible for the overall direction of the ministry and most of the back end administrative management. In addition Substance shares his time as husband to his wife Darlene and as father to his daughter Lyilah. Mr. Cortes also works full time for Campus Crusade for Christ and attends Florida Christian College in pursuit of his degree in Christian Leadership, then possibly seminary. Eddie has over thirdteen (13) years of youth ministry experience and looks forward to public speaking at national and local youth events in the near future. Substance also one of two emcees for Carriers of the Cross.

The Prophecyer also known as Jeremiah Smaha is son of Rev. Joseph Smaha, Pastor of Paramus Community Alliance Church. Jeremiah remains a youth leader at his church giving him several years of youth ministry experience that extends back 10 years. In addition he works full time as an Art Consultant for multiple Thomas Kinkade Signature Galleries in the NY/NJ area. As an original member of the Carriers dating back to 1998, Mr. Smaha has and continues to assist in most of the backend administrative duties such as general booking of ministry engagements. The Prophecyer, aside from all other duties and responsibilities, makes ½ of this dynamic emcee duo.

Remix also known as Remy Basuri is son of Rev. Basuri, Pastor of Church of the Community in Clifton, NJ. Remy plays the drums as part of the praise and worship group of his local church. He also attends William Paterson University as a full time student majoring in TV Broadcasting and music engineering. Remy works at Verizon Wireless part time as a customer care rep. Mr. Basuri produces most of the musical tracks for the Carriers of the Cross as well as engineers concert and studio recording sessions.