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"Hip-Hop can carry a positive message. Eli Edwards, from “Prison to Praise” founded Rhyme4Reason after getting out of Orange County Jail facing 25 years in prison to inspire youths to trust God as he does."

TOWN OF WALLKILL — with his hands tucked tightly in his pockets the young boy watched the pallbearers carry his slain sister's white coffin.
It was the autumn of 1986 and Eli Edwards, 11-year-old sister, Tanya McKiernan, was murdered by her next-door neighbor while the young girl was selling magazine subscriptions door to door.
Her murderer was 15-year-old Charles Kimble — the brother of one of her playmates. Edwards was only 7 when she died. It was her death, coupled with a childhood spent in foster care that landed him on a path of self-destruction.
At his lowest point, facing 25 years in prison, he found God. Edwards, now 29, is a Christian hip-hop artist. He uses his life as a testimony to encourage teenagers and young adults. Edwards and break dancer Joel Johnson call themselves Rhyme4Reason.
"I can see God's hand on my life," Edwards says. "Back then I didn't. I was like, where are you, God?" The duo's debut album, titled, "That was Then and This is Now," was released in 2006.

Life after Tanya
"I used to always think she was coming home," says Edwards, whose family moved from Otisville to the Town of Wallkill after Tanya's death. It was there that they tried to start over — tried to move past the pain. "That's kind of where life went down hill," says Edwards, looking at old newspaper clippings of his sister. Coming to school with bruises on his body inflicted by an abusive stepfather landed him in foster care by 1989.
At 16 he left the foster-care system and hit the streets. "I basically lived with friends and rented a couch," he says. Working two part-time jobs, Edwards still managed to get his GED at 17.
"In the process of that, I was trying to numb the pain with drugs and alcohol," he says.
In 2001 a brawl in a Monroe bar landed him in jail. Edwards stabbed a man with a shard of glass from a broken beer bottle. He was charged with first-degree assault and faced a maximum of 25 years in prison.
Jail time
Behind bars, Edwards began reading a Bible his mother brought him. "I started seeing these stories and saw how God never forsake his people," he says. Edwards began writing about his life in a notebook. "Basically I came to the end of myself, like what am I doing with my life?" he says. It was then that Edwards received his calling to spread God's message through music.
Edwards served only about seven months in jail because his charge was reduced. He then served five years probation. Edwards founded Rhyme4Reason in 2002. He and Johnson perform mostly at churches, youth events and music festivals. "I realized — wow — kids are relating to this music because this is life," says Edwards, who says he and Johnson are starting a youth music label.
"I trust God. That is kind of my motivation and purpose," Edwards says. "He's given me an opportunity to change."
The group's next CD, "Life Goes On," will be dedicated to Tanya.
- Times Herald-Record/Ashley Kelly


First album "That Was Then & This Is Now"
Single "Right Now"



From Orange County, New York, comes one of the most successful independent Christian Hip-Hop Groups the Hudson Valley has to offer: "Rhyme4Reason". The media hails Rhyme4Reason as "unique and positive Hip-Hop that is radio-ready and children friendly." Their music is a reflection of the personal struggles, the dramatic changes, and the accomplishments made with the effect of God in their lives.

Rhyme4Reason was formed in 2002 by Front Man/CEO, and lead Hip-Hop artist Eli Edwards, (a/k/a E-Dubbz) after facing a 25-year sentence in prison for assault. E-Dubbz learned a hard lesson realizing he needed to change… and fast. Was it too late for E-Dubbz, now facing trial? The odds didn't look good, but, as E-Dubbz soon found out: it's never too late for change.

"I never knew what my purpose was until that moment, when life seemed to stop and I had time to listen and realize what my purpose was. Facing prison time was the best thing that could have ever happened to me," said E-Dubbz. "Was it scary? Of course. Facing that amount of time ‘ain't even for the gangsters'. That was the scariest thing I've ever had to face, and stabbing that guy was even scarier. I was a fighter - a hard learner - and I learned the hard way, but during that time I got to know God, and God changed my heart and that changed my life . . . forever."

Since then, Rhyme4Reason has consistently grown, been shaped, and prepared constantly to bring positive energy, creativity, and new insight to modern Hip-Hop: an idea based not so much on where music is today, but where it is going to be tomorrow for the future generation.

"With so many aspiring Hip-Hop artists, you've just got to find who really cares about making a positive influence in young people's lives", stated E-Dubbz recently in an interview with the local media.

R4R Music (Rhyme4Reason), a Hip-Hop band in a predominantly Alternative/Rock area like Orange County, has excelled in creating a broad and diverse fan base since 2006 with the release of their debut album "That Was Then & This Is Now" which included hit songs like: "Rebellious Child", "Right Now", and "Been Spared". This album has had fans demanding more ever since.

Rhyme4Reason has been bringing fans back show after show with their hot beats and dope rhymes. But what grabs people most are the lyrics – with life changing messages that have opened the door of opportunity for "True Change" in so many lives. Their main goal is to continue to change lives through their music by giving people hope when they have no hope, guidance when they have no guidance, direction when they have no direction and most of all purpose when they have no purpose.

"I can't understand why any parent wouldn't want their children listening to Rhyme4Reason…", stated proud parents in a recent poll.

With their mission of "Changing Lives Through Music", Rhyme4Reason is proving to both the Christian and Non-Christian Communities that they ARE truly helping change the lives of today's youth...

"What the world doesn't need is just another Hip-Hop group, especially the way the world is today. So, when I decided to take the call, preparation was key to my progress. Patience and thinking things through has also contributed to my success. I spent many long days and nights thinking and contemplating what my purpose was, exactly; what I was called to, exactly; then I realized what I had to do, exactly. It wasn't about the fame, and it wasn't about material gain. It was about the realization that the world needs change. With the world lacking love, faith and hope, I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. But now, moving forward, the power of my influence is great, but my prayers are greater", said E-Dubbz.

Do you want change in your schools, your community, your kids, or, how ‘bout your life? Rhyme4Reason . . . Consider It!

"Giving Hope to the Hopeless; Faith to the Faithless . . . Through Hip-Hop"

COMING SOON! Rhyme4Reason's second album is entitled "Life Goes On". It's concepts are a change from their debut album. This next compilation focuses more on life issues such as abortion, overcoming abuse, addiction, and the loss of a loved one. This release is dedicated to E-Dubbz' sister, Tanya McKiernan, who was brutally killed in 1986 at the age of 11. Although "Life Goes On", she will never, ever, be forgotten.

For More Information on Upcoming Shows, Reviews, Interviews, R4R Gear, CD Release Information, Info for Fan Club, Street Sign Ups, Music & Artist Contest Info Please feel free to visit our website at:www.rhyme4reason.com or email us if you need additional info at: getinfo@rhyme4reason.com or if you would like to book us for an event contact us at: bookus@rhyme4reason.com