Shaddai Sons
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"Holy hip-hop - CD aims to spread God's word with rap"

http://www.herald-mail.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=194586&format=html

The Herald-Mail ONLINE
http://www.herald-mail.com/

05/25/2008
Holy hip-hop - CD aims to spread God's word with rap

By TIFFANY ARNOLD
tiffanya@herald-mail.com

Today, youth pastor and rapper Tyree Sterling holds a Bible in one hand and a microphone in the other with hopes that words in rhyme can bring young people closer to the word of God.

Longtime Christian rapper Sterling has been promoting his latest venture, his first solo rap EP, "Voice of Triumph," under his rap moniker Shaddai - pronounced Shoo-die - Sons.

The 13-track EP of full-length songs and samples of works-in-progress was put together by Sterling, his wife, Glory, and one of Sterling's former rap collaborators, Spencer Jackson, who produced the beats for this EP and encouraged Sterling to pursue Christian rap.

Now that rap is not necessarily a pejorative in Christian-music speak, and the quality of Christian rap has evolved, fledgling artists like Sterling are trying to find their places in Christian music's widening boundaries under a genre known as holy hip-hop. Like any other form of gospel music, the aim of holy hip-hop is to spread a religious message, bring people to God.

"The music is like bait, it comes on and gets their attention," says Sterling, 31, of Hagerstown. Sterling is a youth minister at Gateway Ministries in Williamsport. He also leads seminars for public school students in Washington County.

"Voice of Triumph" is a Christian rap album, but it's not a Kool-Aid Christian rap album. The music is on par with any other self-produced rap albums out there, be they Christian or otherwise. The album gives Christians who happen to be rap fans something to listen to without being what Sterling refers to on his album as "cooler than Christian" - Christians who act worldly just so other people will like them.

"God is not into being cool," Sterling says on the track, "Why An EP Mix," one of several tracks he devotes to talking - not rapping - about his outlook on Christianity.

By his own account, Sterling was the grade-school chubby kid with asthma, who grew up in a middle-class, two-parent household. But when he reached adulthood, Sterling said he was a drug-dealing, club-hopping ladies man who dropped out of college.

He said the turn for the worse came because he felt God had let him down. His father died in a car accident when Sterling was 18. Rap music, the type with unsavory lyrics, filled the void left by his father's death.

"It wasn't like he was sick in the hospital and we could prepare for it," Sterling said. "One day I kissed him on the cheek and told him I loved him and watched him walk out the door. He never came back."

It wasn't until Sterling was 21, when a friend invited him to an early morning church service, that he decided to change his life. The pastor's sermon was about using your talents and abilities for the good of God. He realized he couldn't continue living the life he was living.

"I had come to a place where I just needed him," he said. "It didn't take a bullet or an overdose. I just needed to find God."

Today, Sterling is a husband and a role model for his 2-year-old son, Eli. He's using rap music as a way to encourage people to "rock your mic" - his way of telling listeners to nurture their God-given talent. Sterling said his talent is rapping and making music.

"We all have a gift, we all have a talent that we like to do and we do well," Sterling said. "That's your mic and you have to rock that."

Hear it for yourself

You can hear a few of Shaddai Sons' new songs at www.shaddaisons.com. - TIFFANY ARNOLD of Herald Mail


"What does KJ-52 think about Shaddai Sons"

http://shaddaisons.mypodcast.com/2007/06/Found_out_what_KJ52_has_to_say_about_Shaddai_Sons-49707.html - Shaddai Sons podcast


"What do our fans say..."

#Cory Burkholder: Greetings! Just wanted to drop you a lil' note, and ask you some questions. First off, I would NOT know of you guys if it weren't for my 9 year old nephew always sneakin my VAST...and I DO MEAN VAST collection of underground hiphop (I really HATE, with a passion, mainstream Hip Hop...it turns my stomach on so many levels) and his friend in his class and Cumberland Valley Christian School had one of your older cd's. Anyways, he played it out in a matter of a week, and he insisted that I listen to it. He told me it was Christian Hip Hop..now, this may sound weird, but I am a PROUD BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN, but I am such a Hip Hop Head that when I heard you guys were Christian, I cannot lie, I was instantly skeptical. I need to work on that:( anyways, you guys blew me away!!! especially the fact yall are from around here...amazing. And your preachin the word...man, yall got my support!!!!
also, I have MANY a beat tape/cd and I'm down for ya'll to flow over any of my beats, i'd be really happy actually.
Fill me in on ya'll, what's your background like? Before you got saved? How many 12' and/or C.D's do you guys have out?
Seriously, comming for a Hip Hop critic like me, and i dont blow smoke up peoples ***es....sorry to be blunt, but you guys really impressed me, not to mention my nephew.
please, school us in the Shaddi Sons empire. errythang, we wanna know errythang!!!
seriously, ill hook yall up, well, u can decide if you dig my beats. i'm sure your thinking "this kid prolly sucks baddd" oh you will be surprised:)
later guys - Cory Burkholder - Chambersburg, PA


#Crossover Christian Center: Nice to have you. If you ever need anything or just need a prayer let us know, we will be happy to stand in the gap with you. Your new friends in Christ...Pastor Ron and Brenda


#Chris: Thanx for the request! I am lovin the music, I really think that you can do big things in this world with your by using your songs to get people closer to god.


#Western Md. Hip-Hop Syndicate: Thanks for the add, very impressed by how serious and how well you're handling yourself. Sounds are nice, that MySpace song is awesome. Hit us up with shows, releases, etc., we already added some to our Calendar. Subscribe to the blog to get the latest updates, and SPREAD THE WORD, YA HEARD?!?!?!


#Robert: I don't usually like much rap or hip hop....but your word is tight, man..and the ministry your presenting is right. I am honored to have you as a friend, thanks for the invite! Hebrews 12:2


#TRECE: The music sounds good man. I like to see the way you are doing big things. Keep working hard, the rewards are on the way... Much Love III


#Kamighty: thanks for the reqeust and I love the ministry here God bless peace. Kamighty


#Kenny: God Bless and I hope you can reach the teens here in DC.


#Rick: thanks man it means alot that you told me happy birthday finuring your a big star now thanks alot


#Dawn: Hey Pastor T...how r u? I love the songs on your page! I added one to my page. Hope all is well with you & your family! - MySpace, Newsletter, Emails...


"Hip-hop praises Lord"

http://www.herald-mail.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=215180&format=html - By ERIN JULIUS


"References"

Outline is as follows...
NAME:
DATE OF EVENT:
HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE 1-4 (lowest to highest):
AREAS OF STRENGTH:
AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT:
WOULD YOU CONSIDER WORKING WITH US IN THE FUTURE?:
PERSONAL FEELINGS...:

---------
NAME: Five Forks Brethren, Waynesboro, PA
DATE OF EVENT: 01.25.08
HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE 1-4 (lowest to highest): 4
AREAS OF STRENGTH: quality presentation musically and speaking sensitive to God's lead
AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: n/a
WOULD YOU CONSIDER WORKING WITH US IN THE FUTURE?: yes
PERSONAL FEELINGS...: "JUST AWESOME!"

---------
- Tyree Sterling


Discography

War Stories (LP) :: 1999
Fresh Fire (LP) :: 2002
Voice of Triumph (Mix EP) :: 2007
Audio & Video Disk :: 2008
Audio Flier :: 2008
Voice of Triumph 2.0.0 :: 2009

Photos

Bio

After being raised in a two parent home, his father dying in a car accident, dropping out of college and on his way to becoming a statistic Tyree meet Christ on March 29, 1998, in a 9:40am Sunday morning service at Gateway Ministries in Williamsport, MD. Since then his life has never been the same.

Tyree Sterling is not just a Holy hip-hop artist. He is a Student Ministries Pastor at Gateway Ministries in Williamsport, MD and is very active in the Washington County public school system. The message he presents is "Rock Your Mic!" What ever your gift, talent or ability is ROCK IT. You are the only one that can rock your gift. This message is carried from secular venues over to the church (more information can be found at www.RockYourMic.com)

Throughout his ministry he has ministered and shared the stage with fellow Christian artists including John Reuben, Fusebox, Da T.R.U.T.H., Tait, Reggie Dabbs, Grits, Out of Eden, Cross Movement, KJ-52, T-Bone, and many others. In addition to ministry, he wears many hats in his local community by working with Girls Inc. of Washington County where he acts as a facilitator for Friendly Persuasion (anti-tobacco program), Wise Guys (a life skills program for 6th grade boys) and "Sex Has Consequences" (abstinence based program for all 9th graders).

In May of 1998 he formed what would later be known today as "Shaddai Sons" where he now serves as the co-founder and primary spokesperson. His desire is to use one of the many sounds that the Creator made to Glorify Him. Using it as David used the sword of Goliath to cut off the head of enemy of this generation by speaking the Good News of the Gospel. Hip-hop has been strategically perverted and pushed to the forefront of the mainstream industry. Therefore, he chose to study to show himself approved. In 2001, he received his certificate of completion from Calvary Bible Institute where he studied for his Associates in Christian Education. In 2002 he started in full time ministry serving as Junior High Pastor (grades 6, 7 and 8). In 2005, he earned his Exhorters License through the Church of God in the Delmarva-DC area.

In September 2004, Tyree married is best friend, Glory Sterling, then in November of 2005 they had a son, Eli Sterling. Tyree has learned that true ministry begins at home. He stands as the rock of his home providing a Biblical based, safe, and loving environment as he remains an incredible role model to his son Eli. He takes no shame in declaring as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.