Source Augusta Gospel Music ExaminerBianca Woodard It is official! DJ Sean Blu has successfully invaded Augusta's airways this weekend with StreetHymns Radio and his personal show, "The DJ Sean Blu Invasion" was first up tonight complete with an several extended play 15 minute gospel mixes.
The format also featured a professional urban gospel news segment, called "The Cross Roads", which featured timely news reported by Danielle Harris.
Fans of holy hip hop, gospel rap, and the urban contemporary gospel genres will be truly satisfied with the content of this format. The brisk moving show is a fresh take on gospel music that can stand up tall against any secular morning radio show.
For example, some of the artists that were featured in the mix, Mali Music and T-Haddy, are not the traditional main stream artists that are heard on gospel radio stations.
Listeners who are not familiar with the other side of gospel music that is displayed in this format might be asking themselves "who is the brain child behind this new format on WKZK" or "Who is DJ Sean Blu"? Earlier this week, we sat down with Sean Blu to find out more about his career in hip hop/gospel rap, and urban contemporary gospel music.
Q: How long have you been doing gospel hip hop?
I started to take it seriously in the summer of 1991 shortly after I graduated from high school. I released my first mix tape in 1996 and worked for WFAM 1230 as a radio board operator.
Q: How has what you do changed the gospel hip hop game?
In 2003, I released a mixed tape entitled "The Heavyweights" with exclusive music and break out artists, K-Nine and Damon Lamar. It was ground breaking because of the subject matter and the track selection so people copied the direction with future mix tapes.
Q: How many mix tapes have you put out?
I have officially put out 50 mix tapes. I've done things for organizations that I don't count.
Q: What labels have you worked with in your career?
In 2009 I did some freelance work for Arrow Records, which is the record label owned by World Changers in Atlanta GA. I also worked with Sony BMG in 2006
Q: What awards have you won in your career?
In 2008 I was honored by the Holy Hip Hop organization and I won an award at the Youth Gospel Entertainment Awards (YGEA).
Q: How do you come up with your mix tape concepts?
Most of the mixed tapes are theme based. For example, I’ve had mixed tapes that were titled after movies or TV shows such as “Goldfinger”, “Dirty Harry”, “Gangstas Revival” and “Good Times”. I have other mixed tapes concepts like “Knowledge is Power”, “Canton Jones vs. R. Kelly”, “T-Haddy vs. T-Pain” and “The City is Mine”. The mix tape “Ladies First” featured all female MCs. I came up with that concept because just like in secular hip hop, female MCs in gospel hip hop were not getting the respect that was due. I found seasoned female rappers and put together that mix tape. That theme came from the song “Ladies First” by Queen Latifah.
Q: Do your mix tape compilations receive airplay?
Yes. I am featured in the mix in shows that air in Los Angeles, Nigeria, Brazil, South Carolina, and on the internet. Sometimes I am surprised by how far the music has traveled.
Q: In your opinion, what makes a mixed tape good?
The argument among DJs is that a mix tape is not a mix tape unless you are mixing. For the purists, a DJ should showcase their style or talent. You take a song that everyone knows and you add your own flavor, compile it and put it out. People started creating Exclusive formats that are compilations but they still called it a mix tape. My definition is a mix tape showcases the DJs energy, style and signature. It is an authentic piece of work.
Q: Do you think that gospel rap/hip hop is receiving its due respect?
I don’t believe that the gospel rap or gospel hip hop genre is receiving its due respect. You’re in the body of Christ and you’re doing it for the body, but it is not fully accepted. In the gospel music industry, some older artists still don’t embrace the genre but they are starting to come around. Kirk Franklin helped the genre when he came out with his new sound back in the 90’s. He isn’t classified as gospel hip hop or gospel rap, but he was persecuted. He was successful in crossing over and that helped pave the way for others.
Q: Have you had endorsements as a DJ?
I’ve had clothing endorsements with Sacred Apparel, Crosswear (Terrance Thomas), Paul Lawrence Apparel and Jireh Fashions. Look out for the Sean Blu Signature Line in the future.
Q: How can someone purchase your product or view your catalog?
You can log onto www.christianmixtapes.com, www.positivemixtapes.com, or www.dasouth.com. You can also Google DJ Sean Blu. You can also place an order by sending an email email@example.com.
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