Hostyle Gospel is on a mission: the mission of spreading the hope of the gospel through whatever means necessary. Their forthright and aggressive presentation of the gospel has led them to minister across their native state of Illinois, creating music in collaboration with names like John Givez, Gemstones and Tone Jonez.
The Hostyle Gospel crew gave NRT a glimpse into their mission and their message.
Your name is a unique play on words. Could you introduce us to the idea behind it?
Hostyle Gospel: While "hostile" is the correct way how to spell the word, we wanted to be unique in how we spelled our name. We want people to understand that our name serves as both an identification for our group as well as a movement against Satan and his actions, all the injustice in the world and anyone who is acting in an evil matter. That is why we write our lyrics so aggressively. It's not because we are mad at the world, it's because we are tired of being tired. And we are tired of Christians feeling like they have to be pushovers to please the world.
The Bible called us to love the world, not to let the world walk all over us. This is why our message is hostyle (hostile). It's the same message about how the Lord died and rose on the third day, but you will also hear about how you can help your fellow brother or sister in Christ and how you can defeat Satan at the same time.
How would you describe your mission statement as a band?
Hostyle Gospel: We want to reach out to the confused, the hurt, the broken, the scared and the tired people of the world to let them know that we understand their pain and so does Christ. We also want to give them some uplifting music to listening to encourage them to fight the good fight against anything that is trying to hold them down, even if they don't feel like they have the strength to do so. Yes, our message is hostile and may sound overly aggressive at times, but it is meant to inspire Christians when the enemy tries to discourage them.
In addition to the musical members of your team, you have a production and design component as well. Talk a little about the roles of different ministry members and how they fit together.
Hostyle Gospel: The other members in this ministry are what really make Hostyle Gospel Ministries work.
What we are known for today is because of these hard workers. Yes, the music is the meat and potatoes of Hostyle Gospel, but the graphic designer's input on the album designs or the web designer's images we use on our website makes ministry come to life. The producing from our production team is how the lyrical content jumps off our writing pads right onto the albums for our supporters listen to.
Teckniek is the graphic designer and back up rapper. He makes most of our designs for our albums, T-shirts or poster.
David Garcia is our web designer and one of our drummers. He also shot two of our Hostyle Gospel videos; "Coming Back Again" off our Immortal Combat album and Monsters off our "Desperation" album.
Kamikaze is one of our dancers, writers and web designer on our team. He also raps and does poetry on our albums.
King Son is the main producer of Hostyle Gospel. He is a back-up rapper on all the albums and is the brother of lead rapper Proverb.
Have there been any testimonies you've witnessed during your time as a band that particularly stand out to you?
Big Job: The one that stands out for me is when we rapped in front of teens at a youth home for seriously emotionally and behaviorally challenged teens. The leaders told us that the teens were feeling down that night, and some were not feeling the "Jesus Thing." But that day no one could tell us or them the Spirit wasn't in that room. Their hands were in the air, their feet were taping to the beat and the entire room was yelling PRAISE THE LORD! And after I give a testimony about how I once had a behavior issue, we had dozens of teens lined up after the show to tell us their testimonies and how they wanted to give their lives to Christ!
What do you think the role of hip-hop is in ministry?
Hostyle Gospel: It seems like hip-hop is the way of the world right now. You can find hip-hop on commercials, sports talk shows, even at weddings. In the beginning, I think hip-hop in ministry had a bad rep due to the lack of understanding about the genre. Some people's impression about hip-hop is based off the "gangsta rap" that was produced in the 90s, not understanding that other forms of positive hip-hop were produced as well at that time. I also think right out the gate Christian hip-hop got hit hard with negative criticism because of the gangsta era and the fact that some of our fellow Christian rappers just didn't know how to rap the way that mainstream was used to hearing at that time.
Moreover, a lot of churches don't trust CHH because of their traditions in their churches, again because it wasn't familiar to them. But right now, Christian hip-hop is becoming the cool thing that kids do. Lecrae's mark on the game has changed some people's view of CHH rappers and opened a door for future generations to explore Christian hip-hop. I think if used right, the role of hip-hop in churches/ministries could change communities. It could help the youth in troubled areas across the country, if neighborhood churches would just give it a chance.
What do you all have cooking musically right now? When can fans expect a follow-up to Hostyle Takeover?
Hostyle Gospel: We are currently writing and producing an EP produced by Tone Jonez that should be released in the near future. We are also talking to major cities about a possible tour. Stay tune for more information about that!
How can listeners be praying for you all?
Hostlye Gospel: Please pray for the hand of the Lord to be on this ministry. We've gone to and seen so many places, but at the end of the day none of that matter if lives aren't being led to Jesus Christ.
Associate Editor Mary Nikkel’s love for writing, photography, videography and rock and roll have all been bound together by her love for Jesus, leading to her role with NRT. Her favorite things include theology and Greek language studies, obscure Nashville coffee shops, all things related to the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and pushing the boundaries enacted by societal norms. She blogs at Threads of Stars.
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