Kurtis Blow on Gospel

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Kurtis Blow and Urban D form Strategic Marketing Alliance To Co-Market and Cross-Promote Albums to be Simultaneously Released Worldwide By EMI Gospel on Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Pastor Kurtis Blow and Pastor Tommy Kyllonen (a/k/a 'Urban D') have mutually agreed to cross promote and co-market each other's albums, as a part of a strategic marketing alliance.  Pastor Urban D, founder of the world's first Hip Hop Church, on May 8, 2007 will also become the first emcee in the history of recorded music to simultaneously release: (1) A Book; (2) A DVD; and (3) A CD via major distribution all collectively titled: Unorthodox.  Pastor Kurtis Blow, one of the founders and creators of recorded rap, will also on May 8, 2007 release a collection of diverse holy hip hop trax titled: Hip Hop Ministry. While EMI Gospel is distributing both albums and Urban D's DVD, Zondervan Publishing is distributing Urban D's Book.

About Urban D:
Urban D. (Tommy Kyllonen) was raised in Philadelphia and developed a love for hip-hop at a young age. Although he grew up in a Christian home he strayed into the streets as a teen. At the age of 18 he built a solid relationship with his creator and soon felt a call on his life to go back and reach his culture. In 1996 he graduated from Southeastern University with a BA in Pastoral Theology and a concentration in youth ministry. He currently is enrolled in a Master's level leadership course at Southeastern. In 1996 he moved to Tampa, Florida and founded the youth ministry at Crossover Church with just 4 teens. Over the next 6 years he and his wife Lucy developed a first of its kind Hip-Hop Youth Ministry which grew to 200.

The adult ministry on Sunday remained much smaller as the different pastors were always bi-vocational. In January of 2002 Tommy became the lead pastor and a new vision was birthed to specifically reach the Hip-Hop Culture. The church became Purpose Driven in their structure as they truly began to engage the culture in their community. Without compromise they carefully incorporated many elements into their worship context and campus with music, dance, visual arts, short films, and relevant messages. The ministry has seen incredible growth as their weekend attendance has jumped from 40 to over 400 in less than 4 years. Their youth service reaches hundreds more.

Crossover annually holds a Hip-Hop/Emerging Ministries Conference called Flavor Fest. Hundreds of Pastors, Youth Pastors, Leaders, and Artists come from all over the world to the Fest to fellowship, network, and get equipped to better reach this culture. The INSP Network came and filmed the past few years and released two double disc DVD sets and a CD that are available in stores nationally. Urban D. also hosts the "Flavor Fest Hip-Hop Series" TV Show on I-Life and INSP which reach over 48 Million homes in the U.S. Urban D. has recorded 5 solo Hip-Hop albums since 1996 and has traveled across the U.S., Germany, Japan, and England performing and speaking at conferences. He is also part of Crossover's "Fla.vor Alliance" that has collectively released more than 20 albums in the past 7 years. His music showcases a variety of east coast flavor with his trademark Mediterranean/Latin influence. Tommy has also written for Relevant Books, American Bible Society, Thomas Nelson, Interlinc, along with several magazines.

For more information on Crossover Community Church, Flavor.Alliance and Pastor Tommy Kyllonen, go to: CrossoverChurch.org; FlavorAlliance.com.  

To Read More (entire USA Today article) about Urban D and Crossover Community Church, Click Here: USA Today (or copy/paste the following link into your web-browser: http://www.usatoday.com/life/2005-11-27-hip-hop-church_x.htm). 
About Kurtis Blow:

Kurtis Blow, one of the founders and creators of recorded rap, stands as an emerging leader in a new generation of rappers with street sense, social criticism, and commercial savvy, a timeless artist and hip hop legend, Kurtis Blow has been instrumental in raising up a generation of MCs, and he will soon carry the torch for hip hop music into new arenas. In 1979, at the age of twenty, Kurtis Blow became the first Rapper to be signed by a major label. Mercury released Christmas Rappin, and it sold over 400,000 copies and it became an annual classic. Its gold follow-up The Breaks helped ignite rap as a recognized form of music. He released 10 Albums over 11 years -- The first entitled Kurtis Blow, his full length debut and his second, a Top 50 Pop Album Deuce, a big hit across Europe; Party Time which featured a pioneering fusion of Rap and GoGo; Ego Trip, which includes the hits 8 Million Stories, AJ, and Basketball and in 1985, America. America’s video innovation received a MTV Monitor Award.

From this album, the song If I Ruled the World became a top 5 hit on Billboards R & B chart. Columbia/Sony recording artist Nas debuted at .. #1 on the Billboards Pop Album chart with a cover of the song in 1997. He was honored to coordinate King Holiday, along with Dexter Scott King, a song to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther Kings Birthday. The Mercury/Polygram single co-produced by Kurtis Blow includes the collaborative efforts of Whitney Houston, New Edition, Stephanie Mills, El Debarge, James JT Taylor of Kool & the Gang, The Fat Boys and Run DMC among others. It has become an annual Holiday Classic. Besides his own work, Kurtis has been responsible for Rap hits by The Fat Boys and Run DMC. Run began his career billed as The son of Kurtis Blow. Love Bug Starski, Sweet Gee, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Full Force, Russell Simmons and Wyclef Jean all have been produced or have worked with Blow in the past.
Kurtis Blow is now working for Sirius Satellite Radio on the Classic Old School Hip Hop station Backspin 43. In 1996 Kurtis Blow was featured in a Hip Hop display at the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. The display still stands. In 1998 the group Next released Too Close, in which the music of Christmas Rap was sampled for the ..1 pop songs background track. Too Close was the longest running ..1 song of 1998 for Billboards Pop Chart. ASCAP honored Blow and Next at a gala affair on May 26, 1999. In 2002 after 9/11, Kurtis went overseas to the Middle East to tour the Armed Forces Bases for 17 shows to bring a little bit of back home to the troops stationed there. The tour consisted of shows in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Krgystan, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman It was a tour I will never forget, Blow says, I did the Bob Hope thing. Here are many of the firsts credited to Kurtis Blow: First rapper to sign to a Major label First certified gold record for rap (The Breaks) First rapper to tour US & Europe (w/ The Commodores, 1980) First rapper to record a national commercial (Sprite) First rapper to use the drum machine, sample & sample loop First rap music video (Basketball) First rap producer (Rap's producer of the year in 1983-85) First rapper featured in a soap opera (One Life to Live) First rap millionaire Kurtis Blow helped legitimize Hip Hop, and now, he intends to help redeem it. Having made a deep commitment to the ways and teachings of Jesus Christ, Kurtis is now an ordained Pastor. As Co-founder of the Hip Hop Church, Kurtis serves as rapper, DJ and worship leader. Don't get it twisted, God has always existed, says Kurtis, and in terms of these young people out here who love God but do not like to go to church, only Hip Hop can bring them back to the church.

For More information or to access HipHopMinistry.com, Click here: HipHopMinistry.com or go to: HipHopChurchNY.com

About Zondervan Publishing:

Zondervan has a team of more than 360 employees, with offices in Grand Rapids, Miami, and London.  Parent company, Harper Collins Publishers has offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Glasgow, Paris, Johannesburg, Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo, and Singapore.  Zondervan authors number more than 1,500 and range from homemakers, business people, politicians and celebrities, to theologians, scholars, philosophers, and ministry professionals.

Zondervan has 41 Bibles and books with more than 500,000 copies of each in print, including one bestseller with more than 30 million copies in print worldwide (The Purpose Driven® Life by Rick Warren).  Zondervan’s Bibles consistently dominate the CBA Bible bestseller list. Since 1995, Zondervan Bibles have held at least 5, and as many as all 10, of the top 10 positions on the list at any given time. The NIV Study Bible has been the country’s bestselling Bible since 2000.  Zondervan maintains more than 5,000 Bible, book, and other product titles in its catalog. Zondervan publishes approximately 40 Bible editions, 125 books, over 200 gift items, and 50 new media products each year.

Zondervan products are sold worldwide in more than 60 countries. Zondervan books have been translated into nearly 150 languages.

Zondervan services major bookstore chains and groups, including Family Christian Stores, The Parable Group, LifeWay Christian Stores, Berean Christian Stores, The Logos Bookstore Association, Christian Supply, Lemstone Christian Stores, Munce Group, WaldenBooks, Borders, and Books-A-Million.  Zondervan services major distributors, including Spring Arbor Distributors, Ingram Book Group, Appalachian Distributors, Anchor Distributors, and Baker & Taylor.  Zondervan fills 1,800-1,900 product orders a day, while a daily average of 200,000 pounds of product are shipped from the Zondervan warehouse to worldwide addresses.  Zondervan has been selected CBA Supplier of the Year six times—in 1978, 1990, 1996, 2003, 2004, and 2005.

Zondervan’s two-story, glass-wrapped corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan includes more than 320,000 square feet of office and distribution space. The facility, built to Zondervan’s specifications, sits on 20 acres of land, allowing adequate room for future growth.  The corporate office lobby is highlighted by a life-size bronze sculpture, The Divine Servant®. Based on Mark 10:43-45 and John 13:3-17, the sculpture by Texan artist Max Greiner, Jr. depicts the biblical scene of Jesus washing the feet of the disciple Peter, reminding employees of the importance of servant leadership.

About EMI Gospel and EMI CMG:
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 Sheard, Smokie Norful, Bishop Eddie Long, Bishop T.D. Jakes and more).
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 and SGR Music Recording Artist: Tragedy; Crossover Community Church Recording Artist: Urban D; Carriers of the Cross Ministries Recording Artists: Carriers Of The Cross; This Click Records Recording Artist: K-Drama; DJ SkillSpinz; and Kurtis Blow Ministries (Music Alliance). 

For more information on the Global Movement to Take the Gospel to the Streets, log on to: HolyHipHop.com

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