On March 26, 2013 DaSouth.com co-owner Bobby “Tre9” Herring is set to release Missionary Minded, possibly the final album in his rap career, with Rapture Recordz – a Houston-based mainstream hip hop label.
The project’s title, a play on hip hop legend KRS-ONE’s Criminal Minded and Spiritual Minded albums, reflects Tre9’s current focus as an urban missionary. Song topics will focus on issues he’s encountered in this role including the plague of fatherlessness and the wicked appeal “street life” has on the residents of inner-city communities.
“My return to the mic was definitely a God-inspired thing,” Tre9 said. “Particularly with a mainstream label and one that wasn’t my own.”
Although he founded Much Luvv Records, which released over a dozen Christian hip hop titles throughout the 2000’s, Tre9 eventually shifted his focus away from the music business and into full-time ministry. He said the partnership with Rapture Recordz allows him to keep that work at the heart of his daily routine.
“For several years I was simply discouraged about the direction of the Christian rap being produced and even sent to us at DaSouth.com. Much of it seemed to have lost the true mission focus I know can be so powerful,” Tre9 said. “But now, instead of just complaining about it, I can lead by example. Rapture will handle the business side of things and allow me to maintain my focus on being a missionary to the hip hop culture around me. It’s a huge blessing.”
Tre9 said that he’s even going to let his YouTube and social media outlets point to the portals set up for his mission work – a rare decision for a rap artist about to release a new project for retail.
Missionary Minded will feature high-profile guest appearances from Bun B (UGK), Pyrexx (ABN/Thorough Breadz Gang), Sho Baraka (formerly of Reach Records), The Robbie Seay Band (Christian Rock/Worship), D-MAUB, and Gideonz Army, as well as members of the Houston and Hip Hop Hop Hope Christian rap communities. The features are more than just cross-promotional marketing efforts, but are instead the result of personal relationships Tre9 has cultivated over the last decade of music ministry.
Music videos from the album will be accompanied by a “Ministry Before the Music” teaching video where Tre9 and others discuss the storyline of the song or the topics addressed within it. These short sessions are ideal for small group discipleship settings or for parents and mentors who want to use the music as a launching point for a serious discussion about life’s challenges and ultimate solutions. This box set of videos will be released in the summer 2013.
Missionary Minded’s first video single is “Teach Me Your Ways” featuring Pyrexx. The song has a full visual treatment, a “Ministry Before the Music” film, and a “Behind the Scenes” clip that shows how a man who was an “extra” for the video was led to salvation during his time on the set. His radio single will be “Red Bible, Red Letterz,” a high-energy dance track sure to be enjoyed by today’s teen and young adult hip hop consumers.