Believers from over 146 cities, 40 different states and 5 nations have gathered for the 9th Annual Holy Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta, which will feature performances from some 137 "ministers of the Gospel."
The two-day extravaganza, which kicked off Friday night, features non-stop performances each night until 1 a.m., and culminates with the awarding of this year's honorees for their invaluable service, sacrifice, labor and contributions to the community.
"It's more than music … it's a movement," states the motto of the Fellowship of Holy Hip Hop, which hosts the event each year in Atlanta.
This year's Holy Hip Hop Awards is being held at Center Stage Arena (formerly known as Earthlink Live Arena) in downtown Atlanta, and is being emceed by Eddie "Da Preachin Puerto Rican" Velez and rapper, singer and producer Erica Cumbo. The event is also being broadcast on JC-TV, an affiliate of Trinity Broadcasting Network that covers over 10 million homes.
"The Annual Holy Hip Hop Awards and Artist Showcase allows artists to display their talents and members of the community to engage in an entertaining and spiritually riveting event," testified Shirley Franklin, the mayor of Atlanta, in a letter to the Fellowship of Holy Hip Hop.
The event also recognizes ministers of the gospel for their commitment to impacting the hearts, minds and should of the community, she added.
This year's honorees are LG Wise, Young Prayzr, IROCC, S.O.M., D-M.A.U.B., Gospel Gangstaz, The Great Commission, Danny (D-Boy)Rodriguez (posthumous), Legacy, XROSS, Dice Gamble, and Christafari.
"The City of Atlanta commends your diligence in reaching spirits through Hip Hop," Franklin stated.
Since 1997, the Fellowship of Holy Hip Hop's stated mission has been to "take the Gospel to the streets through the global proliferation of spiritually-enlightening holy hip hop ministry, music and entertainment glorifying Christ."
Ahead of this year's Jan. 16-17 gathering was a Holy Hip Hop Summit on Jan. 15 at which a "State of the Movement" address was made.
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