(PHOTO: Rap Fest)
Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of New York based Christian hip-hop festival Rap Fest, an evangelical music event that aims to reach communities for Christ.
Started in 1994 in the Bronx, the first event had 60 people in attendance. Now 20 years later, and the outdoor festival has seen as many as 6,000 people attend in 2006 when their guest speaker was author and pastor Nicky Cruz.
The event kicks off tonight with a pre-Rap Fest party at The Sanctuary Fellowship in the Bronx from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. There, attendees can see the Rap Fest documentary and celebrate 20 years of history with the coordinators and a few of the artists.
Tomorrow the festival begins at 12 p.m. and runs to 7 p.m. at Vidalia Park, Bronx. Rap Fest promises eight hours of non stop hip-hop from some of the best local and up and coming Christian emcees around.
The event is free, and there will be giveaways and special guest speakers.
Scheduled to perform tomorrow are Alcam, An7orcha aka Impacto, Atonement TV, B. F.r.e.e., C.H.R.I.S., Eric E, Firejaws, Freestyle Fam, Gauge and Slave, J Sky Walker, Promise, Red Dott, Richard Dauphin, Selah The Corner, Swinn Da Example, and the Pyrobot.
DJ's include: DJ Nu Man, DJ YNot?, DJ Tony Tone and DJ Tranzformed.
Sponsors of the event include God Belongs in My City, Holy Culture, 3HP Nation, and a slew of other Christian organizations.
"I feel hip-hop is a primary tool in reaching the ears of non-believers. Hip-Hop is a culture. It has a following so strong and in depth, it almost serves as a living, breathing organism in the world today," said Rap Fest performer Redeemed of Freestyle Fam in a previous interview with The Christian Post. "I find that being effective in the arena of hip-hop is not just something I love to do but something I'm called to do."
"I'd go as far to say that if a believer can be effective in the hip-hop game of today, they can be taking part of something that [exposes people to Christ], but transforms an entire culture in and of itself," he continued. "Unfortunately I don't feel many Christians share the same approach to this vision that I do."
For more information on Rap Fest, visit the site here.