Sola Soul puts the soul back in hip hop


Photo by Rosetta Riley

Graffiti artists of the group Faith by Knowledge spray paint a mural during Friday’s Sola Soul event at Fluor Fountain.

Christians from an array of ethnic backgrounds came together Friday night in the name of hip hop.

Sola Soul, an annual hip hop concert hosted by AS Multi-Cultural Relations (MCR), featured guest Christian hip hop artists Propaganda, Zane, Keisha, Black Ink and Caviar Brown. It was held by Biola’s Flour Fountain of Faith,

Along with musical performances, In Rhythm With Him, a Christian break dancing group, drew a crowd as they popped, locked and spun on their heads. Hip hop artists and break dancers performed while Faith by Knowledge, an organization of Christian graffiti artists, spray painted a mural on canvas.

Musical artists rapped about everything from issues of love to the second coming of Christ, personal testimonies to almost chopping off one’s hair.

Liana Sims, chair of MCR, explained that the Sola Soul took approximately a month to plan and hoped that people gained an understanding that hip hop is still a form of worship.

“Hip hop is shunned as being secular and not of God because of mainstream hip hop and so we want to show mainstream hip hop is not the only way hip hop is done,” Sims said. “Mainstream hip hop is honestly a perversion of hip hop but God can be in anything.”

The event was emceed by junior Shalom Bako who not only presented each artist but humored the crowd with minor technical difficulties. Bako explained that hip hop is not just music but a way of life.

“Hip hop is a way of ministering to people who are in that lifestyle and a unique way of preaching,” he said.

Spectator Laina Penny, a junior, appreciated the event and the variety of artists that included Latinos and African Americans, males and females.

“There is a very white culture on this campus,” Penny said, “so to get another culture and thrown in their face every now and then is good.”

After the concert, t-shirts and CDs were available for sale and Biolans mingled afterward.

Although pleased with the turnout this year compared to former years, Sims hoped Biolans could see MCR’s vision through Sola Soul.

“I don’t want people to think [MCR] just puts on events,” she said. “The purpose of the event is not just a little nice concert. It’s really to start appreciating a different form of worship.”

Sims also wants Biolans to keep supporting events such as Sola Soul. She said the more support and more feedback they receive, the more the school sees it is worth funding.

Missed the event? Check out some of the artists on the web!

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