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In this special end of 2022 episode, Alexander, Darius, and Daniel each bring two of their favorite CHH albums from 2022 alongside one non-CHH favorite. We’ve got Not Klyde! Nomis! Stranger Things! Bodega! Experimental EDM! We’ve got it all on the DINO NUGGETS music listening show! Check it out and let us know what you think.

Connect with Alexander, Daniel, and Darius on Instagram, and follow the DINO NUGGETS playlist on Apple Music or Spotify.

 

Welcome to DINO NUGGETS, FiveTwenty’s own music discovery show! It’s the last episode of season 1 and as always your hosts are bringing you nine bangers to listen to and discuss. This month: The Cross Movement, cyphers, and pizza vibes. Plus! the guys disagree on the best way to listen to music for the first time, and be on the lookout for an upcoming bonus episode! Check it out on the FiveTwenty Collective Mixcloud now!

Connect with Alexander, Daniel, and Darius on Instagram, and follow the DINO NUGGETS playlist on Apple Music or Spotify.

The November episode of DINO NUGGETS, FiveTwenty’s music discovery show, is out now! Half podcast, half radio show, on DINO NUGGETS each host brings

  • One new CHH release
  • One old CHH release
  • One non CHH release

to listen to and discuss. This month: Church Clothes 4, DJ Mykael V, and even some Christmas music, all while Darius and Alexander are battling the flu! Check it out on the FiveTwenty Mixcloud now!

Connect with Alexander and Darius on Instagram, and follow the DINO NUGGETS playlist on Apple Music or Spotify.

The October episode of DINO NUGGETS, FiveTwenty’s music discovery show, is out now! Half podcast, half radio show, on DINO NUGGETS each host brings

  • One new CHH release
  • One old CHH release
  • One non CHH release

to listen to and discuss. This month: Social Club Misfits, Playdough, vibe validation, and even some 60s blues? Listen to it on the FiveTwenty Mixcloud now to hear more!

The newest episode of FiveTwenty’s newest show, DINO NUGGETS, is out now! Half podcast, half radio show, on DINO NUGGETS each host brings

  • One new CHH release
  • One old CHH release
  • One non CHH release

to listen to and discuss. This month: Misfits, Mineo, Marlowe, misinformation, and more! Check it out on the FiveTwenty Mixcloud now.

Introducing the newest addition to the FiveTwenty Collective family: DINO NUGGETS!

DINO NUGGETS is a music listening show that’s half podcast, half radio show. Each month, hosts Alexander Bitterling, Darius Mullin, and Daniel Potts bring three music picks to share and discuss:

  • one new CHH release from the previous month
  • one old CHH release that was released at least five years ago
  • one non-CHH release from the previous month.

The show is available on the FiveTwenty Mixcloud. (Disclaimer: You don’t have to have an account to listen!) Listen to the first episode below, and stay tuned for more every month!

The First Episode

Episode 01.01 includes tracks by:

  • Tobe Nwigwe, Coast Contra
  • Jeremiah Bligen
  • TobyMac
  • Wande
  • DJ Wise, Redcloud
  • Flame

"444+333 (God Is Perfect)" Artwork

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of DIVE with DJ Expander*.

Today, I will dive into a song from 2018 called 444+333 (God Is Perfect) by Ty Brasel.

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all His work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that he had done in creation.” – Genesis 2:2-3


About the Single

On March 30th, 2018, Memphis-born, and 4 Against 5 recording artist, Ty Brasel released Side A of his album ‘Destined for Greatness’.

Following that release on December 7th, 2018, Ty Brasel dropped the entire album. Side B contained the single 444+333 (God Is Perfect). He created this single with Grammy award winner Kenneth Christian Mackey (also known as Kenneth Chris Mackey) being the writer of the outro and Dirty Rice being the producer.


Interpretation of the Song

This song primarily came about due to Lil Uzi Vert’s “444+222,” equaling 666, Satan’s number. In response, Ty Brasel’s 444+333 (God Is Perfect) is a sharp contrast to “444+222,” cheerfully honoring and glorifying God.

Ty Brasel’s 444+333 (God Is Perfect) official music video has two counters. One is on the top left corner and one on the top right corner. The counter on the top right counts how many total words are in the song. The other on the top left displaying the number “4,” shows how many times “4” is in the song.

At the end of the video, the total word count of the song is 333. The total amount of times Ty Brasel says the number “4” is 44. Remember, the 44 follows the number “4.” Therefore, you have “444+333,” which equals “777.” “777” is Biblically the number of God, fullness, perfection, and completion. It represents critical Biblical concepts. One crucial concept that this number symbolizes is the Holy Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). Two verses in Genesis convey the perfection of God’s creation by explaining what happened on the seventh day; immediately following the six days He spent forming creation. These two verses mention “7” seven times, making the number “777” (See Genesis 2:2-3).

While repeating the number 7 three times represents not only the perfection of the Holy Trinity (who is God three-in-one), it also emphasizes the perfection and completion of God’s design.

This number represents that God formed creation in a good and whole way. Meaning God created all of us fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14). We can start to see what Ty Brasel aims to convey to his audience in this song. Especially considering the name of the album the single is on, ‘Destined for Greatness’. We, as God’s creation, all have a purpose given by God through His will. Since we are all wonderfully and fearfully made by God to serve a purpose here on Earth, we are all destined for greatness.


Conclusion

444+333 (God Is Perfect) by Ty Brasel, Kenneth Christian Mackey, and produced by Dirty Rice is a song having well over one million streams on Spotify. In this single, Ty Brasel uses numerical significance and some of his experiences to show that we are all destined for greatness, God is perfect in all His ways, and God has a plan for each of us.

Believers can walk away from this knowing God loves you and has a plan for you that corresponds with His will. Trust and believe God will put things in motion for your best interests.

For absolutely everyone—even those who are not followers of Jesus—this means that God loves you and has a plan for you! He created us all. His love for us supersedes anything we could imagine.


*About this Series

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meaning of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).


God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full 444+333 (God Is Perfect) music video at the end of the article!**

Want more news on Ty Brasel? Check out this article now.

"Church Gone Wild" Artwork

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of DIVE with DJ Expander*.

Today, I will dive into the single Church Gone Wild by 1K Famo.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians‬ ‭3:16‬


About the Single

On October 18th, 2016, Georgia native and Reach Records artist, 1K Phew, released his single Church Gone Wild. It features the Atlanta-based rapper Tonio (currently known as Don Tino) and is produced by Zaytoven.

As seen above, the single’s cover has the “Girls Gone Wild” franchise logo with the word “Girls” covered up by the word “Church.”

On February 8th, 2022, 1K Famo (a collective of the artists known as 1K Phew, 1k Pson, Don Tino, Chris Elijah, and Chozen) rereleased Church Gone Wild.


Interpretation of the Single

1K Famo’s Church Gone Wild is about bridging the gap between enjoying life and loving God. 

The song mentions the “old church” by saying, “Tell the old church that we don’t play.” 

In context, “we” means the “new church,” which promotes a healthy relationship with God. The song emphasizes having fun worshiping God with thankfulness rather than advancing the idea that you need to be “religious” to be a follower of Jesus.

Being a part of God’s Church (otherwise known as the Body of Christ) does not mean being someone who goes to church and then proceeds to live sinfully the rest of the week, just to come back on Sunday to ask for God’s forgiveness. Nor does it mean that to be a part of God’s Church, you must be “religious” by partaking in artificial church traditions. Artificial traditions such as unbiblical practices that many churches promote.

Released on July 8th, 2022, 1K Phew’s single “New Church” contains similar meanings and ideals to Church Gone Wild and references it multiple times.

This song primarily promotes having a healthy relationship with God by having fun praising him with gratefulness in our hearts.


Conclusion

Church Gone Wild is a song with the rereleased version having over half a million plays on Spotify.

In this single, 1K Phew and Don Tino put a fun—yet Biblical—twist on having a relationship with Christ. He mentions the “old church” and the “new church.” The “old church” that he speaks of are churches that see themselves as “religious” rather than having genuine relationships with Christ—tending to value artificial traditions over truly Biblical practices.

The last point I noticed the song conveys is to have fun worshipping Jesus. The “new church” is about promoting a healthy relationship with God. Fellowship with fellow believers in Jesus. Singing praises to God with thankfulness in our hearts. (See Colossians 3:16).


*About this Series

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meaning of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).


God Bless,

DJ Expander

Want more news on 1K Famo? Check out this article now.

The name of the game for independent artists is to increase listeners resulting in higher streams of their music. Platforms such as Spotify aid in fostering this growth.

Not all spikes in listenership are something to be excited about, unfortunately.

That is currently a lesson that many in the Christian hip-hop world are learning first-hand.

Playlisting Scam

As an artist, after countless hours pouring into a song’s creation, it is always a good feeling to receive a level of recognition for your work. In today’s music industry, where streams reign supreme (for now), landing your song on a playlist with a large number of followers is a great boost. Not only does it share your music with an audience that might not find out about you otherwise, but those streams impact your own follower numbers.

So the more playlists the better, right? Right?

Nope.

 

 

The playlist in question, Indie World, is curated by Artister.

According to Artister’s website, their platform boasts “Over 500,000+ Listeners” that generate monthly “over 10,000,000+ Organic Streams”.

The word that quickly jumps out is Organic.

Bots & More

Artister curates 18 playlists on streaming giant Spotify. They also have a whopping 10 followers on their account. Yet each of those 18 playlists has more than 98,000 followers individually. Many with 200,000+.

Are you connecting the dots?

Artister makes plenty of claims that would easily get the average artist excited:

“Artister.io is a small team of passionate Playlist curators and Music Industry experts. We tend to focus on discovering new talents, musicians, and passionate people, where we can help them to gain more engagement on their favorite Music Streaming Platforms.” – “Currently, we have over 8,000+ partners, ranging from Coffee Shops, McDonald’s restaurants, Public Events, and private lounges. Our partners tend to play the submitted music from our playlists upon receiving a new song-this way, both the partners and the musician profit.” – Artister’s “About Us” page.

The company also states that they do not use any bots or click farms to generate their streams. Instead, listeners get rewarded with in-system points when they listen to Artister playlists through their apps. Points can be redeemed for gift cards and more. The question is, is that the definition of Organic?

This set-up is classified as a “win-win” for everyone involved according to Artister. Unfortunately, not everyone (specifically artists) shares the same outlook.

Artist Input

I spoke with CHH artist Mitch Darrell about this situation that arose this week to get his insight.

FiveTwenty: When did the CHH community first notice that something weird was happening?

Mitch Darrell: For this specific scam, I personally noticed [it] about two weeks ago when a fellow artist reached out to me about being added to a big playlist that they didn’t pitch to. I then noticed it happen to me yesterday (July 19, 2022) and saw that it’d happened to a lot of my peers yesterday as well.

FT: You use the word scam, what makes you define what has happened that way?

MD: So the website states that they add random artists’ music to their huge playlists for one day, without them asking for it, to show the artists what their playlists can do numbers-wise. Afterward, if you want to remain on the playlist, you can pay them per day, week, or month. They claim to not be breaking any rules because [they are not] using bots. To me, this is a scam because: 1. they are adding artists without their knowledge or consent; 2. The numbers, while not made by bots, are unauthentic because the people who listen and follow are only doing so to be rewarded and not because they actually are fans of you or your songs; 3. I’m 99% positive that eventually the followers added this way (because you gain so much in a short period of time) appear as a red flag to Spotify and get removed down the line.

FT: In your opinion, why do you think that this company selected indie CHH artists?

MD: I personally feel like maybe they found a real CHH playlist and saw that it’s a big enough market to try to sell their services to.

FT: Can you explain the response we have seen from artists a little more and why they are frustrated?

MD: For me personally, and others I know, it’s frustrating because it both ruins the hard work you’ve put in to earn a real following and also hurts your authenticity. I was about to reach 1200 followers, something I was proud of. Now I’m at 1450 followers and I know for a fact that those extra 250 are not real supporters. Now if someone looks at my follower graph, they’ll wonder if I did something dishonest to gain followers.

FT: As an artist in this situation, what do you view as your next steps and how do you move forward from this?

MD: To be completely honest, I have no idea. The only thing that can technically be done is to reach out to Spotify and have them look into it. However, I’ve found that others have done that over the last year and nothing has been done.

FT: What should organic playlist placement look like in your opinion?

MD: Firstly, it should never promise that you’ll 100% gain a bunch of plays or followers. If they can guarantee that, then they’re most likely bots or something like this. 9 times out of 10, if you need to pay the platform, it’s probably not authentic. Typically, it should be set up where you email or send in a song and they decide whether they want to add it or not. A big playlist cycle is typically a week or two that songs stay up. Not 24 hours and not based on how much you pay them to stay on the playlist. The numbers should make sense. You will never gain 200 followers in a day unless your song gets reposted by Drake or someone.

FT: Do you have recommendations on how artists can be proactive to try and avoid similar situations?

MD: Honestly, I don’t. It’s so random and out of anyone’s control whether or not you are added to a playlist. I will say, don’t ever willingly use that platform or any platform that claims they’ll get you plays and followers for money.

Takeaways

At the end of the day, it is up to us in the community to make sure artists are supported. Not Spotify.

Sites such as Artister do and will continue to exist. It is a play to generate profit off of the hopes of independent artists. 

Artister offers package plans beginning at $49.99 for 1-week placement. They currently cap out with their Diamond Plan at $1199.99 for 2 months.

The best thing that fans and supporters can do is simple. If artists offer their music directly, purchase it from them. When it comes to streaming, create your own playlists and listen to your favorite artists from there; if not your own, make sure you follow reputable curators who have artist integrity in mind.

Here at FiveTwenty Collective, we curate playlists on both Spotify and Audiomack. We never charge an artist for placement on our playlists. There is a screening process to be selected for placement.

Spotify has taken steps in the past, including adding an algorithm Boost feature, to combat issues. However, more protection for artists may need to be put in place.

It has been two years since we had last heard from Zae Da Blacksmith on ‘Irons In The Fire‘.

His latest effort, Switchblade, is a throwback to a Jedi Mind Tricks type of sound. You won’t find 2- or 3-minute songs when it comes to Zae because Zae has a lot to say.

The Christcentric artist teams up with Doctrynal and Grungy Boguez to form Damascus Steel.

The trio will release a project called ‘Da Mask is Steel‘, which is available with an early exclusive release on the Christcentric website.

Switchblade adds DJ Dap who brings fire cuts with some guitar riffs over a boom-bap beat for a solid 5 minutes! When you think of Christcentric, you know you’ll always get an uplifting song and in contrast to the braggadocio found in secular hip-hop, you will find an artist intent on making the name of Christ famous and exalted.

You’ll find fresh air with Switchblade.

“Press the button, let the sword emerge, switchblade mechanism/Engage with God’s word and get your brain up out of prison/Dig in the scripture maybe you’ll get laced up with the wisdom/Take the pill for real get out the matrix and escape the system”

Zae Da Blacksmith aims to get brains out of prison, unplug from the matrix system and the poison of some secular hip-hop and introduce those to Christ via apologetics work and lyricism rarely found in CHH.

They have released a video for the single which you can view below.

What do you think of Switchblade? Are you excited about the formation of Damascus Steel? How do you compare this to Zae Da Blacksmith’s previous release? Hit up the comments and give us your thoughts!

About Zae Da Blacksmith

Zae Da Blacksmith is a Philadelphia-based hip-hop artist. He is known for his gruff voice and east coast sound. Zae delivers inspiring, yet practical, Christian manifestos.

About Doctrynal

Doctrynal is for the reformation of religion in church and state according to the Word of God and our sworn covenants. He is also a producer of ill beats, the grimy and dusty type. A spitter of bars, the doctrynal type.