Thomas Iannucci dropped the throwback project, The Illyinde Tape.

Done in the old-school mixtape style, The Illyinde Tape is something special for Iannucci’s hardcore fans. Packed with deep cuts, it is the only access to previously unavailable tracks. Call it the best of the B-sides.

“I hope people will enjoy it and that it’ll tide them over until the album is done.” – Thomas Iannucci

 

The long-awaited album by Christian rapper Kanye West has arrived.

A seemingly endless saga came to an end when West’s label dropped the highly anticipated ‘Donda’.

West stated via his social media account that the album was released without his permission. Perhaps the label just didn’t want to see Ye set himself on fire again. Instead, looking to set the charts ablaze. Either way, the rollout has been one of the most elaborate in history. Instead of looking into the album’s content, let’s look at another angle. What does Donda mean for other Christian rappers?

Your Favorite Rapper’s Favorite Rapper Loves Jesus

It has been a whirlwind of change since Kanye embraced the Chrisitan Hip Hop genre. From a Dove award for his previous album ‘Jesus Is King’, divorcing Kim Kardashian, living in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and playing “you first” with an artist in Canada. One thing that is undeniable is how many Christian rappers actually love Kanye, even before he knew who they were. In fact, a recent Gallop poll puts the estimate of Yeezy stans in CHH well above the 50% plateau.

Donda has done nothing short of strengthing that fandom. Some may even say that it is inspiring a new generation of CHH artists.

There seems to be a spiritual revival happening throughout the timelines of CHH Twitter. A space that is often volatile and known for its daily outbursts is being brought together in a similar fashion to Billy Graham crusades of yesteryear. Artists are beginning to understand what it means to be a Christian rapper, many for the first time.

Take Lil’ Baby Jesus for example.

The indie artist has been a “Christian” emcee for nearly a decade but explains how West has opened his eyes to brand new possibilities.

“After listening to Donda, I was just like ‘wow’, you know? I mean, I’m going to make it a point to read the three Gospels that I hadn’t gotten around to yet. I had always assumed that they all basically said the same thing. But hearing what Ye said on the album makes me wonder if there’s some more in there. I guess I’ll find out.”

Newcomer to the CHH genre, Holy Ghost Righter, admitted to FiveTwenty that he sees that there’s a lot of growth still to go:

“When I got saved, I was obsessed with trying to be perfect. You have no idea how relieved I was when I found out about Christian Hip Hop and discovered that I really didn’t need to change that much. Like I could still cuss in my records. I could still smoke a little and chase girls and Jesus would still love me. What Kanye has shown me is that maybe I could go an extra step. I just need to learn how to edit out the curse words before releasing music like he did on Donda!”

Donda Is Even Bringing Artists Home

Veteran artists, some who have even left the genre, can’t escape Donda’s impact.

Rumors are swirling that Thomas Iannucci, who wrapped up his CHH career last year, is having second thoughts. Perhaps living up to his ‘Doubting Thomas’ album title.

Increasing belief is that, not only will Iannucci return to CHH now that West has made it an acceptable place for real artists, but he may include another return of sorts when he does. Whispers of donning the Illtalian moniker that first established him as a legitimate artist are popping up in Telegram chats like wildfire. While Iannucci was unwilling to comment on these rumors, he did offer some clarification:

“My sister Dondi recently released new music. I was attempting to be a good brother and help run her numbers up. In today’s economy, a McDouble is like 5,000 streams, so we have to look out for our own. Anyway, instead of Dondi, I ended up on Donda. Sure I could have fixed my search, but I’m not a Spotify premium user. The risk of listening to a random ad outweighed the reward. So I stuck with Donda. I can safely say that I’m glad I did. I’m sure my sister will understand.”

These are certainly unprecedented days for the CHH community.

Even media outlets are busy trying to make sense of it all. I spoke with Jay from the That’s Not Christian Podcast to get his take on the shift happening before our eyes. While he understandably wanted to limit his theorizing, he did go on the record saying:

“Jesus is King and Kanye is a prince! We must protect him at all costs. While I think it’s great that other Christian rappers are trying to follow Ye’s lead they have to understand that they will never get the same support, no matter how much ‘influence’ they take from this record. Not everyone can pull off being so boldly unashamed.”

What’s Next For Kanye?

While no one really knows what is on the horizon, there are a few logical dominos that will surely fall.

Another Dove award is a given.

Speculation is that more secular artists are ready to join Ye in his take over of the Christian music industry across the board. Take Da Baby and Marilyn Manson who joined West at his Chicago listening extravaganza. Why would they stand on the porch of a prop-house if it wasn’t the kickoff of their own project rollouts? The only question being are we going to have two individual albums or are we in store for a genre crossover collaboration? Regardless, Christian music fans await with open arms.

From Streetlight Sounds Headquarters

In a press release earlier today, indie collective Streetlight Sounds announced that they have no announcements to make at this time.

Streetlight artist, Thomas Iannucci, gave a statement that “there was nothing new to report.” Iannucci, whose mixtape, The Illyindé Tape, drops on August 24th, continued by saying, “we’ve got nothing going on right now. Just thought we should make that clear.”

Earlier this year, we were told to expect big things from the collective. That all of their roster had music and more on the way. Now, it seems, things may have changed.

This news comes as a shock to the indie hip-hop world.

Ever the trailblazers, it seems that Streetlight Sounds has come to an oversimplified conclusion. Sometimes the best moves in life are the ones you don’t make at all.

Still, we continue to wait for the revolutionary collective’s next move.

Streetlight founder and CEO, who has been busy working on Artist Elevate (his new course for helping independent artists reach their full potential) had this to say, “I’m actually not sure why you even felt the need to send out this press release at all. There’s nothing going on right now.”

“Wait, stop writing this down. This isn’t a statement. Don’t quote me on this. Stop!” – direct quote from J. Crum

The resident vocalist of the group, seni., agrees.

“It’s time to put the rumors to bed. We have no plans at this moment in time. In fact, I’m just in my room chillin’. I haven’t left in a week. It’s nice.”

seni.’s new single, We All Win, drops on August 20th.

This controversial move, to officially announce the doing of absolutely nothing, perhaps shows the sheer genius of the group. It also could throw back the curtain at their true motivation, clout-chasing.

Can you continue to make waves even when you do nothing at all? It seems to work Kanye.

For now, all that we can do is watch. What will they, or won’t they, do next?

What good is summer without the perfect vibes to go along with it?

goodcity. announces the latest from JIMMY ROCK!

On July 20, 2021, the EDM/hip hop mashup master is dropping his new 4-song EP titled Summer Vibes.

The project includes the hit remix “Rage” with Thomas Iannucci featuring P.O.D.’s Sonny Sandoval. This Friday, the single “See The Light” (featuring Sean McGee & ShaVazz The Weirdo) hits digital music retailers. Light Ends Darkness also features on the EP’s title track.

JIMMY ROCK has established himself within faith-based hip hop as a go-to for unique, club-style remixes. He has worked alongside several of Christian Hip Hop’s top names. Jimmy’s 2020 album World of Drops was well received in the space. It included guest appearances by popular artists Steven Malcolm, Fern (of Social Club Misfits), and CHH legend Pettidee.

Pre-Release Info

Summer Vibes is available for pre-saves now.

JIMMY ROCK and the team at goodcity. set a goal of 1000 pre-saves before release. If you get your music from Apple Music, Spotify, or Deezer, go and support the EP now by pre-saving.

Jimmy also announced via his Twitter account, that a virtual album release party will be happening to celebrate the project’s release.

 

Well, here we are. Officially less than one week from Thomas Iannucci releasing the third installment of his CHH trilogy.

You may remember that Iannucci joined me on the most recent episode of the Beyond the DMs podcast where we talked about Sleepless Nights and Makana, albums one and two.

In case you missed it, check it out here.

The new project, Doubting Thomas, releases on December 18, 2020, and features the new single “Rage” with Sonny Sandoval from the band P.O.D.

Now we dive into the finale, stepping out of the shadows of Christian Hip Hop, and what the future entails in Iannucci’s own words.

The Trilogy

“I’m a writer and all great stories are, generally speaking, broken up into three acts: The Beginning, The Middle, and The End. I have always liked trilogies and I’ve always believed that good things come in threes.”

This is the final album in my CHH trilogy. The completion of that story and that journey. The culmination of my time in CHH. After this, I will be transitioning into mainstream hip hop.

“This isn’t my first trilogy incidentally.

My first three projects in high school and early college were part of a trilogy that constituted the best I possibly could do making music on zero budget. I wanted to see how well I could push myself before taking the next step.

As for the CHH trilogy, I break it down like this…

Sleepless Nights, also called Notti Insonni, was the first in the trilogy, my first studio-level project.

After years of dropping stuff recorded at home, it was the first time I’d really invested time and money into a project. The quality was a huge step up.

Thematically, I was much more introspective than ever before, diving into my own head and my faith over the course of a short EP (structured over the concept of a restless night of sleep).”

“I followed that up with Makana, my introduction to the broader CHH and hip hop community in general.

It won me the Nā Hōkū Hanohano award for Best Hip Hop Album, but it also got me real fans for the first time.

It was the first album to capture the attention of blogs like Rapzilla, New H2o, Trackstarz, etc. Once again, it delved into my faith and really leaned into the CHH culture. I collabed with artists like 1kPhew, Swift, Je’kob, and Gemstones. [It] had production from Spechouse and Big Juice.”

Doubting Thomas is the culmination of my journey within CHH. It’s my sharpest CHH project.

The production quality has never been higher, my skills have never been better, and the features have never been bigger. It’s coming after my winning the fan vote and making the Rapzilla Freshman list as well as Trackstarz’ Next Up artist list. The timing was right and it made sense.

It’s an exploration of faith and mental health. An exploration of doubts, if you will, and also a love letter to the subgenre that has done so much for me. After that, I continue the work J. Crum and I began in Kuleana.”

NEXT: Can You Really Leave CHH?

Continue reading “Thomas Iannucci Discusses CHH Finale, ‘Doubting Thomas’ @thomasiannucci_”

On this episode of Beyond the DMs, host Eric N. Boston (@EricBoston3) is joined by Christian Hip Hop artist Thomas Iannucci (@ThomasIannucci_)

The two discuss Iannucci’s first two installments of his CHH trilogy, artists they grew up on, and Iannucci’s prepping for his new album ‘Doubting Thomas’.

The big news keeps coming for Hawaiian emcee Thomas Iannucci.

Fresh off of his second Hawaiian Grammy award for Best Hip Hop Album, Iannucci has now officially signed with the man who helped create the award-winning project ‘Kuleana’, J. Crum and Streetlight Sounds.

Streetlight Sounds is a family of creatives who leverage their talents to see their message of faith, redemption, and reconciliation spread across the world.

Iannucci joins Streetlight CEO J. Crum as the second artist on the brand’s roster.

 

The duo of Crum and Iannucci have already proven their ability to create high-quality music. This new partnership promises to deliver even more buzz-worthy content into the future.

Follow Streetlight Sounds and Thomas Iannucci on Twitter @streetlightsnds @ThomasIannucci_

Get the latest at the official website streetlightsounds.co

You’re not alone. You’re worthy. There is a hand reaching out to you in your darkest hour. Keep hope alive and take the hand that is reaching, asking you to Come Away.

Who said that Christian rappers can’t take home some hardware every now and then?

If you’ve been around the CHH space, you may have heard that Hawaiian emcee Thomas Iannucci won Hip Hop Album of the Year honors at the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (the Hawaiian Grammys) for his album ‘Makana’ back in 2018 (Thomas is humble and rarely talks about it).

Well, make that Mr. Two-Time Na Hoku Award Winner!

Over the weekend, Iannucci found himself winning Hip Hop Album of the Year for the second time. He became the first rapper to accomplish the feat.

Iannucci’s December 2019 album ‘Kuleana’, produced by fellow Christian artist J. Crum, led to the emcee making history.


“I’m incredibly blessed to have won this award,” stated Iannucci. “Honestly, it’s surreal. All glory to God!”

‘Kuleana’ was the first album where Thomas dug deeper into the social issues surrounding Hawaii. It was also a noticeable change for him sonically.

“The whole point of the album was to raise awareness of these issues, tonight’s win is a bit of validation…though the journey isn’t over yet.”

“To pick up the win on World Mental Health Day, when one of the main themes of the album was the effects that living in the oppressive facade of ‘paradise’ has on local people here, is poetic. [It] couldn’t have been scripted better.”

“There’s so much more work to be done!”

Iannucci also made it known that his third studio album  – Doubting Thomas – would be releasing in December of 2020.

“We’ve got a Kickstarter gearing up to launch so we can do some special things with this new project…more details to come!”

Be sure to stick with us here at FiveTwenty Collective as we will be along for the part of the release process. We will be talking through not only the release of the new album directly with Thomas but looking back at his previous projects as well.

‘Kuleana’ is out now and available everywhere music is streamed or sold.

 

 

 

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