Jesus Needs New PR

Jesus Needs New PR

The Best of the Worst of DC Talk

Found at Everything is Terrible

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Brad Voigt

posted April 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Oh my. I couldn’t even make a minute without stopping it. Love your blog.

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posted April 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I’d like to think that we helped rejuvenate DC Talk’s rap career when we posted the “I Luv Rap Music” video last week.

Even all alone in my office, watching those awful videos make me feel uncomfortable

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posted April 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Wow, the worst part is that they weren’t even good at mimicking the cool stuff of the day. I was a fan though, and was about 12 or 13.

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    posted April 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    i shudder to think. i was a freshman in high school (maybe even older) and i thought that their first records were the shnizzit.

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posted April 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I had this video as a kid, it was called Rap, Rock, and Soul! 5 years after this video Mark Romanek would direct their Jesus Freak Video.

BTW when DCtalk released their first Greatest Hits CD it didn’t feature any of the music from their first two records… hmm… I wonder why??

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posted April 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Wow…overcome with flashbacks and self-directed shame.

I think we can be comforted by the fact that those guys are today probably just as embarrassed by it as we might be (in particular, one imagines, Kevin Max, who has become an amazing artist).

And to give them credit, I think a lot of young white Christians from all-white churches found their explicit talk about race somewhat helpful.

Still painful to watch, though…

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    posted April 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    No shame here. They were silly and corny like most other late 80s rap-pop. I was 11, and we both grew up.

    Besides, did THEY put out a movie called “Cool as Ice” or a cartoon called “Hammerman”??

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      posted April 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      THAT is a really great point.

      And they eventually gave us Jesus Freak, so I think we can all put this video behind us.

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Travis Mamone

posted April 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Thankfully by the time they did “Jesus Freak” DC Talk got their crap together!

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posted April 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm

“rap is an urban thang….but I grew up in the suburbs!” Priceless :)

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posted April 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Oh man…I loved dc talk…this made me smile and cringe at the same time….

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Jacob Beaver

posted April 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Awesome… I think they need to “high five” and snap a couple more times.

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posted April 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

CRINGE!!…How much did I used to LOVE DC Talk!!

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posted April 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Love it. I was really young – elementary schoool, but I still loved me some DC Talk.

Still waiting them to come back from “intermission” though…

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posted April 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm

This is incredible… I will say, though, that as much as I am no longer a fan of the preachy lyrics, Jesus Freak and Supernatural were great albums, musically.

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Joel K

posted April 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I remember seeing DC Talk in all their cheesy goodness when I was in Jr. High in the early 90s. I cringe as I admit that I thought they were pretty cool. Looking back, I can’t believe how incredibly cheesy they were then. And, despite what some people may say, they never really got any better. IMHO, Jesus Freak tops their early raps in the cheesiness factor.

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posted April 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Seeing those guys now makes me laugh! I am so going to think of this video next time I watch Tate or Toby Mac perform!

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posted April 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Um, is it bad that I would love to see a reunion where they rework those old songs? I would totally be there. And maybe Carman can open up for them.

I saw them and Michael W. Smith at a Billy Graham crusade in 1998. Oh yes!

It was very thoughtful of that video to show all the ambiguously homo-erotic stuff. “Tearin’ down the walls!”

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posted April 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I thought that dork in the middle was Kirk Cameron for a second. He may as well have been. I see no reason for these people to remain on the face of the earth.

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posted April 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Whenever I hear I Luv Rap Music, I think of the Swirling Eddies cover:

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posted April 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm

It’s easy to laugh now in hindsight, but DC Talk was radically different than other music that was being put out by their contemporary Christian peers and it was a style that fit it’s time period.

Compare a track from DC Talk’s “Nu Thang” (1990) with a popular contemporary secular “golden age of hip hop” album by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper.” (1989) and you’ll see that they are way closer stylistically than if you were to compare DC Talk with one of the most popular contemporary Christian artist of their time, 4Him.

So I guess we can all sit around and laugh at late 80s / early 90s music culture, but to signal DC Talk out as an abnormality as opposed to a ground breaking cultural bridge between Christian and secular music is intellectually dishonest.

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    posted April 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    I agree. I remember skipping school (10th grade, I think?) to go buy Jesus Freak the day it came out. That album changed everything about Christian music in, I think, mostly good ways. In its wake we got creative groups like Jars of Clay, Third Day (before they became a glorified worship band), Plumb, The Waiting, Caedmon’s Call, Sixpence None the Richer, Smalltown Poets, etc. who probably wouldn’t have had a shot if not for the success of Jesus Freak.

    Eventually, of course, the virus of ‘worship as entertainment’ and the David Crowder Band devoured Christian music and destroyed any creative potential it had left, but that’s another story.

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posted April 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

yep that pretty much sucks, i love living this stuff down, even when i was cringing myself, back in the late 80’s and early 90’s–not until beginning of Jesus Freak era did i feel completely comfortable, i think it was all about shedding the patent leather shoes and sequenced dancing————-;)- i love how Jessica says, ‘I am going to think of this video next time i watch Tate or Toby perform’— maybe she doesn’t know i exist, when after watching this, might be a healthy alternative. All said in love and good fun, sincerely Kevin Max.

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posted April 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Aw, geez… I never realized (probably because I was a l-ee-tle too young) how all around cheesy that era was in music and pop culture (hello, Teen Witch? Really, anything youth-oriented during those couple of years?). Awesome.

That, on top of watching an episode of Fame on Ovation awhile ago, has got me in an 80s-90s mood. I wonder what else I can dig up… :)

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posted April 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Aha, oh man. I couldn’t get through all of that. “Jesus Freak” was my first CD, ever, so I have a soft spot in my heart for dc Talk. I’m really glad I got into them as they were getting out of the cheesiness and getting into being good serious musicians.

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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted April 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I love how they laugh and slap hands at their own jokes – they act like a bunch of stoners.

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Allen McGraw

posted April 4, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Let he (or she) who has never been a dork cast the first stone. I’m taking my stone and going home.

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posted April 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Bunch of haters on here… good post Jace. I wonder what Will Smith says about some of his early stuff. Yep… I wish they would do another project together…

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posted April 5, 2011 at 6:44 am

Aside from Nirvana, was there ANYTHING good about music in the 90s?

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posted April 5, 2011 at 6:59 am

I know the video is cheesy, but no kidding: Kevin Max has grown into an incredible artist and definitely the most talented member of his former group. Don’t let the dc-Talk cheese stop you from checking out his solo career sometime.

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posted April 5, 2011 at 7:01 am

What comfort I find in knowing (and seeing through this video) that God is not content to leve us where He finds us. Through the lens of the camera I now know that God leads us past our simplicity into His greater plan.

Thank you God that DC Talk got better!

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Charlie Chang

posted April 5, 2011 at 11:10 am

I got that chocolate deep down in my soul! O RLLY??!!

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posted April 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I totally still have this vhs! But how come nobody commented on the awesome fanny pack…..?

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posted April 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Hi K=Max thatnks for popping in! <3 And yes check him out! He's awesome & he's such a sweetie! We've had some nice convos on Twitter :)

I saw them several times over the years & love it all! In College during finals week went to see them & had an awesome time! They did autographs after & Mike asked me if he had signed my poster when I advised him "not personally" he took it & personally signed it for me.

Even got a front row seat once because Smitty was in concert with them & they were filming something for air in Russia (IIRC) so my "seat" was no more. So the original front row ended up being the 2nd row.

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posted April 6, 2011 at 12:14 am

“Jesus Freak” changed everything. What a great album. But even parts of that album sound corny today. At the time, though, it was huge for Christian music.

Toby is a touring machine, Michael Tait is the new lead singer for The Newsboys, and Kevin Max is just wicked talented.

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posted April 6, 2011 at 8:42 am

wow, 15 seconds in and I was in physical pain… pretty much how I remember the 90s!

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posted April 11, 2011 at 11:32 am

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