Friday, July 24, 2020

Flashback Friday

This week we continue our look back 20 to 40 years in Contemporary Christian music with a look at DC Talk. Formed in 1987 as a Christian rap and rock group by Toby McKeehan (aka TobyMac), Michael Tait (who is the current singer of the Newsboys), and Kevin Max Smith (aka Kevin Max) who spent some time as the lead singer of Audio Adrenaline a few years ago. DC Talk stands for "decent Christian talk" and they were one of the most successful CCM groups in the 1990's.

The group has won four Grammys and numerous Dove awards with their distinct sound of a blend of rap, hip hop, and pop. In 1995, their album Jesus Freak achieved the highest first-week sales of any Christian release up to that time and was certified gold within 30 days of release, eventually be certified double platinum. The title track, Jesus Freak, was the biggest hit and was believed to have been the first link between grunge and rap in Contemporary Christian music and achieved some success on secular radio stations. The album also produced hits including  In The Light (which we still occasionally sing in church), Colored People, and though it was not their biggest hit, one of my personal favorites, What If I Stumble....

Later hits included Hey You I'm Into Jesus, My WillWanna Be Loved, Consume Me, and many more.

DC Talk was also known for their memorable remakes of other artists' songs like Larry Norman's I Wish We'd All Been Ready and the Doobie Brothers' Jesus Is Just Alright, Larry Greenbaum's Spirit In The Sky, and Bill Withers' Lean On Me.

DC Talk has been notable for their firm stance against racism and an uncompromising Christian message in their music. Whether or not their music style appeals to you, they were an undeniable influence for a new generation of fans and in reaching a new CCM audience in the 90's. 

In 2000, the members announced that they would take a hiatus to pursue solo careers. Though they have continued to sporadically release singles  and perform together, they have been very successful as solo artists and performing in other bands like Newsboys and Audio Adrenaline.

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