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LET RYZE MAGAZINE PROMOTE YOU IN OUR NEXT DIGITAL AND PRINT ISSUE... Stop by RYZEMagazine.com for details or call (678) 590-0551.

January 2021


This month we talk with the “Industry Connect” crew from the #1 room on the popular Clubhouse App, we recap the Power 25 CHH List, just in case you missed it; introduce The Basketball League, share many new artists, along with Rezurrection’s “Back to the Truth,” speaking of Da T.R.U.T.H. he stopped by as well + The New Music Playlist, The New CHH Chart, and more.

AT A GLANCE 12 Happy 2021 14 INCOMING 30 Artists on the RYZE 38 Industry Connect 44 Cover Story: Da TRUTH 52 RYZE New Music Playlist 54 The Basketball League 64 RYZE Magazine Power 2020 List ReCap

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EDITORIAL Review Editors: Jay & Chris Brooks Editor-At-Large: David Quinones Managing Editor: Aulsondro “Novelist” Hamilton aka Emcee N.I.C.E. Editor-in-Chief: Naé Thompson

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Publishers/EIC Drs. Corey & Naè Thompson RYZE Co-Founder Roy “King” Jackson

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Miquel and Morris, the Hip Hop duo hailing from Ruckersville and Buckingham, VA create music specifically tailored to uplift and encourage the community surrounding them; in route, to reach masses.

Coming from dismal pasts due to the environment and bad decisions, both are now driven by faith and a desire to serve others especially young men through their testimony and The Kings Nation, a communal effort.

Their music combines distinctive, gritty vocals with a versatility that culminates— in catchy hooks, a 90 ’s Hip Hop vibe, fused with a new wave melodic swag.

Miquel’s debut album Redemption, released January 2019. Followed up by several singles that ultimately became a dual album release God Vibes, May 2020.

Initially meeting in the fall of 2018 on a field trip with their daughters, the two came together, not knowing the connection would ultimately lead to a musical relationship and more importantly a brotherhood.

Title track God Vibes grabbed a spot on Stellar Award-winning God’s House of Hip Hop (GH3) Radio show, based in LA, solidifying the dual-threat.

The two are collectively creating new music along with numerous collaborations with other artists; and have plans to release new music in the first quarter, along with new visuals as well. Miquel and Morris’ Kings Nation Ministry offers music, pastoral, and mentoring services to at-risk youth in their local communities, as they work to solidify a non-profit status. Their hopes for the future are to first and foremost, stay solid in their faith; and be led by the Holy Spirit to do the will of God.

For Booking, Features, Upcoming Tour Dates, and Press Inquiries Contact Frank Lewis (540) 718-0190 or email: kings19nation@gmail.com

“The only way we’re going, is up! That’s the only way it’s going down!” - Miquel & Morris

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Brutha joe

Who is Brutha Joe? A man with a heart after GOD, from Dallas, TX— Oakcliff to be exact; led by the Holy Spirit, living off the prayers of those who shared GOD with me, particularly grandma. Did you grow up knowing you’d be a rapper? I can remember consoling myself when I was alone; melodies would come to me from out of nowhere. I would sing to myself for hours and watch Crush Groove and other rap movies. I was with music. I was intrigued by the whole performance thing. I remember doing rap songs at the family reunions. I use to organize groups and write the parts and choreography too. So, yes I always knew. It’s like RAP chose me. It was in me way before I realized. How do you balance life and music? I balance life with plenty of prayer and listening to my audio Bible app. Without the Word of God and faith in salvation through Christ, my mind would be gone, you hear me. What goes through your mind when you minister (perform) on stage? To connect with the audience, lyrically as well as ministerially. I normally get butterflies the first few moments, no matter how many shows I’ve done, but once the Holy Spirit intervenes I just focus on HIM!


Rezurrection’s testimony captures the unapologetic truth of relationship with Christ,— there truly is no reason to every stop praising HIS name, JESUS!

It’s been a moment since I’ve hung out with my friend and brother in Christ. Right from the start, he’s grateful — so often we take for granted the little things, like the activity of our limbs, and our ability to move about freely... throughout our lives and then there’s Rezurrection who gives GOD glory throughout his conversation because he knows from whence his help comes... it comes from the Lord. Given his schedule, it comes as no surprise when Rez as we affectionately call him, sidles up to the convo sharing he’s driving cause that’s what truck drivers do over the road... giving a pleasant hello, saying, “This journey all stems back to 2013-14-ish.” Most don’t share their stories. The writer’s job is to try to uncover the person behind what we see or perceive. But not here... it’s a pleasure to share his thoughts on getting Back to the Truth.

RYZE: Rez it’s been a while wha into?

Rez: Grinding for my family... y when you want certain things, y to make sacrifices to make that Driving a truck all over. Creatin “on the truck,” getting closer to here on these roads, and it’s bee ing experience, to be honest. RYZE: We understand this new process has been a bit different you did initially, right?

Rez: With my first release I was through surgeries, and recovery

“When I look back over my life, the last 7-8 years at all I’ve been through emotionally, physically, spiritually, it’s a blessing to be grinding and going hard!”

at you been

you know you have happen. ng music GOD out en an amazrelease from what

s going y over the

past seven years. I was home a lot, doing therapy, trying to get more movement to become more agile. To be out here with a viable job and grinding and going hard has been a real blessing for me.

night before was, “GOD I can’t do this without You!” and HE said to me, If you let Me reign in your life, I’ll take care of it all.” So, that’s where the song came from and the rest is history.

During the initial timeframe, I got the diagnosis that I would need to have surgery, so it was delayed, which was during 2010. I had eight surgeries over five years, lost my right hip, got addicted to pain pills, and heroine battled through all that. But GOD healed and delivered me in 2016. When HE did that, the next morning HE gave me a song, “Let HIM Reign”.

RYZE: How do you balance it all? Being a husband, provider, and then also a Dove/ Grammy award-nominated artist. Are you strategically planning along the way?

Essentially my prayer with my wife the

Rez: If I can be transparent, I’m learning that I can’t control everything and that I have to allow GOD to handle it all. I just flow. I try not to stress out over things. And allow GOD to be GOD in everything. Vol. 19 RYZEMagazine.com 27

And secondly, communication is everything. Communicating with GOD is important. Yes, HE knows our desires but HE wants us to talk things out with HIM. And then communicating with my wife, and those that I do business with is the key for me. And lastly, being honest with myself that I don’t know everything, caused me to get some amazing people on my team to help me be intentional. RYZE: Tell us a bit about the new album, its conception, and backstory. Rez: I had an idea of taking some old school Hip Hop tracks and make something out of that, and then that turned into should I do a whole album/EP of this? And I thought I don’t want to “just be taking ole school songs, I thought how can I flip this?” A nerdy thing about me is Back to the Future Triology is one of my favorite series. I probably watch it at least once a month, and sometimes twice. I absolutely love that movie. It takes you through the pass, the present and the future. So, I was like, “What if put something together that highlights this concept, by doing some songs from the pass. Have a futuristic type song on there, and have a Western type song on there with some present time vibes in it as well. That’s how it all started. My heart is that Christian Hip Hop would really get back to the truth. The TRUTH of the GOSPEL. When Christian Hip Hop first started out everyone was preaching the Gospel, it was more Scripture based, more Gospel minded, and I’m not saying that it isn’t that today, but I’m saying there’s a real 28 RYZE JANUARY 2021

difference, a noticeable change in messaging and deliver. Having barz is really cool, I love that... but we don’t have to make the Gospel so complicated. Present the Gospel as it is and let the Holy Spirit do the work and trust GOD, that’s just where my heart is. I know I can’t impose my thoughts and feelings on how somebody wants to present the Gospel, but I know that’s how I can do it. You know? After consideration, I know I don’t have barz like Emcee N.I.C.E., Canon, or Andie Mineo, these guys are ridiculous when it comes to spittin’ on the mic, you know. I had to ask GOD what He gave me to use, and everyone knows it, but I wasn’t getting it, “my voice.”GOD gave me a sound... and through the power of the Holy Spirit He will do the work. Back 2 Tha Truth drops January 22 on all digital outlets... go cop yours! It’s FIRE!

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The beta mode iPhone app “Clubhouse” has become “thee musthave in 2021,” many tech-heads, billionaires, millionaires, celebrities, and their comrades congregate to “rooms” that allows listeners to hear LIVE Ted-like talks, from those that have found success in life; participants get to interact and ask questions... there’s absolutely nowhere else we’ve been able to connect like this. Clubhouse is currently accessible through invite-only, and those that make it in are able to communicate exclusively with powers that be, who have been changing lives by the dozens, from people that are homeless-- being cared for, to musicians getting recording contracts with major labels. Because the normal impenetrable barrier is open you can connect directly with executives. That’s the beauty of the space, it’s an audio-based social network where people spontaneously jump into voice chat rooms, and just like that, a deal is done. I’ve seen it and literally heard someone’s life change in a matter of moments in a club called “Industry Connect” started by renowned photographer D. Castro. Here, people gather to have regular-- candid conversations about any and everything, from life to music… literally staying up for 24 hours and then 48 as the movement began. Recruiting the likes of actor and platinum recording artist Kinfolk, actress and songstress Spyda, super director Mosin, C.E.O. Miami Mike, the living legend DJ Kay Slay The Drama King, and more. The club went from a moment to a movement, to the #1 Club on Clubhouse, with D. Castro named the #1 influencer on Clubhouse. We caught up with the Crew to get more insight into the movement. RYZE: D Castro, how’d you come up with the idea of an Industry Connect room? D Castro: Well, once I got on the app, I saw how intimate it was. I started putting my head in different rooms to see what people were talking about… and most rooms really didn’t have a lot going on, nor any substance to them that people could take away. The few industry contacts I had at the time, I brought on to the platform and pretty much bridged the gap between the industry and the people. I started Industry Connect off as an intimate room, and day by day it grew. I allowed people to come up (on stage) and tell their stories, or whatever they were going through 40 RYZE JANUARY 2021

at the time, testimonies, etc. and Formula” I’ve been using since M testimonies saying “I’ve been ga followers before I even got a cha

The formula WORKS— people i trying to network. Celebrities st got behind me 110%. They start and stuff like that. And actually artists in the room. We had peo some weeks to get on— ever sin on Christmas Eve. It is the only form period with the format of can actually get game from celeb gaining follows and get booked you never actually got to speak that are receiving the blessings f

I saw sis, Spyda sitting on the st mic with her voice, I was like, “I has to be my co-host. Then brot lady was talking about her situa nowhere prayed for her. I said I over the room at 9 AM, EST. Peo ness, depression, and a lot of oth would hear them say, brotha Kin Then C.E.O. Miami Mike pulls h that comedic value to the platfo

RYZE: Spyda, what made you come int

Spyda: You know what, it was Christm and something told me to get on another group and took some no just came out and I was like I re of people who helped me with th producers, and artists like Rass team.

When I got on Clubhouse I was could help me. I decided to tap and never left. When I spoke wi it was really authentic, and genu been history in the making ever RYZE:

d mixed in the “Follow Train MySpace-- that’s how you hear aining hundreds and thousands of ance to speak.

in the room are hungry and really tarted seeing what’s going on and ted doing giveaways... of tickets y started reaching out to the indie ple waiting for hours, days, and nce we started the 24-hour room room on Clubhouse, or the plata show or a podcast where you brities, legends, and OG’s; while up till the end of the month, and in the room yet. And for those from it, is just mind-blowing.

tage and as soon as she blessed the I got to have her on the team,” she tha Kinfolk, came on and I think a ation and he just randomly out of need you every morning to pray ople going through homelessher things need that (prayer). You nfolk I needed that hours later. his weight on the show adding orm as well, It’s definitely major.

to the room?

mas Eve, I was sitting at the table, n there. Actually, I had gone to otes about branding, my album eally got to push this. I have a lot his project — Grammy nominated B from B2K, I needed to build a

looking for “that team” that into the “Industry Connect” room ith Castro our energy connected, uine, and he mod me up, and it’s r since. I love it.

Kinfolk, how did you jump in? Kinfolk: When I heard Castro doing his thing I had just popped in the room because I saw Industry Connect — that’s was all God’s favor though, he put the right name, and had the right vision to connect the dots that’s how I live my life. I’ve been able to keep a roof over my kids heads being able to connect the dots cause God blesses us through people. I get into the room, he mods me up. I didn’t even know what mod meant, but there was somebody talking my language, somebody that needed prayer. I had previuosly met D Castro on “Coffee with Kinfolk” but didn’t know he was the same dude doing this room. After I prayed for the lady, he said, “we should do this everyday” and we were just kind of developing this show on the fly. Doing it in real time, like, “Bro you should do the prayer”. He heard Spyda’s voice and was like, “you should be the co-host” and we just started putting together a show freestyle like when you get in a booth and start coming up with lyrics. Now, we get on everyday — and do what we love, be ourselves and help people. RYZE: D. Castro, when did you know the room was moving from a moment to a movement? D Castro: When I started having heart to heart moments with the people. I was inspired by many stories, you know — and the celebrities coming through... during the testimonies would actually hear what the people were saying and were like, “oh man” leaving them addicted to the room, so much so they wouldn’t leave. Once I saw that the Celebs were staying in the room, (i.e., CEO Miami Mike, and DJ Kay Slay) started telling me how addicting my room was becoming. People were coming into the room staying there all day — falling asleep in the room, waking up to the room — I said wow, I can make this something you know umm and that’s when I saw, ok now this is starting to turn into something bigger than Clubhouse. When you got legends like DJ Kay Slay and DJ Funky in Atlanta you know legends co-signing you, then Gilly the Kid and DeHaven you know that’s been with Jay Z for 25 years come through, you know he got the Marcy Made Documentaries out right now... ya’ll have to go check that out on my platform too.

He said man look, I saw Rockafella come together. He said, “this is bigger than Rockafella.” I balled tears on the air that night. I think that was the moment, right there, I said wow!” Now we got really big dot connectors from the industry in the room, trying to network and connect with the people you know. I tell people try to take advantage of the opportunity because the app isn’t public yet. This is probably the most intimate that people are going to be able to be with key industry people; you know they would have never been able to even hear their voice in a hundred years. You know what I mean? It’s like you’re in the same room with these people and they actually checking out bios and Instagram accounts, it’s really been life changing. RYZE: That’s awesome, last question. Do you think the Clubhouse will last or will it become a distant memory like MySpace? D. Castro: I definitely feel like if Clubhouse continues to benefit people like how we’re doing, and it stays positive it will be big. It’s growing being that it’s so different — it’s the first social media platform where it’s like completely voice only, you can’t DM anybody, you have to tap in to the person’s Instagram and or Twitter accounts. Clubhouse helps the other social media spots as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Facebook buys Clubhouse. I definitely see that in the future. I’m very techy. I love apps, analytics, algorithms, and stuff like that. Anything that has to do with the numbers... I’m glued to the phone. I got Kinfolk now, like we gotta keep these numbers. For more information on Industry Connect visit — industryconnects.com

Known in the Christian Hip Hop space as a living legend, Da T.R.U.T.H. has always been rooting in nothing but. Of course, his accolades show you his journey, but his faith shows you his life. He’s a multi Stellar Award-winning, Grammy and Dove Award nominee, Billboard charting artist. Having achieved huge success on multiple records one gaining the coveted #1 spot, TRUTH’s catalog boasts of work with some of everyone from Kirk Franklin to Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tye Tribett, and Flame; who he’s currently hosting the “Complicated Ish” podcast & radio show on God’s House of Hip Hop radio powered by Dash Radio. The podcast can be found on Google, Spotify, and Apple Music.


“Your content informs the genre.”

For DA T.R.U.T.H. to have done so much and still be going strong we inquired on the secret sauce... here’s what he had to say: RYZE: For some of our readers who may not know you, can you tell them a bit about yourself ? DA T.R.U.T.H. Well, I’m a Christian artist. I’ve been in the game for around 20+ years. I started rapping in 1999 by mistake, because I grew up in a Gospel music household I never really had an appetite for Hip Hop. My music of choice was like, the Winans, Commissioned, etc… I actually didn’t like Hip Hop in that era of music with artists like Brand Nubian, Pharcyde, and Jazzy Vibe, it was depressing to me. Christian Hip Hop was becoming “a thing in Philly,” there were The Poets of Christ and Cross Movement. So, a friend of mine and I were in the basement clowning one day, we put together a tape, and called ourselves “The Billie Jean Brothers.” We’d literally be acting like pure fools for an hour and a half on tape with skits and stuff. We were able to sell it after Church for like 75 cents and because we were the cool kids, people bought it. On our second tape, we were poking light fun at Christian Hip Hop because we thought it was corny. However, while we were making fun we both were thinking we didn’t sound half bad; my friend left and went home and called me and said “Bro honestly when I got home I tried to write my first “Christian Rap” and I was like “Brooooo! Soon as you left, I did the same thing!” it was during the midst of the Das Efx era so my flow reflected that. We were literally 16 years old at the time, we got hyped, started a group, and the next week we started doing shows.


I started with Cross Movement which solidified me in the Hip Hop space. Then I branched out and connected with Kirk Franklin and he solidified me in the Gospel space, and even in some CCM. Then I linked up with Bobby Zacharais that solidified me in the Apologetic space, and 12 albums later, 4 Stellar Awards, 3 Grammy nods & 4 Dove nods, “Oh and I want to get a Grammy this year!” I feel like this last album I did, “Bridges” with Limoblaze is deserving of a Grammy, here I am. RYZE: The CHH culture’s evolving, what’s your take on how it’s coming into its own? DA T.R.U.T.H. You know that’s an interesting question because I am still in it. I know I played an integral part in the building block of the culture having been in so many arenas and different types of platforms. I’m aware of the impact but because I’m still in, I’m fully engaged in that and I haven’t sat still long enough to think about how I feel about what I’ve done because I’m still doing it. Now I believe God is gracing me to do something very similar in other spaces, other continents, mainly Africa, which led me to release “Bridges.” For a large part of my career, it’s been really establishing the next wave. I’ve always had a very difficult time following trends. One of my first really big songs was “My Story” because my Christian Hip Hop was radically different from every other CHH artist out. My music cut right through because every Christian artist at the time was from the streets sharing their testimony. But it was a life I could not identify with. I grew up in Church. I remember my story was underwhelming. I didn’t want to tell it. I kept thinking “God do I need a story?” but I ended up pushing past that. I thought, Jesus

never had a testimony like that, Mary never had a testimony like that, Daniel never had a testimony like that, I started going through all of the people and realized Daniel in his youth was preserved by God. So there is actually a story where God is not restoring but preserving. God preserved me in my youth. I’ve always been wired to where my mind would fill in the gaps. I don’t go around trying to create a wave, I fill in the gaps which subsequently creates waves. RYZE: When did you know Rap was the real deal for you? What made you go all in? DA T.R.U.T.H. Well, we had the privilege of watching, coming in on the heels of the Cross Movement. They took me, Flame, Lecrae, Tripp Lee… a lot of people don’t know about all of the relationships Christian Hip Hop has splintered. Cross Movement did two things, first they showed us how far rap could go. And second, they helped us establish a mission field that was untapped. The Hip Hop culture was and still is unreached. We saw ourselves as missionaries, having the goods because we had the gift, we had the talent, and we could command the same attention, from people who love and listen to Hip Hop but with an alternative message. Early on that was the primary goal. There were awards for us at the time but no categories on the platforms for us. CHH was a non-factor, the Church thought it was carnal and the world thought it was corny. RYZE: You made mention that CHH back in the day was both horizontal and vertical, can you break that down? DA T.R.U.T.H. Yeah, it was both horizontal and vertical. It was about rapping for God for the purpose of impacting people — specifically the unreached people that made up the culture. Vol. 19 RYZEMagazine.com 47


We had tunnel vision in that regard, but then the more that we moved with that agenda in mind, just like mainstream Hip Hop, people started coming by the droves, wall to wall causing fire hazards, I mean we started in small spaces and I will add to that, what we were doing was bathed in prayer and fasting, literally 25 -30 of us in there while ambassadors cracked open the Word. There was a Spiritual formation happening at the time. I believe the roots of Christian Hip Hop were found in that space. RYZE: What do you think about the classification of CHH vs Christian Hip Hop? DA T.R.U.T.H. I think it’s classified the way it is because Hip Hop in general is kind of this broad umbrella, and we naturally put labels on every subgenre subgenre that kind of falls under that umbrella. umbr ella. So if it’s gangster rap, we call it that because of its content. content The content of the rap is what dictates or determines how people classify it. So Christian rap is no different, it’s not a label we give ourselves, it’s what people naturally put on you when they hear the content. So your content informs the genre. RYZE: The demand on CHH is at an all-time high, what are your thoughts on that? DA T.R.U.T.H. We went from street corners, just trying to be a witness utilizing what we had — Hip Hop. They say use whatever’s in your hand, that’s what God told Moses, but we were just using it literally, from the lunchroom in high school, to the corners with the Israelites we were just using it wherever, the storefront Church, where no one was trying to popoff. People put the demand on it which created what it has become today. The moment that Bad Boy and all these 46 RYZE JANUARY 2021

other labe on tour b on the 50 as the ind they start that we m serve the pened ov and flipp

RYZE: What are can share have the k

DA T.R.U For me it number o authentic or indiffe relevant a That’s lite try hard,

I think w mainly su value do stop brin I am in, t That’s the when I am thing tha that you b that you d yourself.

When art selves goi made Jesu authentic the Fathe ing again

RYZE: Where do the curre

els started seeing, because we were buses with Bad Boy, at their offices 0th floor in like 2007, and as soon dustry started seeing it bubble, ted coming. So then we realized might be able to use the industry to ministry. I think that’s what’s haper time, and things got inverted ed, that’s where it got messy.

e some tips or thoughts that you e with an artist whose desiring to kind of career longevity you have?

U.T.H. t’s been a couple things, I think one is “Authenticity”, because c artist have that pull, good, bad erent. People ask me how I stayed and my answer is, by trying not to. erally it, what’s the saying, “You you die hard.”

we have redefined a lot of stuff uccess, and impact. For me, what I bring people? Because if I ever ging value to the music space that then it’s time for me to hang it up. e biggest question I have to answer m evaluating what I’m doing. The at makes you a thing, is the value bring and in order to accomplish don’t have to be anything but

tists are authentic, they find theming against the grain, that’s what us very attractive; Him being His c self, as He was doing the will of er He found Himself naturally gonst the grain.

o you see CHH heading because of nt influences feeding into it?

DA T.R.U.T.H. For me I think CHH went through an identity crisis, some years ago particularly when we were trying to figure out how we wanted to label ourselves which created an insecurity in us. We lost a sense of knowing who we are. Am I a Christian rapper, or am I a rapper who’s Christian? The moment we started playing with labels invoked an insecurity in some of us; not me in particular, but for many people who already kinda of didn’t know who they are or what they were doing — trying to figure it all out and they were looking at the likes of myself, Lecrae, and Flame, like who am I to be? What am I to do? I also think we lost all of our teachers. At one point, there were leaders in CHH, people who automatically assumed the responsibility of leading within the genre. When we lost our teachers, when we lost our leaders, we lost our pillars, we lost direction, solidarity, and a sense of community. We lost the fortified wall that’s kept us. Since then, we’ve been trying to recover. I don’t know if we’ll ever be what we were except that we resolve to be different from the inside out which would require that we all have a sit down, and spend a weekend together. I think we have to get back to when the leaders were intentional about coming together — the goal of connecting would have to be solidarity. Where do we see this going, how can we agree to disagree while at the same time preserve a united front for the Church, the world, and our genre? This would have to be the conversation in order for us to get back to what we were, or move forward. Some will say “I don’t want to go back there”, cool if you don’t want to go back, then where do you think we should go? That’s a conversation too. How do we get there? I’m down for all of it, but in order to accomplish any of it, it will have to be a meeting of the minds. Vol. 19 RYZEMagazine.com 51



One of the most engaging and captivating sports in the world is Basketball. It’s a sport that draws thousands, is watched by millions, and is the third most popular game out of the hundreds of professional sports leagues spread throughout the world. Basketball has close to a billion fans and is also a sport predominantly governed by men until now. Ladies and gentlemen “Basketball” has a new men’s professional league, “The Basketball League” affectionately called— TBL! At the helm is Evelyn Magley who became the first African American woman to own a Men’s professional sports league in the United States. In its 3rd season and growing exponentially, TBL, is dedicated to delivering a world-class professional basketball experience to communities, fans, and business partners. Originally starting in 2018, the league targeted nearly 40 markets in the U.S. and found success. Mrs. Magley serves as C.E.O., her husband Dave Magley, a retired NBA player, and former Commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL) serves as President, and Carlnel Wiley Jr. serves as the Commissioner. While Carlnel before becoming Commissioner coached for 20+ seasons at various levels including the NBA D-League. In a sit down with RYZE Magazine, Mrs. Magley shared details on the formation of the league, the future of the league, and the overall purpose of the league, here’s what she had to say. RYZE: Can you tell us about The Basketball League? Mrs. Magley: The Basketball League is a God-given vision that is using a simple game of basketball to spread the love of God differently; in a way that is not beating people over the head with Scriptures. It’s giving testimony through one’s actions and showing His love without judgment. 56 RYZE JANUARY 2021

RYZE: Did you play sports growing up? Mrs. Magley: That’s a good question. I am the youngest of two children. I have an older sister by two years. And, you can say I’m a daddy’s girl... the son he never had. As a kid, I worked on cars, could throw a football further than any guy on the block, ran faster than anyone, and I threw softballs and baseballs because my daddy was working me out all the time... so, yeah, “I played sports growing up.” RYZE: What inspired you to create TBL? Mrs. Magley: TBL was born out of a vision that God gave me from a place of heartbreak, despair, and immense pain. I cried out to the Lord while on my knees in my bathroom, and the Lord asked, “why are you crying? Do you trust me?” I told Him, yes and He said, then start your own league.” TBL spans from the culmination of my life coming together in one moment in time. Having dealt with the pains of life, being broken down and devastated, I received what you might call a “download” of information at warp speed, all at once. I ran into the room to tell my husband who was fast asleep at the time, waking him to share the vision and download just received. He looked at me half-sleep wondering what was going on. Excitedly, I shared the vision God gave me as I convinced him to sit down, the Lord was showing me a league, based on Godly principles. A league that focused mainly on the players, you know, young men who are not just athletes, who are people too. So many times athletes go to college to play basketball living out their life’s dream only to watch an injury hinder that success and most often get left out and or left behind. TBL was created to invests in its players, builds character, and prepares the professional athlete for

life beyond basketball. RYZE: In the formation of the league, what was the first move? Mrs. Magley: Some of the teams that came on board initially already had relationships with our President David. We originally started with 8 teams and added more as we traveled all over the U.S. to play. It was challenging, but we persevered. In the original formation of TBL, the idea was to have the teams play in a pod system, where we would develop and play 5 to 6 teams regionally, from the West to the Midwest, to the East, you may get one or two times that a team will travel outside of their pod to play in other cities. RYZE: How did you go about selecting and approving Team Market Owners for the league? Mrs. Magley: “It’s a vetting process that owners go through… we have expectations and standards they must meet.” Our standards make us different as a league. For example, you must be able to pay all your players, make every game, be willing to work in the community, with non-profit organizations, Habitat for Humanity, homeless shelters, and create youth clinics, ensuring that players on the team have a mindset toward the community that they’re playing for. RYZE: What are the rules that govern your league? We play a hybrid game with NBA rules combined with 1 FIBA rule, where the ball is “Live” once it hits the rim. There’s no offensive or defensive goaltending once the ball hits the rim. RYZE: When did you know that the league was going to be special?

Mrs. Magley: From the moment God gave the vision to me, I knew it would be special. Along with being faithful to the specifics, He showed me… I felt it from the start. RYZE: How does the player process work? How indepth is the evaluation coming into TBL? Mrs. Magley: TBL has combines all over the United States to find the best talent out there. We places combines nationwide to make it easier for more men to participate without it being taxing on them financially with travel expenses. Another great thing about the combines is that the players truly get a fair shot, to show their game and experience a real opportunity to play in a pro league, but if you’re not ready, the President will not waste a player’s time, he will let you know if you’re not ready and what to do to bring your level of play up. RYZE: Is there an age limit? Mrs. Magley: Our league has several teams within it in which we develop young players. For those who might want to bypass college, it’s similar to the European model. TBL requires players to be 18-years-old to participate in a combine but if they plan to go to college there are certain rules and regs that the NCAA stipulate and we never want to violate those. Players have to understand those limitations, but we’re open to those players and recommend that they go to the designated development teams within our league to develop their game. RYZE: What is the structure of the league, is it similar to other leagues? For instance, is there a players association, an owner’s association, are the referee’s pro, collegiate, retired, etc…?

Mrs. Magley: We call people that have teams, “Team Market Owners” I don’t like the terminology team owners, there are no slaves here. Just my take on it, they own a market, they don’t own the players. For the players, we do not have a player’s association but it is something that we are looking into, and for the referee’s they implement NBA & 1 of the FIBA rules of taking the ball off of the rim, that makes the game competitive where the players drip, blood, sweat, and tears. Our referees come to become better themselves. These players play with the understanding that they are being seen in over 145 countries. Knowing that every time they are on the court, it’s a tryout. RYZE: Has any player made it into the G-league or the NBA? Mrs. Magley: We’ve had some NBA players come into our league coming off of injury trying to get back in shape who know that our league has talent and is extremely competitive. Then there are those in-between tours that want to stay sharp in our league during our season. So yes! We have had players picked to go into the G-League but we have yet to have one go into the NBA, but the sky’s the limit. RYZE: Does TBL prepare owners to be owners of an NBA Team? What’s expected of them? Mrs. Magley: Our Team Market Owners (TMOs) care about their communities. They understand our philosophy, and what we desire to accomplish within the lives of our players. I believe our team market owners could be NBA team owners as well, but you’re talking about investing over a billion dollars to get into the NBA. Our team market owners are more local, they are individuals where some have that wealth, but

they are really about bringing streams of revenue into their community because they love where they live. TMO’s have an onboarding process and dashboard within a turnkey system, with rules and guidelines that govern the league to help them be successful in their community. RYZE: Are there awards and extracurricular activities/ events? Mrs. Magley: Yes, we intend on creating a platform in which we will highlight some of the accomplishments of our players, hopefully in conjunction with you all at RYZE Magazine sharing nationally what they’ve done locally. RYZE: Does TBL offer trophies and rings to players? Mrs. Magley: Yes, we do, we have Baron Championship Rings, also responsible for the Toronto Raptors Championship rings, the Cleveland Cavaliers, WNBA Seattle Storms rings, and more. RYZE: What can we expect from TBL in 2021, as you continue to grow and elevate? Mrs. Magley: Chaplaincy Services will be implemented this season league-wide along with launching TBL Financial Literacy Program for all TBL Players through our partnership with the National Financial Educators Council. You can expect to see, a high level of play, as we will continue to be a league that has exciting games along with international exposure. There is much much more to come and we are so excited to be able to share it with RYZE!

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RYZE: Mrs. Magley thank you for sitting down with RYZE, sharing TBL with us. One last question, where do you see the league in the next 5 years? Mrs. Magley: I see players being able to reach their goal of playing in the NBA. I see growth in our league that has a footprint larger than the NBA but that’s also closely knit to a grassroots community. I see international play. I see reaching out to different countries... I see Africa, I see Israel. I see a platform that is possibly duplicated in other countries because we’re about family and community, as the structure of our league is designed to impact communities. I see people investing because of philanthropic efforts. We’re literally a gold mine in the sense of impacting communities in a way that people can gain from us spiritually, financially, locally, and nationally. We’re positively impacting young people’s lives. RYZE: We look forward to sharing more of your league and story as the season progresses. We look forward to being a part of your journey to greatness. And that Saints was Mrs. Evelyn Magley, the C.E.O. of The Basketball League rooted and grounded in faith. To learn more about the league, combine, games, merch, and everything TBL offers, be sure to check them out at: THE BASKETBALL LEAGUE www.thebasketballleague.net info@thebasketballleague.net FB @thebasketballleague IG @tbasketballleague Twitter @tblproleague TBL Draft Combines this year are set to start February 27th & 28th in Indianapolis be sure to check the site for more information. Mrs. Magley, CEO of TBL

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Each year the genre and business of CHH (Christian Hip Hop) have evolved at warp speeds, from the sound to visuals; even distribution, CHH is quickly being recognized as a viable genre with an earning potential far more superseding than times of the past. Sonically, the beats, rhymes, showmanship from radio to battle rap, and now the executive ranks excels. The culture is no longer just amongst others it has caught the attention of the mainstream. This year we launched RYZE 2020 Power 25 Christian Hip Hop to highlight power players in the culture impacting CHH’s growth on the world stage. From boardroom executives to radio stations, music festivals, and digital media platforms, CHH heads into a new golden era. Introducing the RYZE 2020 Power 25 Christian Hip Hop List...



(Co-Owner Reach Records, Rapper, Singer, Songwriter, Record, Producer, Record Executive, Actor, Entrepreneur)

Lecrae is the President, Co-Owner, and Co-Founder of the highly successful independent faith-based hip hop label Reach Records. Some call it the “Def Jam” of Christian Hip Hop boasting chart-topping artists such as Andy Mineo, Gawvi, Wande, 1k Phew, Tedashii, and more… Reach Records continue to soar to new heights with their artists landing mainstream placements in movies, commercials, and gaming. Nominated for two Grammys, Lecrae looks to continue the dominance of the Reach Records brand in 2021. Link: www.ReachRecords.com Associated Acts Reach Records: Lecrae | 1K Phew | Andy Mineo | Gawvi | Hulvey | Tedashii | Wande | WhatUpRG

Derek Minor

Co-Owner Reflection Music Group (RMG), Christian Hip Hop Recording Artist, Songwriter, Record Executive, Entrepreneur, Actor, Screenwriter)

Derek Minor has found many successes as an artist, but as an executive and entrepreneur, he’s just scratching the surface. Already having a successful record company in Reflection Music Group and RMG Amplify, Derek continues to ascend launching WeOnNow educating the masses that “Ownership is the new black!”. Derek Minor is a Multi-Nominated Dove award winner, A Grammy award winner, and a 2x Stellar award winner who has reached the top of multiple Billboard charts. Link: www.ReflectionMusicGroup.com Associated Acts RMG: Derek Minor | Canon | Byron Juane | Danielle Apicella | DJ Standout | Tony Tillman Associated Acts RMG (Amplify): BrvdonP | DJ EM-D | Kham | King Chav | Kurtis Hoppie | Mission | Mogli The Iceburg | Parriz Chariz | Propaganda | Quinten Coblentz | Roy Tosh | Rockstar JT | Rhyan Lamarr | Sada K. | Thi’sl

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(Owner of God Over Money (GOM), Christian Hip Hop Recording Artist, Songwriter, Record Executive, Entrepreneur)

Bizzle has released a studio album every year for the past 10 years along with landing Top 10 on the Billboard Charts in both Gospel & Christian genres as well as iTunes. He formed the independent faith-based rap label God Over Money records in 2010 and turned it into one of the elite labels in CHH launching the careers of Datin, Jered Sanders, BUMPInf, Selah The Corner, and A.I. The Anomaly. The success that GOM has been able to achieve as an independent label is astronomical and has shifted the culture. Link: www.GodOverMoney.com Associated Acts: Datin | Jered Sanders | A.I. The Anomaly | Selah The Corner | BUMPS INFno-brainer (lol).

Doc Watson

(Co-Owner Reflection Music Group (RMG), AMPLIFY, Record Executive, Entrepreneur)

Link: www.ReflectionMusicGroup.com Associated Acts RMG: Derek Minor | Canon | Byron Juane | Danielle Apicella | DJ Standout | Tony Tillman Associated Acts RMG (Amplify): BrvdonP | DJ EM-D | Kham | King Chav | Kurtis Hoppie | Mission | Mogli The Iceburg | Parriz Chariz | Propaganda | Quinten Coblentz | Roy Tosh | Rockstar JT | Rhyan Lamarr | Sada K. | Thi’sl


Bryann Trejo

(Founder - Kingdom Music Ministries)

The Kingdom Muzic Ministries is not just a record label and or movement, it’s a Culture and founder Bryann Trejo has been leading the charge. It’s A ministry centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ which is a message of freedom, the forgiveness of sin, and the power to forgive your enemies. Link: www.KingdomMuzik.org Associated Acts: Monica Hill Trejo | Antwoine Hill

Chad Horton

(Owner of Rapzilla, Talent Manager, Executive Producer)

Chad Horton is the owner and sits at the head of one of the largest Christian Hip Hop online magazines and music sites in the world as well as the Culture in “Rapzilla”. Chad is a music industry and business vet, a talent manager as well as an executive producer that continues to evolve the culture of Christian Hip Hop. Link: www.Rapzilla.com

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Emceee N.I.C.E.

(Owner / Curator of Stellar Award Winning Station God’s House of Hip Hop Radio Powered by Dash Radio (GH3 Radio), Co-Owner & Co-Founder of God’s House of Hip Hop 20/20 Summer Festival, Managing Editor for RYZE Magazine, Owner / Co-Curator Rhythm & Praise Radio Powered by Dash Radio)

Emcee N.I.C.E. is one of the co-founder/owner & curator of one of the largest award-winning Christian Hip Hop stations in the culture in God’s House of Hip Hop Radio powered by Dash Radio. He is also Co-Founder/Executive Director of God’s House of Hip Hop 20/20 Summer Fest, a faith -based hip hop music festival in Los Angeles. In 2020 N.I.C.E. became managing editor for RYZE Magazine and partnered with ThoseBaxters to form a gospel R&B station called “Rhythm & Praise Radio” also powered by Dash Radio.


(CEO, Artist, Entrepreneur, and Producer) Founder - Kings Dream Entertainment Kings Dream Entertainment is a mom-andpop boutique label founded in 2012 by Artist, Entrepreneur, and Producer Ruslan. Creating music and content that blends inspiration and information while empowering youth and young adults to live out the King’s dream is their desire and mandate. Associated Acts: Jon Keith | Paul Russell Link: www.kingsdreament.com


Link: www.gh3radio.com Link: www.2020SummerFest.com Link: www.RhythmandPraiseLA.com Link: www.RYZEMagazine.com

Erinn Knight

(Co-Founder, President of Build Your Own Dreams Lable, Artist Manager)

Erinn Knight is Co-founder and President of the label “BYOD” (Build Your Own Dreams), where she’s all about empowering creatives to build their dreams through ownership. BYOD is an independent label, specializing in label servicing, branding, digital marketing, talent management, and event curation. In 2021 Erinn Knight wants to continue to push the CHH culture forward. Link: www.JustBYOD.com


(Powerful Influencers of the CHH Culture)

For over 10 years Trackstarz has been the destination place for any Christian Hip Hop artist wanting to be taken seriously. Hosts Ryan Righteous, Seantana & DJ Jeremaya are determined to bring high-quality Godly content to the mainstream, syndicated, and digital radio platforms. Trackstarz is not just a show or brand, it’s a lifestyle! Link: www.Trackstarz.com

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Dr. Naè Thompson

(CEO of ELEV8 Media and Entertainment Group, Publisher/EIC of ELEV8 and RYZE Magazines, Principle/Sr. Publicist of NTPR Agency/Management Grp, Creator of Release Network and PR Convos) Dr. Naè Thompson is an accomplished serialpreneur, media pioneer, publisher, artist manager, and music publicist. Thompson founded ELEV8 Media Group, Inc. an African-American-owned and operated, publishing house out of the need for reputable Christian platforms for Gospel/ CHH Music and Sports Magazines. Thompson’s unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate that generates original content across the spectrums of social media, radio, digital, and print on demand media. Link: www.naethompsonpr.com Link: https://ryzemagazine.com Link: https://elev8magazine.com


(Founder of HOG-MOB Ministries)

Sevin is a Billboard Charting artist that has released 17 studio albums and is considered one of the legends in CHH who formed one of the most prolific ministries in all of Hip Hop, Hog Mob. HogMob has 12 ministries within its coalition that tap into the poor and afflicted to Pray For My Hood to Pen Palz Ministry. Sevin has opened the doors for many. Link: www.hogmob.com


Chris Chicago

(Program Director - NGEN Radio)

Chris Chicago is the Founder and President at Shamrock Media Group, he has been one of the most influential in radio for Christian Hip Hop and has broken a lot of records in the CHH genre. He currently hosts the NGEN Afternoon Show and is Program Director at 91.7FM NGEN Radio in Houston, TX. Link: www.ngenradio.com

Ace Harris

(President of AR for Reach Records, Producer)

Ace Harris, a seasoned veteran continues to elevate the prestige of Reach Records, Having worked with artists such as T. I., Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azealia then transitioning to CHH with Lecrae, Wande, 1k Phew to Hulvey & more‌ The Reach Records brand is a sound that continues to evolve the culture under the guidance of Ace. Link: www.ReachRecords.com Associated Acts Reach Records: Lecrae | 1K Phew | Andy Mineo | Gawvi | Hulvey | Tedashii | Wande | WhatUpRG

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(CEO & Co-Founder of Coalition Kingdom DJ’s, Curator, Artist Manager, and Radio PD)

Mr. CSA2K has one of the largest marketing & radio servicing establishments in CHH. He’s a member of Coalition DJ’s ATL, a Radio Mixshow DJ, Spotify, and Pandara Curator, and also holds the Artist Management title whereby he consults brands & artists, as well as an Internet Radio Program Director. Heading into 2021, Mr. CSA2K and the Coalition Kingdom is primed for a blessed season. Link: www.coalitionkingdomd.com

Nucci Reyo

(Founder - Godify | C.E.O at Gstate Digital) Nucci Reyo founder of Godify, the Christian streaming platform Christian content to a diverse following. It is a platform that encourages the production of Christian content to inspire the Christian community at large. It is ministry streamed. Nucci has collaborated with P Diddy, Lil Flip, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Raekwon of Wu-Tang, Gillie the Kid, and more and now in the Christian Hip Hop Space as an artist. Godify: The Christian Streaming Platform Link: www.GodifyStreams.com

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Urban D

(Founder of Flavorfest) Lead Pastor of Crossover Church in Florida, also home of Flavor Fest founded in 2000, with thousands of people from all over the world have attended, is the largest and most well-known conference of its kind. Flavor Fest exists to train, network, and resource leaders in the urban culture. Founded in 1999, two-time Grammy Award-winning rapper Lecrae made his first national festival appearance there as a self-submitted artist, and he’s returned several times since. Rick Warren, Eric Mason, Derwin L. Gray, Tedashii, The Ambassador, MC Jin, and more gifted speakers and performers have also made appearances. Over the years, countless leaders have been equipped to be more effective in their communities. Link: www.flavorfest.org

Amy Bentley

(Bentley Booking & Management Official Booking Agent for God’s House of Hip Hop 20/20 Summer Fest, and Artist Manager)

Amy Bentley is the official Booking Agent for the faith-based Hip Hop music festival, God’s House of Hip Hop 20/20 Summer Festival where she and her team booked 75 CHH, Latin CHH & Gospel Hip Hop to perform, from Alex Zurdo to Manny Montes, Derek Minor, Dee-1, Angie Rose, WhatUpRG, Bryann Trejo and more… She is also the manager for MainMain, one of CHH’s rising stars. Link: www.2020SummerFest.com

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Mike Mack

(Founder of Elevation Conference | Boston Concert Promoter | Music Manager)

Mike Mack is the Creator & Co-Founder of the Elevation Conference in Boston, MA. The Elevation Conference features urban apologetics, a wide range of leadership workshops, Gospel music, Christian Hip Hop, and more! Mike Mack is one of the premier promoters in the culture working with Amy Bentley on booking God’s House of Hip Hop 20/20 Summer Fest, booking everyone from Derek Minor to Wande to Steven Malcolm to Dee-1 and more.

Jay Williams

(Owner - INDIE1 Radio Network, Founder Gospel Hip Hop Awards)

CEO at Indie One Network of 30 plus radio stations. Which consist of 15 Internet BDS stations -- 4 DRT Reporting Charting stations & The Jay Williams Show + 7 Internet Radio Stations which includes CHH stations along with The Jay Williams TV Show. Jay was nominated for 2 Stellar Awards, along with the Rhythm of Gospel Awards. He is the founder of the Gospel Hip Hop Awards taking place in Atlanta, Georgia 2021.


Rhyann Lamar (Film & Music Video Director)

One of the hottest filmmakers in the culture, a screenwriter, director, producer, and visionary is Rhyan Lamarr, who is behind the film “Canal Street,” screened at the American Black Film Festival and has been a part of more than 18 films and television projects which also includes the Christian Rap short film epic ‘Better Days’. Lamarr also formed Red Guerilla Entertainment, a production company that creates diverse forms of visual content for the film, television, music, and digital media industries. Link: https://rgpentertainment.com

Chantal Grayson

(Co-Owner of Stellar Award Winning Station God’s House of Hip Hop Radio Powered by Dash Radio (GH3 Radio), Co-Owner & Co-Founder of God’s House of Hip Hop 20/20 Summer Festival, Owner/Assistant Program Director Rhythm & Praise Radio Powered by Dash Radio)

Chantal Grayson aka “Chanie G” is one of the most influential women in the Christian Hip Hop culture. Working in tandem and partnering with Emcee N.I.C.E. to help create an ecosystem and trailblaze new lanes for CHH in radio, festivals & television. Highly educated, Chantal holds two Master’s Degrees and is the Co-founder of the iTL Foundation (Information, Technology & Literacy Foundation) in Los Angeles, CA. She is looking forward to making 2021 the year of unity. Link: www.gh3radio.com Link: www.2020SummerFest.com Link: www.RhythmandPraiseLA.com Link: www.itlfoundation.org Vol. 19 RYZEMagazine.com 79

Scott Free

(Executive Director - City Takers)

Scott Free is an Evangelist and Urban Missionary who uses Hip-Hop to serve the inner city of Atlanta with the Gospel. Scott launched “City Takers,” which exists to “raise up urban missionaries who transform cities through Hip-Hop, love, and Jesus.” City Takers hosts several outreach programs that continue to heavily serve outside the walls of the church, as well as a huge urban Hip-Hop Church Service, “The CityTakers Experience,” pastored by Scott and a CHH radio show on 91.5FM in Atlanta. Anyone in CHH knows, performing at City Takers means you’re on the radar. Link: www.citytakers.com

Sam Stewart

(Founder - His Hop Radio, His Hop TV)

Owner & Founder of His Hop Radio, His Hop Nation and Club His Hop venues. Sam created a network where Radio Stations from all over have come together to build an Empire for Indie Artists as well as majors in Radio. His Hop radio is a BDS/DRT reporting station. Link: www.hishopnation.com


Justin Sarachik (Editor In Chief - Rapzilla)

Justin is the Editor-in-Chief of Rapzilla. com and co-owner of NewH2O.com. Rapzilla is one of the biggest Christian Music sites in the world. Rapzilla is known for its up-to-date news. Covering quality Christian hip hop music bringing more exposure to the scene. Justin has been a journalist for 9 years and has written or edited for Relevant, Christian Post, BREATHEcast, CCM, Broken Records Magazine, & more. Link: www.Rapzilla.com

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Profile for RYZE Magazine

RYZE Vol. 19 DA TRUTH Edition  

This month we talk with the “Industry Connect” crew from the #1club on the popular Clubhouse App, we recap the Power 25, CHH List, just in c...

RYZE Vol. 19 DA TRUTH Edition  

This month we talk with the “Industry Connect” crew from the #1club on the popular Clubhouse App, we recap the Power 25, CHH List, just in c...