It has been 5 years since Delmar 'Mr. Del' Lawrence (formerly of recording label Hypnotize Minds) left platinum recording group Three Six Mafia and dropped his first album "Enter The Light" on his very own Holy South label..
November 22, 2005 - (Memphis, TN) - It has been 5 years since Delmar 'Mr. Del' Lawrence (formerly of recording label Hypnotize Minds) left platinum recording group Three Six Mafia and dropped his first album "Enter The Light" on his very own Holy South label, and you thought he was out the game? Never that! Del has since dropped six albums plus his newest release "The Future" which hit stores 8/2/05 and in it's third week attained a #15 ranking on BillBoard Magazine's Top Gospel Chart with hot production from Atl's Canton Jones, himself, and Organized Noise who have produced groups like Outkast and Goodie Mob. Mr Del recently spoke with MemphisRap.com about his life and ministry, recording label and artists and what's in store for 'The Future'.
"I feel good about the fact that I am recognized in Sreet Masters Magazine as the first gospel rapper and have opened up doors and the market for Holy Hip Hop here in Memphis" says Del. "Some of the artists detest me only because they're not kingdom minded and forget that it's about God first and second winning souls". "Lets get on one accord in unity and win souls." (Psalms 133) "I'm not living for people but for God and God only." "Some church people are not utilizing their gifts and when dealing with the youth who are Heavens' future, you have to 'get on they level' and speak their language which is Hip Hop," he says and is doing so with his own label Holy South Records. After five albums and the Nu Soul Mixtape, Pastor Del has inked a world wide distribution deal with EMI Gospel who also distribute Smokie Norful, Kierra KiKi Sheard, and Bishop T.D. Jakes. "My life is in my music man" he goes on. "The trials I go through, the (spiritual) wars I battle, my experiences, you can hear it all in my music". "I like artists like T.I. and Young Jezzy but it's not for everyone though." "If God is convicting you about listening to secular music, then it's not for you." "When it's all said and done, to each it's own meaning what I like you may not like." "Hip Hop is a universal language." "The reason why some of these labels don't want to give Holy Hip Hop/Gospel Rap a chance is either they lost money on some artist because they were not successful and some people won't accept what they are saying." "That's why it's good to do your music the way you feel is the right way." "I have a few artists on my label like Breath E-Z out of the Chi, Illy Wonka and Willie Will from Washington, Holy South, and the first female super crunk group W. O. G. (Women of God) and their album is in stores now".
"I also have NU Soul, which it's a division of Holy South." "It's more relaxed music like Neosoul, Jazz, Rhythm & Praise, Hip Hop and Spoken Word." "It's the official love and life experience with signed artist Divine and Jazz Digga." "We do Nu Soul live every Thursday in the University Center located on the U of M campus in Rm. 218 @ 7pm so come and enjoy."
Being a rapper, producer, CEO, song writer, businessman, and Pastor of a church can be very stressful if your mind ain't right. So I asked Mr. Del how does he do it? "It's God man"! "Without Him, I couldn't do it and wouldn't be here." "I work twelve hours every day and that's with order." "I also have an incredible staff who do a great job in taking care of business." "The main objective is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ." "Over 3,000 lives have been changed and we are growing daily." "Holy South is honored to say that through our ministry, souls such as Lady Boo (formerly Gangsta Boo) and many other secular rap artists, gang members, etc., have been won to Christ.
I asked the King of Holy South if there was anything he wanted to add?
"The Mixtape Memphis 2 ATL will be coming soon which will feature some of the tightest and anointed artists from 'the M' and 'A-town'." "W. O. G. album is in stores now '31 Flavas." "The Future is out, so cop that and be on the lookout for The Best of Both Worlds album, the Holy Version featuring myself and Canton Jones, plus be looking for the Best of Both Worlds tour coming to a town near you."
R.I.P. Eric "Memphis Slim" aka "Ralo Love" Nichols. AUGUST 5, 1979, ~ JUNE 24, 2005. Gone but not forgotten.
I want to thank the Holy South staff, Holy South Records, and HolySouth.com for taking time out to do this interview. Support Holy Hip Hop in Memphis!!!
For more info on Mr. Del, contact 901.337.HOLY or visit www.holysouth.com