January 13, 2013
(Romereports.com) At the tender age of 11, Joe Melendrez wrote his first poem. His Puff Daddy album inspired him to put the words to a beat. At school, he would “break it down,” like Michael Jackson or Usher.
Then in 2001, at 15-years-old, he was invited to a spiritual retreat, where he decided his verses would praise God.
Since then, he has published two rap albums, and has toured throughout the United States. He's also breaking ground abroad, participating in World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, and in Uganda, where he volunteered at several orphanages.
“Notorious BIG, a big time rapper said you always gotta rap about what's real to you. And God is real to me, and that's all I wanna rap about it. I wanna rap about what's real to me. I'm gonna rap about things or topics that can encourage people to live better lives, to know Christ. Because I know it's so necessary, and God it's everything to me.”
Above all things, Joe Melendrez enjoys his concerts. It allows him to get closer to his fans and explain to them his verses.
He goes on to say that much of today's music is dominated by superficial messages. He aspires to something greater. Melendrez explains that some of the greatest rappers also talk about their faith in their verses because God is still a relevant topic. However, he recognizes there's a lot of work.
“A lot of time people have negative ideas of rap, and they're like 'oh you can't do that.' And rap is a literally a style, it's poetry with rhythm. I call mine spiritual poetry. And so once you get past it, once you see the fruits of the rap, once they see people going deeper into prayer... Moms come up to me and say 'Hey my kids wanna rap the rosary every morning when it's time to go to school.'”
Music, performing and helping those in need define the life of Joe Melendrez, since that retreat in 2001. Nearly 12 years later, he now helps organize similar retreats in California to help young people there find their way to God.
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