Many selves become one in Christ. If this is true, J.Kwest has been all of the above and one very fine leader for many years now. Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Julian DeShazier always had a passion for music and developed an affinity for poetry while sitting in the pews at New Faith Baptist Church. What does he think about his early writing?
“I was terrible. Period.”
J was never discouraged however, and through practice and God’s grace his habit morphed into a gift. During high school he met BreevEazie, a gospel hip-hop artist who took him under his wings, giving J his first appearance on the critically acclaimed Baby Food (2001). At that moment J.Kwest was born.
J continued to hone the craft while at Morehouse College, where he graduated in 2005, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. In J’s words, “I became a man at Morehouse. Rap and preaching were cool, but the most important thing I developed was a LOVE for LIFE.” This love and a passion to serve God’s people led him to turn down Harvard after graduation to pursue music full-time. At the same time he released an EP entitled 20/20: The InVision (2005), and PureMusic was born.
The ministry of J.Kwest has been a blessing ever since. A 2007 Holy Hip Hop Award Winner; featured on allhiphop.com, Rolling Out and BlackGurl Magazine; featured on the Dr. Maya Angelou “Oprah & Friends” XM program and celebrated as “Living Black History” by Urban Ministries International; an Ambassador to the National Hip Hop Political Convention and the Children’s Defense Fund; and is receiving airplay all over the country and around the world. J.Kwest has also shared the stage at MegaFest, Fla.vor Fest, and the Taste of Chicago.
He is now a graduate of University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the senior pastor for University Church Chicago UCC in Hyde Park of Chicago, IL.
WHAT IS PUREMUSIC?
1 Timothy 4:12 – “Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example in speech, life, faith, and PURITY.”
We are PureMusic.
We believe in being an example in our communities, AS YOUNG PEOPLE, and trusting in something bigger than our own selves.
We believe in God and are Christians, and we respect the traditions of those who are not, as well as the faith traditions of our ancestors.
We believe in the power of Hip Hop to inform and the power of Christ to transform.
We welcome ALL PEOPLE of all faiths, ethnicities, classes, orientations, and lifestyle preferences.
We do not HATE because there are too many opportunities to LOVE our God, our neighbor, and ourselves. The questions are many, but the answer is always LOVE.
We respect those who have come before us to make our lives easier, and we honor them by living well.
We are aware of the victorious and troubling times we live in, and we are the CHANGE that we seek in a world struggling to find its identity.
We stand with the disinherited on this Earth as Jesus did.
We have fun and love life. Because you only get one to love…right?
We fear nothing but God, and we fear God as Infinite and Ultimate.
We demand excellence in every aspect of our music, and we will succeed.
WE ARE PUREMUSIC, the new “Are & Be” music
“Love who you ARE, Strive to BE better”
Contact: Waltrina Middleton, Minister for Youth Advocacy and Leadership Formation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-736-3871