Led By Founding Members, Rapper/Writer J-Rizzo and Beat Maker And Sonic Architect Mr. Swift, Priesthood Scored Numerous Awards And Accolades In the Christian Rap Market For Their First Three Albums In The Early 2000s. Priesthood continues to keep things gritty and real while offering hope via their profound spiritual purpose. Quickly attracting hip hip-hop fans seeking a fresh, positive and inspiring outlet from life’s daily struggles, Priesthood is embarking on a mission to touch the world with their music. To grasp the massive transition Priesthood has made in the years leading up to the release of this intensely personal and spiritual project, a little history is in order. Launched by J-Rizzo, Mr. Swift and a third original member, Papa Semm, the then-three piece unit became first a U.S., then a global sensation, touring the country and then throughout Japan, Mexico, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands on the massive popularity of their first three joints, “Sprinkle Me Luv”, “Keepin’ It Real” and “Turn Up Your Radio”. At one point, they were on the road doing an incredible 300 live dates a year. A truly West Coast rap group, they had a reputation for laid back grooves and tight vocal harmonies—and it was time to develop a more cutting edge approach.
Amidst the deeper themes, Priesthood loves to just let loose and have fun. “So many people these days focus on what people don’t have in common, but Priesthood are all about what we do have in common, despite our big differences,” says J-Rizzo. “Originally, Chico and Toon are from Blood neighborhoods, and Tapasu and I are from Crip neighborhoods. Members of the group have had countless run-ins with the law through gang activities on the streets which eventually landed them occupancy in the State and County Correctional Facilities. It has been through our newfound spiritual purpose that we are able to transcend those cultural divides of the past in the spirit of music that offers hope for the struggle of life. “After a long time of trying to figure out what Priesthood’s future would be,” he adds, “we’re feeling like we’re really doing what we are supposed to in order to make an impact in the life of people. Music to us is about enjoyment and encouragement, but even more than that, the rhymes and the words we rap and sing are all about making a mental, emotional and spiritual difference in their lives. Whether our fans are listening to Thug Worship or seeing us at a club or church, we want to leave a mark with music and tracks they’ll listen to and get inspired.”