From Flavor Fest to Fashion: Pastor Tommy’s Inspiring Journey in Christian Hip Hop

On this episode of Da Fixx, we had an enlightening conversation with Pastor Tommy Kyllonen, also known as Urban D. We delved into his journey in Christian hip hop, the significance of fashion, and the role of faith in our lives.

A Journey Through Christian Hip Hop

Pastor Tommy’s journey in Christian hip hop is nothing short of inspiring. He started his music career in college, forming a group called the Urban Disciples. After graduating from Bible college, he took on the name Urban D and started his music career. His music gained attention, leading to the launch of Flavor Fest in 2000, an event aimed at training people in Christian hip hop and showcasing how to host concerts and outreach events with excellence.

Pastor Tommy’s journey wasn’t always smooth. He initially didn’t want to follow in his parents’ footsteps as pastors. However, during his first year at Bible college, he felt a strong conviction from God to attend Bible college for one year. After struggling with his own desires and temptations, he had a powerful moment in a chapel service where he felt God calling him to submit and follow His path for his life.

The Role of Fashion in Our Lives

Fashion plays a significant role in our lives. It’s a form of self-expression and a way to showcase our individuality. We discussed popular brands like Chanel, Fendi, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Adidas, and Valentino. These brands are seen as status symbols, and people are willing to pay high prices for them to showcase their social status.

However, as Christians, we need to be mindful of the brands we wear and avoid supporting brands that promote values contrary to our faith. We also discussed the importance of finding clothes that fit well and are appropriate for different body types. From a biblical standpoint, we emphasized the importance of modesty and not causing others to stumble with our clothing choices.

The Intersection of Faith and Culture

We also touched on the topic of cancel culture. Kirk Franklin recently shared his thoughts on this, questioning whether Christians should be involved in it. We agreed that Christians should not be judgmental and that only God has the ultimate authority to judge. We discussed the dangers of cancel culture and the importance of giving grace to others.

Our mission at Da Fixx is to expose the culture to positive and relevant music that spreads the message of Jesus Christ. We believe that the Kingdom of God should also be present in the culture, just like hip hop is, without compromising the message.

The Impact of the Pandemic on Churches

Pastor Tommy also discussed the impact of the pandemic on churches and the need for new methods to reach people. Many people stopped coming to church during the pandemic, leading to a decline in attendance and support for some churches. However, Pastor Tommy emphasized the importance of staying open to evolving the way Jesus is presented to people in relevant ways.

The Future of Flavor Fest

Pastor Tommy discussed the importance of taking the Flavor Fest event on the road to reach and encourage leaders in different cities. Many churches are struggling, and leaders are feeling discouraged and tired. By sharing their innovative approaches and experiences, Pastor Tommy believes they can inspire and equip other leaders to grow their churches even in challenging times.

Wrapping Up

Our conversation with Pastor Tommy was insightful and thought-provoking. We hope that you found it as enlightening as we did. As we continue to navigate through our faith journeys, let’s remember to show love, represent God better, and continue growing in our faith. To connect with Pastor Tommy, check out his books and music, click here.

Are you an artist? Or do you know someone who is? Visit the Holy Culture Artist Resources page to find out how to submit music to radio and tips on navigating the music business.

From Flavor Fest to Fashion: Pastor Tommy's Journey in Christian Hip Hop
Pastor Tommy with his wife and family


The introduction and show preview [00:00:00] Introduction and tease the upcoming topics and guest of the show.

Discussion on clothing and its significance [00:01:59] The role of clothes in society, its psychological impact, and when it becomes excessive.

Discussion on cancel culture and judgment [00:02:47] Discussion on the concept of cancel culture and the dangers of judging and canceling someone based on one mistake.

The early years and starting the youth ministry [00:09:01] Pastor Tommy talks about his journey from college to starting the urban disciples and eventually becoming the pastor of crossover church in Tampa.

The launch of Flavor Fest [00:09:59] Pastor Tommy shares how his event focused on training people in Christian hip hop, was launched in 2000 due to the increasing interest in their music and ministry.

Accepting the call to ministry [00:12:41] Pastor Tommy recounts the moment he accepted the call to ministry during a chapel service in his first year of Bible college, despite initially trying to run away from it.

The importance of mixing in diverse environments [00:19:01] Discussion on the benefits of mixing people from different backgrounds in terms of economic status and ethnicity.

The potential of churches as hubs for entrepreneurs [00:19:59] Exploration of how churches can support entrepreneurs through resources, mentorship, networking, and funding.

The evolution of Christian hip hop [00:21:36] Overview of the history and development of Christian hip hop from the early 90s to the present, including different styles and themes embraced by artists over the years.

The importance of evolving methods to present Jesus [00:28:54] Pastor Tommy discusses the need for churches to adapt and evolve their methods of reaching people with the message of Jesus, especially through music and the arts.

Hip hop as a driving force in culture [00:29:42] Pastor Tommy highlights the influence of hip hop in American culture, surpassing rock music in popularity, and how it can be used to spread the message of the Kingdom of God.

Taking Flavor Fest on the road to encourage and train leaders [00:30:31] Pastor Tommy explains the decision to take the conference for urban ministry leaders, on the road to different cities to provide encouragement, new ideas, and fellowship for struggling churches.

The psychology of clothes as a status symbols [00:38:34] Discussion on how fashion and status symbols, such as designer brands, can influence how people perceive and treat others.

The therapeutic aspect of shopping and personal style [00:40:27] Exploring how shopping and dressing in clothes that one likes can provide a sense of relaxation and individuality.

Considering the biblical perspective [00:42:03] Debating whether there is biblical relevance, referencing the attire of old prophets and priests, and discussing the concept of individuality in fashion choices.

Target’s Satanic Brand [00:48:04] Discussion about Target selling clothes from a brand that openly worships the devil.

Importance of Checking Business Products [00:49:13] Emphasizing the need for businesses to be involved in the creation process and ensure that products align with their values.

Age Limit on Fashion [00:54:26] Debate on whether there should be an age limit on certain outfits and the perception that dressing younger is necessary to stay fashionable.

The Modesty Conversation [01:00:03] Discussion on the biblical perspective of modesty and the importance of not causing others to stumble with one’s clothing choices.

Finding What Works for You [00:58:26] Exploration of personal style and the idea that there is something for every body type that looks fantastic, emphasizing the importance of finding what works for oneself.

Respecting Yourself and Others [01:01:39] Addressing the issue of women walking around half-naked and the need for more self-respect and consideration for others’ discomfort in public spaces.