God’s continued expansion of DJ Wade-O’s ministry recently led him to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten as a headline member of the Xtreme Youthfest 2009. The event, launched by the Victorious Living Foundation, was held July 11.
It included workshops on succeeding in business, hearing God’s voice, dealing with suicide, dance worship, and hip hop flavored concerts in which DJ Wade-O provided back up to the soca sounds of local favorite Nigel Lewis, “St. Maarten’s Ruben Studdard” Shawn Jacquet, and his frequent fam the Frontlynaz.
In advance of the main concert, DJ Wade-O and the other artists participated in a press conference. They also promoted the event via in-studio interviews on mainstream and Christian radio outlets, including Laser 101 – the island’s largest radio station.
“I looked at this trip the same way I did business travel when I had to suit it up in the secular world,” Wade said. “Back then, I knew that wherever I went, I was representing my company. Now it’s the same thing, I just rep Jesus the Christ all day, every day.”
After completing the morning promotional work, DJ Wade-O and Proph1 from the Frontlynaz visited a prison with local ministers to encourage and uplift the inmates. Wade said this was his first time visiting such a mission field but one that really made an impact.
“I think we were able to connect with those guys on a different level because we were into hip hop (like a lot of them are) and we were Americans,” Wade said. “It made us culturally relevant, but also afforded us an entryway to reinforce the same message they’ve been hearing from those that have gone before us and will, prayerfully, come after.”
Wade said during his brief trip to the facility he connected with a man named Eddie who was a former DJ in New York. As time allowed, Wade spoke to the inmates about the passage of Scripture from Acts 16 where Paula and Silas were also locked up.
“The verses that struck a chord in me where the ones that mentioned Paul and Silas gave thanks to Lord while they were there and that the ‘other prisoners’ were listening to them.
“It’s written like they didn’t consider themselves to be prisoners and that’s the message I had for my brothers behind bars – that while your body may be trapped by four walls; your mind, spirit, and soul can be set free through the power of Jesus.”
This was Proph1’s third time to the island.
“One thing I realize is no matter where you are or where you go, the need for Jesus remains the same,” Proph said.
Saturday night’s flagship concert was held on Philipsburg’s high-traffic boardwalk area and roughly 1,200 people attended. DJ Wade-O kicked off the event with a high-energy mix of Christian dancehall and hip hop music to give the heavily-tourist-populated crowd an idea of what they could soon expect.
Once the event was in high gear he offered cuts, scratches, and backbeats for Shawn Jacquet, Nigel Lewis and the Frontlynaz. Wade said Lewis’ command of the audience was particularly impressive.
“Nigel used to be a mainstream artist who is now doing music that glorifies our King,” Wade explained. “He’s got a great regional sound with lots of dance steps that really get the people engaged in what he’s trying to say.
“His ‘Walk Away’ track had ‘em going nuts,” Wade said. “So much so that they had me run that joint back like a dozen times.”
The Frontlynaz’s Bro. Wize said one of his favorite memories from the trip was when he and his crew were chilling near the “backstage” beach area before they performed and a group of teens came by to chat.
“One of them was talking about getting a tattoo of a passage in the book of Psalms. It gave me the opportunity to encourage him and make him think about his relationship with Christ,” Wize recalled.
“The young man decided to stay for the concert to see what the Frontlynaz were about. He loved it, heard the Gospel, and I know God planted a seed in that young man. Mission accomplished.”
Wade-O said that if there was one area of the trip that could have been improved it would have been to have free CDs and other resources to give away while he was in St. Maarten.
“I kinda dropped the ball there,” Wade admitted. “But the people seemed very receptive to what we were doing. They loved the music and it gave us the platform to share the gospel.”
“That’s been our strategy from Day One.”
For more information on DJ Wade-O and The Wade-O Radio Show please visit www.wadeoradio.com