Cultural night welcomes new talent


Several people gathered in the Baptist Student Center at Northern Kentucky University April 19 to be a part of Thursday Nights Together (TNT), a weekly event that showcases the different cultures in entertainment, food and a friendly social atmosphere. TNT usually incorporates international cultures into their events; this night, however, brought in a home-grown culture by exceptionally blending gospel music with hip-hop music.

The room was comfortably dim, with a crowd of people surrounding the stage, which was equipped with a large backdrop for easy viewing and colorful spotlights to accentuate the excitement in the atmosphere. Faces in the crowd included NKU students, their friends and family and other locals who came together to recognize their allegiance to Jesus and unify as a group.
“There’s a certain perception that you need to identify with Jesus in a certain way, we’ve made it a little more fun while connecting with each other,” campus minister Ray Arnold said. “This is a student-performed show, and a way to be who you are.”

Fruit of the Spirit Culture Night showcased various hip-hop artists, including Yo Conchus, K Starr and the official premiere of Young Saint. These are all artists who have chosen hip-hop as a creative way for people to identify with their faith.

“I grew up on hip-hop. It was a tool used to help the less fortunate,” Conchus said. “I should be dead, but I’m not and I’m here to show that no matter what your past was, it doesn’t dictate your future. Here, you can be a part of something bigger than yourself.”

Conchus performed a handful of his songs, including “WatUGonDo” and “Let My Light Shine,” both previously released on iTunes from his album, “The Dead Testimony,” to an eager crowd of people shouting his lyrics right back at him. The album has been described as heart-felt music that revolves around the gospel.
When it came time to brainstorm ideas for other cultures to display, students began brewing the idea to incorporate the genre of faith-based hip-hop.
“Christian hip-hop is up-and-coming, but music is music. Students have converted old bar songs into the hip-hop genre because they’re songs about the Lord,” said NKU alumus Susan Stein. “It’s not just about the genre, but more about the words. We want to get people to come together, regardless of your beliefs.”

TNT is a weekly event that takes place in the Baptist Student Center along with Worship Night, another weekly service on Tuesday nights. To find out more about these events, visit the Baptist Student Center or contact them through the campus website.