Vann R. Newkirk II


Vann Newkirk

Vann R. Newkirk II, also known as fivefifths, is a writer, editor, graphic designer, and activist entrepreneur who is currently Chief Scribe and founder at Seven Scribes, a new online destination for millennials of color. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and UNC-Chapel Hill, and is deeply passionate about social justice, environmental justice, Afrofuturism/speculative fiction, and hip-hop, and in the intersection between them all. His work has been featured in Ebony, GQ, and Grantland among other outlets.

Rhymes: Outkast “Aquemini,” Blackstar ft. Common “Respiration,” and Gucci Mane “Lemonade”


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Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III


Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III

Rev. Otis Moss III is part of a new generation of ministers committed to preaching prophetically that the message of love and justice are inseparable companions, forming the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Rev. Moss is a native of Cleveland, OH, an honors graduate of Morehouse College, Yale Divinity School, and he has earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago Theological Seminary.  The work and legacy of Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the pastoral ministry of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, OH, have been primary mentors for his spiritual formation.  He is the former pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, GA., his first pastorate, where the church grew from 125 members to over 2100 disciples during his tenure.  Rev. Moss is currently Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL.   Pastor Moss is an accomplished author.  He published his first book, Redemption in a Red Light District in 1999 and co-authored The Gospel Re-Mix; How to Reach the Hip-Hop Generation in 2006.  His sermons articles and poetry have appeared in publications such as Power in the Pulpit II: America’s Most Effective Preachers, Joy To The World: Sermons From America’s Pulpit, Sound The Trumpet: Messages of Hope for Black Men,  The Audacity of Faith: Christian Leaders Reflect on the Election of Barack Obama,  Sojourners Magazine and The African American Pulpit Journal.  In 2012, he published, with his father, He Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.,  Preach!: The Power and Purpose Behind Our Praise.  He is married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Fl, a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate.  They are the proud parents of two creative and humorous children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.

Rhymes:  Public Enemy “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” Common “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” and The Roots ft. Jill Scott “You Got Me (Live)”


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More Info on Rev. Moss:

Trinity UCC

Rev. Moss and Trinity UCC on YouTube


Songs from this Interview:

Public Enemy “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos”

Isaac Hayes “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”

The Staples Sisters “Respect Yourself”

Levert ft. Heavy D “Just Coolin'”

Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony “Cleveland is the Reason (Instrumental)”

Winans ft. T. Riley “Time”

Joey Bada$$ ft. CJ Fly “Hardknock”

Killer Mike “Reagan”

Morehouse Glee Club “I’m Building Me a Home”

Dick Gregory “Race, Comedy, and Justice”

Common “I Used to Love H.E.R.”

Wale “The Skit”

GZA “The Labels (Instrumental)”

A Tribe Called Quest “Skypager”

The Roots ft. Jill Scott “You Got Me (Live)”

Richard Pryor “Little Feets (Mudbone)”

Julian “J. Kwest” DeShazier

J. Kwest

Julian “J. Kwest” DeShazier

For nearly a decade, the ministry of Julian “J.Kwest” DeShazier has been an exploration in the relationship between music and faith. As artist, this Chicago native has used his unique rhythm to tell stories of deep meaning, inside and out of the church. A 2007 Holy Hip Hop Award winner, his song, “So Blessed,” was featured on the Grammy-nominated compilation Holy Hip Hop: Taking the Gospel to the Streets and J has been celebrated as “Living Black History” by Urban Ministries International. In 2012 he and his group, Verbal Kwest, were featured in the OXFAM and Bread for the World-produced documentary The Line, providing a critical voice against poverty and violence in the US.  A graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago Divinity School, Julian currently serves as senior pastor of University Church in Chicago, and is a regular to Sojourners, UrbanFaith and Kidult publications.

Rhymes: Outkast “13th Floor/Growing Old”, Common ft. Lauryn Hill “Retrospect for Life”, and Wu-Tang “Triumph”


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More Info on Julian:


J. Kwest on Facebook


Verbal Kwest

Songs from this Interview:

Outkast “13th Floor/ Growing Old”

Outkast “Hootie Hoo”

Common ft. Lauryn Hill “Retrospect for Life”

J. Cole “Lost Ones”

Little Brother “All For You”

Shaquille O’Neal “Biological Didn’t Bother”

Outkast “Church”

Eminem “Lose Yourself”

Wu-Tang “Triumph”

Verbal Kwest “Believers”

Verbal Kwest “Crazy Streets”