Agnostic Subway Posters Lead To Formation of In My City Records

Youth pastor Daniel Sanabria, a co-founder of the “God Belongs In My City” prayer movement, and other Big Apple youth evangelists have pooled their diverse resources to create a new recording label, In My City Records. The company slogan is: “Sounds that connect people to God and invoke change.” Those vibrant sounds are youthful rhythms that span the gamut of faith-fueled Hip Hop songs to rock-edged praise and worship anthems. Various artists affiliated with the movement or the label are hitting the concert trail in August and the first recorded offering will be the October 15th digital release of Korean-born female rapper HeeSun Lee’s debut CD “Stereotypes.”

The God Belongs in My City movement began in October of 2009 when members of a Christian youth group saw a billboard in the New York City subway system that asked the question, “A Million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are You?” They were so angered by the ad that they complained about it to their youth pastor who in turn started to ask area church leaders, “What are we, as the body of Christ going to do about this?” Those leaders galvanized young adults from all five New York boroughs to hold a prayer walk where participants wore T-shirts simply declaring, “God Belongs in My City.”

On November 14, 2009, over 1,500 youth trekked down from Harlem and up from Battery Park and met in the middle – Times Square – to make their voices heard through public prayers and music. “It’s like the civil rights movement but from a spiritual perspective,” says In My City Records CEO Jeremy Castro. At that assembly, a rapper named Andy Mineo, free styled the song “In My City” that’s become the movement’s anthem. A You Tube video has nearly 700,000 hits (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbwgi0XUm3w). The walk was duplicated in other cities and has now mushroomed into a national movement for the millennial generation to evangelize a society that is increasingly losing its religion.

Mineo, has gone on to become a Christian Hip Hop celebrity. His recent CD “Heroes For Sale” debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and sold almost 28,000 units its first week of release. The success of Mineo and the thousands who gather for the music at the rallies prompted the birth of In My City Records. The staffers work for little to nothing and the artists are more interested in soul saving than making millions.

“Diversity is the heartbeat for us,” Castro adds. “This has become a global movement. We have people from Brooklyn to Botswana. A lot of young people are trying to find out who they are and where they fit in the world. HeeSun Lee was born in Korea and was in the foster care system. Then, she was adopted by Chinese parents on Staten Island so those are a lot of different cultural clashes but she found an identity in Christ where all believers become one family following Him.”

As a Korean and a woman, Lee brings a fresh and unique voice to Hip Hop with her machine-gun delivery. Her inaugural set, “Stereotypes,” drops as a digital release on October 15th on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and other major online retailers. An album by label mate and songwriting superstar, worship leader Amante Lacey (Israel Houghton, Tye Tribbett, Byron Cage) will follow in the coming months. In the meantime, the movement is backing the “Come Together” concert tour that will take rappers Andy Mineo, MC Jin, Skrip, HeeSun Lee, KJ 52, SocialxClub, KB, and Propaganda up and down the east coast in August. There are singers on the lineup such as the urban-flavored Christon Gray, rock-edged worship leader Amante Lacey and alternative rockers, Anthony Shepherd & The Roar. Tickets range from $15 for general admission seats to $40 for VIP tickets that include Meet and Greet access to the artists. GBIMC.com/Tour

8/2            Faith Fellowship Ministries
2707 Main Street Extension, Sayerville, NJ 08872

8/3            Brooklyn Spirit of Brotherhood Church
167 South 1st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

8/5            New Beginning Community Church
65 Tokeneke Road, Darien, CT 06820

8/13            First Coast Christian Center
2724 New Berlin Road, Jacksonville, FL 32226

8/15            Crossover Church
1235 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33612

8/16             Living Water Fellowship
4101 Pleasant Hill Road, Orlando, FL 34746

8/17            Central Bible Church
SW 87 Avenue, Miami, FL 33174

For more news on the movement activities, log on: http://www.godbelongsinmycity.com

HeeSunLee