Earlier this week, I had a chance to chat with a dynamic artist who introduced me to the world of “gospel rap”. Come inside my It’s RobinLori interview with “Preachers of Atlanta” cast member Canton Jones! This NEW reality series is set to premiere on Wednesday, February 3 at 10 PM ET/PT and features five pastors with totally different approaches to their ministry.
Pastor Canton Jones is originally from Florida and found his ministering voice through the power of music. He went to Morehouse College has lived in Atlanta for over 20 years with his wife and business partner, Ramona, and their three sons–Justice, Dominion, and Canaan–and daughter, Love, Canton. He is widely known as an award winning gospel rap artist with numerous Gospel Choice awards and NOW… a new pastor of Free Life Church on Mt. Zion.
RobinLori: I have to be honest… I’m an old soul and you were my first introduction to gospel rap. About 3 years ago I was photographing a red carpet and they announced Canton Jones. I was thinking an old jubilee group was going to come out…
Canton: LOL, like the Canton Spirituals..??
RobinLori: YES, exactly!! But you walked in with a camouflage outfit and boots… and then they said gospel rap artist. I asked myself, “Wow, what’s up with this rap in gospel?” So tell me… how has rap evolved in the church?
Canton: Many of the youths are now LEADERS in the church and their art form is widely accepted. Older pastors understand it’s a tool so they welcome it.
RobinLori: So do you rap in the church or do you perform it in concert venues?
Canton: We rap in our praise & worship service. You should see all the hip hop generation… “so called” thugs raising their hands praising God. No suits… just come as you are. We can actually tell when a visitor comes because they have on a suit. LOL!
Check out this audio of Canton’s new song “I’m So Kingdom”:
RobinLori: Ok… so you’re the president of Cajo Records, you’re an artist, husband, father, NEW pastor and now you have a new reality TV show. I remember being courted for a reality show and they worried the crap out of me with Skype interviews every five minutes. I can’t imagine the demands of doing a show. How to do juggle it all?
Canton: My wife handles my schedule and she knows there’s no missing piano recitals, basketball games etc. I don’t know what I would do without her… basically if it’s not on the schedule, it’s not going to happening.
Robin: What will viewers say abut Canton while watching the show? Will they say he’s the villain or the peace-maker? And what do you want them to take away from the show?
Canton: They will see that I’m not in the pulpit praying every minute… but i’m being me, I’m being REAL. People might look and say that I’m the villain… I don’t know, I’m just trying to be a genuine as possible. I want people to see African American men that love God. We have different music and styles… there’s no one way to do Jesus. We worship the “kingdom way”… the culture God has created for us.
RobinLori: In my reverend voice… And with that… let the church say AMEN. 🙂
Be sure to tune into Preachers of Atlanta Feb 3th on Oxygen! With a jam-packed schedule, Pastor Canton is faced with juggling his musical career, serving his congregation, and continuing to expand his musical ventures, all while preparing to welcome a new bundle of joy into the family.
Watch the trailer: