The Short Story:
As an independent Catholic Hip-Hop artist, I have been offered the opportunity of a lifetime, and I could really use your help! I was asked to attend the 25th Eucharistic Convention in Auckland, New Zealand from April 4th - April 10th, 2018 in front of more than 500 children, parents, priests, deacons, bishops, community (youth) leaders, and more. This event could prove to be a very pivotal moment for my Catholic Hip-Hop ministry leading the path onward to success! Although my flight & hotel accommodations are paid in full by the event organizers; because this was an unexpected opportunity, I need your help with purchasing the proper luggage and for travel expenses during my 6 days stay. This is not only a key moment for fulfilling my mission statement of Bridging The Gap Between Catholicism & Hip-Hop, but I believe it is an amazing moment to show the world that The Bronx, NY has so much more than our reputation!
Hi! My name is Melvin Windley. I started writing music at 8 years old with a couple of childhood friends. When we wrote songs we would share them among one another and my songs were always well received by my friends. It was then I realized I had skill in writing lyrics.
I was baptized into the Catholic faith in 2005. For many years I identified myself as a Christian/Gospel rapper even though my lyrics were doused with Catholic rhetoric. I didn’t know Catholic Hip-Hop existed until late 2013. During my journey from 2[phone redacted], I spent those years reading and admiring the Diary of St. Faustina.
I developed this passion for the message of Divine Mercy over the years after reading The Diary of St. Faustina. In 2014 I heard a little voice calling from God that asked me if I was open to rapping about the Divine Mercy message. At that very moment, I broke down in tears and said “yes.” I finally understood why I was so in love with this message! From that moment in 2014, I proclaimed myself to be a Catholic Rapper.
The very humble beginnings of my ministry began in an RCIA classroom at St. Agnes church in Manhattan, NY back in 2005, where I was diligently working on understanding and becoming accustomed to the Catholic faith.
I wanted to develop into a beautiful and engaging artist that would remain active in the process of structuring the faith of new believers. But I’m no theologian and had no idea how to make people's faith come to life. And then like an answer to my confused prayers, incomes St. Faustina with the message of Divine Mercy. A young, mildly educated, Polish nun, with an abundance of faith after God's own heart came just at the right time to do the job. After many sleepless nights praying endlessly on branding, marketing, and engineering this idea of Divine Mercy, I finally created a Catholic Rap rap song I called "Novena " which led me to create my very first Catholic music video, (Directed by Nico Santana ).
[@Rabelzthemc is the first Catholic rap artist dedicated to St. Faustina & the message of Jesus' Divine Mercy.]
After spending my early childhood years aspiring to be a self-proclaimed "gangsta rapper" I finally had a conversion at heart & in my music.
For me, in 2014 when I accepted the role of incorporating the message of Divine Mercy into my art I was afraid that the Christian audience would not accept it, especially since it was so very Catholic. The voice of God instantly reassured me in my heart that I had nothing to worry about because nothing could get in his way. It was extremely reassuring. The following year in 2015 Pope Francis announced that the Church would be celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy through November 2016. Personally, my biggest hurdle today is probably not having enough financial means to produce and engineer a top-notch, high-quality sound that the messages in my lyrics deserve.
Little did I know, when I gave up my secular rap career I was on the cusp of a wild and exciting ride through the world as an aspiring Catholic Rapper. I have come a long way from reciting my lyrics in my bedroom. I now have an international audience in over 17 countries with over 100,000 songs played digitally!
Many years and lots of lessons learned later, I’m here to tell you that I have learned so much about the mysteries of Divine Mercy, through prayer, meditation, and most importantly, forgiveness. Without the immense support I have received from the great state of New York, the city of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the great country of New Zealand, and local youth leaders, priests, deacons, Bishops, magazine editors, Catholic entrepreneurs, and countless friends, family and strangers who have believed in me from the very beginning, I can assure you I would have never made it this far.
I know what you’re thinking – why would a paid in full trip to New Zealand require any contribution? While I have reached many great milestones in such a short period of time, I still would argue that I have a long way to go to be a Bronx Bomber! I am fresh out of work and have taken a leap of faith by pursuing this journey as a full-time job. Every cent counts. Being invited to the 25th Eucharistic Convention in Auckland, New Zealand is an incredible opportunity for @Rabelzthemc to expand and grow as a brand. And it’s also a chance for a Catholic Rapper from The Bronx, NY to make a big splash and represent New York City and it’s great Catholic community! Any donation counts and I am so humbly grateful for the support!
- Mark W.
- Phil L.
- Jorge Pabon
- Fred & Debbie Di Maria
- Anonymous Donation
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