Off the Record

BY DAN MONTEVERDE

Youth today, especially the Hispanic youth we work with, love music. If we are not in agreement on this issue we will be hard pressed to agree on many other things other than the Lordship of Christ and his imminent return.

If you want to know where a kid is socially, emotionally and spiritually just listen to the music to which he or she is listening. Often times much of what a teen accepts as “the norm” is gathered in from the music they value which reflects their view on life. Having problems with Armando slipping into the gang familia? Check out the gangsta rap stuff in his walkman. Maria seems a little more loose with her language, lifestyle and clothing – ask her what was the last CD of cassette she bought.

Many times the only Contemporary Christian music our youth hear is in our youth rooms or at the concerts to which we invite them. Unless you are in the Contemporary Christian Music business it is very difficult to stay on top of what is hot and current for today’s youth. Many Christian radio stations are still not hip to the idea of promoting Contemporary Christian Music in their formats, (often times for fear of losing sponsors over that “rock ‘n roll” and “rap” stuff) telling us, “there just isn’t an audience for it.”

Those that do offer it, offer a very limited selection of Contemporary “Pop” and maybe some Black Gospel, i.e. BeBe and Cece, kind of stuff. Ask for some Christian Hip-hop, Funk, R&B, or Alternative music and they think you’re pagan. But Hip-hop, Funk, Rap, and Alternative music is where many of our youth are today in their choice of music styles.

So what do we do as concerned spiritual youth counselors? We tell them to stop listening to that stuff. Oh yeah, like that’s really gonna happen!

I want you to know that our “just say no” program to secular music with our teens has had very little effect. And it will continue to fail until we can offer something as good, if not better, to fill the void we create by asking them to stop listening to “their music.”

What I hope to provide for you as the music review editor, is current information in the music industry that I believe will be relevant for the type of kids with whom you work. Through record reviews and the “Up Close” one-on-one interviews, I will attempt to be both interesting and informative. You may not agree with everything I say, but know that my desire will be to introduce you to people and music from the CCM industry that may be able to be of support to you as you minister to your youth.

There really is a lot of good stuff out there for our kids today. Much of it is as good or even better than the secular poop to which our kids are now accustomed to listening. If this were not so there wouldn’t be such a rush by major secular record companies to buy up Christian record companies and Christian artist’s contracts.

Companies like EMI, Epic, Capitol Records and others are moving quickly to buy up much of the Christian record market. Why? Because they love Jesus now? No way! Rather, they know that the quality of music played by these artists has major appeal and that the positive messages they introduce often times reach a much broader audience than the current artists on their labels. The bottom line though is they know they can make money off Christian artists and record companies. If they didn’t see a profit opportunity, they wouldn’t be signing “our” guys.

O.K., so where was I, oh yeah, listenI hope the information I provide will benefit you and your youth program or event. Please feel free to let me know how I can be of assistance to you in the future. Until I hear from ya, C-ya next issue! Adios Amigos!!!

Dan has been involved in Christian youth ministry since 1985 working full time with Youth for Christ and then founding Steppin’ Out Urban Ministries in 1994. Dan has been involved with the Christian Music scene for the past eight years as a manager, booking agent, concert promoter and album executive producer. Currently Dan runs Precise Productions, a production company that provides professional sound, lights and big screens for concerts. Dan is happily married and has four daughters. (So please keep him in your prayers!) If you have any material/music you would like reviewed by SHOUT, please submit all CD’s and print material to: Precise Productions 4386 Kansas St. San Diego, CA 92104

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