Hood Proud Introduces “Sermonic Flow.” Take a Listen

What would it sound like if your preacher could rap? What would it sound like if a rapper could preach? Take a listen to Hood Proud, and you will know.

 

Bradley Tramel and Orlando Boyd form the nucleus of the Hood Proud, a sermonizing, rap group from the Washington D.C. area. Tramel, is a Program Analyst for the United States Department of Energy, while Boyd works as a professional landscaper. Their jobs don’t stand in the way of what they know to be a Spirit-led ministry. They believe the Holy Spirit led them to each other and continues to inspire and move in them.

“Truth is our group is composed of men and women that the Holy Spirit chose based on His unique knowledge of everyone’s heart and mindset towards doing ministry,” Tramel told Message.

Hear how they flow here:

Grace and Mercy

Understatement

Tramel also believes in the Spirit-led, hand-picked collaboration with the rest of the group, including members Lamar Parker, Nathaniel Douglas, Nicole Jacques, and Damon Hill. And, they all credit the divine influence on their friend Frank Dent who, in 2014, shared the idea God gave him. “God gave him [the vision] of the organization doing both outreach and ministry for the youth and impoverished communities worldwide.

What is It?

Hood Proud: Bradley Tramel and Orlando Boyd hope to always move by the Spirit and inspire a generation of young people worldwide.

“Sermonic Flow” encompasses rap, spoken word, and poetry, said Tramel.  “We’ll hear the beat and the Spirit will move as to which form of communication will be used. We flow with the Spirit, hence Sermonic Flow.”

Tramel hunts beats on Soundcloud, and can sense its fit for specific members of the group, including himself.

“I’ll send them the track and the Holy Spirit gives them what to say just as He does with me,” Tramel said.

Until recently, they were working with “a very generic form” of software and equipment. Tramel engineers the track and lyrics by the insights the Holy Spirit gives him.  Recently, they recorded in a studio and Hood Proud is working on a release.

“By Yah’s grace that will continue.”

Hood Proud has enjoyed a positive reception, and have started to receive requests for CDs and live performances. Neither Tramel and Boyd had performance ambitions before this, and they still feel a little sheepish at the prospect, but, in the spirit of ministry, if someone receives a blessing through the Sermonic Flow, they are happy to be used.

New releases of the groups tracks can be found online for free, because members believe the ministry should be free for all. While they know they will encounter costs, realistically, “[W]e leave that in Yah’s hands as He will provide all of our needs.”

You can find Hood Proud on Soundcloud.  

 




Sherwin Gardner: Forget the Format Gospel

Sherwin Gardner was born and reared in a little village, Brandeville in Trinidad and Tobago. His testimony is birthed from his mother’s decision to defy all odds by the doctor and still carry him.

Before he was born his mother fell ill, so the doctors had her take a drink that would reveal what her issues were. The doctors discovered that she was 20 weeks pregnant with him. Despite advice from her doctors to abort, she chose to hold on to his life and let God handle the rest. Since then, God not only favored Gardner’s mother, but the rest of the world with such talent.

As he contemplated this testimony, he wrote what became the single on his album called “Because of You,” both glorifying God for sustaining his life, and thanking his mother for being faithful to keep his life.

Shifting the Stage

Gardner now resides in Antigua and Barbuda and serves as the media and worship director for the St. John Pentecostal of Antigua and Barbuda with Pastor Steve Matthews. His church ministry supports his media ministry. “I’ve developed that throughout the years,” he acknowledges, “and being a part of church ministry helps with stage presence.”

Gardner began working on that stage presence in 1994 as a five year-old. When he was a teen he performed reggae and soca gospel. In 2002, he signed with Lion of Zion Entertainment, a premier record label in gospel reggae and traveled the island circuit. This provided him the opportunity to produce 15 albums until his current new album “Greater.” His “Greater” project mixes American and Caribbean influences, with the biggest influence coming from a sense of spiritual leading. “It was a time to shift and I heeded the voice of God.”

“Hope of Nations” and “Because of You”, his favorite cuts, speak life into every circumstance.

Gardner travels between New York and Trinidad working on his new album the “Right Now Experience,” and he is pulling from his musical inspirations such as Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, and Byron Cage. “I wanted to understand their pattern of success and their appreciation in the gospel music industry.”

Frustrated with Gospel Format

Gardner said he is focused on relationships and the sound from heaven to God’s people. Whereas some can get frustrated with the music industry, he believes it is because sometimes there is so much music that sounds the same. He questions whether it is really from God or just a format.

“I try my best not to follow those formulas,” he said. “First you really have to keep working, to maintain a standard and quality. You have to live what you sing. The world is so social and easy to shift, [but] you have to make sure you live Christ.”

While he is writing and producing for others such as “We Will Not Be Shaken” for Bethel Music, and “Hope of Nations” by Gates Praise, Gardner adheres to one, solid principle. “[R]emember the times we are living in. We need to have a strong relationship with Christ. We don’t know when He’s coming back, but must live every day for him.”