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Of all rap categories today, Christian rap has to be the single most slighted. It’s wack, a gimmick, bogus, devoid of lyrical aptitude, and quite frankly, corny, but Andy Mineo is debunking that stigma one day at a time. 

The aforementioned slights towards religious rap music is what “Hip-Hop fans” like to think, right? And if that’s really the case, then what makes “regular” rap any different? Aren’t we all being sold a gimmick, a “lifestyle,” as Talib Kweli so eloquently put it once?

Mineo, on the other hand, isn’t trying to sell us anything at all. He’s just a damn good lyricist who happens to be vocal about his belief – that something much bigger lies outside of himself. What a concept.

Clad in a ÑY cap and a matching jersey, Mineo touched down in New York City at the multilevel performance space, Santo’s Party House, and blessed a swarming crowd of fans (the line wrapped around the block) with his rapid fire poetics. The Syracuse-born Washington Heights native, whose lyrics range from complex quick couplets to ear-catching streams of consciousness, took the stage by storm and conquered a crowd of fans and critics alike. In short, Mineo had a sea of heads going straight bonkers, mosh pit style, on Thursday night (April 17).

Small in stature with a boyish charm, Mineo is no choir boy with a bible in hand, looking to lecture you a sermon. On the contrary, the Reach Records signee is your atypical wordsmith who can really go toe-to-toe with your favorite MC today. He just happens to want to also talk about God (oh, his record won’t get played?). With fan-faves like “116,” “AYO,” “You Will” and a new gem off his latest Never Land EP, Mineo took up the gauntlet and proved to be going above the Christian rapper stereotype. Get acquainted.

Catch a snippet of Andy Mineo’s Never Land concert in the video below. Then, take a gander at our gallery photos in the following pages, courtesy of shutterbug Levi Tejada.

Photos: Levi Tajada

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