Propaganda knows what it’s like to find yourself at a crossroads. Growing up in a predominantly Latino community in Los Angeles as one of the only Black kids had its challenges, but it set the stage for Prop to discover the cultural diversity and beauty God’s creation has to offer. Embracing the oneness that unites us all has been the driving force behind his music, art, and activism. God continues to write Prop’s story to show the connection between us all and, together, how we are called to a greater community: a beloved community.
Propaganda’s music and prose is all about divergence and connection. Born and bred in Los Angeles, Prop witnessed and now celebrates the intersection of all things. His music is like the man himself, the result of many elements coming together.
As he spent most of his childhood in a predominantly Latino neighborhood of LA, there was a sense of multiculturalism from the very beginning. After graduating with degrees in illustration and intercultural studies, he taught high school for six years and helped found two charter schools in LA, one of which focused on the arts.
Prop joined up with the hip-hop collective Tunnel Rats in 2003. By 2007, he resigned from teaching to pursue music full-time and began touring as a solo artist. He joined the Humble Beast family and unveiled a series of four albums that put his music on the map. His 2014 album, Crimson Cord, topped several billboard charts even after being released for free. Over his career, he has toured with some of the largest artists in hip-hop and has played tours and festivals across the country.
In addition to his music, Prop is a published author, podcast host, social activist, and bonafide coffee nerd. His debut book, Terraform, reached #1 in Amazon’s poetry section and earned him a Distinguished Lecturer award from Cal Baptist University. Prop’s podcast, Hood Politics with Prop, is featured on the iHeart Radio Network and receives thousands of downloads per week.
Notes & Quotes:
- We were LA kids, you know what I mean? For us, it was like, “You ain’t got nobody pregnant? Great. You are not out here shooting your neighbors? Great.” So for us, the situation was so dire that, again, a lot of the things that one would think would make you a church kid, we were just over that…. It was like our experience was so intense that it was like we were really leaning on grace.
- If you can find a decent enough tribe, it’ll keep you safe from so much. So I think there was that warm blanket of having a thing and a lot of the things that I’m interested in, those dudes go to my church. I was into hip-hop. Those guys [who enjoyed it] were at my church too. So I was able to be like, “Well, I can spend time there rather than running the block.”
- I’m going to defend this dude no matter what. Why? Because he’s from my hood, it doesn’t matter... Of course, when it came to the beloved community, I was just like, “That’s just my folks.” And it’s almost like, this is what Christ is trying to say, it’s like, “Man, this ain’t no empire, man. Y’all not conquered, homie. This is a kingdom, you’re a part of this.”
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- John 13:34
- Proverbs 27:17
- Matthew 6:10