Church in the Wild & Premiere of “God is on Her Way"
Sir the Baptist
Donald Lawrence, J. Drew & The Band, The Trap Choir, with Special Guests
2109 South State St
Chicago, IL, 60616
This event is 17 and over
Watch & Listen
Sir the Baptist
The Preacher’s Kid
It is often said religious families birth the worst rebels. This cross-cultured fact has become the creative fingerprint for Sir the Baptist, and the inescapable thought of religion worldwide explains why he is an emerging artist with a universal market. Sir the Baptist, the son of a preacher, is an indie American renaissance artist noted as “one of the chosen ones” by Universal Music. If 2Pac was our first urban Prophet, he’s our first glimpse at an urban hymnist with that same ghetto gospel. He is a religion rebel. In the 1950’s, Ray Charles was rebuked by the church for bringing gospel music to the secular/pop world with his hit song “I Got a Woman”. Sir is the second coming of that twisted faith. “Thank God real performers still exist”, says Sean Dale of Power 92.3fm. He’s a game-changing fusion of secular and sacred – with a message that is refreshingly progressive, delightfully innovative, and unapologetically necessary for today’s socio-political climate. He has hip-hop’s aggressiveness with a crooner’s charm that paints the provoking imagery of a sinner who juggles desire for salvation and plotted bad habits.
The centuries spent branding religion makes his target easy, limitless… sometimes reminiscent of the world renowned Broadway musical “Book of Mormon” with his church stylistic comedy, while other times referencing the serious and thought provoking fire and brimstone teachings from his upbringings. Jeff Vaughn, of Warner Music Group, says “Sir blurs the line between Saturday night at the club and Sunday morning at church. Simply incredible.” Sir’s willingness to invoke both humanity’s longing for redemption, and its lust for worldly practices is a surprisingly relatable exhibition of the human condition.
Sir the Baptist was born William James Stokes at the “Gateway of Jazz Heaven” also known as Chicago’s historically artistic Bronzeville neighborhood, to Christian Apologist Dr. James Benton and Mission Ambassador Patricia Ann. The mystique of Sir’s artistry is connected to the memories of his father’s sermons and Chicago crime and drug infested ghettos. Dr. Benton had the great fortune of not only seeing the foundation of Bronzeville’s rich musical community, but also was a part of its economic engine that pushed Bronzeville to keep giving back to its community, even after his death. His neighbors’ residue was his inspiration. Ella Fitzgerald played at Bronzeville’s Sunset Café, which today is where Ace Hardware resides. Lena Horne, Duke Ellington and Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole along with countless others also were regular performers at Sunset Cafe. In addition, their Bronzeville homes have been deemed historical landmarks. Being a part of the same community as those greats before him made Sir the Baptist the genius he is today. Brandra Ringo, of Universal Music, proclaims “Amen! One of the chosen has arrived. Save music!” .
The world, although it may not always seem so, is ready for new points of view. “This is It”, says Rex Rideout of Motown Records. Tunji Bungalow, of Interscope, simply states “Thank you for making good music”. When asked what genre his music is, Sir says “It’s Art Tatum boogie woogin’ on an old upright piano in a small tavern with a choir and Andre 3000 or Pac at the mic,” or simply put “church pub rap”. Although this isn’t remotely innovative, he has recorded with towering Steinway Composer Lee Musiker; who produced for the likes of Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra Jr. This type of diversity has him leaving the studio with a Sinatra to recording “Familiar” with Chance the Rapper on Surf alongside King Louie and Quavo. From finales with Joffery Ballet to taking that same 8-piece horn section to RAGE venues with Travis Scott at Chicago’s renowned venue “The Metro”, Sir the Baptist a new voice in music to be reckoned with. From Pitchfork features for his trap production with his collective StokFord, to composing the theme for Dysfunctional Friends, a major motion picture, now featured on Redbox, Netflix, and international film outlets Sir the Baptist is an accomplished and versatile artist. An extended version of the film’s theme also made it to Sir the Baptist’s “PK” album. Rated as “one of the most diverse records of the year, welcome to church” by Grammy Governor and multi-platinum artists representative Daryl Jones.
American gospel singer, songwriter, producer.