Video: Rappers deliver message of faith at Morristown rally

Christian rappers Forgiven (Juan DeJesus) and Saint Serve (Antonio Fortuna) with Toshiba Foster, co-founder of Our Youth Their Future, at Cauldwell Playground in Morristown. Photo by Bill Lescohier.
Christian rappers Forgiven (Juan DeJesus) and Saint Serve (Antonio Fortuna) with Toshiba Foster, co-founder of Our Youth Their Future, at Cauldwell Playground in Morristown. Photo by Bill Lescohier.
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Rapper Juan DeJesus performs under the name Forgiven. The choice was no accident.

Juan got religion the hard way.  He spent three years in jail after an arrest for conspiracy to commit murder in 1998, as the driver for fellow gang members who shot two of their own. When he confronted the gang leader about this, the gang targeted him next, he says on his music site.

When Juan emerged from prison, he was sure his life had been spared by divine intervention. He has been rapping for the Lord ever since.

On Saturday he took his message of faith to Morristown’s Cauldwell Playground for the second annual rally by Our Youth Their Future. It dovetailed perfectly with the nonprofit’s mission, according to Toshiba Foster, an organizer of the weekend rally that included inspirational performances, appearances by social service agencies, basketball and a barbecue.

“We’re trying to send kids the message that you don’t always have to make bad choices,” Toshiba said. “And if you do, people are here to pick you up. Life has ups and downs, but there’s always someone to bring you to the center.”

“I think that message is coming across, slowly. It’s a work in progress,” added Sharon Randolph, another founder of Our Youth Their Future.

A handful of mothers established the organization last year in response to a teen suicide. They launched a website, achieved nonprofit status in New Jersey and now seek federal tax-exempt status, Toshiba said.

Over the next year, they hope to host educational field trips for Morristown schoolchildren and create financial workshops for parents, in conjunction with People Helping People In Need and NORWESCAP, said the former council candidate.


Photos by Bill Lescohier. Please click icon below for captions.

Juan, who is affiliated with the Christian Faith Center in Bloomfield, is joined in this video clip by Antonio Fortuna, who raps as Saint Serve. Antonio is affiliated with the West Hudson Christian Center.

Their “underground holy hip hop” can be heard on 97.5 FM and at MyEliteRadio.com.

Christian rappers Forgiven (Juan DeJesus) and Saint Serve (Antonio Fortuna) with Toshiba Foster, co-founder of Our Youth Their Future, at Cauldwell Playground in Morristown. Photo by Bill Lescohier.
Christian rappers Forgiven (Juan DeJesus) and Saint Serve (Antonio Fortuna) with Toshiba Foster, co-founder of Our Youth Their Future, at Cauldwell Playground in Morristown. Photo by Bill Lescohier.
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