If you think “Everything is Bigger in Texas” is merely a cliché, just take a look at the heart and the ministry of hip-hop artist Tedashii.
“I love talking to people who are at an age where they think they know everything but then they go to a place—like college or to an event like a Will Graham Celebration—that tells them they don’t.
“Jesus sends us out and allows us to tell them the truth of the Gospel that blows away their world,” said Tedashii this past Sunday. “I was one of those kids who thought I knew everything, but then God sends the Gospel.”
The gentle giant, born Tedashii “Tdot” Anderson, is a member of the hip-hop troupe, 116 Clique. He has released three solo albums, Kingdom People, Identity Crisis and Blacklight, on Reach Records.
“My music is a look into the practical side of walking out our Christian faith. From a testimonial and very introspective view, I desire to encourage and challenge people through my own experiences and struggles—which a lot of believers also struggle with.”
Ironically, said Tedashii, Christian hip-hop was never his life’s plan. He was raised to be family oriented and respectful, but struggled with the economic conditions his family faced. Television became an easy escape and he began to long for a different life.
“I really wanted to get away,” Tedashii recalled.
His ambitions would soon mirror those he stayed up watching on television and read about in books. In high school, he joined the band to play jazz, studied black history, reveled in poetry, endeavored to become a renaissance man, and even idolized Ted Kopple.
Tedashii remembers being different than his peers in his vast interests, but as expected for a Texas boy, Samoan at that, he also played football. By most standards, he was a well-rounded, good person—most, but not all.
Tedashii was given a wake-up call in college after being confronted by a student who overheard him using profanity. “He told me that I was a sinner and basically shared the Gospel with me that day.”
Some time later, after going to a Christian event on campus and seeing hundreds of urban students authentically worship God, he received Jesus and found new life in Christ instead of Hollywood.
His newfound family in Christ encouraged him to use his rapping skills, honed since being challenged to freestyle in high school, to glorify God. And while his first attempt to do so wasn’t well-received, he was recognized as “different” by his peers again, but now it was because of his faith.
After being introduced to Lecrae, rooming with both him and Sho Baraka and later being featured on several tracks from Real Talk and the 116 Clique Compilation, Tedashii was challenged to commit to ministry through music.
“I wanted to do college ministry. Being a part of Christian hip-hop was never the plan,” he shared.
But now he loves the arena in which he shares.
Looking forward to the Trinity Valley Celebration, Tedashii said he appreciates being part of the Will Graham team and the spirit of prayer that saturates these events. “You can just look out and see God moving here. There is no where I’d rather be.”
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