Melvin Jones aka Mele Mel, the Poet Prophet, won a national contest that featured the hottest gospel artists from across the country.
The contest is called Holy Culture Radio and is the foundation of Christian hip-hop music. It is the equivalent of Source Magazine for secular music.
Jones heard about the contest called the “Break Out.” They were searching for the next Christian hip-hop star with potential to break out and do big things. A lot of the details about the contest are promotional, but they also give you a distribution deal. The person who entered a particular song will get to distribute that song through a promotional company.
“The song that I submitted to be in the contest is called “Only You.” It’s going to be distributed across the country via the Internet. The ideal situation would be to have enough people know about what I do, so I could do it myself. One day I would like to have my own label and be independent. I have productions from all over such as Germany and the United Kingdom. The Internet opens you up to everyone. The ‘Only You’ track was done by a production company from Germany,” said Jones.
He likes to focus on the ministry side of things and feels that this is his chance to make his move to the next level. They are giving Jones a platform to showcase his music across the globe because this is a national contest and winning it is making him have to work harder to make some things happen.
“Hip-hop is in my blood and I’ve been doing it forever,” he said. “As I kid I was sheltered a little bit so I took my skills to the notepad. I didn’t have too many friends as a kid and I was pretty much by myself. Hip-hop became my friend from a standpoint that it didn’t judge me. I was drawn to hip-hop and I loved how I could express myself. I went to a predominantly White school and I was living with my mother in a single parent home from the projects. I started selling drugs.
“Music is the symbol of my life. When I was in the world, I did secular music and it represented who I was at the time. I wrote all the time and recorded for about four or five before my transition. I was not happy with my life and I became an alcoholic and I couldn’t shake it. I was in an ugly and dark place, but I’ve been clean for seven years now. I was at a friend’s house and on the refrigerator I seen an Alcoholic Anonymous pamphlet. I made up in my mind that I was going to go because I’ve tried to stop drinking many times before on my own and to no avail. A few days God stepped in and took the obsession and compulsion away to where I did not have to go to any AA meetings at all. It was God that lifted the obsession for sure.”
When it comes from going to secular to gospel, he stopped doing music altogether for about two years. God called him and he fell in love with him from the start. Jones had reached the worst place ever and alcohol became his God.
“I was a slave to it and it dictated my whole life. I was no longer in control of my life. As I said, I sold from since I was 12 up until I was 21. For the first time I started feeling guilty when I sold drugs to a kid that only was 18. I said to myself I am killing this kid. It was in my mind at the time that this kid could do something great or destructive with his life, and I was killing him. The climax of alcoholism and the emptiness of selling drugs made me feel completely worthless. I did not have a relationship with God at the time, but I knew what I was doing,” said Jones.
“Everyone can say they know God, but I knew for myself that only God could help me. I got on my knees, cried and surrendered to God and said help me. Within a month’s time, I stopped smoking cigarettes, selling drugs and drinking. I got clean and got baptized and went from killing people to helping people. I was looking at two years jail time, but by the grace of God I did not go,” said Jones.
His family embraced what he was doing for God and was happy for him. Jones did not have a tight group of friends as a child and did not fit in with the crowd. At this time, he has people in his life that look out for him and have his back no matter what. His eyes are wide open and the blinders off. It is amazing to see how God is working in his life. The transition was not easy, but felt comfortable for him. God took him away from his environment and the people he knew. He could not have grown being around the same people.
“I do not consider myself just a rapper and I will not do music with anyone gospel or secular if you are not glorifying God. My goal is glorify Christ and that you see and hear him through my music and message. Even if a gospel artist is glorifying himself as far as him having swag and money, I will not get on the track with him because he is not glorifying God. I will not, under any circumstances, promote a secular message,” said Jones.
When the time comes Jones sees himself performing music ministry full time. He feels that he will be ready in five years or less.
(You can contact Mele Mel at www.myspace.com/melemelpoeticprophet and Facebook/MelvinJones.)