II Crunk 4 Jesus
Hip Hop Artist / Member of 3Geez
Rickie Bradford “II Crunk 4 Jesus” was born on the island gulf coast city of Galveston, Texas in September of 1977. Fifty miles from Houston and seeking refuge from one of the Texas coasts most costly hurricanes, Alicia, forced his family to relocate inland to the metropolis of Houston in 1983, settling in the urban neighborhood of Acres homes. He acquired the nickname “II Crunk” from friends who doted on his enthusiasm during half time high school football games.
In Houston, “II Crunk” attended a variety of schools. He attended such elementary, junior and high schools as Osborne, Hidden Valley, Stovall and Aldine. From early childhood, “II Crunk” was charismatically extroverted and loved to perform. At age 7, he was quickly noticed as a young virtuoso of lyricism. He started rapping and dancing with Acres Home Dance Company, performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York twice, appeared on PBS Kids’ Show, black history programs and numerous talent shows. Dealing with the divorce of his parents, lead him to seek attention with unlikely characters and fall in and out of local street gangs.
After high school he went on to attend Prairie View A&M University with a scholarship in drama and football. Still pondering the dissolution of his parent’s marriage, he fell back into local street gangs, fighting, selling drugs, and thereby forfeiting his scholarship.
“II Crunk” had a short stint in the military, he returned back home to Houston where he hooked up with other local rappers, whose ambition were to become the first Houston based rap group to represent the city and not one specified “hood”, so together they formed, “The Houstunnaz”. Gangster rap, the artist admits was never cut out for him, leaving him unfulfilled with his craft and the fact that he wasn’t being a powerful voice of positivity for youth. He heard the voice of God calling him to the ministry. Not in the conventional pulpit prose, but combined his talent of creating auditory art plus the word of God. The pivotal moment came when he changed his name from “II Crunk” to “II Crunk 4 Jesus” and formed Christian rap group, The Jesus Boyz.
Knowing the troubles and pressures of being a youth, one of his main goals is to create a nonprofit organization for male youth between the ages of 10-18 yrs old. After school programs like sports, tutorials, self improvement and esteem classes all while spreading and teaching the legacy of Jesus Christ.
Keeping his heart for Christ, his testimonial is powerful. Often asked if he is a hypocrite for performing with secular rappers and in nightclubs; he simply replies that, “Jesus went into the belly of the beast to preach the word and save the world.”
To Christians he is entertainment, to the streets he is a pastor. Many may preach the word, but only few can actually reach the streets. A product of the streets himself, this is no coincidence. While other Holy Hip Hop artists may coast on a beat, wear the same clothes, and even have a few tattoos, they still don’t necessarily identify with their demographic as evangelists. What makes II Crunk 4 Jesus different than most is not just the appearance, but the experiences and humility that identifies with the ongoing struggle while keeping faith and walking the straight path despite one’s own circumstances.
During his teens and twenties, it was either Rickie found trouble or trouble found Rickie. As a standout in high school, Rickie received a dual scholarship at Prairie View A&M University for both drama and in the football program as a wide receiver. He attended college at PV until he was at a party one night where someone pulled a gun on him and he proceeded to diffuse the situation with his fists to the point where it earned him an assault charge and no more scholarship.
No longer in college, Rickie continued selling dope and whatever else he could get his hands on until at the age of 21, when he found out he was going to be a father for the first time. It was then when Rickie enlisted in the U.S. Army. Howev- er, still struggling to provide for his family, Rickie continued to sell drugs and found himself in prison sentenced to 35 years on charges, which included assault and posses- sion of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Thanks to the glory of God and a good appeals lawyer, Rickie was released from prison in 2004 after only serving 27 months. Despite all of the turmoil, Rickie received a general discharge from the U.S. Army in 2010.
It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve, 2008, that Rickie finally gave his life to Christ. He says, going to church with his mother that night was the best decision he’s ever made. Now a family man and a father of 4, he remains a positive influence in all of their lives and the lives of others giving back whenever he can. All in the name of Jesus, amen!
To contact II Crunk email him at firstname.lastname@example.org