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New Breed

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New Breed is a brother-sister Christian hip-hop duo out of the Puerto Rican streets of Boston, MA. Co-MCs Macho and Elsie Ortega first appeared as part of the Tunnel Rats, the underground Christian hip-hop collective based in California. Macho and Elsie rapped throughout tracks on that group's breakthrough 2001 release, Tunnel Vision, paving the way for their own full-length. Stop the Music was issued by Christian hip-hop upstart Uprok in early 2002; it included contributions from the Rats' Raphi as well as CCM underground heavyweights LPG. Stop the Music showcased Macho and Elsie's bold rhymes and decidedly Latin flavor. It didn't preach their gospel with so much fervor as to drive away secular audiences, but nor did it shy away from a positive message. To that end, New Breed followed a trend in CCM -- both in rock and hip-hop -- to endorse a Christian lifestyle through music without having to recite "Footprints" for lyrics. This trend was followed by labels like Uprok, Tooth & Nail, and Essential, and included artists such as KJ-52 and Jeremy Camp. ~ Johnny Loftus

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