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Pray 4 Church Chizzle [Article/Video]

Toronto, ON – If you’ve heard of Church Chizzle you probably know that he had a near death experience in 2010 when he was stabbed 12 times; seven times in the head, three in the neck and twice in his left arm. If you’ve seen him, you’ve probably seen the scars along his face that serve as a reminder of that night. You may also know it was this experience that influenced him to change his life and take rapping seriously. Following his recovery he went to work and dropped his first single “I’m Comin'” off his mixtape Go to Church (Download) in 2011. Since then, he has won a freestyle battle championship title on Much Music, dropped a second mixtape in February 2012 and done a ton of performances throughout the city.

This is the story of Church, and it’s been told before, almost to the point of becoming his “rap gimmick.” But while this story demonstrates his incredible grind, it doesn’t show you the obstacles he’s been facing or the person he’s become as a result of them. Continue reading the rest of the story after the jump.

Article/Video: Pray 4 Church Chizzle -

On February 11th, Church began trial for a crime he was accused of nearly three years ago. The conditions of his charges have kept him on curfew and have restricted him from leaving the city to further develop his career. But instead of letting this hinder him, he’s used it as motivation, to become successful of course, but to also be appreciative of the life he’s been allowed. It’s easy to say that you’re going to change your life, look at T.I., for example, but Church is really living it.

On a very real level, Church’s last two years have been spent taking care of his family, his friends, community, and other artists in the city. Always trying to give others a hand, be it lending someone money, helping to promote another person’s work, or just providing a very level headed perspective and some inspiration to keep others going, he is just a good person. In addition to his everyday deeds, Church works Monday to Friday with youth from the Jungle/Neptune community running an after-school program. In the last month before his court appearance he went so far as to start fasting to prove that his character is one of morale, discipline, and sacrifice. A character that deserves freedom and one that is worth investing in far beyond his music or an image tied to tragedy. 

Recently, his trial was pushed back 8 months and until then his conditions have been dropped. He will finally get to leave Canada for the first time in years and from this we can anticipate bigger moves for the Canadian rapper. While he enjoys his long awaited freedom, and his trial date, all he asks is that you #Pray4Church.

His latest release, a cover of Drake’s “Started from the Bottom,” touches on his journey. It was directed by Elliot Clancy-Osberg. Check it out below.


Article written by Leandra LeGendre (@LeandraLeGendre) for HipHopCanada.

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Natasha was born and raised in Toronto. She graduated from York University almost 2 years ago and since then has co-founded a youth led, social enterprise called The Next Edition which uses media and art to engage youth with their community. For the past year and a half she has been working with young aspiring artists who are looking for a way to showcase their skills and have their voice heard. With juggling weekly meetings, managing a website, and planning events for hundreds of people Natasha takes refuge in urban music. Researching and knowing the latest headlines, and newest tracks in the hip-hop world is something that she loves. But more importantly for her hip-hop is a lot more than just a genre of music, it is a culture and it has shaped who she is today. Finding a way to combine her passion for music, the knowledge she has gained from working with young people and the issues she has seen in the community is a goal Natasha would like to achieve in the near future. Recently, Natasha has taken on PR work for rappers and DJs.

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