Save the City Records signs rapper Craig “5ive” James, and releases his third studio album, entitled “Ain’t Supposed to Be Here” featuring appearances from guest artists Chris Cobbins, Dre Murray, Benjah, Je’kob, SPEC, and V.Rose. The title of the album is poignant, as Craig is literally not supposed to be alive if it weren’t for the saving power of Jesus Christ in his life.
In the minds of many in his hometown in Texas, Craig “5ive” James was a lost cause. Addicted to marjiuana from the age of 10, then to methamphetamines into his early adult years, Craig was the stereotypical drug addict with no future. Craig says, “On November 7, 2010, I walked into a church high on crack and meth, smelling like straight liquor, and I was immediately delivered by Jesus – instantly rehabbed. It’s unexplainable… The awesome thing is my wife and I surrendered our lives to the Lord on the very same day. Nobody expected me to be where I’m at today and by the grace of God, I’m sharing the Gospel, what he has done in my life, and what he can do in anyone’s life.” And almost four years later, he is clean and sharing his story with anyone who will listen, and he’s sharing his story through rap music. “Eight months after I had surrendered my life to Jesus, one of my friend’s came to me with a beat that he had made and he was like, ‘I don’t know why, but I feel like the Lord wants me to give this to you.’ In like 30 minutes later, I had written my first Christian rap song. I was honestly putting phrases and verses from the Bible in there that I didn’t remember memorizing or reading.” That led Craig to start recording at home, where he refined his lyrics and started collaborating with other artists, such as Dove Award-winner Je’kob. “5ive” and Je’kob released the song “Ignite (Light of the World)” that garnered tens of thousands of song plays on Soundcloud and Internet radio, such as Jam the Hype, and became underground sensation throughout 2013. That led Save the City Records to pick up 5ive as an artist and begin to release his music, starting with the new album “Ain’t Supposed to Be Here.”
One of the highlights of 5ive’s new record is the song “Freedom”, which plainly narrates his testimony (link to music video included here). Since his dramatic turnaround in his personal life, 5ive has been telling his story and playing at national music festivals such as Rock the Desert, Kingdom Bound, and his new album is featured in “New and Noteworthy” on iTunes in the Christian genre.
In 1997, Derek Hoiem had a vision to assist musicians in local churches, and having been a software designer for Microsoft, he knew that the digital wave would bring massive change to the music industry. After investigating music business models, he found that record labels were necessary but needed to change by adopting the indie wave. After recording and working with indie artists for about 5 years, in 2008, Hoiem launched Save the City Records as a national brand. After garnering critical acclaim on iTunes and media outlets, Save the City Records landed a distribution deal with Provident Distribution. Over the last several years, the company has picked up more artists who have been featured on iTunes, played on national radio, ranked on the Billboard charts, and featured at national music festivals.