Mike and Tony grew up at Beth Messiah in Colombus, Ohio where they were trained up in the ways of the Lord. They didn't necessarily have plans to be this new Messainic group at first, but it rather organically evolved into that. In the late 90s, Hip Hop wasn't just about being in the club like it is mostly now, it was very political on the Northeast Coast, where Mike and Tony were performing. There was a lot of Islam and/or Nation of Islam influencing these groups and they found themselves regularly having to defend their faith. So they decided to defend it with their music, and the rest is history. As men who were raised to be "bold in the faith" and to "stand up for Yeshua," their music wasn't ambiguous and it didn't SUGGEST a Messianic message. They are not afraid to say what they are really talking about, after all, the world certainly isn't afraid to tell us what it's about. They offend the darkness with their piercing scriptural message and God is blessing their music. They even hit the Top Ten on the Billboard Gospel Charts a couple months ago!
One of the many things that encourages me so much about these guys, is that they are not about trying to give the believing community a mockery or a copy of what the world is doing. What we DON'T need is people mimicking the world solely because they think it's "relevant" or "trendy". What we DO need is genuine hearts and authentic, true-to-you talent that will unabashedly proclaim the message of Yeshua to today's generation. Mike and Tony have legitimate talent and, thank God, they are using it for the Kingdom. They are being true to themselves and true to Messiah and in return, hearts are being changed, encouraged, and challenged. I'm a substitute teacher and Toby is a high school History teacher so believe us when we tell you that teens today are hungry and looking for something real and they will go to the first thing that seems to offer it to them. The lyrics of today's Hip Hop songs are taking ground for the kingdom of darkness, so, we need to be supporting artists like Hazakim who are in the business taking ground for the kingdom of God.