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Christian female rapper wins contest

caines | 2/7/2013, 4:30 a.m.

Battle of the Praises was filled with talent

Christian rappers Lecrae and Trip Lee have served as alternatives to many big named secular rappers, such as Lil Wayne and Drake, for years. Yet there are still very few, if any Christian female rappers to give an alternative to the Nicki Minajs of the world. But on Jan. 26 at the Battle of the Praises Season 2, Royalty Entertainment shed light on a very talented female rapper to represent for Christian women. Mercedes Murk Wheeler, the winner of the Battle of the Praises Season 2, was awarded a $5,000 check and a recording contract from Royalty. Wheeler was selected by a star-studded judge panel, which included Vicki Winans; Kierra Ki Ki Sheard; Mr. Del; formerly of Three 6 Mafia and Becka Shae, a Christian pop artist. Other contestants included: David King David Zeigler, Elaine Nelson, Ernest Gonder, Irvin BLIND Aboite, Sean Anointed Olivera and Santeria Gordet. This is an awesome thing, said Mr. Del. We need more platforms so that kingdom culture can be presented in a major way. Although the judges described all of the contestants as phenomenal in their own right and anointed, the tallied scores showed that Wheeler was the most equipped for the recording contract. I feel like God told me that this was my season, and I've been confessing it, and when you realize that it's real it's just so overwhelming and you feel so blessed, Wheeler said. Her original song, 2013 no thing encouraged everyone with a message that said regardless of how difficult this year may be, you can overcome it with the help of God. She was amazing, Mr. Del said. I'm going to try to see what we can do about putting her out there because there is a void [of female rappers in Christian music], and I represent the Hip Hop movement in Gospel so I'm definitely going to have my eyes and ears on her to make sure she gets her [dues]. The Battles of the Praises was far from just a competition, it was an event where audience members praised God and cheered on each contestant. The show didn't stop after the contestants performed. The professionals also hit the stage the celebrity judges and Christian comedian Willie Brown entertained the crowd and glorified God. We all sang our songs, but the girl was so bad with that rap, and with what she was saying [from the] word, Winans said. She was just awesome. The fact that they put rapping in [the competition] just puts another notch on rapping because all rapping is not bad rapping. Rapping is hot and heavy, we just got to get the right people out there. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com