The Impossible Idea. Inside Humble Beast’s plans to disrupt the record industry

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It was less than five years ago that Christian rap was sort of a joke. It was something the goofy youth pastor did for summer camp gags and various Christian comedy groups parodied.

At some point between the legendarily earnest attempts at serious hip-hop from dc Talk’s earliest days and now, the genre had fallen into severe disrepair. While mainstream hip-hop at large became one of the most daring and innovative genres in the world, Christians remained wary of the genre.

Since 2000, five of the top-selling albums in the world were hip-hop. Guess how many hip-hop albums topped Christian charts over the past decade?

But there’s been a surprising, heartening change over the past few years. Starting with the staggering success of Reach Records and led by the creative endeavors of its founder Lecrae, Christian rap is becoming more than just respectable—it’s a force to be reckoned with.

It’s an impressive feat, but Christian hip-hop’s biggest and brashest transformation may lie in a little hip-hop studio in Portland, Ore., called Humble Beast.

It was started in 2010 by Bryan Winchester and Thomas Terry—who go by Braille and Odd Thomas, respectively. And it isn’t just innovative in the hip-hop scene—it’s a game-changer for businesses of any kind.

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Outside. (at Burnside Bridge)

Outside. (at Burnside Bridge)

Mostly clouds.  #pdx #portland  (at Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade)

Mostly clouds. #pdx #portland (at Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade)

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On 3rd Street, you will find Portland’s third tallest building.  #pdx #portland (at KOIN Tower)

On 3rd Street, you will find Portland’s third tallest building. #pdx #portland (at KOIN Tower)

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Its 11:00 AM. I am at 9 solutions for the day… not a bad 4 hours. Until I look at my Dear Friend Tara, she is at 25 going for the gold.
Also, any time we solve something wr start the hourglass all over again. It doesn’t solve a purpose other than letting each other know we just fixed something. @airbnbpdx (at Airbnb Portland)

Lucy and the pups.  #iheartlucy

Lucy and the pups. #iheartlucy

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Catching up with friends.  Thank you @doniree & @meganstanley28!

Catching up with friends. Thank you @doniree & @meganstanley28!

Ollie & Sophie and a bunch of millenials picking up eggs and putting them in their kids baskets.
#pdx #seewhatididthere (at RiverPlace Marina)

Pho + @airbnb fam. It was a good day.  #airbnbpdx  (at Lúc Lác Vietnamese Kitchen)

Pho + @airbnb fam. It was a good day. #airbnbpdx (at Lúc Lác Vietnamese Kitchen)

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