Chris Cooper is the founding member of the legendary Hip Hop group SFC, which stands for Soldiers For Christ. Although he has gone by several different stage names over the years, most of them are simply a variation of Super C. However, he is most often referred to as Sup, which is pronounced Soup.
The journey of SFC began 27 years ago, in 1987 when Cooper essentially created a new category—a category that has since climbed from obscurity to mainstream recognition. Along the way, he was able to perform countless shows, sell nearly 300,000 albums, and introduce us to many more artists. It’s doesn’t take long for someone to conclude that Cooper is one of, if not the pioneer of Christian Hip Hop.
This week in particular, Cooper has a lot to be excited about. For starters, his groundbreaking albumsPhase III (1992) and Illumination (1994) are available digitally for the first time ever. The rest of his catalog has also been reissued by the Southern California record label Meis Music Group which specializes in legacy music. In addition to that, the category that he helped to create, has grabbed the music industry’s most coveted position. It was announced today that Anomaly by Lecrae is the #1 Billboard top-selling album across all genres.
While a lot has changed since Cooper released his first decidedly Christian album in 1988, one thing hasn’t changed. “People are still tired of hearing the same old empty and negative vibes that hip-hop has to offer.” Cooper continues, “There are a lot of good emcees in this movement who, like myself, have always had to work harder than our mainstream counterparts to get respect.”
Whether the mainstream or the Christian audience, respect is something Cooper is no stranger to. “My heart is filled with joy knowing that today’s emcees are finally able to both put food on the table and release God-centered hip-hop.”
Sketch The Journalist, who regularly blogs about Christian Hip Hop at the Houston Chronicle, had this to say, “Although some may not recognize or understand [Cooper’s] impact, he helped lay the blueprint for today’s top Christian emcees like Lecrae.”
Humble Beast recording artist Propaganda, who has collaborated with Lecrae, agrees and says that he is personally and, “directly reaping the benefits of [Cooper’s] work.”
It seems as if Lecrae himself would agree since he credits the Tunnel Rats—a crew of emcees that were ultimately introduced to the world through Cooper on his Illumination album—as an early influence on the song Non – Fiction that was just released to commemorate his #1 album.
When the news reached Cooper that Christian Hip Hop had finally achieved the coveted #1 spot on Billboard, he responded, “I am very excited! Not only do I think the Christian hip-hop movement deserves it, I think we should be proud!”
Having the SFC catalog available for the first time digitally thrills Cooper, “it will give a whole new generation of Christian hip-hop lovers access to what was happening on the West Coast in the early 90s.”