T:B:O, a Hampton Roads-based hip-hop gospel group, will be part of a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Newport News on Saturday.
The group's short set will be included in a wide-ranging celebration held 6-9 p.m. at the Denbigh Community Center gymnasium.
"We're a gospel group, so our mission is to spread the gospel, to reach the untouched," said T:B:O member Coryn "CeeCee" LaVeist.
Described as both the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Step Show, Drumline and Talent Showcase and the Andrew Shannon Gospel Music Celebration, Saturday's event marks the 45th anniversary of King's assassination on April 4, 1968.
It's also said to be a prelude to another, larger gospel music event Shannon is planning for September. "This gives me a chance to look at some local groups as I make up my mind who will be in the lineup for September," Shannon said.
Here's the recent video for T:B:O's song "Skype." Parts of the clip were filmed in downtown Norfolk.
T:B:O, which stands for The Best Out, consists of co-founders Josh “Jericho” LaVeist and Coryn “CeeCee” LaVeist, Debbie Laurae Pass and Hampton resident Dexter “Dex” Hill.
The group is reportedly in discussions with publishing company Urban Ministries Inc., to produce multimedia curriculum for youth and young adult study groups.
Here's an official history of the group supplied by Coryn LaVeist:
Josh “Jericho” LaVeist began rapping at age 9 as part of a four-member Christian rap group named “The Give Praise Crew” that was formed by his father as a way to help the boys at New Life Christian Fellowship in Chicago Heights develop a closer relationship with God. The idea evolved after his father and New Life’s pastor took the boys to a gospel hip hop concert in Chicago that featured Cross Movement, a pioneering group in the genre. The church loved GPC’s first performance and Coryn “CeeCee” LaVeist, then 7-years-old, was inspired to join. She auditioned for the boys and they unanimously accepted her. As Jericho and CeeCee got older they performed together in the Chicago area. Jericho continued to write on his own and form other rap groups with friends in middle school and high school. While at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, IL, the T:B:O™ brand emerged, named after a positive “social clique” formed by their older brother, Daniel LaVeist, and his friends at Morgan State University. T:B:O™ was adopted as the rap group’s name as Jericho and CeeCee moved to Suffolk, VA, attending King’s Fork High School and worshipping at Calvary Community Church in Hampton. They continued to evolve the members of the group to eventually include Dex, Laurae, their band and creative friends, ranging from spoken word artists to dancers, to form the “T:B:O family.”
For more information on Saturday's event, contact Andrew Shannon, SCLC State vice president and chapter president, at (757) 877-0792 or call Edna V. Davis, SCLC chapter vice president at (757) 218-8157.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun