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Hip-hop Artist Sees Music As Way to Reach Kids
Spiritual maturity keeps Chris Greenwood a head above the competition.

Sitting down with Chris Greenwood after the 2007 Covenant Awards, one couldn’t help but be surprised by how down-to-earth, humble, and soft spoken this rising hip-hop star really is.  At 28, Chris Greenwood, better known as Manafest, has garnered a reputation in hip-hop, taken home multiple awards and traveled the world promoting two major label releases.

Not too many people can boast a record like that, and though Greenwood has every right to do just that, he refuses to brag.  When asked about the two awards he won on October 26, he shrugged, “It’s always encouraging to get acknowledged for what you’ve done. I’m not trying to get caught up in it, but it is very cool.”

Winner of both rap/hip-hop song, and album of the year, he is honest and passionate, speaks like a person without burdens or concerns. In a music industry obsessed with sales, Greenwood feels no need to get caught up in the game. “God’s built up my character …I know who I am in Jesus,” he added.  “That’s enabled me to be free and be an artist and not have to worry ‘cause God is the one who really promotes in the end.”

Such maturity keeps Chris a head above the competition. The current hip-hop community glorifies sex, drugs and violence in videos, lyrics and magazines, but Manafest’s lyrics are filled with hope, Christian values, and most importantly, reality. When asked about the state of hip-hop, Chris responded with a noticeable sadness in his voice, “It’s just not reality, and that’s what people need, they need reality and what the world is giving them is fantasy.  It’s not real, God is real, so that’s what I feel we need to give them.”

With impressive sales and a dedicated following of fans all over the world, the future is bright for this Toronto native, but for Greenwood, music is more than just a job. “We just wanna reach as many kids as possible, and music to me is just a platform to go and speak Jesus.”

Originally published in City Light News, December 2007.




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