Gospel singer, composer, and choir leader Hezekiah Walker, known as “the hip-hop pastor,” has brought a lot of young people to gospel and choir music, and has shown that he has no problem using modern vernacular and recording techniques to expand his fan and worship base. A New York native, Walker grew up in the Fort Greene housing projects of Brooklyn. He formed his first gospel group, the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, when he was in his twenties and serving as a Pentecostal minister.
Walker and the choir released I’ll Make It (1987) and Oh Lord We Praise You (1990) on the independent Sweet Rain label before Walker established a long-term association with the A&M-supported Verity. Focus on Glory (1992) was his first of many Top Ten Billboard gospel recordings issued through the label. Walker, joined by multiple versions of Love Fellowship, continued to release albums recorded live on the church circuit, including the Grammy-winning sets Live in Atlanta at Morehouse College (1994) and Love Is Live! (2001). Souled Out (2008) concluded Walker’s output for Verity, after which he moved to RCA Inspiration for Azusa: The Next Generation (2013). Following his induction to the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, Walker released an Azusa sequel (2016) for eOne. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi.