Thursday April 10, 2008

Wrap to Rap

A UD student who won burrito contest with a Christian rap will release his full album April 18. Joe Melendrez wants his free, public concert to be a neighborhood event that brings together all student groups in a celebration and expression of faith through music, and mix all cultures from those who love hip-hop to the spiritual churchgoers.

University of Dayton student Joe Melendrez belted out a burrito ballad to win three Chipotle burritos a day for a year; he then used them to spread UD's Catholic, Marianist mission of leading through service. He now has expanded from burrito ballads to "Rosary Rap," which he'll release at 7 p.m. Friday, April 18, in the ArtStreet Amphitheater on the UD campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

"I wanted to create the concert to be a neighborhood event that brings together all student groups in a celebration and expression of faith through music," Melendrez said. "This concert is designed to mix all cultures from those who love hip-hop to the spiritual churchgoers. I'm trying to bring a new flavor to prayer that one may consider bold but tastefully done."

Melendrez hopes his album brings new insights to prayer through a poetic style. He believes this approach will bring meditation to life and the rap rhythm will make praying easy and fun.

"'Rosary Rap' makes praying the Rosary easier for Christians by combining music with God," said a customer reviewer on the Digstation Web site. "Rap is the mainstream these days and Melendrez does it right, without any profanity which makes this rap album all the more easier to listen to."

The 21-track CD is available for purchase at the CD Baby, Digstation and iTunes Web sites.

"This CD is an amazing encouragement! Not only is it well produced and very easy to listen to, but it is also a perfect example of how we can take our faith in to our daily lives," a customer reviewer said on CD Baby. "Thank you so much Joe, for taking the time and the initiative to put something like this out there!"

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.