AKG, Big Tone, Gangsta Pee,
Str8 Young Gangstaz 4 Christ
Along with concerts at venues such as San Diego Sports Arena, Str8 Young Gangstaz also performed at the Grammy Awards show in 1995 in tribute to Run DMC and Frank Wilson. Member Big Tone also opened for Cypress Hill and NWA. Rappers Anthony "Big Tone" Marshall, Philip "Gangsta Flav" Hayes, Corey "A.K.G." Scales and Regis "Abraham Corleone" Irving originally joined forces as L.A. Gospel Posse and Sons of the King now form the dynamic S.Y.G.'z. They met at World Harvest Church in Pamona, California while participating in a Friday Night Youth Camp service. Originally the group of friends met for a Bible Study. The youth services birthed the SYG'z in 1993. The service was directed by the leaders of God's Original Gangstaz (a Gospel rap group signed by Grapetree) who invited friends to rap and minister. The SYG'z came to participate and ended up rapping together. Each member has a unique story of how he got out of his negative lifestyle and became reformed from drugs and gang-banging.
Since the group formed, they have performed with Dawkins & Dawkins,Virtue,The Winans Phase II, Ice Cube, and Bizzie Bone.
Taken from grapetreerecords.com
Corey "A.K.G." Scales
Born in San Bernardino, the death of A.K.G.'s brother sent him and the community into a feeling of devastation. His brother, a well-known boxer who was Olympics bound, was shot at point blank range. A.K.G. was thirteen at the time. Counselors and pastors came from all over the area to help him deal with his loss. "The homies in the hood were pulling me in another direction, but when I went that way and tripped (made mistakes) this youth pastor from Loveland Church came to help me up," said A.K.G. (Another King's Gangta).
Anthony "Big Tone" Marshall
Big Tone, the leader of the pack, was a preacher's kid. Big Tone is the son of a world evangelist, Estella Marshall. He turned to gangs and selling dope at age eleven after noticing that his father's lifestyle did not match his preaching. Big Tone remembers the vigilance of his mother as she called everyone to Bible study. She would conduct Bible study whether her sons were high on drugs or not. He left home and moved to Oklahoma for a year. It was then that Big Tone landed in jail. His back was pushed against a wall. He was tired of running. He called his mother that night from jail and asked her how he could become a Christian. For a year, Big Tone stopped rapping, but nothing could hold him back for long. Along with rapping, Big Tone worked as a Teenage Peer Pressure Counselor, a counselor at Teenage Pregnancy Prevention and Gang Prevention & Intervention Programs.
Regis "Abraham Corleone" Irving
The third member of the S.Y.G.'z, Abraham Corleone recounts when his mother encouraged him to go to church; even though, he lived a life filled with gangs and illegal activities. He met a reformed man, Preach D.O.G., who had gone through similar experience, but hip-hop music tied them together. It was hip-hop that pulled Abraham Corleone closer to the church and to God.
Philip "Gangsta Flav" Hayes
The last member is known for his groove. This house party disc jockey and gang member, Gangsta Flav, came straight from the streets of Chicago to LA. Gangsta Flav remembers when his daughter was having an operation because of heart problems. He was asked to attend church with a friend it was then where he stood to become a Christian. Since then, his life has never been the same. He met Big Tone at church and they began performing together.