You don’t often hear the terms “Crunk” and “Christian” in the same paragraph let alone the same band description, but Family Force 5 has accomplished the rare feat of combining Rap, Punk, Hardcore, Funk, Metal and Dance beats with a Christian perspective. In fact, the Atlanta quintet has often been criticized for not weaving a more discernible Christian message into their lyrics, but they’ve defended their stance by stating that they make music for God that can be enjoyed by anyone.
The roots of Family Force 5 stretch back to the mid-’90s when the Olds brothers — Solomon, Joshua and Jacob — formed a boy band called, logically enough, The Brothers. They released a pair of albums — produced by their father Jerome, a popular Christian artist in his own right — before adopting a more guitar-oriented sound, first as Ground Noise and then as FF5.
The group’s 2006 debut, Business Up Front/Party in the Back, was an immediate hit in both secular and Christian markets, although they took heat for their lack of lyrical proselytizing. Since then, Family Force 5 has notched a No. 1 Christian album (2008’s Dance or Die), found mainstream success with last year’s III (expanded with this year’s EP, III.V), played three weeks on the 2011 Warped Tour and toured with the likes of Forever the Sickest Kids, Stereo Skyline and the David Crowder Band.
They may not wholly be winning over Christian critics, but Family Force 5 has amassed a sizable and slavishly loyal fan base one album, one show and one audience at a time. And isn’t that kind of the way Jesus did it?
FAMILY FORCE 5 performs Friday, Dec. 14 with Flame, Rapture Ruckus, Capital Kings and Everyday Sunday at The Underground in Forest Park.