David Rocha fka Sir Dyno
06 May 2010
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us what happened back in 2004. Why were you brought to court?
[ David ] : I was arrested for meth sales to an informant, all done while being recorded by the F.B.I.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Please shed more light on the trial itself, was your music an evidence against you?
[ David ] : My music was not evidence against me, but it was used to shape my character. I did not go to trial, instead I chose to plead guilty. If I would of gone to trial and lost I would have been given a minimum of 23 years. Those are not odds I was going to bet on. Fact was that I was guilty of selling meth to an informant so why would I try to fight it in court with the chance of getting 23 years in prison.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What was your sentence? Where did you do your time?
[ David ] : I was sentenced to 90 months in the Sacramento Federal building which adds up a 7,5 year sentence. Then after 15 months I was taken to Santa Rita County Jail in Dublin to be sentenced for another case, and was given 18 months, also in Federal prison, but 12 of those months were concurrent along with my 90 months sentence. So it added 6 more months to my 7,5 years giving me a total of an 8 year sentence. Then Because of good time, halfway house and a 9 month program I completed while in prison, I did 6 years of incarceration. So as far as the facilities where I did my time, I did 15 months in Sacramento County Jail in General Population, then I did 11 months in Santa Rita solitary due to my high profile case in San Francisco. Then I was transported on Con-air to Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in Long Beach CA and I spent 18 months there. Then I worked myself down to a Federal Camp where I finished my time in Atwater Ca.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Now you are a different man. Tell us more about the change that made you focus on different aspects of life. Was it before the prison time or while being behind bars?
[ David ] : Many don't know this, but about three months before I was arrested I had already quit rapping. I was so tired of the darkness. I lived in a very dark world. I say this because my heart and mind were dark. I was completely overtaken by fame, greed, violence, anger and hate. I could no longer be David Rocha, I was Dyno. With my family, with my friends and with my children. I felt restless with life and incomplete. I couldn't help but to think about the peace my father had when he surrendered his heart to Jesus Christ and instantly stopped drinking. I couldn't help but to think about the peace my cousin felt as he surrendered to Jesus and he instantly was no longer a drug addict or an alcoholic. I wanted that peace in my life, I needed to turmoil to stop within my own heart. So three months after I had quit rapping was when I was arrested. So on that first day in my cell, Feb 25, 2004 I surrendered my heart, mind and life to Jesus Christ. I was tired of being in trouble, this was my third serious arrest. I just wanted peace in my life. I wouldn't believe it if it hadn't happened to me, but I felt all of that ugliness lift up off of me and Jesus Himself filling me with His light instead. All of the greed, lust, anger, pain, violence and fame left me. It's true when Jesus says in John chapter 3 verse 3. "Unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God". I now knew what being born again meant.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How did your preaching mission start? Were you talking to other inmates too?
[ David ] : When I first accepted Christ I began to read the Bible, I began to pour myself into reading and studying the Scriptures. I did not want to know about church traditions, I wanted to know directly from the Bible about God. So about 18 months into being a Christian, I began to feel a strong pull to preach. Honestly, I didn't want to at first. I did not want to be a preacher, or anything to do with being in the limelight. I just wanted to Love God, love my family and go to church on Sundays. I just wanted to live a good clean life once I got out of prison. But the pull was too strong. So I began to write sermons, because I had nobody to preach to in solitary. I would send sermons home to my parents so they could read. So by the time I got to Terminal Island I was ready. Yet I did not preach until about three months after I was there. I was simply learning from other Christian brothers while I watched them preach in the prison yard. Then after three months I was asked by brother Mario to preach, and from then on I began to preach once a week. Every Thursday night at 7pm I would give a message to all of the Christian brothers there and to anyone else that cared to listen. By the time I left Terminal Island (T.I.) I had given about 60 sermons. During the day I would give Bible studies to different inmates at different times of the day also. It was a real blessing to be able to share Jesus and to give hope to those men in there that were feeling as empty as I was feeling before I accepted Jesus Christ into my life.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Let's talk about the music thing for a while. Are you aware of the moves made by the Darkroom Familia led by Duke and Crooked? Do you care for this ex-group of yours?
[ David ] : Yes I am aware of what Duke and Crooked are doing. We have never broke communication my entire time I was in prison. And one of the first people I visited when I got out was Crooked. Duke and I have talked a lot since I have been out. You ask if I care about the ex group. Of course I do. These were not just business partners; we were and still are friends. We might not see things the same as far as living a different life for Christ, but that does not mean we aren't friends. That goes for everyone that was in the group and is still in the group. But as far as business, I have no part with them at all, I just hope success for them because I know their wives and the children they need to feed.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What happened to "Dyno" or "Sir Dyno"? Any chance that fans of chicano gangster rap will ever see another solo of yours?
[ David ] : Well, the way I see it, Dyno destroyed me. I cared for nothing and was afraid of nothing. I was never a studio gangster, I was the real thing. I really sold dope, I really represented in the streets, and I really had a street rep. But the way I see it, when I stepped into the baptism tub in T.I., I went down as Dyno and came back up as David Rocha. I like to joke and say that Dyno drowned in that baptism tub, because he stayed behind. The Bible says that I am a new creation in Christ and that old things have passed away and all things have become new. I am a new man in Christ. According to the Bible He has given me a new heart and a new spirit. I am finally free from the chains that held me down for so many years. Crazy thing about it is that most of those reading this interview will snicker at me saying that I was bound by chains. Because they themselves are bound by chains, yet it's like an ankle weight. You wear it for so long that you don't even realize it until you take it off. As far as the second part of this question, yes, you will see one more solo from me, but not in the way I rapped in the past.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : I saw you quote the Bible: "I have discarded all of my past accomplishments, counting it as garbage, so that I may have Christ". Do you really feel like that?
[ David ] : Yes I do and I do not apologize for it. But I would like to explain what I meant by that so as not to get taken out of context. The actual person that wrote that verse in the Bible was the Apostle Paul. He was very well educated, was very influential, had the best teachers. In other words, if the Apostle Paul were around in our day, he would have all the plaques, the degrees from the best schools, ties to the most powerful people and the Nobel peace prize. But once the Apostle Paul accepted Christ into his heart, he looked at all of his past accomplishments as garbage in comparison to having Jesus. So he wasn't saying that his past accomplishments were garbage, but in COMPARISON to Jesus all other things are as garbage. I can say the same and I do say the same. I know that all I did in the past were very hard accomplishments. I've done many solo CDs, group albums, compilations, Movie soundtracks, a published book and several starring roles in movies. I have traveled the country and signed many autographs; I have stood on many stages. And those are all great and awesome things, but in comparison to meeting Jesus, the creator of all things, the King of all Kings, the beginning and the end, the prince of peace, the Lamb of God, compared to Him all past accomplishments are as garbage. I really pray that this makes sense. If it doesn't, then let me say this. Those of you that have children. If you have accomplished many great things, wouldn't they be garbage in comparison to making that child? I'm sure your answer is yes.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : I see you're networking with the Parakletos movement. How did you get affiliated?
[ David ] : The Parakletos Network was founded by me while I was in prison. I feel that the Lord gave me the idea of building a huge network for our generation. A network of pastors, preachers, evangelists, teachers, rappers, musicians, leaders and actors. A network where no one building or office is a headquarters, but instead a network of people and groups working together pushing the name of Jesus Christ and His gospel. Once the Lord gave me this network to start I began to talk about it to other Christian leaders that were with me in prison, such as Johnny Alcala, Edwin Madera, Chuy and brother Mike. Since my release I've connected with pastors and evangelists out here that have become affiliated with Parakletos. I started a music branch from Parakletos which will release artists such as A.L.G and Young Ant. So far we have churches in communication with us to be a part of Parakletos as far as Denver, Tucson and San Diego.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Please tell us more about your input to Parakletos, House Of Rest Church and the preaching you do.
[ David ] : I am very involved in the input of Parakletos as we are just jumpstarting the network. I am working very close with my brother Angel Rocha who is a Pastor and student working toward a degree in Biblical Theology. The name House of Rest church will be the name of my church when I open it, which will most likely be in the Tracy area within a few years. So far I am being invited by many pastors to preach in their churches, places such as Gilroy CA, Castroville CA and Stockton CA. Every week I am getting more phone calls and emails for invitations. I am an ordained minister and a graduate of CLU (Christian Leadership University) with an Associates in Biblical Studies and currently working toward a BA in Ministry.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What are the plans of this musical branch of Parakletos?
[ David ] : The plans of this musical branch is simply this. To reach many through the music these men do and lead them to Jesus Christ. Many might not walk into a church, but they will listen to a CD like the Young Ant or the A.L.G. These men did not lose their edge in their music, it is not corny soft music, it is hard edged and on the forefront of Christian rap. I like the fact that they can still make good catchy music, hard hitting, and yet still have it be 100% about Jesus.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Since you have a huge musical history, are you planning to get involved in this movement in any way?
[ David ] : My plans in the beginning were to help these men in marketing and promotion. But I realize the potential rap music has in reaching many people with a message. So I will be recording new solo songs. So far I have two solo songs and two other songs in collaboration with A.L.G. and Young Ant. I will not be performing these songs live anywhere, I will leave that up to Young Ant and A.L.G. So far they have ministered (performed) at a car show in Lathrop CA and at the event where I gave my life testimony on April 30th.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : We've already had an opportunity to talk to Young Ant, however I don't know anything about A.L.G. Could you tell us briefly what made him turn towards Jesus Christ?
[ David ] : A.L.G. was a member of Darkroom Family, matter of fact, so was Young Ant. He starred in one of the movies put out by Pumpkin Patch pictures. He was on just about every Darkroom group CD. I think you should interview A.L.G. himself, because I think he could answer questions about himself a lot better than I. I will say that he felt that same emptiness that I felt deep inside. He was on drugs and completely lost.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : I see you're advertising the DVD entitled "The Testimony of David Rocha". Please elaborate on it.
[ David ] : I will be releasing a DVD in June of this year. It will be a testimony of my life, sort of a documentary. I filmed it at a church in Stockton CA named Centro Vida on Fremont Street. Before I gave my testimony I had rappers minister (perform), such as Brother IG, he is a very well known Christian rapper from San Jose, A.L.G., Young Ant and Mizz Dana. Also with skits by the youth group of that church with Youth pastor Scott. It will be two hours long and I believe very important for people to understand who I am and why I made the choice I made to follow Jesus Christ. You won't be let down if you want to order this through our website, www.parakletosonline.com.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Wherever you go there will be both people supporting as well as the ones condemning whatever you do. I've recently heard that as far as promotion of Christianity is concerned, no money should be involved; even if it comes back to your church. Yet people sell various things, including books, cds and dvds. What is your opinion?
[ David ] : This is a question that no matter what not every person will agree. I believe that there is a fine line of exploiting God and making a living. The Bible says that every man is worthy of his work. If A.L.G. works months to put together a CD, and puts hours into it and creativity, then he should be allowed to be blessed for his work. I believe every man should get paid an honest amount for any work a man does. What I don't agree with is things like televangelists that try to sell a "blessed" hand towel for $100 and saying that if you order it and pray that you will be healed, or if you send in $100 that God will bless you with $10,000 in the mail. That is completely different from a pastor writing a book, a cd or a dvd, in order to provide for his family. I also know that most pastors that sell books actually give a huge amount of their royalties to fund programs that help the poor, the hungry, the sick and those in need. For instance, Rick Warren wrote the book "the purpose driven life". It made millions of dollars. Well according to Bible Scripture, we are commanded to give a tithe or a tenth of our income to our local group of believers (church). Yet this man that made millions chose to give 90% of his royalties to the church and programs and only kept 10%. The same with Pastor T.D. Jakes. People criticized him for having a big beautiful house, yet failed to realize that he gave 500 million to charity, programs and to communities in Africa. If nobody could sell a Bible how could a bible be printed. If nobody sold CDs then how could the CD production be paid for? Many want a pastor to be there at all times in times of crisis, we want to know that our pastor is a phone call away if someone has an accident in the middle of the night, we want our pastor there to marry, or to lead in a funeral. We want our pastor there at his office if we need counsel. Yet we don't want to give money to the church and for the pastor to live off of. If he worked a full time job, he wouldn't be available when you needed him. And I must say that it is biblical for a pastor to live off of the ministry. Unfortunately I will admit that there are those that are leaders in our churches that take advantage of the money that people give. But as long as we are on earth, there will always be those that are corrupt. Whether in church, in politics, in schools, in police stations and in families.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Do you listen to rap at least briefly any more? Are you aware of the current state of the northern Cali rap scene? If yes, what do you think of it?
[ David ] : To be honest I haven't really heard any rap at all. I have listened to some of the old Darkroom music though, lol. I am a little aware of the current state of northern Cali rap. I know who is who but haven't heard much of the music. I wish success upon all of them, because I know they have bills to pay and some might have children to feed. That's what it's all about. Yet I know that the same fans that like them are the ones killing them by downloading their music for free. Pretty soon fans won't have anyone to listen to because it won't be worth it to buy a computer, a microphone, a mixing board or anything.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Do you think that the lyrical content of gangsta/thug rap albums is dangerous to young, flexible minds?
[ David ] : Of course I think it's dangerous. I knew it was dangerous even back then. I heard so many facts of how many murders, shootings and drive bys were done with my cd playing. I myself would get hyped up to do some damage while listening to Pac back in the day. The fact is that most rappers aren't as crazy as they rap, because if they were they wouldn't be rapping, they'd be in prison. I met many men in prison that laughed at rappers saying they gangbang to the fullest, yet have never been in prison. It's impossible to really gangbang to the fullest and not be in prison. Because the very nature of gangbanging to the fullest means that you are full on playing politics, killing an enemy on sight, and green lighting anyone that is no good in your hood. It means getting up in the morning with only one goal, to find enemies, and handle your business. So the young people that are at risk in their homes and schools are easily influenced by these rappers, and they become hardcore because they want to follow what they are hearing on CD. I'm just keeping it real. I mean no disrespect to those that are street yet don't overdue it.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Whether it is preaching or music - what group of people is your main target? Who would you like to teach, warn, protect the most?
[ David ] : As a preacher my main target is those that are tired of the way their lives have been going. I am not trying to reach everyone, because many simply aren't ready yet. They haven't hit bottom yet. And it's not even about warning, it's simply to let them know that Jesus has His arms open to them, He is knocking at their hearts, waiting to be let it. That there is a better way to life, a real peace that can only come from the Lord. But as a teacher of the Bible my main target are those that have accepted Christ and need to now mature in their walk with Christ.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : It is possible that we may have not asked the right questions, therefore if you'd like to add anything, now's the right time
[ David ] : I think your questions are thorough and good. I would only like to add that if you have questions about the Bible or God, please don't hesitate to email me. You can communicate with me through the website www.parakletosonline.com. This will lead you to emails, to MySpace and Facebook. I would love to hear from you. I know what it's like to act like life is all good when you are with your friends. But deep inside, maybe you feel that emptiness, or that anxious feeling that life must be something more than what it has been so far. Jesus loves you and is calling out to you. The Bible says He will leave the 99 sheep to find the lost lamb. Are you the lost lamb He is calling out for. He won't return until He finds Him and will carry him home. God bless you.