Cory Condrey, better known as CoCo Brother, is more than your average radio personality. He is a powerful voice crying out from the wilderness and into the streets. Born in Germany, it seems that he was destined to make an impact of
international proportion from the beginning. CoCo Brother first came to Atlanta, GA after graduating from high school in Nashville, Tennessee, marking the start of his career in radio.
In 1995, CoCo started interning with Hot 97.5(now Hot 107.9). From delivering pizza to loading trucks, he had a variety of odd jobs, working tirelessly at night and interning during the day. His hard-work and diligence paid off and he was finally hired at Hot. Even with all of his potential, his time there was short-lived and in 1997 he was fired. After losing his job, he became homeless. The spirit in CoCo Brother would not allow him to quit and after being homeless for a year, he landed a position with V-103 as their Promotions Coordinator.
CoCo wanted to be on the air, but was told that he could not be an On-Air Personality. It has been said that whenever one door closes, another opens. The next door flew open. Still hungry to reach the people, he took a job in a smaller market with Foxy 107 and Mike Roberts in Macon, GA. Within months in that market, CoCo’s personality and drive made the show #1.
In January of 2000, CoCo left Georgia for a position in Washington D.C. on 93.9 WKYS. He was in direct competition with Big Tigger, the former host of BET’s Rap City. For two and a half years, he dominated the airwaves with the same passion, high-energy, and creativity that made him a success in the past.
CoCo Brother came full circle on September 11, 2001 when he returned to Hot 107.9, Atlanta, in the 6- 10 pm time slot. This time things would be much different. It didn’t take long before CoCo Brother and the Home Team made their presence known. When the first book came out, the show was #1 with 12-17 year olds. It also made history for Hot, ranking #1 with 18 – 34 year olds for the first time. CoCo was responsible for breaking some of the hottest records as well as capturing exclusive interviews with artists such as 50 Cent, David Banner, Ludacris, and T.I. His influence reached beyond the city limits and included:
- · Hosting Vibe’s TV show and BET’s Talent Search
- · Appearances on BET and MTV
- · Hosting video show on UPN
- · Hosting Michael Vick’s Shoe Release for 3 consecutive years
- · Appearances in Vibe, Source, Creative Loafing, and Rolling Out Magazines
Yet, even after years of success, he was not content and began to hear God telling him to shift into a different arena. In March of 2005, CoCo Brother announced that he would be leaving the 6–10 pm slot. When he left, the show was on top. After 6 weeks off the air, he emerged with a new fire and a new sound called The Spirit of Hip Hop (SOHH). The show kicked off from 7 – 10 am and soon made history in its ratings when it moved up to 6 – 10 am. The constant demand for the show led it to its current slot of 6 – 12pm on Sundays mornings. The ratings continue to soar. With that success, the SOHH expanded to 5a-6a Monday-Friday in addition to the weekends, and now syndicated all across the country reaching millions every week in virtually every major market, including Detroit, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Washington DC, Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia, with more markets coming on board each day.
The Spirit of Hip Hop is more than just a nationally syndicated show; it’s a lifestyle. It’s a ministry focusing on Jesus Christ, that bridges the gap between generations; sinners and saints; hip hop and gospel music. The show features original skits, and exclusive in depth spiritual interviews with gospel, hip hop, and R & B superstars. Within the shows’ first few months, CoCo was able to interview and host some of the most influential artists and leaders in hip hop and in the church such as: TD Jakes, Kirk Franklin, Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Lil’ Jon, Yolanda Adams and Smokie Norful, just to name a few.
Coco is responsible for spearheading some of the most powerful and well attended community events in the country and is dedicated to underserved communities, such as feeding the homeless and The Spirit of Hip Hop Annual Toy Give-a-way. In 2004, Evander Holyfield and Ludacris played a major role in the Spirit of Hip Hop Toy Give-a-way by donating a combined amount of $100,000 dollars worth of toys. The SOHH was active in Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts such as David Banner’s Heal the Hood Benefit Concert and the Gospel Music Channels Angel Concert. Coco even recently organized and hosted Radio One’s One Love Gospel Cruise along with Dottie Peoples, Fred Hammond and John Gray. Other involvements include:
- · Honda’s Battle of the Bands
- · Opening up for Kirk Franklin at Mega Fest 2005
- · The Shannon Anderson Foundation
- · The Jamie Foxx Laffapalooza / The SOHH meets Comedy
- · Annual Martin Luther King March
- · Discipleship Award (Community Service) Gospel Connection 2005.
Other notable accomplishments include hosting the biggest hip hop concert in the USA, Birthday Bash: Presenter and Creator of the SOHH award for the Radio One Dirty Awards); Integral part of LudaChrisMiss (this is the charitable event that Ludacris, Chris Webber, and David Banner facilitated for Katrina survivors:: Annual Martin Luther King March presenter; and Recipient of the Power 30 under 30 award from AUC Digest.
In 2005, the SOHH made history with Exodus; where the Church meets the Streets hosted at one of the hottest clubs in Atlanta, GA (Club 112). Guests included Kirk Franklin, Bone Crusher and Bishop Eddie Long. There were thousands in attendance, with hundreds in the streets when they couldn’t get inside. The following year, Exodus was held at the Word of Faith Family Cathedral and the attendance quadrupled. Over a thousand youth came to the altar and gave their life to Christ. In all, there were 8-thousand people in the Church and another 3-thousand outside trying to get in; this happening while the police were closing the interstate because of all the traffic.
CoCo’s ultimate vision is to see the church go to the streets worldwide. Stand 2007 will be the platform that springboards this dream. A one-day event taking place at the internationally known Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, where over a million strong will come together and Take A STAND to change the landscape of hip hop forever by promoting a positive lifestyle. This historic solution-based movement will mobilize the hip hop community by taking its core and putting it in a positive light. This will be the biggest experience hip hop has ever witnessed, a monumental event with lasting implications on generations to come.
CoCo Brother’s life is a testimony of what God will do in willing vessels. Never despise small beginnings. After being denied in Market 12, he went to Market 147; eventually rising to Market 7 and to the top. He operates in excellence and he just won’t quit. He is an example of someone who sometimes against all odds constantly raises the bar and sets the tone in everything he does. From homelessness to hosting and leading the official and defining movement for change in hip hop, only time will tell what is in store for both him and the Spirit of Hip Hop. Indeed, after hearing his powerful testimony on the radio weekly, on CNN, and on CNN International, it’s very clear that Coco will be one of those anointed leaders insuring that a new day has arrived and a generation is about to be changed. Furthermore, with the blessing of being on the radio on the largest inspirationally-based network in the world targeting our youth, CoCo is making the world turn the volume up generating record setting ratings, but still and most importantly saving souls along the way.