Cross Movement Founding Member Dies

Juan "Enock" James, a founding member of the Christian rap group The Cross Movement, died Saturday morning of an apparent heart attack. He was 35.

"It is impossible to express our sadness as words fail our emotions and sentiments," Cross Movement Records said in a statement. "Our prayers and loving support go out to his entire family and the Cross Movement family as a whole. Our greatest joy in this time of mourning is that He knows his God intimately and is in His presence celebrating our Lord."

James collapsed Saturday at his job in Houston from what is most likely a severe heart attack, though the cause of death has not been confirmed. James took medication for hypertension but his family said his death was a shock.

Known for infusing theology into its lyrics and its East Coast musical style, the Philadelphia-based Cross Movement formed in 1995. The group's music gained national media attention from outlets as diverse as the Washington Post, The Source and Time magazine.

James is heard on the CDs Heaven's Mentality, House of Representatives and Human Emergency. In 2001, he relocated to Houston to work on his solo album, AWEthentic, with Much Luvv Records.

"Please pray with us, mourn with us, and celebrate with us," Cross Movement said. "We've lost our brother presently, but the Lord is with his son Juan eternally. So you preceded us to the Lord Nock. We'll proceed with the representin' ... see you soon bro."

James is survived by his wife, Natalie, and his four children: Chavonna, 17; Juan Jr., 11; Genesis, 9; and Jana, 4.

Funeral services have not been announced. A benefit concert is being planned to assist James' family.

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