Veteran rapper DOUG E. FRESH is hip-hop's first Scientologist after converting to the controversial faith eight years ago.
The La Di Da Di star, 42, has previously drawn inspiration from aspects of Christianity and Islam, but has confirmed longstanding rumours of his affiliation to Scientology, the religion which counts Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its followers.
Fresh reveals he was introduced to the faith by late soul legend Isaac Hayes when he was dating New York radio DJ Miss Jones.
In an interview with Essence magazine, he says, "I am the first hip-hop artist to do it (convert to Scientology). Isaac Hayes was a former co-worker of Miss Jones and he told her about it.
"I went with her to one of the classes. Miss Jones stopped going but I continued. I found it fascinating. It changed how I thought. I've learned how to look at things and not judge them but respect them and use it in a way that people understand that I respect them, show them love and respect their reality."
And Fresh hopes to use his knowledge of the religion to educate others who may be sceptical of the faith.
He adds, "Scientology is not a white religion. It is not just for white people. Scientology is not written with disrespect toward God. It doesn't worship something that is evil. It is scientific, mathematical, and spiritual. The black community has to check it out and see what's there. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but you have to take a look. You may be amazed at what you get."