Illuminate (Nathan Bartlett) was born on September 25, 1981 in San Pablo, CA; he was raised for the majority of his childhood in Richmond, CA. and other surrounding cities in the San Francisco Bay Area. His father David was a drummer for the famous funk & soul group “Tower of Power;” he was introduced to heroin through the music industry; he battled with addiction for 27 years. Illuminate’s mother, Catherine was raised in San Francisco and East Oakland in a number of foster homes, juvenile halls and children’s shelters. She also battled drug and alcohol addictions for a number of years. Young Nathan Bartlett was introduced to life in this environment. God began to call on Nate when he was 12 years old at a summer day camp at the First Baptist Church in Richmond and in Youth Group at Valley Bible Church in Hercules. Even at that age, he was drawn by the lure of the world and the lies of the enemy. He felt compelled to join a gang and began the dark journey into a world full of lies, deception, sin & darkness. He had the chance to be a successful athlete in high school and get a college scholarship, but he instead chose to drink, smoke, party, & rebel. These decisions led him to repeated incarcerations in juvenile hall. It was during this troubled time that he began rapping.
He recorded his first secular release at seventeen years old. Tragedy struck Nate soon after when his father was found in a motel room, overdosed on heroin. Broken and lost, Nate’s aunt and cousin invited him to Victory Outreach in Richmond CA. It was there that he surrendered his life to Christ for the first time.Eight months later, he backslid further than ever into a life of sin. He got deeply involved in the music industry, dealing drugs, gang banging, using drugs and pimping. Nate became addicted to powder cocaine, alcohol, & ultimately, sin, until August 19, 2009. Nate was sitting in a prostitute’s living room in Hayward CA when he saw a skit on the internet called ‘Everything’ by LifeHouse. As he watched that skit, he felt as if his heart was breaking. The Holy Spirit invaded that apartment and Nate began to weep in the presence of God; he knew the Lord was calling him. He lifted up his hands to the Lord and surrendered. “Lord I can’t do this no more without you,” he prayed in desperation. It had been nine and a half years since he had turned his back on God and he knew this moment was a life or death decision. Without any hesitation, Nathan Bartlett chose life and rededicated himself wholeheartedly to Jesus Christ.
Once he had decided to serve God, Nathan checked himself into a men’s home in Hayward CA.He never wanted to relive his past as Nasty Nate, so he deleted the masters of his latest secular project that was almost ready to release. He was working with famous artists like Fabolous, The Game, Snoop Dogg, E-40, Baby Bash &Tech N9ne to name a few but he wanted to have nothing to do with the music industry or rap music ever again. As he strengthened his walk with the Lord and continued to mature in Christ, he received a prophecy from a Pastor. This pastor said that Nate would once again rap, but this time He would be a voice in the wilderness for the Lord. Nate would have a worldwide music ministry that would set the captives free. Gangsters would put down their guns and bandanas, drug addicts would lay down their pipes & their dope and major musicians would walk away from their secular record deals through the music Nathan would do through the Lord’s ministry. Nathan Bartlett (Illuminate) is now in active ministry, leading many souls to the Lord truly living a lifestyle of Evangelism. He is an ordained minister and heads up Illuminate the World Ministries & ITW Music where he oversees & mentors other music ministers. He is also part owner of Outsiders Supply & is happily married & now resides in Ventura County in Southern California.
This is a personal message from Illuminate; “I lived in darkness for so many years and I have firsthand knowledge of the street life and gangsta mentality and cause of my past and how
intimate I once was with sin and darkness, I am able to expose the lies of the enemy that I once believed for so long. I realize my life is not my own and I will continue to do everything possible to help lead everyone to Salvation and a better life through Jesus Christ and expose the lies satan and this world have been telling us all since birth. The streets have nothing good to offer and I will let nothing stop me from telling the truth. Thank you for your time. God bless you and always remember that Jesus loves you with all His heart and today is the Day of Salvation!”