Confess to me your favorite book and why ?
E.A.R.L. The autobiography of DMX. The honesty and pain that jumps from the pages touches you. When you see someone in appearance as strong as X you never gather, the level of pain that the person harbors. It gave me perspective, hope and understanding.
Who inspires you most and why ?
Its hard to narrow down to one individual. I am one that pulls inspiration from every aspect of life. My Mother for her compassion, my Grandmother for her boldness, my Father for his absence, LL for his aggression, Turbo & Ozone for their talent. The Geto Boys,8-Ball,D.O.C.,2Pac, TRE-8,Tim Smooth,Bustdown,NWA for their music. That cat in the wheel chair that still works out, that single mom with 5 girls who still manages to graduate college. To that turtle that's crossing a road unaware of the speeding cars, all he or she knows is it has to reach the other side. I pull from everything Thais. I do it that way because I want to be well rounded and not locked in a box.
Your brand is centered around your family. How has your wife's input helped you reach new goals within your business ?
A strong woman is like a spinal cord. Her support or lack there of is felt either way. Zeeda is an extra conscious for me. She is creative & humble. Her character allows her to give valuable information without being overbearing. This keeps me on point & is easy on my ego lol
She is an artist in her own right as well. Tell me about her new book and how it encourages you.
Absolutely! Z is an Artist, Motivational Speaker as well as an Author. Her book is called from Pain To Power. Its her heart on paper. The writing of the book actually challenged our marriage. In the writing process she had to uncover & dig up many elements of her life that were buried or forgotten about. Things I was unaware of. The book was a healing for her & a strengthening tool for us. To see the transformation she has made is a true testament of survival & encourages me a great deal.
You being labeled as a Gospel Rap Artist can be controversial what are your views on those type artists that curse in their lyrics ?
It can be. Half of the reason is because the representation of Gospel Rap/Christian Rap or CHH (Christian HipHop) has been extremely judgmental & void of love,empathy & sympathy. The other half is because none of us are overly comfortable with being told right from wrong. You know the famous words of PAC "Only God can judge Me." I don't particularly take issue with cussing as much as I do with the actual message being presented in music. How can an Artist say "stop the violence" when their music provides the soundtrack and the sonic campaign for that very violence? How can an Artist say "Police are wrong for shooting" when every other line is I sell crack,pills,weed etc & I'll kill you if you play with me. My above statement doesn't erase the fact we have serious issues in community & Police relation & interaction, but it is something we have to look at. I wouldn't yell " What about Cancer" at a benefit for AIDS, but I would say after this event on Cancer let's work on one for AIDS. A Christian or a Christian Artist should not cuss, that's bible. As far as people who don't subscribe to Christianity, this guideline is not applicable to them. But the foundation of the message is still relevant. Music drives culture. If you ask a person to say their ABC's their going to sing the song! If you change the music, you can change the culture.
Who could you envision yourself sharing a stage with in the immediate future ?
I would love share a stage with anyone from Lil Uzi Vert to Yolanda Adams. I don't have a preference.
Your new logo apparel has a special meaning to your fans and family. Please explain.
It does. I formed a group with my brother 007 of The 5th Ward Boyz (Rap-A-Lot) called R.A.W. "Ready And Willing". Its a brand that is for everyone that is Ready And Willing to achieve success and dream fulfillment. We sell music, hats & T-Shirts & we are in talks of opening a store front in the near future. Clothing is a powerful messenger, combined with music it becomes a state of mind.
How has reading enable you to thrive within your industry of Gospel Rap ?
Reading is a gateway. A man can live to be 80 yrs old & write a book. I can buy it & learn what took him 80 yrs to learn in four hours. Reading provides me with perspective, language & words. All of these things are imperative you want to be a true song writer. That being said, my weight is heavier because not only do I want to make dope music, it has to have a message attached to it. Without studying the scriptures that message will be biased & conflicted.
Visit www.weliveraw.com to connect with this artist.