A personal testimony is a journey. Since a young age I’ve been rapping and this is sort of like the recap.
When people ask me about my tattoos I tell them its like they’ve always been there and someone just revealed them.
The good art just feels like its always been there, but now its just being revealed. Amazing enough you can always sing along with a song you know.
So the first encounter was Praying for You by Lecrae. I knew from the first verse he was talking about himself. We’re inherently selfish aren’t we? Maybe we both knew the error of our ways, the struggle of our faith, the denial of Lordship.
Trip Lee wrote my life with The Good Life. It was a War to create my path, to start over at the beginning of my career. I remember listening to War running around the countryside, letting my heart bear out the hearing the wind say you’ll be back. There’s a war going on that we never see. When I came back I started to understand what Da Truth meant by JIFE. Always available, always ready. It was a goal of mine to live righteously and as a light, but not before Andy Mineo called me Curious and showed me my heart was broken. That night I bought Heroes for Sale, walking home in the cold listening to Andy rap my heart into correction. I looked up at the clear night sky and laughed at how God strategically planned that moment to pull me up.
The music led me to solitude, the solitude to stillness, the stillness to Christ. Death Has Died helped me through the toughest loss of my life, it helped me cope with grief. Its probably the most played song in my collection because it instills faith that I need to re-encounter that grief that still hangs around.
If Tedashii never released Below Paradise I would have thought he was in the entertainment business for the money. Seeing him process grief through Complicated still pricks my heart today to encourage my family through loss. And then Trip decided to Rise and seeing him perform Sweet Victory a song that kept me encouraged when I was working three jobs trying to recover from financial loss, so tired, so weary, and not motivated to step out in my faith. I literally woke up to Lazarus and rested in Manolo. It wasn’t much outside of Rise that kept me encouraged that year.
But then KB decided Tomorrow We Live and I decided to as well. I put on the Crowns and Thorns and started to seek out that Always & Forever type of love in all of my relationships. And when I ended up sinking mentally in the deepest depth I had ever experienced I knew by Drowning I could be rescued. I woke up determined, I’ma Just Do [It].
There are so many encounters of my testimony where the art I encountered reflected my heart. But there is no verbal art that reflects my personality better than Us by Social Club Misfits. I ran a 5k to Martyrs, a song that reflected my geographical and relational distance to the people close to me. When I ran that race, I ran closer to what I wanted my community to look like. And my life is just as colorful and intricate as a Coogi Sweater. It’s a dashing bold adventure where on a daily basis I encounter The Misfit Generation. People that I now realize need to be touched, accepted, prayed for, and accepted (yes, I mentioned that twice). That song makes my heart beat fast, and I always listen to it twice just to make sure I heard Fernie and Marty well.
Now-a-days I’m not looking for acceptance from the peers, It is what it is, as Lecrae would say. And that’s why this latest art is so important to me. The Narrative is what I’ve just given. It’s detailing my testimony. How I’ve lived, how I’m living. It is 100% accurate. It is me at my purest form of Hip Hop. There is no other art out there that reflects me as thoroughly as this piece. There was this song Sho Baraka did early on called Evolution, it was my favorite hip hop song for the longest time. I’ve so happy we keep evolving. It is a Road to Humble.
The synergy I have with these artists goes far beyond their verbal art. It goes through their books, to their ministry, to their burdens. They are my brothers because we pretty much grew up together.