I have spent years in the Christian music industry. Many of those years were spent trying to help change it for the better, and I can honestly say, all it did in the end was change me in the process. I started out in the Hip Hop market with my first project Pages of Life which I was fortunate to see be hailed as an underground Classic. The Hip Hop market is where I started, and it is where I will finish my career as an artist. Ppl say, don’t you think that the Hip Hop market may change you just like the Christian market did? My answer is No.. And the reason i say that is because over all I don’t desire to change the market or industry of hip hop, although there is a desire inside of me to see things change for the better in terms of culture and business alike. Ultimately, I only wish to help change the mindset of the actual consumers in terms of how they perceive the world, life, family, love, music, and God! They say, “why would you leave a market where you have a fan base and go to the Hip Hop market?”. The answer is, because I have a cult following of hip hop fans who genuinely love my music because of what I represent as a creative musician, and I have a small following of fans in Christian music as well who also appreciate creativity and good honest music. That being said, I have and always have had a stronger trajectory in a market place that is built around art, creativity, and good music. As opposed to the Christian industry that is built off of how much you present the Gospel in your music and message. And I say this because many Christians need to understand that sometimes the Art Is The Message! There is an old saying that goes “a picture speaks a thousand words” and this rings true for recording artists as well for the simple fact that words are visual and they paint a picture. For too long now art itself has been deemed as not good enough as it applies to conveying the message of a believer, and whoever came up with this idea couldn’t be more unbiblical in their stance. I thank God for the season of time that he allotted me in the Christian market. I was able to break some grounds on a cultural level and I made a lot of friends there, but that season is done. To those of you who have Christian based media outlets, I thank you all for your continued support. Some may say “If you don’t want to be in the Christian market, why do you have music on Christian websites?”. The answer is simple.. Many of those sites have been asking me for my music ever since I dropped my first release Pages of Life in 2000, and I have no issues with ANY site, Christian or non Christian who would like to carry my music. Also I am a Christian so any Christian site that would like my music can carry it. I have no issues with any media outlets and many of the people who own all of the top Christian media outlets are my friends. I just choose and prefer to not quarantine myself to the Christian market as an artist. Why would I wanna be based in a marketplace that is completely separate from hip hop culture. Which is essentially the culture that I’m indigenous to and is the cultural hub of the people that I’m trying to reach? But I do thank God for the artists who’s music has been embraced outside of the Christian industry walls, and many of these artist are my friends now. I view myself very much as a cultural missionary, although many of my songs are allegorical and paint a creative picture of what I believe in, as opposed to being more direct and explicit in terms of a Gospel presentation in the music. If I was a missionary who was going over seas why would I go to an environment that is known to already be predominantly Christian, as opposed to going to an environment where people actually Need faith, hope and love pumped into the air that they breath on a cultural level? Some people are called to be in the Christian industry and many of them are my friends who I salute. But as for me, I have always been called to the community and culture that I am indigenous to. My main question is, if the people such as myself who are called to reach hip hop culture don’t have a problem with the people who are called to stay in the four walls and encourage the church, then why do those people have a problem with those of us like myself who are called to reach the world? Is it because the people who are behind the four walls really desire to be in the field and in the world like the rest of us? This is a serious question that needs answering! In closing I would like to thank everyone Christian and non Christian alike who has supported this Arms Out Ent/Lifers movement from day one, you know who you are. For those of you who are just finding out about this movement I would like to welcome you on this journey. I thank God that I have been allowed to officially hit the reset button on my life and my career. If I have not made it clear enough by now, I am not a Christian rapper, I am Hip Hop artist. I do hip hop.. Just as if I was in the NFL like Tim Tebow. He’s a football player who is a Christian. He doesn’t do Christian football or play in the Christian NFL. That said, I am nothing more than a man who’s vocation is music and who is also a believer. If I was a plumber I wouldn’t be doing Christian plumbing, I would just be doing Plumbing. And it’s ok to do regular plumbing, just like it’s ok to be a Christian and do regular hip hop lol. The best is yet to come!!! - Lifey #NewAlbum #TheProfit #2014
I feel sorry for the MANY artists who feel that they have to build a false image of themselves to keep a Christian fan base. Unfortunately this false perception is only good marketing in the Christian market. Many of u pretend to not drink wine, beer, etc. (all of which according to scripture are lawful) just to keep up an image that religious consumers can buy into as an ideal, because perception is viewed as reality by many ppl, and once they buy into this clean perception of u chances are they will buy ur music. But life and the Gospel have never been clean. The very nature of life and the Gospel are explicit. The message of the Gospel isn’t clean, it’s revolutionary. And the Christian/Gospel industry is in need of a revolution asap! But I fear that there is a day of reckoning approaching when many of u will reach a breaking point and the Real u will be seen. Why prolong the inevitable just to cash in on the Christian market? We all know that religion sells, but God loves u when ppl and fans don’t. My heart truly goes out to Many of u who are depressed and lost in the Christian market!