Here at SLS we like to introduce our viewers to rising artists who we think show a lot of potential. This round we were able to get a hold of Jac Rip, an upcoming rapper who's music has earned him fans from places as far as the Bermudas, Canada, Britain, and all over the States. Recently I was lucky enough to get a bit of his time to ask him about his music, life and God. Here is my interview with him.
What do you label yourself as?
I'm a believer who raps. I try not to put myself in a box because people, even believers, usually hear Christian rap and automatically think corny.
What do you think when people say that your music is only for the Youth?
God's word is for everybody, not just one age group. I think you have to keep up with the times. You can't preach the same sermon you did 50 years ago the same you would now in 2011. I think that adults can relate to my music and its a lot easier for them to understand. Grown folks can appreciate the content, performance , and the message where teens might just thinks it cool to have rap in the church.
Do you ever come across people who think that all rap is garbage? How do you handle that?
Yes. You'll get that all the time. I change a lot of people's opinions when they see me live in concert. I can't tell you how many people have approached me and told me I understood what you were saying. I went to a youth revival at this all white church. I performed my song "Insecure" and later an 83-year-old white woman came to me and told me that that was her first time hearing rap music and she bought my CD. Her nephew was the youth pastor and he told me that she listens to that CD everyday.
What did your fans think when you crossed over? One of my videos on YouTube, someone commented that "This can't be the same JacRip I (remember). I get a few haters. My friends stopped coming around me. Label mates left me alone because they said I was getting corny. But I'm proud that my kids can recite my lyrics . They can actually come to my shows now and they help me out.
|Jac and his wife strike a pose|
Besides your wife, who's in your inner circle.
If you saw in my "Fly Guy" video, we (record label) had a big roster. Once I switched over, everyone pretty much disappeared. Right now I say that iDie, Mr,Knox, Pre Dammond, and my pastor are in my circle. My friend Mr. Knox got me into rapping and he comes to every show. He helps sell CDs and other merchandise and he's actually told me hes thinking of changing his direction. So yeah, having people who believe in me is humbling.
What verses are you meditating on right now? Matthew ..I've actually been on this one for quite a while now. I dealt a lot with family and friends betraying me and a lot of people deal with that too. You can't run around with revenge in your heart because it's only hurting you.
How do you spend time with God? I just bought more studying material. I pray and go to a lot of the church ministries. When I'm writing lyrics it's like a session with Him. Thinking about what I could do to lift him up, not me. Everyday is like a growing process for me.
What do you do to balance God, your career, and your personal life?
That's the hardest thing about this . Now I'm no huge star, so it's a lot of work (promoting yourself). You have to keep your buzz up. I'm always on the computer as far as promoting and it can get rough. If I get too distracted my wife will tell me if I'm spending too much time on the computer and when it's time to spend time with the family. That's what she's supposed to do right? Yeah, my wife is the type that don't play. *Laughs*
Have you ever come to a point where you just wonder what God is doing? All the time. When you're doing work for the kingdom, the devil comes harder. If he's coming at me hard, then I know that he's going even harder at big artists like Kirk Franklin. As I get deeper in the word, the attacks will be much greater, because he(the devil) sees my potential. When that happens I pray, talk to my wife, my pastor, or my best friend who's also a pastor.
|Jac posing with his merchandise. Click here to view his inventory.|
Who are your musical influences?
I don't have a lot of musical influences since I'm still new at this. I went into this naive. I've bought Lecrae's Rehab album. I've seen some of TripLee's work and I listen to (gospel) on the radio and on TV all the time. But I've always liked A Tribe Called Quest and Nas among other artists.
Who's your dream collaboration?
There's this other independent Christian artist out of Baltimore, Maryland by the name of Alex Bowens. He's like super crazy in the rap game. I'm gonna try and get him on a track. We've connected through Facebook and Twitter. Independent artists is where it's at. They just have a hunger that (label) artists don't have.
What do you do on your spare time? I DJ at birthday parties and other events and I'm also a graphic designer. I make designs for CDs, business cards, and whatever else. It's my Clark Kent job.
What should people expect when they buy your album? They should expect to learn about me and themselves as well. Its transparent. Its about being honest. There are a lot of scenarios that you can relate too. Just press play.
Check out Jac Rip's latest single "John 3:16" that he's given to fans for free!