INTERVIEW WITH REDEEMED
LITO MAG: Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from.
REDEEMED: Well I’m a Christian Rapper born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I am the son of a pastor but I am also youth and young adult pastor at my dad’s church also in Brooklyn. I am a college graduate of Adelphi University class of 2011...SHOUT OUT TO AAAAUUUUUUU!! I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology...one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I’m a lover of people, husband to ONE WIFE, father, and friend of God.
LITO MAG: How did your music ministry journey begin?
REDEEMED: I don’t really know where all the music started to be honest. I just remember at a really young age being intrigued by rap but I didn’t know of a lot of Christian rappers. So I used to sneak and take my allowance at like 10 and 11 years old and buy bootleg Mase tapes...and Jay Z and the Lox and Camron. I remember my dad finding my Walkman and I got in a lot of trouble when he heard what I was listening to. I didn't know how to explain at such a young age that I wasn’t being negatively affected by the music, I was just trying to learn the craft. Of course he wasnt having that! Then at the age of 12 I started writing my own stuff and realized I was pretty good. It started off as secular stuff and in my young teenage years I use to battle rap at lunch with other students and used to battle on my block. Then one summer when I was about 16 the voice of Lord woke me and told me He would make me successful in His sight if I gave my gift over to Him completely. And that was all she wrote after that. I gave away all my secular rhyme books to a friend so I could get rid of them and wouldn’t be too tempted to write the old way again haha.
LITO MAG: How would you describe yourself as a gospel artist?
REDEEMED: Well to be honest my music reflects a lot of my reality, something that is lacking in the gospel industry. I deal a lot with issues that people go through and address a lot of current topics that the Body of Christ seems to veer away from. Sometimes we hear gospel songs and they almost eliminate some of life’s realest and pragmatic issues. They don’t sing or rap about Jesus in a way that’s relatable to an audience that doesn’t know Him. And I believe that’s where my ministry comes in...God has gifted me to rap in a way that uplifts and encourages people from any walk of life.
LITO: Who are some of your musical influences, secular or gospel and why?
REDEEMED: Da’ Truth is definitely my favorite gospel rapper! He is THE MOST LYRICAL gospel rapper I know. His music showed me how to be crafty and witty with our punchlines and metaphors and still get the Gospel across. Something we don’t see a lot. Kirk Franklin is another really big influence. What he has done to pioneer the gospel industry and have it on rotation to touch souls we usually could never reach is really big for the influence of my career. I also like cats like Mali Music...he’s so eclectic his style is something that encourages you to be yourself in your music and take risks. I love Tye Tribbett!! One of the best and his band’s musicianship helps me take musical risks with my music as well. From the secular side I would have to say right now, Kendrick Lamar. What he’s doing for rap is refreshing!!!
LITO: What new music projects can we expect from you in the near future?
REDEEMED: Right now I have my single out entitled Crown of Glory. Available on all digital stores and media outlets. (Amazon, google play, itunes, apple music, spotify) so I hope the readers can check it out. I’ve been rapping for a while but this single is special because it’s my first official single that I’ve released. I’m trying to definitely let more and more people hear this joint. I’m also working on my debut project entitled “Say So”...album title was influenced by Psalm 107:2. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so”. That project should be finished before the year is out.
LITO MAG: If you could summarize, what’s one of your own personal favorites from your latest project and why?
REDEEMED: The project that I’m releasing this year is actually my debut project so I don’t have any previous projects for anyone to reference. But definitely look out for a joint called “Looking Little Children”. You can find the non-album version on youtube. Definitely one of my favorites because it deals with a lot of what’s happening with our youth and what the previous generation of parents and artists have done to influence some of the wanton behavior of our young people today. Its a conversational piece of music and a game changer.
LITO MAG: Who are some gospel artists that you would love to work with and why?
REDEEMED: I would love to collaborate with Christon Gray I think he is dope!! Also a fellow gospel rapper named Swoope out of Ohio, his lyricism and musicianship would make a great collab. I would also like to do a joint with my fave rapper Da’ Truth just because of how much I’ve enjoyed his ministry and how it has influenced me that would be a dream. From a secular side I think me and Kendrick Lamar could come up with some soul stirring and uplifting music.
LITO MAG: What encouraging words would you have for an aspiring Christian artists?
REDEEMED: I would tell any aspiring Christian artist to appreciate the value of the gospel. Appreciate the privilege of being able to defend Christ and carry the cross. Never lose sight of the needs and concerns of the people and you will never run out of inspiration. Never lose sight of the love of God and you will never run out of material to write and share. I would also encourage any artist to never be ashamed of your story. Be transparent and pour out your heart until love bleeds into your music.