When the site originally launched I did an interview with Jered Sanders. I held the interview knowing he had an album coming out, and wanted to drop the interview with the album review. Well that plan is still working out… just a few months behind the original plan. With all that said, please enjoy the interview with one of hip hop’s best artist.
What brought you to faith in Jesus and how can we see your growth in faith in your music?
Hmmm…I’ll put that all on God. However, I can genuinely say I’ve always felt separate from my peers during my child/adolescent-hood. Funny story is, my mother tells me that my great-grandmother would tell her (when I was a baby) that I would grow to be a preacher and throughout my development, similar words were echoed on many occasions. The turning away from my old ways and looking to the cross (considering the above statements) seemed inevitable. Praise God it was.
What is your process in crafting a track and does that differ from crafting the overall album?
Honestly, I just write when the urge strikes. When it’s time to write a song or an album, I get an abundance of inspiration. When it’s not, I literally don’t write at all, nor do I have the inclination to.
What do you consider the best part of your artistry and what aspect are you focusing on improving?
I consider myself to be a pretty visual and or visceral writer, you can see and feel the things I talk about. I’m continuing to work on being vulnerable on wax. I’m learning more and more the value in vulnerability on records.
What is your philosophy on hip hop and how would you like the industry, musically, to change?
In essence, Hip-Hop at the simplest level is a culture comprised of a combination of rap, art, dance, and DJing. I think corporate dollars definitely affected the content and purity of the art form. As far as changing the culture, I don’t think it’s my place to. Rap is a tool I use to communicate at times, but I don’t fully submit myself to a culture that doesn’t glorify the God I serve. Whether it (the culture) changes or not, I’m good.
At this point in the chh genre and in the music industry as a whole, do you feel like people are more open to you and your music’s message or are they still saying “shut up and rap”?
It’s a combination of both. If all they want is for me to “shut up and rap”, I’m cool with that. They were only gonna listen to the raps anyway. I’m confident in the content and authenticity of my walk being represented in the art. However, the CHH community and the secular rap community at large appreciate what I do though. For that, I’m humbled.
You speak a lot of your daughter, being a dad, and your relationship with your wife. How do they influence you artistically, musically, or thematically?
Whether it’s for motivation or inspiration, they’re in it all. I’m glad I have them around. Praise God. Haha.
If someone could only hear one of your tracks, which would it be and why?
That’s tough. Honestly, it’s between “Crown Full Of Thorns” and “Sum’n Good’s Gonna Happen”. They represent the transparency and vulnerability I’m consistently aiming for as an artist.
Has the Lord ever told you no for something you wanted to do artistically and conversely has He pointed you to something you wouldn’t have done otherwise?
Yes, I was ready to take a few subtle shots on wax at some people and things I’d been seeing at the time. God told me “no”, so I didn’t. In reference to the latter question, I didn’t want to speak on my marital issues and past addiction to porn. God told me to, so I did. I wanted to make sure that I did it tactfully and respectfully and it’s amazing how many people have come to me in private telling me how it helped them. Praise God.
What is the best thing that’s come through sharing your faith in your music, and what is the worst or most disappointing thing to come out of sharing your faith in your music?
The blessing has been seeing people come around to tell me how the music helped them through tough times. As for the latter question, I haven’t really been disappointed, per se. The bulk of the discord I’ve experienced has been on the Christian side among believers. We’ve got to work on that collectively. I pray about that often.
Any lessons you’d share with those looking to share their faith through art, musically or whatever the medium?
This is gonna sound harsh, but make sure you’re called or you’re wasting your time. Pray, ask, repent, and go where you’re sent.
Thank you to Jered for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope you enjoyed the interview and Jered’s insightful answers. Also, If you haven’t already, check out our review/recommendation of his latest album, Hurry Up & Wait and support him by buying the album