Gospel Rap Made Me...
No one gets respect for forgetting where they’re from! This concept of underlying loyalty seems to be growing increasingly obsolete nowadays. However, the acknowledgement of one’s beginnings applies to many areas such as, the country (Nigeria) or region (DMV stand up) where your family is from , the sports franchise that you support or play for (no bandwagons over here/the NBA is becoming a joke), the friends that you’ve had since childhood or the roots that developed you into the person that you currently are. None of us become who we are in isolation. Therefore, we can never forget the things along the way that helped to shape us.
When it comes to music, and especially me as a rapper, I have a story that likely won't be shared by many. I can honestly say Gospel Rap played a major role in my foundation. I know, many will still be surprised to even hear that such a thing exists, and I'm not going to speak on the "genre" or lack of a genre that it currently is. However, this is a post to salute where I come from. Although the first ever tapes I bought from Sam Goody when I was like 5 or 6 were Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Skee-lo, I spent about a decade or so of my life afterwards listening exclusively to gospel rap. So, I missed most of the Jay-Z and Nas 90's prominent run. I was still hip through my brothers and music videos/the radio, but I spent most of these purchasing exclusively Gospel Rap.
So, I won't ever despise or look negatively on these early days and the significance they played for me. Cross Movement was a group that stayed in heavy rotation, and I was forever rocked when they introduced me to Da' T.R.U.T.H., who dropped classics for me at that time. Another staple that I would define as legendary from the west coast, was the Tunnel Rats, which introduced me to LPG and ultimately Jurny Big. I want you to understand how big a deal these artists were to me. So, when you see that I got Jurny to be on my first official project know that it is no small deal to me. He had one of the most distinct voices that brought excitement every time he was on a track, and he always had hard hitting lines coming at necks. He also dropped some of the most epic verses (see WWIII from LPG ft. Ahmad).
So, this is a salute to Jurny Big as an OG/legend in the gospel rap game, and my history with rap in general. Thank you for paving the way for so many and playing an instrumental role as one of my favorite voices in rap growing up. It truly has been a LONG ROAD, but please know that nothing you did was in vain! Thank you!
Go stream my project "Invincible Summer" and hear Jurny Big with me on Long Road now!