CCM: How’d you first get connected?
SM: People were talking about a friend of mine who got saved a year prior—we played basketball together in high school. He gave his life to Jesus and he would always ask me, “Hey man, you should come check out this hip hop church.” At first I’m like, “Hip hop church? How does that work, man? Like, where I’m from it’s totally different things.”

But he kept on asking me and I was just like, “Nah.” You know, I was eighteen or nineteen at the time, I’m young, I’m still trying to live my life. I wasn’t really trying to do the whole church thing. But he was persistent with asking me to come and another friend of mine asked me one night and I wasn’t doing anything, so I was like, “Ya know what? I’m gonna check this church out.” So, I went, and it was a wrap, man.

CCM: Similar to how you yourself perceived church and hip hop to be “totally different things” at one time, as a hip hop artist who lyrically is very spiritual and Christian-living centric, do you feel an ongoing intuitive tension between those worlds?
SM: Not so much of a tension, but it surprises people how good it is.

CCM: Okay, explain.
SM: I always get that, like, when people hear the music, and they ask, “This is Christian rap?” I think people have this misconception of [being a] Christian and hip hop, even when it comes to Christian music [as a whole], that it’s in its own little world, you know what I mean? Like, it’s not as good as what they’re used to or what they expect.

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