Music and the art of expression that comes with it has been around before the foundation of the earth. Because of this, the battle for the turf is great! But even greater is the men and women who stand in the gap putting music together that goes against the tides of so called “music”. Within the last 15 to 20 years, the hip-hop/rap industry has suffered a non-violent takeover load; as those of the Christian faith are taking the art of music in the hip-hop/rap genre and making it their own. Instead of resting on the backbone of the braggadocios day, as well as gangster rap, mean grills and deep lyrics; that have paved the way for many great memories. The artists, lyricists, and producers have taken the risk of unveiling the mask behind their own personal lives and the industry as a whole only to prove a point. The point being that the Christian faith is alive and active and that Christians in the industry have become the preachers, teachers, ministers, and worshipers; each breaking it down in hip-hop/rap formation reaching those who belong to God, as well as restore those who fell away from the Lord. Through using the very art of hard or soft beats, and lyrics whose production and creativity is surpassing and putting to shame the bright stars of the industry today.
The hip-hop/rap industry has been taking a serious hit; because now there’s a platform for artists to express themselves without having to sign big labels and big contracts which ends up requiring so much to the point of compromising the faith they believe in. For many years the industry has tried to work its way into the Christian hip-hop/rap industry hoping to take over and make it their own painting a picture of a weak part of the industry that others can come in and use. The big surprise is that the industry needs Christians more than Christians need them because coming into the faith weather through the industry or another way is hard work. It ends up being a balance between the physical and spiritual, that requires the words one speaks to line up with the life they profess to live. Which is something the secular hip-hop /rap industry has been missing for many years. One artist that has stood strong and to some he maybe new; though he is young and style is unique, in not only his flow and also in his powerful kingdom mindset. Many can see his powerful influence from the frontline ministry work he does, as well as his signing to Collision Records and through his many lyrics and interviews, that Corey Paul is not playing and if people fall asleep in the industry as I know they will, this is the brother to look out for.
We have been blessed to be graced by the presence of this young brother who is not only gaining ground in the industry, but also in ministry to name a few. I was able to correspond with brother Corey Paul who gave us an up close and personal look on everything from music, ministry, marriage and personality. Instead of using my own words to sum up our conversation, I will give you his own for you to read in the interview up close and personal.
Jose: When you signed with Collision, did you feel as if you had big shoes to fill?
Corey: Yeah! Swoope is a musical genius and Dre Murray is one of, if not the best storytellers I’ve ever heard. And Alex has been around the game for years. None of em are rookies. LoL
Jose: Your music is nothing like your label mates or anyone in the industry for that matter… How do you stay true to your artistry in a genre that can sound homologous?
Corey: Appreciate that! That really means a lot to me. I honestly feel like I’m at my best when I’m being who the Lord created ME to be. Can’t NOBODY beat me at being me, ya know. When I write I try not to think too much, I just write what I genuinely feel. I mean, of course I think about my lyrics but I try not to over think the delivery.
Jose: Collision Records recently finished their customized studio in Atlanta, how has it been working in the new studio? And what producers have you been working for this next album?
Corey: It’s been live. Not being confined by a certain about of hours to create is liberating. And that’s how it usually is, you pay for so many hours and then after they up… you done. In the studio we just created tho. I’m mainly working with Swoope, which is enough. LoL. I’ve had tha homie Dirty Rice fall through as well tho. Great guy. Also an up and coming producer named “Lon” from Atlanta came through with some HEAT.
Jose: What can we expect from this next body of work?
Corey: The heart of the project stems from my belief as a Christian that it is God’s desire for all of his children to experience eternity in heaven (live forever). I’m from a place where we live day-to-day and check-to-check, so forever is a foreign concept, all we were taught was survival. But, I know if we could see what God REALLY created us for and understand our true value, we would think twice before dying over a few dollars.
Jose: Before you signed with Collision, you had this animalistic grind that gained you a lot of notoriety, how important is it that you keep that same hustle although you are signed to a label? And how do you keep it?
Corey: VERY IMPORTANT!!! I can’t express how important it is! The “label” is only 1 part of the pie, they don’t have a magic wand like some artist think. Everybody wants to grind with a grinder, the same goes for label and artist. Also, it’s SO MUCH out here for people to entertain there self so if I want to be a option they consider, I have to STAY in their face. That’s where the grind comes in.
Jose: Having being signed to a label, do you feel like it’s made a difference in your music? What upgrades would you say it has done for your artistry/music?
Corey: It has more depth to it. I have a bigger team and access to better production. No shade to my previous music, LoL. But we created tracks from scratch specifically tailored to concepts and emotions I felt in that exact moment. My content is still my content ya know. I rap about what we living. It’s still southern, it’s still passionate, it’s still “hood”, it’s just more in depth.
Jose: I know that Kingmanship (not even a word, but it is now) is something that is important to you and that you call every man King and every woman Queen. Why is that?
Corey: Because that’s what I truly believe we are inside of Christ. When we were first created we had dominion over all God allowed. We named the Lion and Bear but then, sin entered and we fell. Now, we spend our whole life trying to get back there. We spend our whole life trying to get high using money, drugs, sex etc. But only through the spirit can we truly get “high”. So I speak to our potential, to hopefully encourage us.
Jose: Define a King.
Corey: Our true KING is Jesus Christ, so as young kings we are co heirs to Christ. We live every day to glorify Him in all things, spread the message of Good News and make disciples.
Jose: Knowing you’re a King, was that a pride you’ve always had about yourself? Or was it developed as you established your relationship with Christ? and how can others in the faith achieve that.
Corey: The pride that I have is a pride in what the Lord has done to and through me. It developed as I established my relationship with Christ. I’m bold because He is BOLD, I shine because he SHINES, ya know. Once you truly understand the magnitude of how BIG our God is, can’t nobody tell you NOTHING! Lol
Jose: You’ve been married for some years now! What advice can you give others who desire to keep their marriage on fire.
Corey: So I could talk for a week about this. LoL. The best way I could put it is like this. As a husband/wife, don’t try to please your husband/wife first. You please the Lord first and a byproduct of that will be a loving/caring spouse. My wife is not perfect and neither am I. So, if I’m only a “good husband” when she is a “good wife”, we’re going nowhere fast. BUT, the Lord is always on point, so I stay motivated 24/7. Also, your dream has to be their dream and vice versa. For example, when I have to go to the studio, my wife’s mindset is “we” have studio tonight. Not oh, he going to do his thing at the studio. We must be ONE unit. We gottah dream together!
So there you have it. An amazing back door look into Corey Paul’s life, vision, ministry, and music. We are looking forward to seeing these thing unravel and for the fruition of these things to take place.
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