On The Block: Scribe
I had the honor to interview Scribe about the recent tragic events faced by minorities as well as discussing Christian hip-hop. This is one interview that you do not want to pass up on.
Q: What are the makings of a CHH artist?
A: That’s definitely a fully loaded question lol but at the very heart of it a CHH artist has to have a love for the Lord. If you don’t have an active relationship with Jesus Christ and claim to be a CHH artist, for one when you meet God I don’t bet it’ll bode well for you if you’re making false claims. On the artist side, personally, I think it should be clearly evident in your music. No that doesn’t mean you need to say “Jesus” every second word but your stance on certain subjects should clearly display your “difference” from the rest of the world. If you’re music doesn’t draw people into deeper conversations I don’t think you’re doing your job. We’re not here to just entertain.
Q: What does it mean to discover purpose & identity? How can you pursue growth in both areas consistently?
A: Put very simply.. scripture talks about our identity being found in Christ. So with that understanding, I think a person needs to also understand why our self identification will define our purpose. The world (society), our family and our friends all make up how we see ourselves, be it good or bad. But even at the best of times these outward perceptions all can have a negative influence if it doesn’t align with how God sees us and what he wants for our lives. More often than not, people don’t consider the impact external influences have on their lives and end up becoming someone else’s product. God has called us to be holy, “set apart”.. which means the only way to properly grow in both areas is by understanding that they are synonymous. When a person realizes who they are to God, it’ll will redefine what their life’s calling is.
Q: How beneficial is mentorship and the passing down of wisdom to an artist who is starting out?
A: CRUCIAL! The End lol. I believe it says a lot about the value a “vet” put’s on this ministry and their impact when they are willing to pass down the gems and keys that they have obtained during their careers. I think knowing the history of a genre or art is received far better when it comes from a “vet” sharing their journey. Not only is it crazy for an up and comer to have someone of their caliber take the time out of the day just to sow into them, but I think it help maintains the value and love for the craft that is so often lost when we have these “self-made” people acting like their above everyone. Rightfully so they don’t owe anything to anyone per-say, besides those that may have helped them get where they are. But I feel if we were to treat this “profession” or “ministry” like training up a child to take over the family company, I think these young cats (self included) would have more respect for the men and women who have paved the way.
Q: What role does CHH play in the modern day church?
A: I don’t at all feel this is an exhaustive list because God works through each and every one of our gifts. I think CHH, like any other art or ministry dedicated to the Lord should only be the ice breaker. Hip-Hop in and of itself has bridged the gab between urban and contemporary lifestyles. It’s very quickly become arguably the most popular genre over the past 10 years, if not more. Now when you have guys like Cross Movement, taking what was secular and making it sacred, it of course ruffled feathers but now… I think churches are starting to realize how well CHH excites the young population. Now they have something that sonically sounds similar but has a gospel message. On the other side, I believe that when the church gets behind CHH and what they are doing, it’s giving us a bigger and greater voice. You have rappers performing at Billy Graham conferences. All that being said I think CHH is broadening the church’s reach, but only because people are realizing more and more that God needs to be allowed off the leash.
Q: How does race play a role in the church and should churches discuss racial & political issues?
A: I think if more churches talked about race and injustice, fewer people would be scared to sound “racist” while holding to their convictions. Whether people admit or not race has a major impact on church. That’s why there is such a thing as “contemporary worship” and “southern gospel”. Of course there are historical reasons for this and I do believe the walls are coming down but like anything, once the walls come down, people immediately feel exposed and scared to be exploited. Which is where we are today, and fortunately/unfortunately the only reason we notice more often is due to social media allowing “news” to travel faster and in greater detail. As scripture says, “there is nothing new under the sun,” which is obviously true, but that doesn’t mean turn a blind eye.
Q: How much emotion went into penning the lyrics to No Justice, No Peace? What effect did the tragedies that have surfaced recently have on you personally & in your artistry?
A: I put everything I had left into that song. It’s one of those situations where I’m glad God gave me music as an outlet because with everything that was going on, my heart was burning. Like most, the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile incident broke my heart, and angered me all at the same time. It reminded me that just because things have been “quiet” for awhile doesn’t mean there is nothing going on. Myself being Canadian, we see the same injustices that minorities in the states do within our First Nations people, and sadly many Canadians forget, or aren’t willing to admit it. We have to constantly be praying against the injustice in this world and be willing (as artists) to take a vocal and physical stand even at the risk of losing a few fans.
Q: What can we do as a community to alleviate and face the injustices that we face in today’s society?
A: Honestly, there is no special formula. It takes compassion and selflessness. It’s knowing when to shut my mouth and open up my hands to serve and comfort instead of solely using the situation as an opportunity to push my own agenda. If you don’t know what to say, ask how you can help. Be willing to go up in arms with someone who is facing injustice instead of trying to play the hero. Lastly, educate the people on both sides of the line. How can we protect ourselves within the standards of the law? Healthy, intelligent, and informative conversation is definitely a good place to start. We just need to be willing to listen.
Q: What was your first introduction to CHH?
A: Oh man! It was 2004 and my now brother-in-law bought me the Grits newest album, “Dichotomy A!” I remember when the tune “Where R U Going” came on it caught my attention in a way rap never had before. From there I bought the Ambassador’s album “Thesis Pieces”. I knew absolutely every word to every song, but when I heard “O Wretched Man,” I ended up thinking, “dang… Christian rap really is a thing! And I love it!” I could go on for days but that’s the short form lol.
Q: Can you share what the significance of Colossians 3:17 is to you personally?
A: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When I was younger my whole life was devoted to becoming a professional soccer player. I was captain of my high school, played for my province (state), was on one of the best club teams in the city and even took me to playing in University. As I got older, it was seeming harder and harder to maintain my Christian character amidst the parties, and teammates etc. I very quickly would become just another Sunday attender (if that) during my soccer season, because I definitely wasn’t living it around my team. When God brought hip-hop into my life… he told me very plainly.,”You will do this for me and the influence you’ve always wanted to have in my name will happen, BUT… this isn’t about you.” This verse became my personal mission statement so to speak. Reminding me that what ever I feel called to do, wherever I feel lead to go, do it all in the name and for the name of Jesus. He truly has directed my endeavours and ambitions and has allowed me to go into every situation with my eyes wide open and ready for whatever comes.
Q: Besides music, how can artists or those with a platform serve the church and those outside of it?
A: Serving the church means protecting and defending the body, but it also means increasing the kingdom. Whether people admit or not, any person who is on the front lines of the entertainment industry immediately has a voice and will immediately get a following. I mean, I can think of a few people that we all scratch our heads at wondering why they are famous lol. But as believers, if the world opens the doors to furthering your profession strictly based on ability, you have an immense opportunity and I personally think you should’t be afraid to take it unless it would compromises your beliefs. It’s an opportunity to glorify God and all the while do what you love. Only thing about that is staying true to your convictions and not getting so lost in your own fame. We have to remember we may be the only Jesus some people will ever see.
Q: You released The Call Out in 2014, are you currently working on or planning to release another project in the future?
A: I am most definitely releasing another project. Currently we are projecting the possibility of early 2017. All I can tell you is the name; “Keys To The City”. It’s going to have some exciting names on the project but I can’t give that away just yet, but it will be like nothing my fam-base has ever heard from me.
Official Artist Website
Artistry | Mentorship | Servitude
Facebook: Scribe Music
Sound Cloud: Scribe
Itunes: Album “The Call Out”