I'm a 17 year old...I wouldn't say 'Gospel Rap Artist' but I'm a Christian who likes to rap as a side hobby. I was born into a family with both my parents as Christians, my dad being the pastor. But that didn't actually help much growing up. I felt pressured to be the 'good guy' so it didn't take long for me to want to be the opposite. So I did anything I could to break free from that expectation & be who I wanted to be. Because of this, I turned to sin. That translated into many things; causing chaos in my local area (getting involved with gangs, flattening car tyres, stealing, egging buses, stoning houses, bullying & even helping to start a school fire)...basically being the guy I was brought up 'NOT TO BE' while a pornography addiction crept it's way in. I lived for myself and any pleasures I could find I counted as treasures. Although I knew deep down that I needed God, I suppressed that truth. Eventually though (around the age of 13), I tried to change, but it was when I tried to escape that I realised I was trapped. The higher I climbed the further I fell. In songs I wrote around that time I said things like, "Every time I fight, the light gets dimmer" and "I can't be bothered to try anymore". So after trying again & again in every way possible only to fail each time, I gave up. "God clearly doesn't exist"...So I returned to sin. But it wasn't long before I found myself hungry for something more. Empty. Unsatisfied. The problem was, when I set salvation as my New Year's Resolution, even when I worked really hard at trying, in every way, to change myself...I couldn't. I said in a song I wrote, "When I look in the mirror, all I see is a sinner , who's tryna fight the battle of life, but can't seem to be a winner". I knew I needed God but couldn't do enough to make my own way to Him.
However, one day on a bus home from school, I was listening to a Hip-Hop song called 'MayDay' by Triple O. He was warning of the return of Jesus & I felt this powerful call of God to repent, so I pulled out my earphones, looked up to the sky and the noise of all the loud school kids around me seemed to fade away. I just zoned out & prayed like never before with tears streaming down my face. God gave me a realisation in that moment of His saving Grace and that I couldn't save myself. I specifically remember saying these words, "Lord, I don't want You in my life, I need You!". I never knew at the time that this would be the beginning of such an amazing journey but I felt an indescribable sense of freedom as I was flooded with Joy. From then on, I was a completely new person. God transformed me and the process of growth has been amazing. Seeing the way God is working in me over the past 2 years has been overwhelmingly powerful! I now have brand new desires to live for God, love people and hate sin. I see life through a brand new lens. And yes, it is a battle, but ultimately the fight is over and we have the victory in Christ. Jesus has paid the price in full which is why as He died on the cross He said "It is finished". Realising that has been so mind-blowing. I now see why God didn't save me while I relied on my own works as then I would have probably seen salvation as a Goal I achieved rather than a Gift I received. On a SoundClick account I had at the time I wrote 'Not Born-Again yet, still trying!!!'. Imagine how I would be if God saved me then. It's only now I see that Jesus lived perfectly in my place, ticking every box for me & died to pay the price 'in full'! He has removed my sins from me 'as far as the east is from the west', cast them into the 'depths of the sea' and covered me in His 'Robe of Righteousness' by His Mercy alone. Not because I prayed a good enough prayer or put in enough effort. The Holy Spirit, who used to sound a little unrealistic to me, has taken away my old desires & drives me to do God's will. My main aim, though I don't always live it out, is to bring God the glory in everything I do, including using my musical talents and creativity seeds which He can water. I now understand that my efforts didn't contribute one penny to the price Jesus paid for me, and even if they could, that penny would be worthless in the face of His priceless Grace.
I now make music which reflects on Salvation, Hope & God's Unmerited Love. I wrote in one of my most recent songs, 'You Reign', "The Kingdom of Heaven isn't high where the stars sleep, it's 'at hand' 'cause He knows that we can't reach". That's so different to what I said in a song I wrote before I got to know Jesus, "He's so high, I'm just so low. I gotta fly straight up to Him now". I now, through God's unending mercy, know that without Christ, I'm zero. It's now that I walk with God that I see that this isn't a religion, this is Life! Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life". Me flapping my arms didn't get me to fly, Christ did. Now that my relationship with God is restored I hope & pray that God uses my music, life & maybe even these words as instruments to spread the GOOD NEWS.