By Konviction of Triumfant Muzik Group
What's da bizness people of God? I’m sittin’ here wit' the laptop, grinding for the Kingdom before I go grind on my day job, cause y'all know bills got to be paid! Fasho. Yet, I have to find time to fulfill the righteous requirements for His Kingdom, which I am fortunate to be a part of! Amen, for His mercy is everlasting! To that end, today's guest is a man of God with an spirit of excellence, one who has established himself within this genre without compromise, in both the message and the artistic nature of the music he creates. He has collaborated with artist such as Tonex, T.bizzy, Mr. Coldstone, Washington Projects, DJ Morph, among others. His latest album, “Jesus High”, was released to critical acclaim last year, while his label, Facady Music, sports artist such as Mr. Coldstone, who was recently nominated for Best Newcomer 2010 on Rapzilla.com! Let’s welcome Mr. Applejaxx to the Beatz By The Pound Machine! (claps, cheers, jeers, and sneers)
K: Whats good cuzin'? U good?
A: I’m good bro, and you?
K: Kool. Let’s get it. Right off the bat, for inquiring minds, where does the name Applejaxx come from? Is there any significance from a scriptural standpoint, or are you simply a fan of the little green, crusty cereals? And I’m sure you hear this a lot!
A: Lol. First of all, No, that's not my favorite cereal! Actually, it is a play on words if you will, of two of my favorite passages of scripture. The apple is symbolic of the fruit of the Spirit that Christ has commanded us to bear as believers, and the jaxx or" jacks" as they say in the street, is a reference to the requirement that God has placed upon us to be "fishers" or jackers/takers, of men according to His Word. As we grow in Christ and develop the fruit of the Spirit, we begin to contend for the Kingdom while "j******" lives from the enemy!
K: Creative, I must say. I dig the scriptural reference. More, importantly, people are far more attracted to our fruit of Spirit than the fruit of our mouths. Excellent point! To that end, speak to me about “Jesus High”, particular the song. Apparently it ruffled some feathers in the Christian community. Any reason why? Elaborate on the controversy, the intended purpose of the track itself, and how or if this scenario speaks toward any underlying issues within our genre of Christian rap?
A: The song itself is encouraging us to lift Christ "high", changing our desires and separating us the world perspective. Many critics, deejays, and pundits alike, wasn't feeling the reference to the term “high”. Ironically, a few months afterwards, Lecrae drops Rehab and Overdose and it’s all love for drug abuse and addiction! No knock on Lecrae, because I’m feelin’ his work and what he is doing for the game. While my album originally dropped in 2009, the concept of the song "Jesus High" is very similar to the the Lecrae joint "Imma Blow Ur High"! In spite of the politics, it has become my most successful song to date.
K: Sounds a tad hypocritical on the surface at least, but somebody was diggin’ it and God was glorified! What lead to the development of your label, and what advice would you give artist aspiring to ownership? Are there both pros and cons of ownership?
A: Fadacy Music was established in 2003. It actually means "Creativity that inspires action". Most people think I developed Fadacy in the aftermath of the Tonex situation (which I won’t discuss today), but actually I had already created the blueprint and had begun implementation. The purpose of creating our own label is to be certain that you are able to follow the blueprint which God has established for your life.
K: I feel that. Now. Let’s shake things up a little. How do Christian rap artist compare to their counterparts in terms of creativity, lyricism, and the like? How do you feel, if anyone, in our genre carries the most swagga or marketability to the masses, and why?
A: That’s a mouthful. Lol! In my humble opinion, since our creativity comes from the Lord Almighty, then our content, first of all, should remain purely biblical in its orientation. The pursuit of being popular, being marketable, of selling units, can and often does blind us in our Godly pursuits and His intent in our lives. Being born in sin and fashioned in iniquity, we are influenced by world culture to an extent. We have our giftings, but the music should glorify Christ. As far as the market goes, I believe it is possible, to make music that will prick the hearts of both the saint and the sinner. And since an album is in most cases and should be thematic, we then have an opportunity to reflect the cause of Christ in our lives, and well as in the lives of those who don't know Jesus as we do.
K: I agree, to an extent. The music should remain biblical in it's worldview and perception, it's intent and character. But I do think it’s important to help the world re-engineer it’s thoughts, it’s soul, thru our lens. This requires that we are able to address worldly topics and current issues from a Jesus viewpoint. As far as sales, while it does require money to do ministry, this cannot be the goal. The primary goal is to save the lost, and achieving that will bring favor from both God and man. What is your favorite biblical passage or story? How have you drawn inspiration from it in your ministry?
A: As far as a scripture, It has been “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thy own understanding. Acknowledge Him in All thy ways, and He will direct your path.”-Prov. 3:5-6. As far as stories, I gotta go to the gospels. My personal favorite is John 1, where he unequivocally established the supremacy and God nature of Christ. These scriptures allow me rest in the comfort of Jesus regardless of circumstance.
K: Amen. Self explanatory to boot! Lol. God is good fam. I love hearing the men of God proclaim His glory! Now, heading in a little different direction, tell us how your spouse and family play a role in the building, promotion, or creation of your ministry?
A: Bro, my wife and I are life partners, period. We work together at every aspect of life, including this. We are joint youth pastors at our local congregation, and she is an artist on the label who will be dropping an album soon. She is a jewel in my life family. I wouldn't be who I am without her. I respect her duties and responsibilities to God, her gifts and callings, and the role she plays. We jointly recognize the importantance of Godly order, and as such, why it is vitality necessary for family to be our primary ministry, our foundation. Moderation allows us the flexibility to stay close and intimate, yet still allowing time to fulfill our kingdom obligations.
K: It brings me joy fam to hear that expressed in such a diligent manner. So many ministers and servants of God confuse this piece of the ministry pie. Awesome. Thank you for your candor on that bruh. Real Talk! Men of God, those that have wives, keep loving on em’ like Christ. Don't let the enemy distort order!
My final question for you family...There are many, who question the validity of our genre of music as it relates to ministry. Do you find it necessary to defend what we do to the body at large? If so, what approaches have you used with success?
A: I do find it necessary to defend the ministry as it relates to urban ministry and the mission field. I also find it necessary to be living under holiness, with covering and discipleship, as a minister in any capacity, rap in particular. The desires of God are the desires of God. What is biblically requisite for any minister of the faith is needed in our genre as well. Without that same level of preparation and grooming, I would simply be another rapper, another emcee. Unfortunately, there are many in our movement, who are in love with the art form and artistry more than they are the cause, which is Christ himself.
K: That is so true. Emcees, stay real to your God. Lyrics are cool, the music is awesome, but if it can’t inspire hope, bring conviction, and transform lives, then it’s just music. Period. Real Talk!
K: Is there anything else you wish to share with your family? If so, get it in fam!
A: Yes, My wife, Trini, her album just dropped on 2/1, called "This is Me". She is a wonderful woman of the faith and minister of the gospel. Also, the homey Coldstone's album "Elevators" is coming in the Spring of 2011, not sure of the specific date, but it’s coming! Also y'all can expect that “Jesus High 2” EP around 3/1/11! Feel free to get at us at fadacy.com for additional updates and information.
K: I appreciate your time man of valor. Keep doin’ what you do and grinding for the King of Glory!
A: No doubt fam. You do the same!