Accepting the gifts God has given me
Image Credit: Kings Dream Entertainment
21 year old California-based rapper Paul Russell has landed a couple of xRhythms hits with 'Kimbo Slice' and 'Kalamazoo', the latter featuring guest rappers Jon Keith and TROSSTHEGIANT.
Paul’s album ‘Once In A Dry Season’, on prestigious Christian rap label King’s Dream Entertainment, sourced these radio hits, and anyone who’s heard them will know that Paul isn’t your typical hip-hop artist.
He explained to the Rapzilla website that he didn’t grow up listening to rap music. He said, “Growing up I felt alienated from other black people (namely my cousins) because I didn’t listen to rap. I started listening to it so I could connect with them. But even when I was listening to hip-hop/rap they were probably the kind of tracks that my parents would tell me to turn off if I was playing them in the car.”
Exposed to Christian hip-hop culture through Lecrae.
Russell’s initial exposure to the Christian hip-hop counter culture was through Lecrae. Russell recalled that the first concert he attended was Lecrae’s, and that his first performance at an open-mic style event was a cover of a Lecrae song.
He stated how to see that come full circle by being able to collaborate with the rap star himself last year on the track 'We Three Kings' was a dream come true.
Now Paul is on the cusp of breaking through to the Christian rap bigtime.
He spoke about his 'Kimbo Slice' ratio hit. “In ‘Kimbo Slice’ I wanted to capitalize on shock value (the style – quick rapping over a gritty trap beat – is far from my usual sound) and introduce some of the ideas to be discussed throughout the project.
On a journey of accepting the gifts God has given me.
"As you’ll hear, I briefly touch on my changing relationship with the idea of becoming a hip-hop artist. This journey of accepting the gifts God has given me and the call to use them is an undercurrent of the entire album, mentioned explicitly in songs like ‘Good Things’ and implicitly in songs like ‘Renfro’ and ‘Feels Like A Dream’.
"The ending, where my sister talks about my childhood, was a surprise addition to the song that Ruslan threw in during the mixing and mastering phase. When I say surprise, I mean really a surprise. Before I heard the final track, I had no idea he’d ever spoken to my family. Sneaky.”