On the heels of their previous release “Dope Beats and Good News,” Rhema Soul, which consists of K-Nuff, Juan Love and Butta P, have definitely set out to leave their mark on the industry this time with the release of their new project titled, “Fingerprints.” With singles like “Boom Box” and “Blow your Whistle” already making serious noise, I recently got the chance to chop it up with the trio of emcees to discuss their new album.
Shine: First I want to thank you for taking this time out to talk to HolyCulture.net. Is it ok if I call on anyone at random?
Rhema Soul: Yeah that’s cool.
Shine: K-Nuff I’ll start with you. For the HolyCulture visitors who may not be familiar with Rhema Soul, how did you come together?
K-Nuff: (laughs) How much time do we have to answer? Well I’ll give you the short version. Myself and Juan Love were in a group for two years and we got a chance to do quite a bit of traveling, doing missions and going to various places. Myself and Butta P were already married at the time and since everyone was rapping, we felt like why not just hook up and form a group. And that’s how Rhema Soul came about.
Shine: Butta P, now you and K-Nuff are married. What is that like ministering as husband and wife?
Butta P: It’s real good. We kind of view it as a ministry within itself by having the opportunity to set a positive example in our marriage wherever we go, yet at the same time we know how to keep the two separate, that being our marriage and Rhema Soul. So yeah, we definitely view it as a ministry within a ministry.
Shine: Ok, that’s hot. So Juan Love, lets talk about the new project “Fingerprints”. How did the concept for the album come about?
Juan Love: Well, (pauses) actually it’s a project we had been working on for about two years now. Before this one, we released “Dope Beats and Good News” as something that we were just trying to do different. We wanted to it to be fun and high energy as compared to this one which is a little more serious in content. We put that one out to be downloaded and circulated in which it has created an awesome buzz. But since then we had experienced a few things in which we wanted to make this project a little more relevant to the vision of Rhema Soul. So yeah, that’s how Fingerprints came about in a nutshell, which is basically leaving your mark in this in this world.
Shine: On that note, you mentioned being relevant. You’ve got a track on the album titled “Fly Away” which is hot might I add (laughs). It seems a little personal in content, so is that song based on any actual testimonies?
Butta P: Yeah, “Fly Away” is based on actual testimonies. It’s definitely a little more serious in subject matter as it talks about some personal things that K-Nuff, Juan love and myself have experienced in our lives.
Shine: Ok, so when someone purchases “Fingerprints”, what would you like them to walk away with?
Butta P: I’d like them to be motivated to leave there mark in this life. To really be stirred up or at least be asking themselves, “Why am I not motivated to leave my mark?”
Shine: Gotcha. Ok so K-Nuff (laughs) this ones for you. With this being a Holy Culture interview, how do you see CHH as a whole? Do you think Christian hip hop is being effective at reaching the lost or do we need to improve in certain areas?
K-Nuff: (pauses and laughs) Wow, that’s a good question. (hesitates) I’m definitely seeing improvement, but I believe we also can be much more effective. But in order for that to happen some things are going to have to change. We’re definitely going to have to start supporting each other more meaning the church and other artist coming together. Putting aside our doctrinal differences and supporting each other. Also, I heard Sho-Baraka mention once that the only time Christian hip hop is mentioned is when it’s associated with a youth event. Any other time a concert is just a concert (laughs) which is true.
Shine: (laughs) I feel you.
K-Nuff: (continuing) Christian hip hop is still, for the most part, associated with youth events and not really seen as being a ministry targeting adults also. Another area I believe we could improve on is our professionalism. Artists have to realize that this is a business and it’s very important how we present ourselves.
Butta P: If I can just piggy back on that. Artists have got to start doing there homework and realize that this is an industry. We’ve got to educate ourselves about how the business operates. In order for us to grow were going to have to start reading up and joining certain organizations pertaining to the music business.
Shine: Trust me I feel you. This is off the record, but I recently wrote an article called “Why we do, what we do”. And the subtitle was called Ministers conducting business. It was basically saying that even though we are ministers we still have to handle our business. If a church doesn’t pay the light bill then the congregation will be meeting in the dark.
Butta P: Naw, you can leave that on the record! (laughs)
K-Nuff: Yeah, I see professionalism just as another way of just being more effective in which God can use you more effectively and also create more opportunities.
Shine: In the article it discusses how God may have someone in another country who could be ministered to thru your music, but if we don’t understand how the industry operates and handle our business till the point to where we need distribution, that person may not ever hear of you.
Shine: Now Juan Love, You guys all compliment each other so well lyrically.
Juan Love: Thanks
Shine: Do you all write your own lyrics or do you have one main writer.
Juan Love: (laughs) This is the time when I would normally say that yes I write all the lyrics (joking). But no we each write our own material.
K-Nuff: If I could just add to that?
Juan Love: (laughs) uh oh.
K-Nuff: (laughs) I know I’m probably gonna take some heat for this, but personally I really can’t see another rapper redoing another rappers song and having his heart put into it. Rapping and singing are two different things and for the most part when you’re writing your putting your heart into it. And I don’t know if that can be expressed effectively through some one else. And if you are an artist out there who’s not writing your own material, I don’t know if I can get with it. K-Nuff quoted! (laughs)
Shine: That’s what’s up.
Shine: Juan Love, who are some of the production credits?
Juan Love: Well, G-Styles did ninety nine point nine percent of the production on this album. That’s who we’ve been working with.
Shine: Who are some other artists that you would like to work with?
K-Nuff: Wow, There are quite a few who I admire. Definitely Tripp Lee, Sho-Baraka, Mouthpiece, A guy named Just Thoughts. I know I’m missing a lot of them, but yeah if the opportunity came about I’d love to work with these guys.
Butta P: Same here, Tripp Lee and don’t know if you know her, but her name is “Jai”. She was recently featured on R-Swifts album.
Shine: Yeah, she sung the hook on “Held me down”. I’m familiar with who you’re talking about.
Juan Love: (thinking) Oh man, there’s so many. I’m definitely feeling Japhia Life, any body from the Reach Records camp, Eshon Burgundy is nice too.
Shine: So what’s next for Rhema Soul?
Juan Love: As of right now definitely push the album and continue to do live shows in the hopes that we can minister to people. I know pretty soon we’ll be getting that creative itch to work on something else but as of right now, yeah just push the project.
Shine: Where can “Fingerprints” be picked up?
Butta P: Itunes, HolyCulture Download, we do have distribution. (laughs). Its in your local bookstores, and I think Best Buy online.
Juan Love: And it’s in like two Wal-Marts too (laughs).
Shine: Well, once again I want to thank you for taking time out to talk to Holy Culture.net. Are there any final thoughts you want to leave with our readers?
Juan Love: (laughs) I like Jolly Ranchers
Butta P: I’m accepting donations for my Mac Book Pro! (laughs)
K-Nuff: (joking) Yeah, after having recently visited a Chinese restaurant and going up to the front counter and seeing how successful they were with the “Tip Jar”, I’m thinking about implementing that at our next show. So at the next Rhema Soul concert don’t forget the “Tip Jar”.
Shine: (laughs) That’s what’s up, thanks again continued success.
Written by Shine