So I released a new free download "Outside My Bubble (Side A)" recently. The whole concept of this project started when I began to do creative writing workshops in Schools in 2009 with Student of Life (shout out to “Breis” ) This project is not my new album that is coming out hopefully next year.
When I first started shadowing Breis in schools and learning how to be a workshop facilitator, I realised that the only material I had to perform while doing workshops were my gospel rappity raps which were based on my faith and my moving within the UK gospel scene. In this situation of education and the classroom, I realised that these pieces I had might not be appropriate because I was not in there doing workshops as an evangelical gospel rapping preacher. I had never seen myself as a preacher delivering audio sermons with every song but here I was in front of a classroom with only faith themed bars and nothing else to say. Nothing to say about life, nothing to say about growing up, nothing that relates to them, nothing addressing social issues, Nothing. I had nothing to meet them where they were. All I had was preachy gospel bars. This realisation was so shocking to me that I had to rely on my off the top of my head freestyling ability to get me through that first session I ever did.
I went home and I reflected and it hit me how over time I have been conditioned by the bubble I was in (the gospel scene) to only view art and expression in an evangelical context. I had bought into the idea that if I wasn't preaching the gospel in every single one of my raps and poems that anything I wrote would be of no good, of no merit and of no value and that my dear reader I have found out to be a lie.
I know many still hold to this view and that is where the whole “positive gas” train of thought comes from. This is where that “Holier than thou” and self-righteous superior attitude some have comes from towards those who see themselves just as artists who are Christians and not musical evangelists within the Christian/gospel music scene. All I can say to that is to each their own and walk according to your conviction. I’ve already blogged about that (click on Positive Gas?! and read up on the blog I wrote that addresses that in detail)
I always knew that the creative arts were not just for evangelical purposes but having mainly moved within the bubble of church events, Christian youth events, evangelical outreaches, gospel concerts, Christian festivals, Christian tv, Christian radio and church services for a while; I had tailored whatever I created mainly around that. This was not how I began my journey in creativity, this was not the only vision I had of myself but I had allowed myself to drift into this mode of operation and I had become trapped in this bubble.
I am so thankful that working with Student of Life has shaken me up and challenged me to step out of this self-imposed limitation that I allowed myself to get into. I know that my views have made me less popular within the gospel scene but freedom is far better and way sweeter than gaining the acceptance of people who have limited views on creativity and what it is for besides the amazing reward of being able to affect a wider community has been such a blessing to me.
This brings me to this recording. This (SIDE A) of “Outside My Bubble” isn't actually the material I would do in schools except for “Midnight Run” “FreeDome” “naija 4ever I would be” and “always on the web like a spider” the rest are stuff I wouldn’t use in workshops. This SIDE A is actually made more to show where I am coming from. I had to start inside the bubble and work my way out and from “Midnight Run” onwards in this recording I am coming out of what I would normally do.
The first 5 tracks after the intro were recorded in one session. I was stressed at the time and just needed to vent and get some things off my chest. Those tracks except for “Midnight Run” are very faith related because that is how they came out when I wrote to them.
I recorded so much that the rest of it had to go on SIDE B. It contains pieces and tracks I do while doing workshops and you're able to see the different direction I took since I found my freedom.
I will end this blog with a quote from Lecrae that sums up how I view myself as an artist:
"I don't do secular music and I don't christian music, I am a christian and I do music" - Lecrae
Download "Outside My Bubble (SIDE A)" below