"I love God and I like to rap."
Stay in tune with J.Walker
Some of my earliest memories involve rushing from primary school to church with my mum in the evenings after school. My greatest contribution to the faith at this point was helping to put out the chairs in rows of 12. We’d be in church at least four days a week and when I wasn’t to tired to keep my eyes open any longer I learned many lessons and felt God’s presence.
I feel like I’ve grown up always knowing and having a relationship with God. Not having my father around in these early years meant that there was more room for God and I could hear his voice clearly and uninterrupted. I feel the absence of positivity in my childhood is one of the reasons why God adopted me the way he did and continues to watch over me so closely to this day.
Growing up I went through many different fazes on my winding journey through childhood and teenage years. I never felt forsaken by God however and even on my darkest nights I knew He and His Angels were never too far away. College would however be a turning point as I was baptized and started dealing with meat rather than milk. I became more aware of my responsibilities as Christian and God’s expectations and his plan for me.
Celebrate Jesus WITH US
I started seeking out other artists and signed to the gospel label “Rock Steady Movement” as an artist and producer. I learned a lot during my time there but struggled to adapt to the label’s way of doing things. Finding the right gospel label can be a lot like finding the right church, if you’re not growing there you need to move on. I had however learned a lot from my time there, which was about 6 months and we both went our separate ways without any hard feelings.
I had still been making secular music while on the gospel label and it felt like I had an outlet for all my thoughts, perfect and imperfect. I now had half of what felt like an amazing Hip Hop album complete. I was talking to designers about the album cover and thinking about the running order and what they album was missing to complete it.
I was attending Hillsong church at this point and noticed there was an extra large queue outside because of a guest preacher named Rich Wilkerson Jr. The words he spoke would change my life and answer all the questions I had posed to God. He told the story of Jonah and the Whale from a perspective I had never heard before. Key to his message was that you should have no worries if you’re where God wants you to be and are doing what God wants you to do. The first time Jonah was where God wanted him to be was when he was in the belly of the whale. I’d said all along if God called me to Gospel I’d answer and I was called that day.
Creating (The Lion’s Den) (2012)
As a result in 2012 I established the gospel record label (The Lion’s Den). At this point I had been rapping and producing for quite a few years. I no longer relied on others to be able to create music and I felt that I could create more material than I could use. I wanted to explore how I could stretch and twist gospel music moving it forward. Through the relationships I had I was able to sign a number of artists to the label and produce their records...
The New Single
It was also at this point that I became aware of Gospel rap. I had been working on music for about 3 years at this point and was rapping as well as producing and mixing. I was making secular music, but largely with a conscious message. As I became older and had more adult experiences there was however a shift in the content. The music reflected the harsh realities I was dealing with and I used the music as a bottle to capture my negative feelings and share them with the world.
Some of my Christian brothers pleaded with me to turn away from secular music and throw away my secular CD’s but I justified my actions as truth, also I didn’t feel called to gospel rap and I definitely didn’t want the responsibility. As I moved on my Christian walk through life I was however noticing that God and Christianity kept appearing in my music, it even started becoming the whole song and I realized that some of the songs I was making could be quantified as gospel rap.