Witness is a Chicago emcee who's talent definitely speaks on the music he has made. He is known to many in the Christian Hip Hop world. His sound and style as an emcee catches the attention of many people. A huge lover of Jesus. We were definitely blessed and honored to hear some of his story.
Lets see what he had to say....
KingdomSoldNYC: What is the message you try to portray as an artist?
Witness: In the beginning, I was trying to make music that I thought I had to make. The cookie cutter Christian songs like the youth group songs, and the testimonial songs. I was trying so hard to fit into these molds. Man I did it for 2 whole albums and honestly it became super frustrating. I was trying to be someone that I wasn’t. I’m from Chicago, Humboldt Park. I grew up in the hood, around cartels, I lived in a different country, a 3rd world country. I grew up around drugs and saw a lot of my family members involved in gangs. My biological father was murdered when I was young. Even though I grew up in that lifestyle, I never had any interest in being a part of it. When everybody was out doing things that weren’t positive in nature I was playing Pokémon, reading comic books, and taking apart computers. This is when I learned how to draw and play basketball. My family was doing bad things right there on the court while I was playing basketball and that is when I realized that I had to pick a side. So I said I can be that super conservative and reserved and rap about that, which was my first album or I can be the super hood dude who was my second album. Shortly after I released my 2nd project is when I realized that wasn’t me and I didn’t want to be in the middle. I’ve seemed to be misunderstood, and people used to question me “why don’t you have tattoos”? Why don’t you gang bang? Why don’t you do drugs? At the time, it had nothing to do with Jesus, or so I thought. I had no desire to mess with that lifestyle. Now I know that it had everything to do with Jesus. At that the time, I didn’t know that it was his sovereignty over my life. I can jump in these circles and function well because I’ve been there. I can be around these dudes like THISL, SEVEN, AND LOSO because we can relate to similar lifestyles. I can be in different situations and know how to function. I was also real smart. I used to get picked on for being smart and I never embraced while I was in school. You’ll get both sides of the world with this album “Misunderstood”. If you like it, you like it, if you don’t, then I guess I’m misunderstood.
KingdomSoldNYC:Your style right now in one word?
Witness: Misunderstood! Being Latino a lot of people expect me to sound like Daddy Yankee. I’m from Chicago, so I’m supposed to sound like Chief Keef. I’m handsome, so I’m expected to rap about bagging women. I’m a big dude, so I’m supposed to be rapping how I’m going to rob you and beat you up, and then kill you. I’m expected to be in the club cheating on my wife. I’m supposed turnt, and I’m not. People complain all the time about what I’m doing. I get a lot more love from the secular side that CHH (Christian Hip Hop). I barley do church events! I’m always doing block parties and festivals. I love doing it! I guess, God designed it that way! Those are my favorite events to do because those are the people that look, walk and dress like me. In my opinion, that is Dope!
KingdomSoldNYC:What are some influential artists that you’ve looked up to growing as an artist?
Witness: I am a big fan of Eminem! He was like the one the biggest inspirations for me. Nobody did what he did. Nobody changed that game like he did. Nobody feared white rappers until he came on the scene. Nobody even knew he was white. Eminem made it okay to be yourself! That encouraged me to be myself in a big way.
I’m big fan of NF; he sounds like Eminem. I’m a hometown hero, there a lot of people in Chicago that nobody knows about because they aren’t famous. You got people like B. O.P, Brother 3, Cellblock, Genesis, etc. We all ride for each other being from the same area.
One thing that is part of my vision is to get big enough so I can be a stepping stone for other artists. I want to cross cultures because you have Latinos in Christian Rap but they don’t embrace it. I’m Puerto Rican and you know I’m Puerto Rican by my music videos. The words I use when I use Spanish. The Bar Exam track, I got Big Pun in the background. That’s it, man.
KingdomSoldNYC:What keeps you motivated to build your brand as an artist?
Witness: To be completely honest I am not motivated what so ever anymore. I feel like this is a game, and I don’t want to play the game anymore. I was always by myself playing basketball and video games. You got to play the game, and I’m not down to play the game. I don’t have to pimp myself out. I just feel like to make it you got to play the game. I don’t want to be what you think I should be. That’s why Misunderstood is so dope because people never had a voice! Allen Iverson (NBA Hall of Famer) changed the culture the way he dressed with his style, as well as having cornrows. I’ve made many great relationships within the Christian Hip Hop community. I’m just blessed! I have a lot of great friends that are very honest with my music!
KingdomSoldNYC: I never looked at the way you explained it to me. I think you were going about it the right way, to be honest!
Witness: Word to God! I didn’t care at one point, but I started having fun again. Hands down I’m making the best music I’ve made ever! You guys can be the judge of that. If you guys don’t like it, I guess I’ll just be misunderstood.
I’ve also learned, shout out to my boy Manny Mills and Serg, I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now, and I know God is sovereign. If I have a platform and desire to be bigger than I’m supposed, it seems like I’m questioning God. It says I’m telling God he made a mistake. I’m telling God my ways are better than your ways. I am content who I am and what I am. Rap is a part of me, but it does not define me. I am a CHRISTIAN, A FATHER, AND A HUSBAND!
KingdomSoldNYC: What is the message you want to give to the viewers reading this article?
Witness: You ever felt left out, alone, confused and unwanted. You can’t worry about that! I feel like people want to be accepted so badly and they change everything about who they are and what God made them be. People respect me because I’ll tell the truth and I am Christian. People are going to rock with you, but that not for you to figure out, that’s their issue. If they can’t figure it out, then I guess you’ll be misunderstood.
KingdomSoldNYC: Any shout outs?
Witness: My wife and my children! Jesus! My city Chicago!
KingdomSoldNYC: Any upcoming music or events?
Witness: My video “Dennis Rodman” is out now.
KingdomSoldNYC: Dennis Rodman??!! (Ex-NBA Player)
Witness: Yes! He is the epitome of being misunderstood. When he was on the Detroit Pistons, his role was to be a scorer. When the Chicago Bulls picked him up, they said we don’t want to score. We want you to come in and get rebounds. Then when everything was done, people only wanted him on their team because it benefited them. They didn’t use him for what he was excellent at. People only rock with me because it benefits them and it wasn’t real. “MISUNDERSTOOD” EP DROPPING SOON. follow yo soy witness on social media for updates!
About the Interviewer
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.