Artist SPOTLIGHT By: L. Thompson It was only a matter of time before we caught up with Transparent. Weâ€™ve been supporting his campaign and watching his moves ever since we first heard his music. In the past year Transparent has truly been a standout artist. If you paid attention, you are already aware that he made our Top 10 CHH Artists of 2011 list. If you think about all the hip hop artists in the genre, that is a great achievement that not many can claim. Transparent has always given the people great music and he has always made it clear that ministry is first. Now itâ€™s time to meet the man behind the music. The husband, father, son etc.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us over at His Image Magazine about your projects, your music and everything you do. First and foremost, I just want to thank yall for allowing me to have this amazing opportunity to share. First off, tell us how you got your start in the hip hop game. Ok, lets get it. My dad was a DJ back in the day and he had his own rap group called I.G.O. Posse. I used to always go into the garage while they were practicing and mimic what they were doing. I actually spit my first rap at the age of 5. You made our Top 10 CHH Artists of 2011 list. You seem to have a strong work ethic when it comes to the music. What is your motivation? In regards to making your list, I was blown away. Thanks again for selecting me. My strong work ethic comes from my grandfather(Pops). He was and still is a hard worker. I'm also a very passionate dude. And when I'm passionate about something, I go extremely hard at it. My music just happens to be one of the things that I'm passionate about. One of my best friends, Wordsmith, always says "Everything with Excellence". So that's the way I attempt to approach everything in my life. How has your family and friends dealt with your music and path of life. Being a musician is such a demanding ave-
nue. There can be so much stress added to it. Are they understanding and supportive as well? My family and friends are very supportive of what God has me doing. They understand that God has me on a mission to impact as many people as I can, with the little time that I have on this earth. So, they just cheer me on. Do you feel as if music is your calling from God? Do you see lives being impacted? I know that God has called me to use the vehicle of music to reach the masses in this season of my life. On a daily basis, God allows me to see lives that are being radically impacted by what He is doing through me. I don't believe that God would have me doing this if lives were not be changed. How would you personally describe the state of Christian Hip Hop? I would describe it as a genre that is growing at a rapid pace and is beginning to make a significant impact on mainstream hip hop. What do you see as the biggest obstacle in CHH? What would you like to see done? One of the biggest obstacles that I see in CHH is that we don't have a company like AEG (google it) that wholeheartedly supports the genre. If there is a company, I sure don't know about it and I'm always doing research. In regards to what I would like to see done, I'm working on the solution at this very moment. Page 2
What has been one of the hardest trials you've had to go through in life and how have you grown from that? One of the hardest trials that I've had to go through in life was to continue to trust God with my finances when I moved from a nice paying job in the corporate world to fulfilling the call that God had for my life. My faith grew leaps and bounds. I'm still learning how to trust God completely with everything in my life.
single area of my life...the best husband, best father, best entrepreneur, etc. So, by default, my life overflows into the music that I create. #DoubleSalute to my wife. She is the backbone of every single thing that I do.
How important is religion to you? Would you say that you’re a Christian rapper, a rapper that’s a Christian or it doesn’t really matter? The belief system that the word of God teaches is extremely important to me. It is a great foundation for my relationship with Christ. What would you say to someone that has been in a Me being labeled a Christian rapper or a rapper similar situation and struggling to cope with the that's Christian probably means more to other peoheartache, embarrassple than it does to me. ment, etc? I would say that if God When it comes to the mucalled you to it, he will see sic, I'm just an artist that you through it. I know it spits about what God wants sounds cliche, but that's to me to share with the peojust what it is...period. You ple. just have to believe that God is who He says He is. What is Transparent doing when he’s not doing muWho is Transparent outsic? When I'm not doing music, side of the music? HusI'm either hanging w/ my band? Father? Minister? Etc? How does your every- wife and kids or speaking day life impact the music somewhere. Lately, you could find me at the hoop that you create? I'm a husband of one wife, courts, trying to still get my father of three kids(2 boys & dunk on. Yeeeee. 1 girl), entrepreneur, youth advocate and motivational Random question. What speaker/teacher. I strive to did you do for your wife be the BEST me that God this past Valentines Day? created me to be in every I planned something extra
special for next Valentines Day. I'm still in trouble. What things are you striving for right now? Are you in search of a major record deal? Are you happy independent? If you are not currently doing music full time, is that your goal? I've been doing music and speaking full time for almost 4 years now. I didn't even know I was independent until you asked that. (just playin...a lil Pizzle humor) I'm enjoying the journey of being an indie artist. I love learning and being an indie artist is a neverending learning process. The upside to being independent is creative control. The downside is finances. I'm not actively searching for a major deal, but if the right one came along, I would definitely consider it. “D.O.P.E.” is one of my personal favorite albums to listen to. What was your mindset while creating that album? What made you come up with “Dominating On Purpose Everyday”? That's DOPE to know! I appreciate you putting that out there for MILLIONS to read. My mindset was to create an album that helped people Dominate On Purpose Everyday in Page 3
their specific arena and give them music they could do that to. My first album was real laid back and monotone. My passion was lacking. You get all of me on this street album. I'm big on acronyms and Dominating On Purpose Everyday just sounded DOPE, literally. I know that you are still promoting that album with single leaks and videos. Have you started working on a new project yet? If so, when can we expect it? Will you still be working solely with Black Knight or we will see other producers this go round? Yea, I'm still pushing that D.O.P.E....I have to finish out this marketing plan that we put together for it. In regards to a new project, my team and I have come up with the name, concept and a few topics. We haven't started working on any of the music yet. My boss, aka wife, said that I can't leak when I'll be releasing the album. But once its time, you'll definitely know. I definitely have my ears open to other producers. But its going to be tough for them, because I believe in BK. If he can deliver what we need for this album, then we will make history again.
done in the state of California. We are on year number three now. One of my best experiences as an artist so far was on Nov. 21st, 2009 when I brought to the ring the WBC/WBA Super Middleweight Champion Andre Ward. I had the opportunity to stand in the middle of the ring at the Oracle Arena and rap in front of 11,000+ attendees, plus the millions that were watching the fight on Showtime. My dude won his first belt that night too. It was EPIC. Tell us something about yourself that we probably never would have guessed. My first real job was at Round Table Pizza (my favorite pizza spot). I used to make the DOPEST pizzas. Replace the tomato sauce w/ ranch...try it before you knock it. Yeeeee. What would you like for the readers to get out of this interview? I would like the readers to just get a little more insight on who Transparent is. That's it.
We appreciate your time. We wish you nothing but blessings in your career. Do you have any shout outs or last words to your supporters? Who are some of your favorite artist to listen to? I appreciate yall big time for this huge opportunity. Thank you for all the support. (Christian or Secular) Some of my favorite artists to listen to are (in no #DoubleSalute to my wife and kids. Shout out to particular order): Fred Hammond, Nio Tha Gift, my city, Richmond CA and the entire Bay Area. Viktory, T.I., Andy Mineo, D-MAUB & Mali Mu- Shout out to all the DJ's and websites that support sic. me. #DoubleSalute to my dude Tony Stewart. #DoubleSalute to House of Slap Radio, Dominion Who would you like to work with in the future? I Artistry, Royalty Vision, MiniMo Productions, Red Guerilla Productions and Elyon Productions. want to see you and DMAUB on a track together..ha. For some reason I think that would And to all my supporters...Dream Big. Grind Smart. Pray Hard. #LifeNation baby! Yeeeee. be a problem! I would like to work w/ the Newsboys, D-MAUB, Viktory, Ryan Leslie, Mary Mary, Adele, Mali Music, Fred Hammond, Lecrae & R.E.I.G.N. And I agree, Me and MAUB will be a problem. Yea, you caught that. What has been one of the most rewarding experiences you've had as an artist thus far? What will go down as one of your best experiences so far? One of the most rewarding experiences that I've had as an artist thus far was performing at the 1st Annual Juvenile Hall Summer Jam Concert, put on by my dude Wordsmith and I. It was the first time something like that had ever been