Music is so universal and, at times, can be controversial. The beauty of it all is that there is a certain genre that speaks to every individual. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with secular rap artist/producer, Derian Salone, and Christ advocate, Corey Garrett. Although these two have very different views and purposes for doing music, they both share a mutual respect for one another.
Derian Salone, known as Southern MC to the music industry, has always had a love for music. With a family history of musically inclined people, it was no surprise when Southern MC broke out of his music shell at a young age. Salone was featured recently in SFA’s 2012 SFA Cypher produced by Spring Campus Celebrity, DJ Teddi. Derian works hard, rapping and producing inside his mini studio in his dorm room.
Salone is confident that his hard work will pay off and listeners will relate to the real life experiences that he expresses in his lyrics. “The rap industry is watered down, full of rappers that rap about what’s popular. My messages are about real life experiences, how I feel and all I’ve been through in my past and am currently going through. It’s not “gangster” or violent, it’s just life.”
As displayed in the cypher, SFA has a lot of talented rappers, so we ask Mr. Salone, what separates you from the crowd? “Cyphers are types of fun exposure for others to view my craft. With this last cypher being my 4th one, I just like express more catchy lyrics, as in to reel people in. Once they feel the vibe on the cypher they’ll become interested and want to learn more about my message and skills. You have to take things like this seriously because you never know who’s watching. Everyone can write down a few rhymes, but only a few have a passion and ear for it.”
Derian is currently working with his promotional team, “Born to Make It”, as well as, producing beats under his own project, Riot Music. This ambitious senior sets goals on being a part of the music industry as a whole, then working his way up to either rapping or producing. Mr. Salone expressed that he’ll miss the friends he’s met at SFA, going to class, and the parties. He left us with the advice of: “Don’t try to fit in, simply be you, and keep your morals!” You can catch up with Derian via Twitter: @SouthernMCBeats.
If Corey Garrett’s 6’foot frame doesn’t capture your attention on campus, then his message definitely will. Before even beginning the interview, Corey made it clear to us that he is not a Christian rapper, but rather a rapping Christian seeking to give God glory with the gift he’s stored upon him.
Corey’s journey started at age seven when encouraged by his Boys and Girl’s Club mentor, who was an aspiring rapper. Listening to rapper Eminem at age seven, rapping became more of a hobby to Corey as others began to discover his talent. Many SFA students who’ve listened to him can agree with the fact that Corey is indeed a talented artist, and could easily break into the music industry. So why hasn’t he done it?
Faced with a decision to send in a verse to a rap contest with artist T-Pain, Corey realized in doing this his life was at stake. “You will not make it in the industry unless you completely falsify what you do. Whether you start in truth or not, look at the point where artists are in their music now and the point where they started. It gets to the point where you’re competing with others and eventually change and adapt to the rest of the industry. If you chose not to adapt, you simply stay in the same spot as you were when you first started.” Realizing this, Corey chose “life,” and committed to the statement of: Music is here to worship God. Corey turned over his life to Christ, and is using all his talents to glorify Him.
Corey continues to rap, working with beat production crew, Cedric Hall and Malcolm Perrin: M.F.B. My Father’s Business, under the foundations of: J.O.E. (Jesus Over Everything). “I enjoy rapping and have a passion for the craft, but the love for God is what keeps me going. I want others to grow into what they listen to and kids to hear about God and understand and retain the information.”
Under production team J.O.E., Corey plans to release music in a series of Volumes titled J.O.E. in late December. I had to ask if cyphers were in Corey’s near future, and to “clear the air” Corey’s willing to do anybody and everybody’s cypher, but just know what to expect. As far as a Christian cypher, it’s something Corey is definitely interested into putting one together. “It can be a Muslim/Athetis/Buddist/whatever my message will still be the same.” You can contact Corey via email: email@example.com via YouTube: CoreyALowlyServant.
I enjoyed both these interviews, and especially getting to know these ambitious gentlemen on a personal level. This article was in no way to start a controversy between these two artists or their supporters. It is simply to inform those that are interested in this field of music. I hope everyone took away something from this article, and enjoyed reading it just as much as I enjoyed writing.