Name: Sir The Baptist
Album: Preacher’s Kid
Label: Atlantic Records
Why we care: If Kendrick Lamar is overseeing deathbed conversions by repentant gangsters and Chance The Rapper is sermonizing from outside the strip club, Sir The Baptist may be the one to lead this neophyte flock to the promised land. Here are 7 Things you need to know.
1. Origin of his Name:
My dad was a Baptist preacher that became Pentecostal. But one of the pieces that’s more important to me is that Chicago is this sort of “Chi-Raq” and I felt like I was the John The Baptist in the wilderness of Chicago sort of trying to speak some sort of truth to people to get them to wake up in some sort of way. So I went with Sir The Baptist.
2. How he describes his Sound:
My sound is a mixture of hip-hop, pop, soul, R&B and gospel. It’s very cultural, but it’s a piece of where I come from and what I got over the years.
3. His history:
I left Leo Burnett as Director of Digital marketing for a partnership between Rodney Jerkins and McDonald’s. They created this company called Artist and Brands. I left to do music and I said hey I’ll drive Lyft to make money. Then a lot of other stuff happened and I went homeless. So I’m sleeping out of the Lyft that I’m driving. I’d drive in the daytime, take breaks, record, make calls to try to get industry people to listen to my music, then just get back on the road. And then overnight just sleep in the back of the van. [I’d] Get back up, change clothes at a rest stop and get back to it. But Lyft really helped me during those times to give me some sort of stability and financial peace so I could chase all these labels.
I gotta Dodge Caravan because I started meeting people in Lyft and when I met people I’d start taking them with me to different cities so we could do promo. Even now, because I’m at the point now where I could fly everywhere. But instead of flying I bought a 15 passenger van. I try to replicate what my dad did in church when pulling people in. It builds a better church.
4. Being a Descendant of Tupac…
Tupac had a song called “Ghetto Gospel.” But I feel like Tupac was more a prophet than he was a rapper. My sound is a reflection of his principles without the thug part. If you take away the gangster Tupac you get the poetry, the dancing, all this stuff that’s very cultural. And that’s the piece that I carry with me every time that I perform or write a song. I wanted to incorporate that piece of being inspired by someone that could break the barriers of our mind and the stigma of Black people and music. I think Kendrick is an urban monk. There’s a lot of people that are so enlightened that the things they produce should be valued as gospel. Not as gospel music as what we pin it, but gospel as being important to our spirituality and our daily walk.
Watch the full video to hear how Sir The Baptist got to work with Nate Parker on the “Birth Of A Nation” film Soundtrack and the meaning behind his album artwork for his debut project Preacher’s Kid.