“I was losing the will to live; life was becoming meaningless, and I was becoming progressively more empty,” and his declining academic performance reflected this attitude. But that would soon change.
It’s not a stretch to say the winding road that began in St. Petersburg, FL led Kevin “KB” Burgess straight to God.
Raised middle class, divorce left KB and his mother in a poor economic situation, “I went from the suburbs to the hood in one day,” he recalls. Having been raised in Southern Illinois on a military base, drug dealers and criminals were a stark contrast to the safe haven he had become accustomed to. Fear of death and the unknown gripped his teenage years, leading him to depression and thoughts of suicide. On the other hand, KB also excelled in high school and was offered the opportunity to be a part of a program where juniors could become full-time college students. After foregoing varsity basketball to join the program, KB soon realized that solely excelling in school wouldn’t bring fulfillment. “I was losing the will to live; life was becoming meaningless, and I was becoming progressively more empty,” and his declining academic performance reflected this attitude. But that would soon change. While in school, a classmate introduced him to Christian rap, and although he already self-identified as a believer, after listening to a song on which an artist delivered the Gospel, KB wholeheartedly trusted and believed in Jesus. In his regeneration, the Gospel exposed the underlying issue of fear and uncertainty that plagued him as a teenager. Emptiness, depression, and meaninglessness were now being exchanged for grace, rest and forgiveness.
After trusting in Christ, KB was motivated and willing to honor God in all his ways. He took more pride in school, his grades began to reflect his intelligence, and he began pursuing the American Dream. He had retained the plans developed by his guidance counselors and ambitions for success, but suddenly, through scripture and prayer, the Lord implored him to abandon all his plans and go to Bible college. After abandoning "the dream," he found himself in fellowship with a bunch of brothers who happened to be Christian rappers, which naturally spawned a personal interest in the genre. But it wasn't until after performing and winning a “Battle of the Bands” competition that he recognized the call on his life to use rap as ministry.
KB and his friends formed HGA (His Glory Alone) and developed a following, which eventually included Lecrae, Ben Washer and DJ Official, who actually featured him on Entermission. Lecrae invited him along for the “Acquire the Fire” tour and, after months of building with him, KB was asked to join the Reach Records team. As a member of the Reach roster, KB is amazed by the providence of God, which brought him to Reach Records. “I liken my experience to Abraham, who was lead to an unknown land. My land is Reach Records--where I plan to serve for the next several years,” says KB.
Currently residing in Tampa, KB is enjoying life with his new wife and occasionally preaches at Crossover Community Church. Through his music, he hopes to communicate that God is the absolute canon of all things good, true and beautiful. “I want people to realize God and His centrality. It is not us putting Him at the center, He is already there. We must put ourselves onto that reality.”