Behind everything we have lies the soul. Our souls are often regarded as intangible forces that control our thoughts and actions as nothing else can. When we shape our souls, we shape our lives. So how do you contain that power with the medium of hip-hop? Look no further, because a man with a true grasp of soul is in the building.
Straight out of Portland comes Soul P., an emcee who is destined to change the way you view the art form of hip-hop. Born and raised in Seattle, Soul P. has been through the struggle and is ready to share his story with the world. Growing up in The Yesler Terrace neighborhood, Soul P. came face-to-face with the harsh realities of the streets at an early age. Though he was surrounded by crack cocaine and gang warfare, Soul P. persevered with the help of God and came out even stronger than before.
"It was tough when I became a believer," shares Soul P. "It was tough because there were still things I wanted to do. However, in the end, faith was more rewarding when I won those battles with the strength of Christ. My spiritual journey has been a constant uprising, and everything became much better when I understood God's grace and mercy. It wasn't my own strength that got me through the hard times." These experiences influence his music, giving Soul P.'s lyrics and rhyming an authentic flavor that is rarely found in today's sea of commercialism.
Soul P. is well on his way to a very successful career, and has already independently released two critically acclaimed albums. Simply Soul and The Soul Affect are still generating substantial buzz in the underground by captivating listeners with Soul's signature storytelling ability. With such an impressive record, it was only a matter of time before the labels came calling.
In the summer of 2005, Soul P. took the opportunity to record the first track on DJ Morphiziz's second mixtape, a certified street banger called "5 Fingers." Working on this project with producer Todd Collins, Soul P. continued to build a close relationship with Beatmart Recordings and over the following months talks eventually led to an official record deal. Never a team to waste time, Beatmart Recordings will release Soul P.'s first national album, The Premiere, in December 2006.
"We signed Soul P. because he created so much of a national buzz," explains Todd Collins. "After investigating his music, voice, personality, and attitude, we felt that he would be a perfect fit for the Beatmart roster. He's a very athletic, competetive guy who happens to be a musician on fire for God, and that's the type of artist I'm most attracted to as a producer. Soul P. fits and meets every intangible that Beatmart is looking for in an artist."
"Todd and I have made a real connection," continues Soul P. "A real musical connection. He honestly believes in me. I've been through the struggle; I've had people talking behind my back. But with Beatmart, I felt as though someone was looking out for me and I appreciate that. Beatmart is the future of urban music. When Todd called, it felt like Dre got at me!"
"Soul P.'s work ethic is relentless!" shares Collins. "He is a tireless worker with great skill and a great voice, and I learned early on that Soul P.'s artistry is his job. If he doesn't work, his family doesn't eat! He has continually booked his own shows and routed his own tours for years. That's what I look for and that's what excites me as much as anything about Soul P."
So what exactly is The Premiere going to offer? In his own words, Soul P. brings us an exclusive sneak peek. "Christ is the main message that I want to get across. I want to show that after everything I've been through, this album is like my movie premiere. Up to this point I've been through so much and dealt with so much garbage. I'm here to give a message of hope to those who've dealt with their own struggles. It's equate this to Allen Iverson finally getting the chance to play pro ball. To those who are going through something, keep believing 'cause you will have a premiere."
In the vein of any good leader, Soul P.'s battle plan is two fold. First, hit the church where they are. "I hope that the Christian market will open up their eyes to hip-hop," Soul P. comments. "There is a huge need to receive it and look at it as the big influence in the world that it is. Hip-hop is something that is really valuable, and I just want to help change the idea of how it should be done. Todd and I are here to make hot, hot music. I want the world to know that you can't put Christian hip-hop into one little box."
"Second, you've got to reach the streets and speak to the brother chillin' on the corner. We're going to take it to the club joints while letting people know that I'm a Gospel artist," strategizes Soul P. "We want the general market to see a Gospel artist who's not wack, someone they can relate to what is being said on the stage and in the music."
How do you represent a dynamic individual like Soul P. with simple words? Forget the outside hype and let him talk for himself: "I've been through a lot," declares Soul P. "Now we've got to go for the top. Beatmart and I are going to work hard together and reach the ultimate goals. It's going to be tight."