In a new age where CHH is becoming more prevalent by making an assertive push into mainstream Hip-Hop, and though there may have been quite a struggle gaining acceptance from its non-christian counterpart, it’s certainly been a worthwhile upswing. Nonetheless, there is feeble notion that still plagues the sub-genre since its very conception. The term “Christian Rapper” has been dubbed to many artist who profess their faith and have dedicated to centering their music around the person of Christ. However, quite often what comes with this title is the stigma that the music generated from such artists tend to be “corny” and “unappealing,” therefore being shunned for the most part. But now, as the tides are beginning to shift and CHH continues to transcend barriers in the urban culture, the conditions are fit for a new wave of emcees to continue to reform and break these stereotypical belief.
Adjoining in paving the way of this movement is Emye (M.I).
“I’m not afraid to air out my dirty laundry. What I think separates me from most artists is that, I believe in a level of transparency… How else can someone relate to you if they’re believing you’re all high, perfect, and mighty? This in turn leaves people with a feeling of inferiority. None of us are worthy of such titles but God Himself.” This is the same generosity he exhibits in the upcoming LP titled Facing Satan.
With no exemptions to life’s common struggles, Emye has learned to roll with the punches that life tends to throw at you, and to just keep pushing through the tough times. After three near death experiences due to fatal accidents and drug abuse, each and every time, Emye would quickly run to God for forgiveness along with being stirred up to the point of offering heartfelt promises of a changed lifestyle. But soon after, he recognized his promises were often too shallow and would quickly revert back to his old ways. This became a recurring pattern in his teenage years. “I was raised in the church, so I always knew to SEEK GOD when things got rough… because He’s the answer to everything. I just never had the proper perspective of who He really was and what was required on my part to sustain a meaningful relationship with Him as so with any relationship.” It wasn’t until after his son’s mother left — deserting the family — leaving him to raise his son on his own that a sudden change occurred in his lifestyle. Emye finally took a step back to reflect on what really mattered most. “At the time, outwardly it looked as if I had it altogether, but inwardly, I was a wreck and childish in so many ways. After my son’s mother stepped out, I took a look into my baby’s eyes and could only see my reflection. I wasn’t content with what I saw.” Emye turned to God one last time in hopes to structure his life accordingly, for his son’s sake, “ I thought to myself, what better of a father is there other than God himself? I never grew up with a father that could teach me how to become a man and how to care for a family. But what seemed to be my mom raising two boys single-handedly, wasn’t necessarily the case. What I do remember witnessing was my mom exhibiting her faith in Christ through it all. So I knew Jesus was always with her… with us. So I finally turned to God to show me the way to becoming the role model he needed me to be for my son.”
A straight and narrow lifestyle hasn’t come easy, nor has it come overnight in his newborn life, but through in all Emye is trailing the path God destined him to traverse, with his complete reliance in God. In Facing Satan, Emye pulls back the veils, allowing us to peek into his personal life. This album features his compelling, heartfelt, turbulent and lyrical compositions. Listening to each and every moment of this musical concoction is as if being strapped into a roller coaster ride, springing forth through the highs and lows along side him in his journey. Emye withdraws from his troubled marriage when crafting such wholehearted words: He had just married his girlfriend of three years, and a month later after the marriage, Emye finds himself in jail, facing a criminal charge of domestic violence and became estranged from his entire family. “Not being able to see my children throughout the duration of the case was heart wrenching to me. I screamed out to God for strength. Months later, I became bitter trying to hold on to my faith, asking God ‘Why!?’. People are believing a lie about me not’. I promised to protect and cherish this woman, now I’m being viewed in our community as some low life “christian” wife-beater.” The angst, anger, and embarrassment propelled Emye to pen down his frustrations giving birth to the project he later titled “Facing Satan” — an allegorical expression of the multitudes of hail and storms he’s had to face and overcome throughout the initial stages of his christian walk.
Despite the trivial times he faces as a believer, one thing we know for sure Emye stands on is the very same scripture that helps him pull through: James 1:2-3 which states “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”