I have to say out of all the interviews I’ve done thus far, this interview was pivotal for me. I was granted the blessed opportunity to chat it up with Butta P of Rhema Soul after reviewing her recent solo project The Coronation. I reached out to her not knowing if she would agree to this or not, but she was just as excited as I was to talk with me. I enjoyed doing this interview with her and just genuinely vibing with her. A true queen in her own rite, I hope you enjoy the interview with Butta-P as much as I did.
Q: At what age did you start rapping and who were some of your influences?
A: I started rapping when I was around 12 years old. My brother’s best friend use to rap and one day he left his rhyme book at the house. I started looking through and tried to rap some of the lyrics and used the fan as my mic. Then one day my brother and his friend heard me and were laughing, I was so embarrassed and apologized for taking the book, but really they thought I sounded good and loved it. I asked them about hip-hop and from there I was introduced to that world and began learning about hip-hop. I grew up in a time where I was surrounded with so many influences, especially female rappers, from Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Lauryn Hill, Eve, Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim. They changed my whole outlook because I thought rapping was just for dudes and they proved otherwise. I remember seeing Lauryn Hill on MTV performing at a block party, rapping, which was weird to me because when I saw Sister Act 2 she was singing. When I saw her performance, I told myself that I wanted to be like that.
Follow up Question: First secular/Christian rap album that you bought?
A: The first record I bought was Janet Jackson’s That’s the Way Love Goes, as far as rap or hip-hop album it was The Fugee’s album.
Q: What is the meaning behind the album name The Coronation
A: The definition of a coronation is a crowning ceremony where one steps into their royal position. It’s not to confuse people in believing that I am crowning myself as queen though, despite what it may look like. I didn’t come up with the title until about a week before the mix was completed. For the longest I’ve had Esther 2:17 on my website in reference to “…he set the royal crown upon her head…” which talks about how Esther found favor and was crowned. On the album I talk a lot about being a queen and how I identify myself as a queen, but it’s not meant to be a pride or shallow thing but simply that because I identify with Christ in HIs royalty, then I, too, should have a royal identity. In western civilization, not only was there always a coronation for the next royal leader but there was an anointing that happened when they stepped into this position. In short, when you step into your royal position, your anointing or the call on your life is then activated. It’s the point in which you step into the position of what you were created to do. You then walk in confidence, walk into your identity, walk in the dominion and authority that was given to you through your identity in Christ. This is what takes place for anyone who’s a child of God the moment you step into your role.
Q: During the production of this album, what would say inspired you along the way?
A: On this project I got to work with a producer by the name of D-Flow. He’s from Nigeria and he is very cultured when it comes to music. When working with him, there was no stipulation or really any expectation of what this project would sound like because he allowed me to be a blank canvas and have that creative freedom. During the time of production I listen to all types of music, including Bluegrass, which I surprisingly enjoy. I didn’t want to sound like anything that was out in main stream but at the same time I wanted to fit right in with what was being put out there musically. So I was just getting inspired from all over as I just expanded on my musical taste.
Q: What made you decide to release a solo project?
A: The honest truth is that it was discussed by the guys of Rhema Soul, during the Red Album that I needed to do a solo project, but I didn’t want to do it nor did I have the desire to. I just wanted to be a rapper and just so happen to be a female, I didn’t any more attention drawn to me since I was already a voice in Rhema Soul and didn’t want it to be any louder. I decided that I would pray about it and the guys continue to push me harder to strongly consider it. It took about 2 years before I finally decided to go through with it, simply because the Lord showed me that there was a need for it. I realized that I was alone in my lane, although there were artist like Natalie Lauren (fka Suzy Rock), we only saw each other a couple times, but other than that there really weren’t any females around me. I began to see that while being on the road and the ladies wanting to talk to me about how I impacted their lives, it became clearer that there was a need, almost a hunger, to hear from another female. I also began to think about my daughter and who she’s going to listen to since she like other girls, don’t have people to look to like the female rappers I had in my time.
Q: Do you think you have a unique platform as a christian female rapper? What kind of influence would you like to have?
A: I have to say I’m blessed to be in a group with guys, which I would say has helped in the successful I’m blessed with. I realize that I’m in an open lane and there’s no one ahead of me that I can actually look to and study the blue print that they have left behind. I mean granted for christian hip-hop, Lecrae, has definitely created a blue print in that regards but for me as a Latina female christian rapper, this is a whole different avenue, a unique platform. I want to be able to influence the influential. I want to influence the ones who have a direct impact on their culture. I want to be able to impact a culture that’s impacting our culture. In looking at Lecrae, he’s going into places that we can’t and I want to influence those to do the same and touch areas that I may not be able to get into. I simply want to impact those to love God and love people.
Q: What’s your favorite track and what’s the story behind it?
A: I would have to say I have two tracks that I consider my favorites. First one being Unstoppable, which was my favorite from start to finish. I got to work with the producers Tyshane, Alias and a producer name Daniel out of Atlanta. Tyshane asked me to give him one word to describe how I’m feeling and where I am in life. I told him Unstoppable. I had been going through a season where God was stretching me and building me in courage and helping me to walk out this thing. I’m confident in my talent and that I could go head to head with other artists. I was dealing with people telling me what to do and how to do it, but I wanted to do things my own way and not let this influence me in any way. It took me time to get to the point of feeling unstoppable because I was dealing with a season of discouragement prior to, almost quitting because essentially I felt like I had already written my best stuff and didn’t know how I was going to be able to put this project together. The enemy was attacking me and my family and just coming for me in different angles. I decided to shift my focus, I started praying differently and just really spending time with God and focusing on my identity in Him. It’s at that moment that it clicked for me, that I can do this, that I was unstoppable and that not matter what the enemy may try to do he just couldn’t rock with me. It’s at that time I got my confidence back and knew I was unstoppable no matter what came my way because God has me covered.
My second favorite track would have to be Chicago. I just love the feel of the song and I was able to share a piece of my story. I wrote it sitting in the car as I listen to the beat from D-Flow. I had never been to Chicago and growing up I had always dreamed of someday traveling, even though people thought I was crazy. The hook was actually all the places I’ve been to and I’ve honestly never been to Chicago. This song was just a realization that all the dreams that I, along with other artists that I grew up with, have finally manifested before our eyes and it’s just completely crazy. The fact that we can go and touch the world, where before there was a time where we were just kids going through and having dreams only to one day live it, is nothing short of a blessing from God.
Q: If someone picks up this album what kind of message do you want them to receive?
A: The message is simply that everyone has a past and even if it’s broken it’s not who you are. People make mistakes but God still sees you fit to complete the task that you have been assigned to accomplish.
Q: Anything else you would like to add or say to your fans:
A: I just want to encourage them to pursue their dreams. It’s ok to dream, but make sure it lines up with what God has created you to be. It’s important to know what you’re passionate about and know who you are because once you do no one can tell you who you are but you. Figure out what you stand for and what you believe and from there grab a hold of who you are because it is possible for people to try to walk in your shoes but it won’t fit just right. This happens when people are attracted to what they see and try to emulate it but they haven’t been called to it. So simply put, know who you are and what you believe.
If you haven’t picked up the album yet, go now and get your free download The Coronation – Butta-P