Lael Turner has dropped his highly anticipated follow-up to “Circles”, the dual single “St. Patrick (2 Tales)”
I had the chance to catch up with him and learn about the vision for his future and a little about what makes him Lael.
One thing that shapes everyone is our past and the influences we experience. For Lael, that was learning about how to make music, not just hip hop, from the greats. He was born in Marion, VA and has lived in Maryland for the last 18 years. Lael is a natural pianist and his love for music has kept him busy for much of his life.
“I’ve been making music just about four years now, but I have always been musically involved. I play the keyboards and [I am] a writer. I write music, scripts, screenplays, etc. I tried with the guitar but quickly learned that it just ain’t in the cards for me. Unless I can dedicate a lot of time to it.”
One all-time great artist that piqued his interest in the guitar was none other than Jimi Hendrix.
“Yeah man. He is such an iconic musician. I prefer the Dizzy Gillespie era of music though personally. The goats like Count Basie and Duke (Ellington). It’s sad that so many don’t know about the greats from that era. Way before hip hop, jazz, and blues artists were essentially fighting the same fight. Every genre is basically a child of Gospel, to be honest… American styles that is.”
His dual single “St. Patrick (2 Tales)”, along with working with artists such as Jasxn and Micah Hampton, has the outlook for 2019 appearing very positive.
“Mainly this year, for me, is just trying to show why I’m here. I think I provide a different voice and perspective from a lot of artists. My goal is, long term, to challenge CHH to grow. None of my homies even know what CHH is for real, they just know good music, talking about real life, so I’m trying to give them that and show them the way to walk at the same time.”
“I feel like I have a lot of different views than the average CHH fan. Growing up, I can see both sides.”
There is a lot the culture can take away from Lael’s point of view of how CHH could adjust.
“I want CHH as a whole to be more accepting of other lifestyles than just itself. Being CHH is one thing, to be a black man in CHH is another, to be an Arab woman in CHH is [yet] another. I want them to understand the culture that comes along with hip hop. Hip Hop was originally supposed to be inclusive (as Christians should be) not exclusive.”
“It’s like, if you don’t fit a mold they want then they cast you aside and say He’s not a true Christian. I feel like most people would say that about me if they didn’t truly get to know me.”
“I want CHH to be more accessible to non-CHH fans. I understand there are some that classic CHH artists, like Ambassador, [and even] though I’m not in that vein I believe that I can help the cause.”
Reflecting Christ should be our top priority. As we talked, Lael hit on some interesting points when it comes to this happening in the culture as a whole.
“Man its wild! To me, God would stand up for the people! HIS PEOPLE! He wouldn’t let social injustices slide. That is not the Jesus I see in scripture. Especially some of the wrong things happening in the church. God called out the Pharisees for that, Paul called out Peter for being kind of racist in his approach to the gospel. We have to love…that’s the new commandment.”
“Sadly, I feel like we cast aside loving one another for If you agree with me, then I love you. That’s extremely important for us to be able to love through the difference[s]. That’s a big thing for the Body.”
The question becomes, what exactly can CHH to become more accessible?
“I think one thing CHH can do, and to be honest not just CHH but the whole Body, is to show ALL of the life of a follower of Christ. Show the ups, the downs, and the in between. Christian life can seem unascertainable if one isn’t shown what it means to be a Christian in the perspective of life outside of the four walls of [a] church.”
“I also want to show how Christians can be elite. In Christian culture, it seems like mediocrity sometimes is accepted because of message. In scripture, I see Solomon was the wisest in the land, not just the wisest follower of Christ. [It was the] same with Daniel and his homies. To me, Christ won’t be seen as elite if his followers are just mediocre. The strive to be excellent is not something I see.”
It also goes beyond behavior when it comes to the impact we can make on others. As trivial as it may seem to some, the outward appearance has an impact on the perception of others.
“I’d love to see CHH step-up fashion-wise. I think they could do a lot of good if that was a thing that people in CHH paid attention to. I only really see the top tier striving for an aesthetic. Lately, some underground people have been going to great lengths to give some good looks, well put together outfits. I’m not a believer that a designer makes it fly. I think CHH could just use some innovation in the dress game.”
“Dyl and RG do a great job. Like no disrespect, but some of the CHH dudes that are up and coming still dressing like its G-Unit era. I just want to take the risks. I’m not saying I’m the one to fix it, but I want to stand out, not look like we’re all in a private school and must wear the same outfit.”
The one thing that Lael Turner wants listeners and the culture to take away from his music is simple.
“If I could say anything, I’d love to remind people that God is love.”
“I had a conversation that reminded me of how we gotta represent God through our love. We can’t forget that.”
Make sure you hit your favorite digital outlet now and check out Lael’s dual single “St. Patrick (2 Tales)” and give him a follow on Twitter @lael_lt