Hello everyone! Thank you for tuning into the 21st installment of The DIVE Series*.

Firstly, I apologize for not posting on the 20th of last month. Moving forward, I will do my best to be more on top of these installments.

Today, I will DIVE into Torey D’Shaun’s 2022 single CATFISH, featuring nobigdyl.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ‭‭- Romans 12:1-2


About the Track

Torey D’Shaun‘s single CATFISH featuring nobigdyl. has over 971,000 streams on Spotify, making it the 5th most popular track by Torey D’Shaun. The track was released on April 29th, 2022, and was produced by the music production duo WEARETHEGOOD made up of Wes Writer and Quinten Coblentz.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 1)

The following is the Intro of the single:

“It’s been Boopie, y’hurr me?”

If you’re unaware of what this means, allow me to break it down. Boopie is an endearing slang term primarily used to describe a female significant other. Synonyms of this word include “shawty,” “honey,” and “baby.” “Y’hur me” is a short slang phrase meaning “You heard me.” This is essentially another way of saying “you feel me” after a sentence to emphasize what you’re saying.

Now, the widely-known slang meaning of “Boopie” itself actually has little meaning in the Intro of this track. As seen in Rapzilla’s July 2018 Q&A with Torey D’Shaun, his mother called him “Boopie” as a child. I think the woman on this track is trying to emphasize that he’s been “Boopie” since he was young.

Torey begins the meat of the track with the Chrous and Post-Chorus, respectively:

“Jesus’ peace in my heart, you can’t snatch this (Nah). Holy Spirit in my soul (Common cold?), you can’t catch this. Old me, is that you? I need glasses (Huh). I done looked up in the mirror, almost ended up gettin’ catfished.”

“Who is that? (Who is that? I don’t look like where I’ve been). Who is that? (It’s been way different since God been my friend). Who is that? I don’t know, but I’m attracted. Who is—who is—who is—catfished.”

In the Chorus, he speaks about the peace of Jesus being in his heart. This directly correlates with John 14:25-27, which states,

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

In these verses, Jesus informs his Disciples how the Father will send the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ Disciples no doubt received much comfort due to Jesus saying this. Whether they knew it or not, they could (as well as Christians can today) fully trust the Spirit and have peace in Jesus because they can fully rely on the Spirit to lead, guide, and teach them.

Jesus says that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in His name. Given this, the disciples could fully trust the Spirit as we can rely on the Spirit to lead, guide, and teach us in every situation.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 2)

Torey then hits us with Verse 1 of the track:

I woke up with a mission. Solve the case ’cause the old me missin’. When I praise different, uh (Sheesh). Breakin’ through the ceilin’, uh (Okay). Devil make a killin’ (Yes, sir). I’ma make a livin’ (No way). For wakin’ up the children (Okay). Why they on that with me? (Okay). Oh, they mad ’cause now I’m groovin’. Keep it funky with me. Is my mirror lying to me? Almost faded away, but it weren’t Kobe. Time don’t stop when you wit’ your Rollies. I was in the state when You had to show me, yeah. Ankle monitor, holdin’ my day one. He was a heavy stepper wit’ a metal leg. We was extra, yoked up heavily. I was the deviled egg, tryna cook up whatever. The devil said, headed for the Feds. In the (Dead of night). Don’t look like what I’m supposed to (I don’t). Come close (I don’t), catfish, it send me social (Okay). In this, in this, in this, in this.

Torey “woke up” with a mission to share the love and grace of Jesus with people through the Gospel when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He mentions how different his old self was before the Holy Spirit transformed him into a new person.

He continues in this verse about how one of his goals is to make a living by waking up the children. In other words, Torey wants to work heartily unto the Lord by spreading the Gospel to people in a loving way, thus “waking them up” spiritually with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

One line in this verse I personally found quite interesting was, “Time don’t stop when you wit’ your Rollies.” I believe he’s conveying that Rolex watches (or Rollies) might be nice, but they don’t have any value in an eternal and spiritual sense. If you have another idea of what Torey is attempting to convey in this line, please comment below and let me know!

I also found it interesting how he raps about being a “deviled egg,” explaining that he was doing what Satan preferred him to do before Jesus saved him. As a potential metaphor, he said he was headed for the Feds, meaning he was sinning habitually.

This first verse is essentially about Torey’s perspective on his old self and how his old self is unrecognizable to him now. This difference was caused by his accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior and being transformed by the Holy Spirit.

The Chorus and Post-Chorus run a second time before nobigdyl.’s verse…


Interpretation of the Track (Part 3)

nobigdyl. finally comes in Verse 2:

If God don’t like ugly, how you explain me and my buddies, huh? Did so much dirt right after church, my slacks muddy, huh (Wow). She was lookin’ real lovely, never mind that it’s Bible study (Whew). I was huntin’, lookin’ for Boo like Mike and Sully, then I heard suddenly (Yeah, okay, ayy, ayy). God say “Stop, what is you doin’?. Like look what I taught, wearin’ that crucifix” (“What is you doin’?”). “Made you My image and what did you do with it?” (“What did you do?”). “Used it to cheat when I asked you to steward it” (Still the truth). “You went and Judas’d this, so now I’m mercy. I’m gonna move and I’m comin’ like Ludacris” (“You fool”). “You act a fool with the words in your mouth. And I still didn’t roll out, now let’s get to the root of it” (Yeah). Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is that? “That’s the new you” (Who’s that?). “Sword of the Spirit, I’ll put it right through you” (Ooh). Holy water stream, hop in it like Hulu (Okay, alright). Now you Mushu, holy fire through the Bluetooth title (Whew). YouTube idol, SuWu, child of God (Whew, whew, whew). Defiled, redeemed, eternity in my smile. In this, in this, in this, in this.

nobigdyl. brilliantly begins his verse by emphasizing that God loves us despite us being sinners (explained in this verse as being spiritually ugly). I like how he mentioned a problem every Christian has dealt with: Going to church on Sunday and sinning habitually during the week.

nobigdyl. continues the verse by rapping about how he struggled with trying to find a significant other too quickly, and he ended up cheating. He references Genesis 1:26-28:

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth’.”

In this passage of Scripture, God creates humans, making them in His image. Since we were made in his image, we were made to be stewards of the Earth and our bodies (temples). Being told to be fruitful and multiply by God had stewardship implications that consist of doing so in a way that honors and glorifies God (such as not participating in sexual immorality like cheating on your significant other with another person).

So according to this verse, God told nobigdyl., “[You were] made in My image and used it to cheat when I asked you to steward it.” nobigdyl. ends the verse by rapping about how God saving him changed him spiritually beyond belief and how the Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word/The Bible) allowed his eyes to be opened to Jesus’ grace and love.

Now, just like Torey D’Shaun and other Jesus-believing folks, nobigdyl. is unrecognizable spiritually when compared to when he was not saved.


DIVE Conclusion

CATFISH by nobigdyl. and Torey D’Shaun, produced by music production duo WEARETHEGOOD, is a track with nearly 1 million streams on Spotify.

It is important to remember the Bible passage of the day of this installment and the themed Bible verse of this single we talked about today:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ‭‭- Romans 12:1-2

This CHH (Christian Hip Hop) single is about being transformed spiritually by the Holy Spirit as a result of accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The song’s general theme conveys that many spiritually mature Christians in their relationship with Jesus feel like they can’t recognize their old selves before being saved or earlier on in their faith walk with God.


Thank You for Reading DIVE!

Thank you for reading this far into the article! I hope you all enjoyed this installment of The DIVE Series* on FiveTwenty Collective. Again, my apologies for not posting on the last scheduled day for The DIVE Series*, but be sure to tune in for the next installment dropping on the 5th of next month (September 2023)!


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full CATFISH single at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


The DIVE Series: Hell's Most Wanted by Mike Malagies

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Thanks for tuning into the 20th installment of The DIVE Series*. Last month, I dove into No More by Ty Brasel and More on the Way by Derek Minor, featuring Jon Keith, 1K Phew, and nobigdyl.

Today, I will DIVE into a new track called Hell’s Most Wanted by Mike Malagies. I will do my best to review the track’s most important parts. As always, let’s DIVE into the music.

“…so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’.” ‭‭- 1 Corinthians 1:31


About the Track

Mike Malagies‘ single Hell’s Most Wanted has over 2,000 streams in less than a month of being out on Spotify. The track was released on June 16th, 2023.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 1)

The Intro to this track is as follows:

“They’ve been comin’ for me. Temptation, I’m free. Jesus set me free.”

Given the context provided by this song’s title, we can indicate that Mike refers to Demons when he says, ‘they’ve been coming for me.’ Another point he makes that further supports this indication is that he implies he is free from temptation only by the love and grace of Jesus.

To clarify, God (specifically the Holy Spirit, who is God) is the only one that can free us from temptation and the sinful desires of the flesh.

Mike begins the meat of the track with the first Verse:

“My circle keep on getting tighter think it turned into an oval. Thank God, the only time I like to get boastful. Couldn’t catch a fish, Jesus supplied with a boat full. High five God, we got Satan in a chokehold. Tap out. Jesus changed my life there’s nothing else I wanna rap bout. I just checked my bank account in Heaven, I’mma cash out. Got my game on like Smash Mouth. If you said a year ago I’d be here, I would pass out.”

Firstly, he mentions that he only gets boastful when thanking the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:31 says:

“…so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’.”

This verse makes it clear that the only time we, as Christians, should be boasting is when we boast boldly in our faith in the Lord Jesus.

In the next line, he references John 6, where Jesus miraculously turns five loaves of bread and two fish into enough food to feed 5,000 people. I believe he’s making the point in this line that he couldn’t find true self-worth and joy until Jesus supplied him with that self-worth and joy he longed for.

Mike raps about having Satan defeated by Jesus on the cross. He continues rapping about not wanting to rap about anything other than his Savior, Jesus. Mike then implies having his riches in the Lord and looks forward to coming home to Heaven one day. He ends this first verse by saying he would pass out if anyone told him he’d be this successful a year ago.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 2)

He then hits us with the Chorus:

“Look at what my God did. Seen too many turn to snakes, they change like Moses rod did. Used to be a slave to sin, He freed me from my bondage. Running fast, I’m hell’s most wanted. I’m hell’s most wanted.”

Here, Mike conveys how great God is, that He freed him from the bondage of sin. John 8:34 states:

“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin’.”

This leads us directly into the verse’s next line, where Mike mentions that he used to be a slave to sin.

He ends the chorus of this track by referring to the title of the single by saying, “I’m hell’s most wanted.” In context, this means that demons want to see his downfall more than those who do not actively follow Jesus. Why, you might ask? Because he’s more of a threat to Satan’s goals of turning humanity away from the Lord.

Mike follows up with the Chorus by performing the second Verse:

“Holy Ghost in the building, but it’s not haunted. Snapping on the beat like a Thanos gauntlet. I’m hell’s most wanted. Heaven come down. Never went to parties, they all said I missed out. Laughed at me then, they remember me now. I got enemies now. I’mma pray for ’em. God created me to be a star, just like day four. Kick, push the Devil like I’m Lupe on a skateboard. Feeling free, my debt paid for. Screaming this is ‘God’s Plan’ like I’m at a Drake tour. Kingdom come. In Your presence, we undone. Feasting on that Daily Bread, won’t leave a crum. Delivered from the evil one. Because Jesus won. They ask ‘Mike where’d you get freedom from?’ I plead the blood of Jesus.”

Mike begins this verse with this first line about the Holy Ghost, implying that he has the Holy Spirit in him. He references the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s gauntlet of Thanos to emphasize how good his vocal flow is.

He continues to melodically rap about praying for his enemies (and the ones who made fun of him for never going to parties). Jesus tells  his Disciples in Matthew 5:44,

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

He then references Drake’s secular song God’s Plan by singing, “Screaming this is God’s plan like I’m at a Drake tour.”

He ends this verse by brilliantly rapping about:

  • Being in the Lord’s presence
  • Consistently reading the Bible
  • Being delivered from Satan because Jesus defeated death, sin, and the Devil on the cross
  • Boldly pleading the blood of Jesus when people ask where he gets his freedom from

The Chorus runs one more time, bringing us into the third verse…


Interpretation of the Track (Part 3)

He finally performs the brilliantly-written third verse:

“Jesus can you do something for me like 21. And He did more than expected. Died for us all, then resurrected. Put me on the guest list. I wear a cross no necklace. Tell me who can be against us. Satan trying to arrest us. But I’m resting in the Lord.”

In this verse, he brilliantly references the popular Drake line, “21, can you do sum’ for me?” to convey that Jesus did way more than that. Christ died for all of our sins and was resurrected. He mentions wearing a cross, likely referring to the Biblical principle of “Bearing one’s cross.” In Luke 9:23, Jesus essentially tells His followers to be willing to go through hardships and things they may not want to do for the sake of following Jesus and following God’s will for their lives.

He ends the track with this self-explanatory Outro:

“And that’s facts. That’s facts. For real.”


DIVE Conclusion

It is clear that Mike Malagies deeply cares about his relationship with Jesus and has a good understanding of Biblical principles. There are many Biblical references in this track. I will try to tie this single into a nice bowtie for y’all.

Mike conveys the following are very crucial to being a follower of Jesus:

  • Being delivered from Satan by believing in Jesus and what he did for us (defeating death, sin, and the Devil on the cross by dying and being resurrected)
  • Being in the Lord’s presence through consistent prayer
  • Consistently reading the Bible (staying rooted in God’s Word)
  • Boldly pleading the blood of Jesus when people ask where he gets his freedom (or joy) from
  • Praying for people (including enemies and persecutors of Christians)

These five points all link to the title of the track. The title refers to Mike being on the “Hell’s Most Wanted” list. This means that since Mike is a genuine follower of Jesus and consistently puts his faith in the Lord, he is a big threat to Satan, whose goal is to turn humanity away from God and into a sinful path of destruction. Mike Malagies refuses to go down the wide path of destruction and chooses to rest in Christ as his one and only Lord and Savior.


Thank You for Reading DIVE!

Thank you for reading this far into the article! I hope you all enjoyed this installment of The DIVE Series* on FiveTwenty Collective. Stay tuned for the next installment dropping on the 20th of this month (July 2023)!


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full Hell’s Most Wanted single at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


Hello everyone! Thank you for tuning into the 19th installment of The DIVE Series here on FiveTwenty Collective! In the last installment, I reviewed More on the Way by Derek Minor, a track featuring Jon Keith, 1K Phew, and nobigdyl.

I will DIVE into the 2018 CHH classic No More by Ty Brasel for today’s installment. You are welcome to listen to the track near the end of the article at any time. Let’s DIVE into the music!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ‭‭- John 16:33


About the Track

The 2018 single No More by Ty Brasel is, without any doubt, a Christian Hip Hop classic. I listened to this song a lot in high school, and it was one of the first Christian Rap tracks I could give a solid “10/10.”


Interpretation of the Track (Part 1)

The very beginning of the track starts with the Chorus:

“No more, no more. I won’t be set back no more. I move the fast pace don’t slow it. I lost my way for the last time. But no more, no more. Look, I won’t be set back no more. I move the fast pace, don’t slow it. I lost my way for the last time, yeah yeah.”

Ty starts here by emphasizing to his audience that, in 2018, at the time of this song’s release, he would not be set back by his problems or doubters and would be consistent with his music releases.

Since dropping this track, Ty has released musical content consistently as an artist and even signed with the record label 4 Against 5. Ty makes his mission and intent in joining the label clear in a DJ Wade-O article:

“I partnered with them out of desire to bring fans the best music and content possible. If you know me, you know I do this for the people.”

A thought that occurred to me while reviewing this part of the track is that it is easy to be setback by the Devil’s temptations and fall into sin rather than work on yourself and your relationship with Jesus. However, as followers of Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to resist and repent from sin and the Devil’s temptations. I encourage those of you who are struggling with a habitual sin that you call upon God to use the Holy Spirit to help deliver you from that sin and get right with God.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 2)

Ty then hits us with the first Verse:

“New levels, new devils, more money, more stress and new sentences. New melodies more infinite, endless gold medals my preference. Success for I’m destined, regrets keep me humble. My sin keep me at the mercy seat, mercy me. I can only imagine dragons in my dreams. I’m stuck in the jungle, it’s snakes in the path, it’s mud through I’m stepping. Over the track and hurdles, I lost my way on the way, I feel the weight always pressing. Too much pressure before I crumble, I’m honest I got. High blood pressure from this stress, too much. I know I was made for to prosper and such. Soul & spirit, gospel for the beating. Peace all I ask when I pray this season. Odell in the off season, the setback. Set me with the mindset, run with my jetpack. Look at God’s son, how I rose through the flame. Look at God’s son, rose up took my shame, yeah.”

Here, he begins his first verse by rapping about how there will always be more things to do, music to make, problems to take care of, etcetera. However, he is destined for greatness either way, as God says the following to a people in exile who are experiencing hardship and suffering:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Essentially, this verse emphasizes that no matter your unfortunate circumstances, God has plans to prosper you amid your current situation.

Ty continues this verse with clever wordplay, referencing Christian band MercyMe’s contemporary Christian song, I Can Only Imagine. Ty Brasel then cross-referenced that with the Imagine Dragons track called Dreams.

He resumes by rapping about how many problems had arisen and how stress had given him high blood pressure. Ty ends the verse by speaking on how he’s a Child of God and how God took his shame away to help him overcome his setbacks, causing him to not create and release rap music for Jesus.

The Chorus runs twice following this verse and leads us into the Post-Chorus…

The Post-Chorus is performed as follows:

“Get it right, make that right. I lost my way for the last time. Too much life, look in my eyes. Now it’s time to shine.”

Here, he clarifies that he has too much potential not to use his musical gifts to make music for Jesus and shine his light glorifying the Lord.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 3)

Young Ty Man finally performs the second Verse:

New levels, new devils, more money, more stress and new sentences. New melodies more infinite, endless gold medals my preference. Success brought me more problems than before, uh huh. I share most my problems on my insta story, uh huh. I don’t really even like to be social. Antisocial extrovert, my mama know it. Music is my therapy, instrumental psychologist. These melodies heavenly and my flow is the exorcist, whoa. Kicking demons out of my residence, okay. Young T, I got angels on the premises, okay. This is real enlightenment, no pyramids, no. I roll with Yahweh, I got wisdom of old. So they roll with the devil and they claim 666. Well I’m on heaven schedule, rosegold my crucifix, whoa. This time I’m going for the championship, oh boy. I can’t stay down, I can’t stay down no more.

In this verse, he starts it off like he began the first verse. However, he switches it up this time, rapping about how success ironically brought him more problems than before, causing him even more setbacks. He also says he shared most of his problems on his Instagram story at the time of the release of this track.

Ty continues to rap about the following (all of which I relate to heavily):

  • Being an antisocial extrovert, and his mom is well aware of it (which, as an ambivert, I can relate to)
  • How music is his therapy and implies he enjoys rapping for the Lord
  • Kicking demons out of his residence (cleansing his residence spiritually with the name of Jesus) means that angels are consistently around him, protecting him on God’s behalf
  • Rolling with Jesus and has the wisdom that comes with being a veteran born-again Christian and staying rooted in God’s Word
  • He wants nothing to do with the worldly ways of “rolling with the Devil” and has every intention of continuing to follow Jesus Christ (hence being on Heaven’s schedule)
  • Ty won’t let his setbacks prevent him from sharing the light of Jesus in his music

The Chorus runs one last time, and the single officially ends.


Conclusion

This absolute banger and classic Christian Hip Hop (CHH) track by Ty Brasel has over 650,000 streams on Spotify. While it is not one of his most popular tracks, it—like I have stated before—is a classic that will be a staple single in the CHH space for years to come.

The following verse encompasses some of what Ty Brasel attempts to convey in this track:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Ty shows his audience in this single that he is destined for greatness despite hardship and struggle.

Lastly, remember today’s verse of the day that directly correlates with this track:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ‭‭- John 16:33

Allow me to tie this track in a bow for y’all:

Ty Brasel, who in 2018 struggled with being consistent in his music creation and releases, makes it clear in this track that he is done letting his current situation full of problems deter him from making Christian rap music to shine his light for the Lord and let God use him as a vessel to share the love and grace of Jesus with people through the sharing of the Gospel (story of Jesus). Since then, he has succeeded exceedingly well, dropping many singles, features, and other musical content.


Thank You for Reading DIVE!

Thank you for reading this far into the article! I hope you all enjoyed this installment of The DIVE Series* on FiveTwenty Collective. Stay tuned for the next installment dropping on the 5th of next month (July 2023)!


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full No More track at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


What’s good, everyone! Welcome to the eighteenth installment of The DIVE Series*!

Last month, we dove into Back Soon by 1K Phew and TEAM by Shepherd on the 5th and 20th, respectively.

Today, I will DIVE into the brand new Christian Hip Hop (CHH) track, More on the Way. You can listen to the track near the bottom of this page before or after reading this article. I will be diving into only the most important parts of this track. Now, let’s DIVE right into the music!

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” ‭‭- Colossians 3:23-24


About the Track

Derek Minor‘s track, More on the Way, featuring Jon Keith, 1K Phew, and nobigdyl., was dropped on June 2nd, 2023, and is on his unreleased EP, Nobody’s Perfect. The only other track on Nobody’s Perfect that has been released as of today’s date is Pressure, released on November 18th, 2022, by Derek Minor, featuring Thi’sl and Aaron Cole.

More on the Way is a modern trap song with a unique hype vibe to it. Each artist on this particular track does an extremely good job at bringing their own feel-good flavors into the track. This song has four total Hooks performed by each artist on the track.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 1)

Derek Minor begins with the first Hook:

“Workin’ non-stop (Non-stop). That’s why I got a lot (Got a lot). Feel like they wanna see me fall so I bought the drop. I leave a stain on everything, they can’t take the spot. (Woah, woah woah,) Now we up, now we up. Talked to God yesterday, He said, “There’s more on the way.” I done made a lot of money and there’s more on the way. I done got a couple plaques and it’s more on the way. Put a lot of people on and it’s more on the way.

The first Bible passage that comes to mind when hearing this first Chrous is Colossians 3:23-24, which states:

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Derek mentions praying to God and God giving him the sign that more is in store for his life. The general premise of this Chrous is that he’s working heartily unto the Lord and receives his blessings from the Lord Jesus. As a result of these blessings and fruits of his labor, Derek mentions being “up,” which means he’s content and happy with life serving Jesus and working hard unto the Lord. He sees his continuous purpose as a follower of Jesus as winning.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 2)

Derek continues with the first Verse of the track:

“(Lay low) Poppin’ up. Life a marathon I got no choice but run amok. Sliding on these tracks, my haters need a salt truck. And they still won’t melt the ice. And it’s black and I’m back. You talkin’ down, what is that? Boy you act like we ain’t blessed or som’. God ain’t flex or som’. If you want me on your set or som’. Cut a check or som’. We been bringin’ dreams alive like Freddy Kruger, we ain’t done. I’ve been movin’ on this blind faith while starin’ at the Son. Just what winnin’ sound like. They don’t see it let alone what it feel like. Dawg, why you worried ’bout them? Go get your own life. Countin’ everybody pockets like you work for Levi. Oh my, that won’t get you nowhere.

One of my favorite parts of this track is when Derek says, “Sliding on these tracks, my haters need a salt truck. And they still won’t melt the ice.” He’s essentially saying he’s doing his own thing serving Jesus, and his haters are salty because of his dedication to serving the Lord, but his haters will never be able to melt the ice (stop him from living and serving Christ).

He mentions bringing dreams alive. Here, I believe he is referring to his Reflection Music Group company, RMG Amplify, where they help independent Christian artists rise to prominence by making God-centered music. Minor raps about having faith in God while focusing on his relationship with the Son of God (Jesus).

Derek Minor continues to rap about how following and serving Jesus is what winning in life truly is and says some don’t know what that’s like. He wraps up by implying people shouldn’t be worried about other people’s success more than their own. Derek states that comparing your success to others will get you nowhere. In this final part of the verse, his point is: Don’t worry about and compare your success to other people’s. Focus on your own success.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 3)

1K Phew comes in with the second Hook of the track:

“I came way too far from hide and seekin’ with the police. But we came way too far, my gang was sittin’ in the nosebleeds. Prayin’ down on my knees and got back up, we in the floor seats. (Yeah) Lookin’ at full-court games like of course we had to go steal some full-course meals, now there’s more on the way (Get it). Why would I stress about these bills? I got more on the way (Bills). I’m a Stellar winnin’ politician, more on the way. Pull up deep, I’m never solo and it’s more on the way.

1K Phews begins his verse by rapping about how he came a long way from running from the police when he was younger in the east side of Atlanta. He mentions praying on his knees and implies that it’s not good for him to stress and worry about bills when God provides for all who are called according to His purpose (See Romans 8:28). Phew ends his Hook of the track by mentioning he’s never solo, meaning he has God with him and his team behind him.

1K Phew knows everything works together for his good because he knows he is called according to God’s purpose. He also knows it is essential to have patience and adhere to God’s timing to pursue his dreams in life. Given 1K Phew’s verse, we can conclude he pursues his dreams to glorify God.

1K Phew then hits us with the second Verse of the track:

“(Let’s get it) I done put a lot of people on and got no thank you (A lot of people). I’m not sayin’ I’m God or none (I’m not). But I’m Allen Iverson (A-I). When I’m talkin’ ’bout crosses I ain’t tryna break your ankles (Ain’t tryna break ’em). Tell ’em I’ve been steppin’ for so long I got cankles (Stepper). Wanna make me mad, try to come tell me what Jesus can’t do (Wanna make me mad). Well you better be glad you ain’t no villain, Jesus saved you (Better be glad). Everybody used to be like, “What’s that smell?” Jesus bathed you (What’s that smell). And the real ones always recognize me ’cause I’m fake-proof. (Let’s go) Every time I’m lit I don’t get bit ’cause I’m snake-proof (Snake-proof). Had to tell that sinny sin sin I can shake you (I can shake). And I told Goliath this a thirty, I can take you (This a thirty). But I came too far from livin’ dirty.

Phew continues here, rapping about how he helped many people (likely artists or producers) with no “thank you”s and compares himself to Allen Iverson. He implies that there’s nothing Jesus (God) can’t do and refers to Jesus saving God’s children from spiritual death (eternal damnation) by dying on the cross for our sins.

1K Phew continues stating that he’s “fake” and “snake” proof, meaning he does not actively associate with people who do not treat people kindly when they’re watching but treat them poorly when they are not around.

He finalizes his part of the song the same way he started it: Noting that he’s come too far to start living sinfully again.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 4)

Jon Keith hits us with the third Hook of the track:

“Ayy, gave me no respect (No). Lonely on me neck (Neck). Zeroes on these checks (Checks). What did y’all expect? Been brown, homies kept it holy from the lobby to the penthouse. Blessings coming on me I, I need a list now (A list). ‘Cause there’s more on the way. Made a lot of hits and there’s more on the way. I done caused a lot of fits and it’s more on the way. Yeah, oh you like that? It’s more on the way, yeah.

Jon Keith starts his part of the track by rapping about his success, with “zeroes on [his] checks,” implying he’s financially successful. He mentions he and his friends keep it holy no matter where they are and implies how he’s well-known.

He finishes his Hook the same way the previous hooks ended: By rapping about how there’s More on the Way.

Jon Keith then hits us with the third Verse by saying:

“(Feel me bro?) O-M-G look what God did. Nine to five, was puttin’ in the work when I was jobless (Uh, huh). Couldn’t get the Ray-Bans and it hurt but now my optics can’t believe, I took a look around they sendin’ options (Options). Yeah, God blessed me, I know that (Right). Had to take the whole city, put it on my whole back. Gotta take the bros with me, I can not hold back. And I done took like four lefts. Got Jesus piece, no Kodak. I’m movin’ like there’s four of me. They try to close the door on me. But like the chorus said, they start implorin’ for some more of me. If we back on that board then I be Jordan how I’m scorin’. When I be out in Florence, play the tortoise, so historic.”

Here, Jon Keith raps about how he succeeded in serving the Lord in his life and with his music and gives all the glory to God for his blessings. Keith notes how much he used to struggle and couldn’t afford that much. However, he worked heartily unto the Lord with his crew and now sees the fruits of his labor.

He makes it clear in this verse that he worked heartily unto the Lord and that all of his blessings are God-given.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 5)

nobigdyl. comes in with the fourth and final Verse of the track:

“Billboard albums back to back, just thought that you should know that (Just thought you should know). But I got riches in His name that couldn’t fit on no plaque. Rest in peace to the corny rap ’cause I could not support that. He snatched me out of Preverbs five and I could never go back. Left the label, did it indie, and it’s more on the way (More on the way). Festival inside my city and it’s more on the way (It’s more on the way). Worship God and make it litty and it’s more on the way (It’s more on the way). I turned twenty four and did a tour and it’s more on the way.”

Firstly, nobigdyl. begins his verse by bringing up his Billboard-charting albums. He then brilliantly raps about having plaques earned from Billboard and notes that his relationship with Jesus is worth much more than anything else.

Dyllie finishes his verse by clarifying that he is independent after having left his record label and that he worships God and puts Him first.


Thank You for Reading DIVE!

I appreciate you for reading this far into the article! I hope you all enjoyed this installment of The DIVE Series* on FiveTwenty Collective. Stay tuned for the next installment dropping on the 20th of this month!


DIVE Conclusion

More on the Way is a 2023 CHH song by Derek Minor, featuring Jon Keith, 1K Phew, and nobigdyl. This track has over 22,000 Spotify streams in less than four days, making it a relatively popular track in Derek Minor’s arsenal of tracks.

This track has a generalized theme to it. However, the primary themes that the artists attempted to convey in this track are the following:

  • As Christians (followers of Jesus), it is imperative we work heartily unto the Lord
  • All things work together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose (God provides for His children)
    • All of our blessings and fruits of our labor are granted to us by God
  • The artists on this track may be successful now, but their work for the Lord is far from over, and there’s More on the Way

It is important to remember the Bible passage of the day (which directly correlates with the track), Colossians 3:23-24:

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full More on the Way track at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


DIVE Series: Shepherd, "Team"

Hello and welcome to the seventeenth installment of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE Series*!

Earlier this month, on the 5th, I dove into Back Soon by 1K Phew, featuring KB and Parris Chariz. Today, however, I will dive into Sheperd’s track TEAM, featuring Angie Rose, Kieran the Light, and Datin.

I typically recommend listening to the track near the bottom of this page before, during, or after reading this article. Remember that I will only dive into the most critical aspects of each part of the song. As always: Let’s DIVE!

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ‭‭- Phillipians 2:9-11


About the Track

TEAM by Shepherd is a Christian Hip Hop single featuring Angie Rose, Kieran the Light, and Datin. The record was officially dropped on April 7th, 2023. This is a hype track with a modern trap feel. The artists give us similar flows on this track, but the cadences and flows of each artist on this track are unique enough to keep most Hip Hop audiences interested.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 1)

Shepherd starts the track with the Chorus:

“Pulled up to the scene (to the scene). Ain’t no gettin’ in between. It’s a light show, got a beam (got a beam). Let me show you what it means. Yeah you know I got a team. Know I got a team. Ain’t no gettin’ in between. Yeah you know I got a team. You know I got a team. Ain’t no gettin’ in between. Yeah you know I got a.”

In the first part of the record, we have the Chorus, which is meant to hype us up and prepare us for the rest of the track. Shepherd mentions his team pulling up to the scene and beaming light. As the rest of the song will confirm, in context, this means as soon as they show up at a place, their primary goal is to be an example of Christ’s light by exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 gives us a complete list of the Fruit of the Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.”

Shepherd makes it clear everyone featured on this track with him is a team, as this leads us directly into the first verse.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 2)

Datin comes in with the first verse of the record:

“Man I’ve got a team and we put God over a lot of green, our regime, honestly Father, he’s our God the Sovereign King. Check this, reppin’ 3-0-5 in jerseys on thе scene, and Angie Rosе is throwing up an “X” like Wakanda’s queen. It’s strategic, some disallegiance from different regions that we give ’em Jesus and intravenous for wicked heathens. This triple D has been rippin’ legions of frickin’ demons with the sickest team of believers and they lift a fist for freedom. Bizzle said, unleash the kraken someone beats I’m smashin’, triple D be snappin’, spittin’ fire like Khaleesi’s dragon. Eye of somethin’, be the dragon, where my team be rappin’, we emcee with passion, they just liars and they team be cappin’.”

Datin brilliantly begins his verse by referencing the God Over Money record label he is a part of by saying, “We put God over a lot of green.” He acknowledges God is their God and Sovereign King and mentions that he and his team represent the area code of Miami, Florida, “3-0-5.” Datin then references the Marvel Black Panther movies, comparing Angie Rose to Wakanda’s Queen with a depiction of her throwing up the “X” with her arms thrown up by Wakanda’s people in the Black Panther movies.

Datin raps about how he and his team spread the Gospel to people who do not show their allegiance to God. He then metaphorically references executing a triple-double in basketball by using God’s Word and prayer to make legions of demons flee in Spiritual Warfare with his crew.

Datin finally quotes Bizzle by talking about how he performs very well on beats while spitting fire like Khaleesi’s dragon (a reference to the Game of Thrones character Khaleesi’s dragon). He continues to rap about being the dragon, and he and his team are rapping passionately.

I believe Datin mentions “being the dragon” and “spitting fire” to reference being the world’s light, just as the Bible tells us, followers of Jesus, to be (See Matthew 5:14-16).

Shepherd comes in with the Chrous for the second time, which leads us into the second verse of the single…


Interpretation of the Track (Part 3)

Angie Rose hits us with the second verse of the single:

“He rose from the grave, he a shepherd to the sheep. Yeah I’m single but we all got a date in Elohim. Take God, crack the sky, and every knee’s finna bow. Yeah he hung up on a tree and then he saved me from the low. It’s a crowd when we pull up, we be walkin’ with the muscle. We don’t call when we pull up, even when they try to shuffle. I stay, when I shine, never call, but I decline. See a mountain that we’re climbin’ up, I move I change the climate.”

Angie Rose begins this part of the single by rapping about Jesus, how He was resurrected from the grave on the third day, and how He is a guide to people. She’s single but points out that we all have a place with Jesus because He invites us to believe in Him and accept Him into our hearts.

Angie brilliantly ties the beginning of her verse into Bible prophecy and how Jesus will return, and every knee will bow (See the passage of the day, Philippians 2:9-11). She mentions how Jesus saved her from the low (eternal damnation in Hell) by dying on the cross and being resurrected.

Lastly, she mentions shining the same way Jesus did, just like the other artists did in the previous verses of the record.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 4)

Kieran the Light then comes in with the third verse of the song:

“This shift already begun, they’ve never seen this. Plus I’m on a team with the sun like we in Phoenix. This new life, so now I put Him first like a prefix. I’m born again, He let me do it twice like a remix. Peep this, if I’m not winnin’, I still got Jesus in me. Every time I’m still gon’ deliver like I got pizza with me. Too forgivin’, this God vision so I can see the envy. Devil lurkin’, I want all the smoke, so I don’t need a chimney. Holy Ghost influenced my people on the same thing. I hope you got insurance, ‘cause my team gon’ break chains. God sent ‘em, that’s why I keep tellin’ y’all this God-written. Never had no gimmick, but I’m rappin’, this what I’m livin’. The light.”

Firstly, by referencing the Phoenix Suns, Kieran the Light raps about how he and his team have the sun (a metaphor for the light of Jesus). Kieran continues about how life with Jesus is a “new life” (Spirit-led life) where he rightfully puts God above everyone (and everything) else.

In correlation to the first part of this verse, Matthew 6:33 states,

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Kieran mentions being born again (believing in and following Jesus) and notes how God allowed him a second chance to try life again in Christ. He also talks about how even if he isn’t winning, he still has Jesus in him, so he has nothing to fear.

He even disses Satan by rapping about how Satan is lurking, but Kieran has nothing to fear due to Jesus and His Word being with him.

Kieran brilliantly raps about being guided by the Holy Spirit and about him and his team breaking chains. By breaking chains, he means sharing the love and grace of Jesus with people to break their spiritual chains.

Finally, he similarly ends his verse he started it: By talking about how he lives what he raps, which is sharing the light of Jesus with people.

The Chrous runs for the third time, leading us into the last verse…


Interpretation of the Track (Part 5)

Shepherd ends off the track with some real banger bars in the fourth verse of the single:

“Welcome to the league. Now that’s my family. That’s more than DNA, no NDA, you know I gotta speak, I’m on my odyssey, just watch you rave, then I part the sea, so honestly, crooked stick pointed straight who that’s gotta be. Bring it to the table, can’t buy me with no [?], surrounded by them Draco’s, who through help but kept my halo. Had to battle that; watch me handle that. I kept my phone and take I almost lost my mind when my brother passed; you can’t hold me back. And I’m back again, follow the steps of my savior, you know I’m steppin’ in. I’ll make disciples, you rivals, chuck the idols, bring revival, got the title, roll the high note; now I kindly came to remind ‘em that it’s really him.”

Shepherd mentions his team being family not by blood but by how much they love and trust each other. He also says how he almost lost his mind when his brother died.

Shepherd continues rapping about consistently following Jesus and implies how he and his team make disciples of Christ.

He finalizes the last verse of the record by kindly reminding his audience that everything he and his team accomplish for God’s Kingdom is God working through them.


Conclusion

The track TEAM by Shepherd features Angie Rose, Kieran the Light, and Datin. The track has over 53,000 Spotify streams, making it Shepherd’s third most popular track as of writing this installment.

As with all DIVE-reviewed songs, these artists each reference key Biblical concepts.

The central theme of this single is about the main goals of Shepherd and his team:

  • To break chains by sharing the love and grace of Jesus with people and sharing the Gospel (story of Jesus)
  • To work heartily unto the Lord and put God over everyone and everything (ex. putting God over money)
  • To exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit at all times, including when around people and when alone

It is important to remember the core passage of this track:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ‭‭- Phillipians 2:9-11

I believe that this team of Christian Rap artists featured on this track created and performed this track with the best of intentions. These artists came together and performed a very relatable track. A single is about the primary goals of a Christian team, emphasizing shining the light of Jesus as a team.


Thank You for Reading DIVE!

I appreciate you for reading this far into the article! I hope you all enjoyed this installment of The DIVE Series* on FiveTwenty Collective. Stay tuned for the next installment dropping on the 5th of next month!


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full TEAM track at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


1k Phew 'What's Understood'

What’s good, everybody! Welcome to the sixteenth installment of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE Series*! In the previous two installments, I essentially dove into Childlike CiCi’s first EP, 4 Friday. I feel that my latest article was not up-to-par with the rest of my installments, so I will strive to make this one (and future installments) better!

Today, I will DIVE into a classic CHH (Christian Hip Hop) song from 2019. I recommend listening to the track near the bottom of this page before, during, or after reading this article. Note that I will review the most important parts of each part of the song. As always: Let’s DIVE!

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” ‭‭- Revelation 22:12-13


About the Track

1K Phew‘s song, Back Soon, is the third track on his second official album, What’s Understood, released on February 15th, 2019, featuring KB and Parris Chariz. This song gives the sense that these artists know what they’re doing and are growing spiritually. The track has a relatively modern trap feel to it, along with some real fire bars.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 1)

The intro of the track starts off with:

“Young Otto. Young Otto, yeah. Put your hands in the air for Cardec. Ayy, got surfboard in here with me. HGA.”

This introduces us to the four primary people involved in the making of the song in the following order:

  1. “Young Otto” refers to the artist 1K Phew
  2. “Cardec” refers to the producer Cardec
  3. “Surfboard” referring the artist Parris Chariz
  4. “HGA” refers to the artist KB

1K Phew comes in with the Pre-Chorus of the record:

“Can’t go back, used to chase after that. Can’t go back, God came to save the day. Looking at the sky like the roof ’bout to crack. (See what I’m sayin’, ayy).”

Here, 1K Phew speaks on being unable to return to his old sinful ways before he gave his life to Christ and began his relationship with the Father (Jesus). He mentions God saving the day by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins, and the sky looking like it is about to crack (implying that the end times are upon us).

1K Phew then comes in with the actual Chorus of the song:

“Jesus, finna come back soon (Huh). Finna come back soon (What?). Finna come back soon. Say what you need to say. Finna come back soon. Finna come back soon. Finna come back soon. And he gon’ say. Give it up, better not give me no cap (What He gon’ say?). Give it up, better not give me no cap. I’m not falling for none of that cap. Give it up (What He gon’ say?), give it up.”

Here in the Chorus, 1K Phew brilliantly ties Jesus coming back soon with the fact that Jesus is a righteous judge and will judge us accordingly. Jesus will judge according to the truth. Jesus says in Matthew 16:27, “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”


Interpretation of the Track (Part 2)

1K Phew performs the first verse:

“Can’t go back, used to chase after that (I can’t). Can’t go back, caught a case after that (I did). Looking to the sky like the roof ’bout to crack. With the big man falling through the paint, Shaq attack (O’Neal). Pull up with the jump, KD (For real). Gotta show the rock, JAY-Z (For real). Look up in the sky, say cheese (For real). Wanna make it in, say please (For real). Tryna get the flow wavy, yeah. It’s a bunch of us, no Brady (You dig?). Never let an outcast in your circle (Uh-uh). ‘Cause I bet he gon’ do-re-mi. Number three with me everyday, they got the answers. In the field with all my soldiers, I’m Black Panther. Been to so many states, even think I hit New Hampshire. When He come back you gon’ ask for one more chance, huh (Boy).”

In this first verse, he continues what he said in the chorus. He hits us with pop culture icon references such as Shaq, KD, and Jay-Z. I will talk about the Shaq and KD references shortly.

1K Phew’s life was saved by God when he repented, falling on his knees and accepting Jesus as Lord. In a 2019 interview with THIS IS ME TV, he recalled the incident when his vehicle was shot at multiple times after a sale of marijuana:

“When I tell you I fell to my knees so fast bruh like, something came over me that day. My whole body was numb bruh. I fell straight to my knees like just telling God, ‘I’m done, I’m done, I’m done, I’m done, I’m done.’ Because I just knew if I kept going, I would either end up dead or in jail.”

1K Phew relates God cracking through the roof of sin and saving 1K Phew to all-time-great NBA Center, Shaquille O’Neal. In his prime, 325-pound Shaq would beat his opposition in the paint, scoring efficiently and “falling” through defenders. O’Neal is huge, which is why 1K Phew made this comparison. However, God is bigger, and God had (and has) big plans for 1K Phew.

The other NBA star 1K Phew references is KD (or Kevin Durant). KD’s pull-up jumper (also pull-up three) is a very dangerous weapon that KD efficiently uses against opposing teams.

Lastly, he mentions that many people will ask for one more chance when Jesus does indeed return.

1K Phew joins with the Chorus again, leading us into the next verse.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 3)

KB hits us with the second verse of the track by saying:

“Yeah, 1K, KB, yeah. Chief don’t need a cheat code to defeat them. If there’s beef though, it’ll be a free throw. Chief cold with the V though. We the depot to the people, Rico’s dethroned. Chief told me to be bold. So I’m deep soak over VEVO, one-double-zero. Reach low, got the briefs low to your dome. Reach low, got the peace flow to your soul. Peace won’t be the free throw for you long. Chief gon’ go beast mode on the frauds. Everybody gotta stand in the end zone. Can’t fear God like Lorenzo, uh. You can look alive in the Benzo. Dead as the presidents you depend on. It’s on, guap, guap, I got a plane to catch. Uh, I got a, ooh, what, uh, I gotta save some cats. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m tryna bring ’em back, yeah. I see you laughing now, uh, you won’t be laughing last. The Savior’s coming.”

In this second verse, KB mentions “Chief,” meaning God. KB seemingly implies it will be easy for God to defeat fallen angels by saying, “it’ll be a free throw.” He mentions that Chief (God) told him to be bold throughout his life and faith (See Deuteronomy 31:6).

He continues on about how God will go “beast mode” on the frauds. Meaning he will be a righteous judge upon those who did not believe in and accept Jesus into their hearts. He mentions the fact that these people who don’t accept Jesus into their hearts cannot fear God, making the reference, “like Lorenzo.” (Jerry Lorenzo is a sneaker and clothing designer who founded the streetwear label “Fear of God”).

KB finalizes his verse by saying he’s “got a plane to catch” and is “trying to save some cats.” Here, he’s rapping about how he’s ready for when Jesus comes back and how his goal is to make Disciples for Christ, respectively.

He ends the verse by giving us the core of the entire track, “The Savior’s coming.”


Interpretation of the Track (Part 4)

Parris Chariz comes in with the third verse of the track:

“Big dawg P, I got rank, pull up on ’em, whoa. Wave big, look like the sea (Uh-huh). Durag, I put wave on the beat (Uh-huh). New type like nobody got these (Whoa). Big bag, ’cause I’m payin’ my tithes (Okay). Phew called, it’s time to get next (Brrt). He just sent me the water, I’m blessed (Blessed). All the rocket and wave on the ‘net (Splash). Fall to my knees, I got rest (Yes). Hah, it’s Master P for Patton (Patton). It’s not a leak, it’s hazard (Hazard). Don’t gotta preach, I practice (Practice?). I put the blood over everything (Yeah). I got my hood out the hood and things (Yeah). The plan that I drew was a good and thing. The stock could not fit in a wooden frame, uh (Okay). Tone hold a mat, this my essence, yeah (This my essence). We live on a mission, this a special, uh (Where the cash?). No L in my circle, this ain’t Lexus, P.”

Parris mentions he has a big bag because he’s paying his tithes (referencing the 10% tithes in the Bible). He also raps about preaching by practicing. So instead of preaching to people and failing to live it out himself, he clarifies that he practices what the Bible says. This belief is supported by what God’s Word says in James 1:23-24:

“For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.”

He continues to rap about how he pleads the blood of Jesus over himself and everything he has. This essentially means that he wants to use all he is and all he has for Christ. He states that we. as followers of Jesus, live on a mission to spread the Gospel to people and make Disciples for Christ (See Matthew 28:16-20, which is the Great Commission).

Parris finalizes his verse with the banger line, “No L in my circle, this ain’t Lexus, P.” I believe he says this to make it known he doesn’t hang around those who could negatively rub off on him. After all, who we hang around greatly impacts who we become psychologically.


Conclusion

This track has over 2,000,000 Spotify streams, making it the third most popular track on his album What’s Understood at the time of writing.

It is clear that these artists care deeply about their relationships with Jesus. As with all DIVE-reviewed songs with multiple artists, these performers collectively reference key Biblical concepts.

The primary theme of this track that the artists collectively attempt to convey is about Jesus coming back soon.

These artists came together, performed an extremely well-done track, and clarified their intentions. 1K Phew, KB, and Parris Chariz each have their own unique flavor they brought to the song. However, I feel like they all have the same mission statement overall. The mission of sharing the love and grace of Jesus Christ with people.

A big verse implied multiple times in this track is Matthew 16:27. Here, Jesus says, “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”

As mentioned before on this show: If you follow Jesus, you have nothing to fear regarding how your life will turn out if you keep a strong relationship with Jesus and faithfully adhere to God’s will.

It is important to remember the core verse of this track:

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” ‭‭- Revelation 22:12-13

So not only is this track about being ready for the Lord’s return but also about being bold in our faith as Christians and making sure we spread the Gospel (story of Jesus) with people to make Disciples.


Thank You for Reading DIVE!

I appreciate you for reading this far into the article! I hope you all enjoyed this installment of The DIVE Series* on FiveTwenty Collective. Stay tuned for the next installment dropping on the 20th of this month!


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full Back Soon track at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


Hello, and welcome to the thirteenth installment of The DIVE Series*! Like last month, I did not post on the fifth of this month since FiveTwenty does not post on Sundays. In the previous installment, I spoke about Runnin’ with God by YB.

For today’s show, I have chosen a classic CHH (Christian Hip Hop) song from 2017. I recommend listening to the track near the bottom of this page before or after reading this article. Without further ado, let’s DIVE right into the music!

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” ‭‭- 1 Peter 5:8


About the Track

Derek Minor’s song, Take Off, is the second track on his fourth album, Your Soul Must Fly, released on September 1st, 2017, featuring Ty Brasel, Canon, and KB. This song gives me a sense of personal nostalgia, and it also gives me a unique feeling of unparalleled energy I had not felt performed in the same way before. This track has that “Minor” feel that has been a theme in Derek Minor’s songs before, and the artists featured do a particularly great job at matching this feel of the track.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 1)

Derek Minor starts off the track with Pre-Chorus:

“Take off, take off, take off, take off, take off.
Take off, take off, take off, take off, take off.
Runway, take off, take off, take off, take off.
Take off, take off, take off, take off, take off.

This introduces us to the general theme of the song.

Ty Brasel comes in with the Chorus of the track:

“Clear the runway. Take flight, MJ.
Clear the runway. Take flight, MJ.
Clear the runway. Take flight, MJ.
Clear the runway. Take flight, MJ.

Ty mentions clearing the runway and taking flight like Michael Jordan, a retired NBA player nicknamed “Air Jordan,” famous for being an ariel force to be reckoned with when dunking the ball. These phrases emphasize the hype of the track and make it clear they are bold in their life walk. Why? I suppose we’ll find out.

Ty Brasel then comes in with the first verse of the track:

All things work for my good, I know. Big dreams, top flow. Eat good, combo. Just give me some time. All my life I[‘ve] been waitin’ for my chance. Have patience, Young Ty, man. They want my soul and the glean (yuh). They want me switch up the team. Lucy just want my allegiance. Run in cahoots with the evils. My God, I pray. Your blessings, my way (my way). Light beams, Kanye. You lead, Sensei.”

Ty starts his verse by referencing Romans 8:28. He knows everything works together for his good because he knows he is called according to God’s purpose. Ty remembers that it is essential to have patience and adhere to God’s timing to pursue his dreams in life. Given Ty’s verse, we can deduce that it is important to him also to pursue his dreams to glorify God.

Ty continues the verse by mentioning how the evils of this world (demons, including Satan) want Ty’s soul and ultimately want him to stop worshiping Jesus and turn away from God. Mr. Brasel implies that spiritual warfare is essential to his walk and relationship with Jesus. (See Ephesians 6 talking about the armor of God, which is crucial to protect yourself in spiritual warfare).

He finishes the verse by referencing his prayers to God, asking for direction and accepting His will for Ty’s life (all while referencing Kanye’s track “Ultralight Beams,” which talks about how Saul became Paul after being blinded for three days by a light beam from Heaven in Acts 9).


Interpretation of the Track (Part 2)

The second verse, which Canon performed, is as follows:

“Take off, get ready to go. Young Moses with the glow. I’m livin’ color, check my skin tone. Dressed in all white like the pope. Young Joseph with the coat. Dream big ’til they hate you. We don’t do it to get famous. Knock it off nah, bruh. I’m just tryna be faithful.”

Firstly, Canon compares himself to Moses, the man who was given the ten commandments and was described as having a glow on his face due to being with the Lord in Exodus 34. He then compares himself to Joseph, the son of Jacob, whose father made him a colorful coat to show that he loved him in Genesis 37. He then wraps up his first verse of the track by saying he and his friends and family do not work to become famous but rather to be faithful to God and those he loves.

Derek Minor comes in with the Pre-Chorus again, as Ty Brasel comes in with the Chorus for the second time.

Canon comes in with his second verse (third verse of the track) by saying:

“I ‘skirt’, whip in the coupe. Don’t try to walk in my shoes. I’m Superman with them tight jeans. I teach life in the booth. She say she want the guala, guala. Check, this ring on my finger, no holla. I had to leave them genies in them bottles. Found a model now I’m full throttle. Woah!

Here, Canon continues to speak on being faithful. Except now, he promotes and talks about being faithful to his wife rather than doing the opposite.


Interpretation of the Track (Part 3)

KB comes in with the fourth verse of the track:

“One way, downtown. Oh me, oh my. Sauce, sauce, Alfredo. Buckets, kango. Take off, they know. I land, Caicos. Start up, then invest. Three stacks we, break outcast. Peak of the vibe (yuh). Daily I die, Cinco de Mayo. I come on down from the side. Intellectual that’s quick to get with your hype. Don’t go to hypin’ that boy, yeah. We will not lie to that boy, yeah. We do not wait for support, no. No vultures allowed in my courts.”

KB starts with some references, such as referencing Kangol bucket hats. He continues saying, “three stacks we, break outcast.” He also refers to Acts 2, where Peter led 3,000 people to salvation through Christ. These people were considered “outcasts,” and Peter “broke” their chains.

Derek Minor begins to wrap up the track with the song’s fifth verse:

“Minor in the pocket. Won’t you come take off wit me. This United, if you blocking. We might move you out yo seat. You must be sippin’ on sake. Boy, I ain’t worried ’bout nobody. I know, I know that God got me. Float on this beat like a ‘Rari. Wow, mane I see the devil on prowl. Yeah, he want to hold me down. He don’t want me way up in the clouds. He don’t want me way up in the clouds. I could never ever come down. A lot people online, tryin’ to flex for a check. Always talking ’bout birds but it’s never verified. None of my business, I just worry ’bout mine. The wave a tsunami, everybody run and hide, take off.”

Before this track was dropped, Delta Air Lines had an incident where a passenger was forcibly taken off an overbooked flight, and Delta was criticized for its poor customer service. Derek references this incident by saying he and his crew won’t let people get in his way.

He continues to talk about how he’s not worried about anyone working against him because he’s in God’s hands. He mentions Satan being on the prowl wanting to keep Derek down and keep him struggling with sin. Here, he is referencing 1 Peter 5:8, which happens to be the verse of the day. These schemes by Satan mentioned in this verse promote the opposite of “taking off.”


Conclusion

This track has over 1,300,000 Spotify streams, making it the second most popular track on his album Your Soul Must Fly.

These artists care deeply about their relationships with Jesus and collectively reference key Biblical concepts in this track.

The primary theme of this song that the artists Derek Minor, Ty Brasel, Canon, and KB are attempting to convey is “taking off.” Part of “taking off” as a Christian is being sober-minded and watchful of Satan’s desire to hold us down (See 1 Peter 5:8). Another big part of “taking off” is faithfully adhering to God’s will in the process of working heartily unto the Lord.

Ty Brasel references Romans 8:28, which states, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

So not only is this track about being sober-minded and watchful of the devil’s schemes to prevent us from “taking off,” but it is also about working heartily unto the Lord and promoting the act of adhering to God’s will for our lives since all things work together for those who are according to His purpose. If you follow Jesus, you have nothing to fear regarding how your life will turn out if you keep a strong relationship with Jesus and faithfully adhere to God’s will.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full Take Off track at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


The DIVE Series, YB "Running With God"

Welcome to the twelfth installment of FiveTwenty Collective’s very own DIVE Series*!

Last month, I dropped two consecutive DIVE Series installments of Red Tip’s single Nino Brown and Caleb Gordon’s single Fruits of My Labor. This month, I did not drop an installment of DIVE on the fifth because we do not post on Sundays.

I recently came across Runnin’ With God by YB, an older song I felt inspired to discuss in this installment. Let’s DIVE into the track!

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” ‭‭- James 4:8


About the Single

YB‘s track, Runnin’ with God, was released on his sixth EP, Provision II, as a follow-up to his fifth EP, Provision, on May 7th, 2021. This is a chill yet somewhat hype track by YB with an acoustic guitar melody and thumping 808s. YB speaks on what matters most to him and his firm Christian spiritual beliefs on this record.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 1)

YB effectively writes this track with one chorus and one verse.

The chorus begins the track with:

I been through the rain and I weathered the storm. I’m not looking to stop. My God sent the angels, I’m good when I move. Like I move with the mob. Tears in the valley, this life is a jungle. I pray to the top. Life is a marathon, I’m running to him. I’m shaking off weights. And I’m done with the fear cause I’m running with God (yeah). I’m running with God (yeah). I been through the rain and I weathered the storm. I’m not looking to stop. My God sent the angels, I’m good when I move. Like I move with the mob. I’m running with God.

In the Chorus, YB begins by covering how he’s been through his life tribulations and shows he’s not fearful and afraid of more hardships due to his faith in Christ. YB emphasizes God and his angels are watching over him in the chorus.

God provides for those called according to His purpose and whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That is, those who have accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts.

YB mentions praying during his lows, indicating he’s been through tough times and that he prays without ceasing and consistently seeks God. He also says he does not need to fear because of his faith in Christ and the knowledge that God will always provide for him.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 2)

I decided to consolidate the verse of the track into one quote. The verse of the song is as follows:

I been in a house with no lights. Momma would pray through the night. My brothеr was dodging a case. I witnessed thе fight of his life as he struggled for sight. And honestly I could see God through my mom as she work and she took care of eight. We didn’t get too many services, but we were blessed with a woman of faith. We ain’t have much, we had us. To me, God could never be normal. As long I live, as long I rap, I pray that I never put on an performance. It’s more than a show, more than a lyric. My question is man, I need Him period. James 4:8, I’m going near Him. I stand behind truth when I stare in the mirror. I know they don’t like this. Game in a tight grip. 2013 since I left passion it’s been a light switch. More like a life switch. The journey a battle, this moment of clarity. Grace in His love, I’m dying a soldier. The armor of God are the tools that I fight with (Yuh).”

Here, YB talks about living in a home without lights as his mom prayed through the night.

YB could see God working through his mom as she cared for him (and his seven siblings). He mentions that his family did not have much, but God blessed them with a mom who believed in C. He continues to rap about how he and his family may not have had much while growing up, but they had each other (and, of course, God). YB makes it clear in the verse of this track that his music is more than just some brilliant performance or “cool” lyrics. It’s about seeking Christ in his life and letting his light shine before others to glorify God in Heaven.

YB references James 4:8, which I will reference and speak on in the Conclusion of this installment.

YB conveys that he was saved and accepted Jesus into his heart in 2013 when he “left [the] passion” of this world and had a “life switch.” The journey may be challenging, but there is grace in Jesus’ love. YB fights with the Armor of God (See Ephesians 6:10-18) and is not afraid to die a soldier for Christ.

The chorus that started off the track wraps up the song.


Conclusion

This record has over 1,300,000 Spotify streams, making it his third most popular track on Spotify in terms of the number of total listens as of the writing of this installment.

Based on the meat of this track, which I have discussed here is what YB is trying to convey:

YB is passionate about his relationship with Christ. YB is not fearful and knows God will provide for his needs. In a broken world, YB makes it clear he is passionate about His faith in Christ and will seek God no matter what.

As mentioned in the previous installment of this series, Jesus is the Spiritual nutrient everyone longs for. This is an important concept that ties in nicely with the meaning of this record.

YB brilliantly references James 4:8, which states, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Drawing near to God is the primary message of this record that drives home the Biblical principle of seeking God and genuinely following Jesus, including repentance of sins, prayer with God, and staying rooted in God’s Word. YB cares deeply about fearlessly standing up boldly for his faith in Christ. This, and the previous Biblical principles conveyed in this record, are essential for all Christians to understand and lovingly live out daily.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full Runnin’ with God single at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!

The DIVE Series: Redtips, "Nino Brown"

Welcome to the tenth installment of The DIVE Series*. It is an honor to have written ten consecutive articles for FiveTwenty Collective. I am your host, DJ Expander. If you are new to this series, thank you for tuning in! I genuinely appreciate all of the support this series has been receiving.

If you are a recent or consistent reader of the series, you will have noticed that last month I went over Ty Brasel’s latest and most complete album, TRANSCENDENT.

I recently came across a relatively new song by Red Tips. The music was so good that I could not pass up the opportunity to write an article about this single called Nino Brown.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ‭‭- Psalm 119:105


About the Single

Red Tips‘ single Nino Brown was released on July 24th, 2022. This track is easily one of my favorite tracks from Red Tips. That is saying something. I will extract and cover only the most important meanings of the track to clarify what Red Tips is attempting to convey in the single to the best of my ability.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 1)

The most critical “meat” of the first verse is as follows:

“I got that Bible on me like a kilo. Leave the devil with a stitch like he Lilo. I got the sauce like Hoshino. Had to cut off the dead weight, keto. Momma told me, ‘Don’t do nothin’ illegal’. I’m pushin’ the Word on my name Benny Siegel. Get out or lay down! Bad and I’m brown like Nino. Holy one with the chips like a Cheeto. Lawyer called and he told me I’m free ‘to. Satan thought he won’t get hit wit a veto (Ha!).”

Here, Red Tips makes it clear that he often keeps the Word of God (the Bible) by his side. As a follower of Jesus, this is essential to his walk with God. He speaks about leaving the devil with a stitch (or leaving the devil in the dust) like he’s Lilo, referencing the 2002 Disney film “Lilo & Stitch.” Next, he talks about how he has charisma and cuts off his dead weight like he was on a keto diet. This “dead weight” line is likely a pun because he probably means he lost weight physically and cut some ties with toxic people.

Red Tips implies that his mom raised him right and he’s genuine about publicly conveying that he follows God’s Word. He is unashamed of the Gospel and isn’t afraid of being known to be deeply rooted in the Bible.

He also conveys that it is good to be holy and have money to provide. (Note that he is not saying the love of money and material items is good. The love of money is the root of all evil, but having money and material things to provide for yourself and others is alright). Lastly, he mentions how he’s free (likely referencing what Jesus did for him on the cross). Satan thought he wouldn’t get shut down by Red Tips, but Satan ended up getting rejected by him due to his faith in God.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 2)

Red Tips’ awesome pen game continues with this in the chorus of the song:

“If that’s what you want then go get it. All my dogs gotten straight out the trenches. Penthouse we ain’t gettin’ no mentions. In the game, we ain’t ridin’ no benches. Get out of yo’ feelings, get out of yo’ boss. Start wheelin’ and dealin’. My life raisin’ up ’cause I ain’t got no ceilings. My neck and my wrist the only thing that’s chillin’. You only want me, you can’t call up a feelin’ (Woo woo woo). Shinobi out there hittin’, live how I’m feelin’. I been kickin’. Give me the disc, I’ma throw it like krillin’. It’s nothin’ to me. I step in and he parted the sea. He told me that he livin’ through me. That mean I got the heart of a G (Yeah). It’s nothin’ to me.”

Based on everything that I understand in the chorus of the track, Red Tips is likely expressing:

  • How important it is to have a good work ethic to achieve your goals in life
  • How important it is not to feel sorry for yourself and get to work on your goals and dreams (hence the term “wheelin’ and dealin’)
  • How he’s going nowhere but up due to his hard work
  • How has an icy neck and wrist (neck and wrist with jewelry on them)
  • How he lives authentically and hangs out with friends in contentment
  • How God directs his paths
  • How God lives through Red Tips, meaning he has the heart of a G (someone who is not fake)

The entirety of verse 2 is the following:

“I’m goin’ for bro, I’m takin’ all of the risks. When I shoot now it’s shot like a wrist. Ball, like I’m ’bout it, get signed with a niche. Lash on the bread like I’m takin’ a pic yeah. It’s a movie, how we do it. Ratatouille, I get to it. Got a cross on my back I can’t lose it. I got the gospel of peace I’ma use it. Quick fast, quick pass. Hit hard so I got whiplash. How you bring that thing back with no tag? How you pushin’ the whip with no gas? I put faith in the tank and I dash. Read the word, and I pray, and I fast. Goin’ Hulk in a hole and I smash. Satan, I’m kickin’ yo’— (*Beep*).

In this verse, he indicates that he is not afraid to take risks, shoots his shots willingly, and has his niche in the Christian Rap space. Red Tips mentions how his life is like a movie, giving the movie “Ratatouille” as an example of his work ethic.

He speaks about having a cross on his back (referencing how Jesus carried the cross to Calvary to die on that same cross for our sins). He also mentions how he has the Gospel of peace (otherwise known as the story of Jesus Christ) and is not afraid to use the Gospel to help others find their way to Jesus.

I want to address five consecutive bars that end the second verse. He asks how people can drive a car with no gas and then proceeds to make the analogy that driving the vehicle is living a fulfilled life. That the gas needed to live a fulfilled life in Christ is faith in God. He continues by saying he reads the Bible, talks with God, and fasts (which are all fundamental Biblical principles). He goes on to say he’s “goin’ Hulk” or going “beast mode” against Satan and hits Satan with a burn saying, “I’m kickin’ yo’ [behind].” Let us make sure that we understand how he’s “kicking Satan’s [behind].” Red Tips has made it clear that he wants nothing to do with Satan’s schemes and rejects Satan’s temptations with the help of the Holy Spirit.

The chorus runs one last time and then the song ends.


Conclusion

Today, this record has over 110,000 Spotify streams, making it the third most popular track on Spotify for Red Tips. Just behind HIT MY LINE and STUFF BACK.

Based on the given information, Red Tips’ primary point he is attempting to convey is likely the following:

He has worked hard to achieve his success; rejects Satan’s temptations and schemes; frequently prays, fasts, and uses God’s Word as a light to guide him through his life.

As stated in Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” This is an excellent theme verse for this track, given what Red Tips is likely attempting to convey to his audience.

It is important to Red Tips to make a positive difference in his audience’s lives. It is equally important to him to make that difference by unashamedly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help lead others to God.

In the same way, God’s people should reject Satan’s temptations, pray without ceasing, frequently fast, and ultimately use God’s Word as a light to guide us through our lives.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full Nino Brown single at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!


The DIVE Series: Ty Brasel, 'Transcendent'

Welcome to the ninth installment of The DIVE Series*. I am your host, DJ Expander. Today, for the first time, I will cover a Christian Hip Hop album!

If you read my last article about “SET IT OFF”, you probably remember that today is the day that I will DIVE into Ty Brasel’s latest and most complete album, TRANSCEDENT.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ‭‭- John 16:33‭

According to Ty Brasel in Season 5, Episode 2 of Southside Rabbi, the story of the album stems from Ty Brasel’s life from late 2019 to late 2022.

TRANSCENDENT covers him ascending into success within Christian Hip Hop, going through heartbreak, trials & tribulations, and becoming lost in sin and pride. When he lost his way, he realized that he needed to repent since God’s mercy knows no bounds.

Sit back and enjoy the coverage of this album!


Basic Credits for TRANSCENDENT

Here are the basic credits for each track on TRANSCENDENT. I have compiled this list to the best of my ability based on thorough research:

TRACK #1: CELESTIAL (ACT 1) –

Produced by: Juice Bangers

TRACK #2: RIGHT ON TIME –

Featuring: Parris Chariz
Produced by: Dirty Rice, Juice Bangers, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #3: ON THE RUN –

Produced by: Dirty Rice, Juice Bangers, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #4: MAD 2 THE MAX –

Featuring: Jay-Way
Produced by: Juice Bangers, Dirty Rice, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #5: SET IT OFF –

Produced by: Juice Bangers and Dirty Rice

TRACK #6: IN THE WEST –

Produced by: Juice Bangers, Dirty Rice, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #7: PRICELESS –

Featuring: Foggieraw
Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #8: LOVE? –

Featuring: The WRLDFMS Tony Williams
Produced by: Dirty Rice, Juice Bangers, and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #9: TERRESTRIAL (ACT 2) – 

Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #10: HOLLYWOOD LIFE –

Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #11: LOST –

Produced by: Dirty Rice, Joseph Prielozny, and Juice Bangers

TRACK #12: CROSSROADS –

Featuring: Aaron Cole
Produced by: Dirty Rice and Joseph Prielozny

TRACK #13: FAITH –

Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #14: GOD IS THE BEST –

Featuring: 1K Phew
Produced by: Dirty Rice

TRACK #15: SHINING –

Featuring: Aha Gazelle
Produced by: Dirty Rice and Juice Bangers


Interpretation of the TRANSCENDENT’S 1st Act: CELESTIAL

I will now DIVE into each track’s clear and potential meanings in the first act of TRANSCENDENT:

CELESTIAL (ACT 1) –

‘TRANSCENDENT’ starts with an interlude informing the audience that they are entering the first act. This leads us to RIGHT ON TIME.

RIGHT ON TIME –

The album’s second track is about overcoming (or transcending) stress and anxiety by submitting to God’s will and staying faithful in prayer. This track leads exceptionally well into the next…

ON THE RUN –

Following “RIGHT ON TIME” is a genre-bending song.

The first of three tracks in a row that are the most hype and fast-paced of ACT 1. Not only well done individually, but they play exceptionally well together. Ty Brasel talks about his success in the music industry and how he is blessed, but the best is yet to come. This is an excellent follow-up to the previous song.

Let us make sure we grasp the story of the album so far:

Near the beginning of the three-year period in which this album takes place (late 2019-late 2022), Ty submitted to God’s will and stayed faithful in prayer (as conveyed in RIGHT ON TIME). He conveys the story’s beginning of how he entered success (particularly in the Christian Hip Hop space). This leads us to MAD 2 THE MAX

MAD 2 THE MAX –

Hype and fast-paced, just like “ON THE RUN” and “SET IT OFF”, MAD 2 THE MAX also speaks on Brasel’s rise to success. There are differences in this track that I would like to point out.

Ty mentions him and his team being on the rise. Then Jay-Way, featured on this particular track, mentions being showered with blessings. This track’s primary purpose is to convey Ty’s highs when he reached tremendous success as a CHH artist and Gospel singer.

SET IT OFF –

The second single off TRANSCENDENT, SET IT OFF released after the lead single “GOD IS THE BEST”. This track serves as the end of Ty’s story about reaching tremendous success. Like the last track, he conveys the high he feels when reaching such a high level of success with his music.

Brasel makes it clear that he made it through his previous tribulations and only has his success because of God’s amazing grace. He also makes it clear his goal is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Being a genuine follower of Jesus and a CHH artist means showing God’s love to others and sharing the Gospel’s message and testimony with people.

For more information about “SET IT OFF” by Ty Brasel, click here!

IN THE WEST –

This is the first track on TRANSCENDENT where Ty mentions feeling stressed over the three-year period in which the story of the album takes place. It is also the first track in the album where he describes a heartbreak.

He mentions how it’s a cold world and a cold life. At this point in the story, he’s feeling a lot of pain due to a lost life. This can be found in Verse 1 of the track. Here he mentions how bullets were flying and how there aren’t any pain medications for a lost life. He also describes how he dealt with idols during his life. In the chorus of the track. he talks about being stressed yet blessed. In Verse 2, he mentions how God blessed him with another day and he gives God praise because of it.

It is unclear to me in what way(s) Ty experienced heartbreak during this time in his life. Whether it’s heartbreak with his significant other, a loss of a loved one, or both, I am not entirely sure based on all the listening I have done.

It is, however, evident at this point that this is the beginning of the part of the story where he starts struggling with stress, heartbreak, and sin.

This leads us to the next track, PRICELESS

PRICELESS –

During PRICELESS, Brasel continues talking about his struggles with stress. However, there is a twist.

This track is more or less a message to his significant other. He talks about how going anywhere together will be priceless. Foggieraw even steps in on Verse 2 and speaks as if he’s sending a message to his former significant other about how he moved on and loves his current significant other.

What does this mean for Ty Brasel’s love life at the time? I am unsure. I care more about how God helps him through what he is dealing with in this particular season of his life (stress, heartbreak, and sin).

LOVE?

LOVE? is very similar to the previous track as it is a message to Ty’s significant other. Here, he makes it extremely clear that he is undoubtedly in love with his significant other. He mentions that he is sorry for his pride, lies, and jealousy. Seemingly describing that his significant other wasn’t calling Ty anymore and she wasn’t around. He asks, “What’s left to show now?”

This part of the plot within the album may just be going right over my head, but I’m unsure what this means for Ty’s relationship with his significant other during this season of his life. I will not make a wild guess and risk being wrong about something I don’t fully understand. I am merely here to analyze this album and give you the meaning to the best of my ability.

It is, however, extremely evident that he still loves her. A great way to end this part of the installment!


Interpretation of TRANSCENDENT’S 2nd Act: TERRESTRIAL

I will now DIVE into each track’s clear and potential meanings in the second act of this album:

TERRESTRIAL (ACT 2) –

Beginning with TRANSCENDENT‘S second act, TERRESTRIAL (ACT 2) conveys that to transcend things like despair, anxiety, and depression, you must be honest with yourself. To be willing to redirect the time you spend with God.

HOLLYWOOD LIFE –

On this track, Ty kicks off the musical meat of ACT 2 by talking about how “Hollywood life” and fame have affected him.

He lost his way during this season of finally reaching the success he prayed for. He talks about his struggle with lust.  Brasel also makes it clear how he struggled with intrusive and evil thoughts throughout his life, such as blowing all his money on drugs or jumping off a building to escape his pain.

He lost his way and had a tough time struggling with sin. This leads us nicely into LOST

LOST –

Ty asks God to watch over him and keep him strong while he’s struggling in the deep end with his mental health. Through the storm and through the fire, he looks to God for direction. This is very important for the story of the album because he is now feeling low in his mental health, but he is faithful to God by looking to Him for direction and peace.

CROSSROADS –

Here, Ty continues what he was saying in the previous track by describing how he’s been in the deep end with his mental health but still asking God to lead him down the right path (hence the name CROSSROADS). He is at a fork in the road. Brasel asks God for direction, which is important for any Christian’s walk and relationship with the Lord. 

FAITH

At this point in the album’s story, Ty praises God for helping him transcend and overcome his pain. He previously lost his way, but now he has returned to God. Transcending his previous sin and pain, finding peace in Jesus.

GOD IS THE BEST –

On GOD IS THE BEST, God is highly praised and Ty is thankful that God led him out of his previous pitfalls, sin, and pain. Ty and 1K Phew both give the glory and praise to God on this track.

SHINING –

This particular song was the second follow-up single of the album that dropped before the entire album. After the lead and first follow-up singles, GOD IS THE BEST and SET IT OFF, respectively. A great way to end the album, this track speaks on how grateful Ty is to God that he made it out of his previous trials and how Ty will continue shining.


TRANSCENDENT: Conclusion

TRANSCENDENT is a genre-bending and otherworldly Christian Hip Hop album created by IVAV artist Ty Brasel, with high-level features in Parris Chariz, Jaw-Way, Foggieraw, The WRLDFMS Tony Williams, Aaron Cole, 1K Phew, and Aha Gazelle. The production of the tracks ranges from Dove Award-winning engineers such as Dirty Rice, Joseph Prielozny, and Juice Bangers.

This album is ultimately about transcending limits and overcoming obstacles with God’s help and direction. These limits and obstacles can range from mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual problems.

This DIVE reveals the primary purpose of this album is to tell the story of Ty Brasel from late 2019 to late 2022 and show people through this story that it is possible to transcend obstacles through God’s direction.

Today’s Verse of the Day is John 16:33, which reads‭, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In context, Jesus is talking to his disciples here about why he’s teaching them. John 16:1 – He tells His followers that he is teaching them so they may not fall away or lose their way. John 16:33 – He tells His followers that he teaches to give them peace. That there will be obstacles they will have to transcend, but He has overcome the world.

Submitting to God’s will, through prayer and staying rooted in God’s Word, is of the utmost importance for followers of Jesus to transcend the obstacles of this life as so elegantly conveyed in Ty Brasel’s TRANSCENDENT.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to DIVE into the true meaning of their art.

I recently became a Genius Contributor, primarily for contributing lyrics for a total of four songs on TRANSCENDENT. I plan to continue contributing to the Christian Hip Hop community on Genius. Check out my Genius page here!

Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of DIVE on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Check out the full TRANSCENDENT album on Spotify!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the full series here.