Rappers generally intrigue me, I admire and respect their energy and potential. I view them as deep people, poetic in nature, they have the lyrics and rhythm, they are termed to be Hip=Hop Singers. I respect them even more when they are gospel singers. Today, most gospel rappers/hip-hop artistes are not fully accepted especially in the church and from the older generation. They never get to understand their depth, according to research, Its either, their words are not clear enough or they look and sound “worldly”
Hip Hop singers are not necessarily rappers but rappers come under this category. Here with me at Priscilla’s Place is a cool young, talented, award winning gospel hip-hop artiste/rapper, producer. His name is Samuel Imo aka LIMOBLAZE. I was drawn to his humility and talent. His lines are smooth, deep, fluid and very clear, I love to hear him rap all the time. I actually featured him on one of my songs titled “Take Control” to be released soon. Yah!- He arranged the song and we had fun with the song. Watchout for that soon!!!!! This interview is to make you see Hip-Hop in another light. Enjoy.
Limoblaze: First of all, I have to say thank you for having me here. There is a funny story to the name.
My name is Samuel Imo, way back in my primary school, I used to have this teacher who spoke like an American and he would usually call both names real quick, almost like it’s one name and not two. He would call me Samuelimo, so the name “Limo” stood out and everyone in class started calling me that and I kinda liked it too. In high school I got real serious with rap music and I would usually do these freestyles in class and my friends just thought I was hot (hahaha) so the blaze stepped in. That’s just it, no spiritual links or bible roots to that name, hahahaha…
Priscilla: (smiles) Interesting I see. I love how it sounds too. So tell me what does Hip-Hop mean to you? And is there any difference between Hip-Hop and Gospel Hip-Hop?
Limoblaze: Hip hop means so much to me, it is the biggest form of communication to me and to lots of young people out there, hence making it a very important tool in our today’s society. It can come off as an essential kingdom tool or a dangerous tool depending on how it is used. It is a point of kingdom service to me, hence it is my ministry and it’s also a career to me. As to if there is a difference between hip-hop and gospel hip hop, I would say yes in terms of lyrically content and message but the musical genre still remains hip-hop.
Limoblaze: I listen to alot of musical styles and genres, but I guess I’ve always been fascinated about how one can just put several pieces of words together in a rhythm and make much sense out of it. Plus it’s more challenging than just singing and running scales hahaha and yes I love a good challenge.
Priscilla:(frowns) thread softly limoblaze, youre throwing a shade to non-rappers.
Limoblaze: Haha no harm!
Priscilla: Why is Gospel Hip-Hop not fully accepted in the church?
Limoblaze: Well I think it’s because the current church leadership especially in African countries is an older generation that is not really familiar with hip hop as it is not really a major part of our culture , and most times people are just scared of what they don’t understand. Plus there has been so much evil depictions of hip hop by main stream media, so the church is yet to understand that hip hop though is been used to portray lots of wrong and immoral messages can also exist as a kingdom tool.
Priscilla: Hummn! Do you think the older generation can ever embrace Hip-hop?
Limoblaze: Sure I think so, if they could only give us a chance and see the life transforming work God is doing through gospel hip hop, yes. Or else we might just have to wait until this younger generation becomes the older generation.
Priscilla: I think Hip-Hop artistes are deep people, poetic and creative, do you agree?
Priscilla: Who is your favourite Hip Hop artiste Nigerian nd international? Why
Limoblaze: its really hard to pick one, because it’s currently changing. My Nigerian favorite is my brother Nolly because he’s been able to do with ease something that’s been so hard for me to do, which is to rap in my native language- Igbo, hahaha* but of course there’s this top 5 I respect the most, Gamie, Wallz, Omari, Rapsodee and Provabs on the International scene, Lecrae’s my favorite, and my top; John Givez, Gemstones, Nf, Jackie Hill Perry & Andy Mineo
Priscilla:How do you draw inspiration to rap?
Limoblaze:God inspires my lyrics, the Bible, good music, movies, books, nature, beauty, love ,etc.
Priscilla:One of my favourite song of yours is NO Regrets! Which was #1 on the chart for good straight 4 – 5 weeks on Praiseworld Radio. I’m yet to see another, What made this song special?
Limoblaze:Honestly God made that song special, cos I had already written a different song on that instrumental after I made it, but the spirit kept pushing me to write again, which I did and No regrets was born. Shout out to my friend Shayee FKA Lil Kal for the dope vocals.
Priscilla: So I heard about the Unstoppable Hip-Hop Competition hosted by Bouqui you participated- Tell me about it
Limoblaze:Yea! So I came back from school one weekend and I was going through a blog, saw a post about the competition, I got the beat and told myself “well there’s nothing to loose,” so I just hit the studio the next day recorded my entry, sent it right away and took my mind off it. Weeks later, I came up as second runner up and am grateful to God, to my big sis Bouqui and all those who were involved. I got my $500 cash reward too.
Limoblaze:I just put out my new project “Last Arena Lp” for free download, and am back to my basement grinding out new music, which ya’ll gone hear soon, for now am totally independent which is not easy at all, so while I wait in faith for some financial support, or management deal or in short a bigger platform, I will keep working and recording new music, putting out singles, and free projects, also doing lots of Nigerian and international collaborations, concerts, shows and hopefully a tour.
Priscilla: Give me 5 lines or bars on Praiseworld Radio
Limoblaze:: (laughs) 5 lines, ok imma freestyle then, listen
Am really glad to be on Praiseworld radio
where the praise is always high(hi) like I just said hello
where the spirit takes the lead like singing soprano
All glory to God, no glory for me
cos I know am only here because He wants me to be…