Odyssey Exclusive: Interview With Sir The Baptist

Odyssey Exclusive: Interview With Sir The Baptist

Very few artists encompass "started from the bottom, now we're here" like Sir the Baptist has.
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Church Pub Rap. Contemporary Ghetto Gospel. Secular Hip Hop.

For a genre with so many names, it's difficult to place your finger on precisely what this style of music sounds like - that is, until you listen to Sir the Baptist perform. While an R&B infused gospel seems like an impossible sound, it makes sense once you learn about Sir the Baptist's history.

I had the opportunity to meet with Sir the Baptist and his team as they took over Free Press Summer Fest in Houston, TX. An "urban hymnist" in his own right, Sir is the son of a preacher and a missionary, with such secularism evident in his music influenced by Nat King Cole and Ray Charles. While performing, he had opened up to the audience as someone much more than an artist, but also a vivid story teller, discussing his experience as a homeless man and other obstacles in his life.


"I think life is an obstacle course," he told me after his performance. "You've kinda just gotta keep going every day. Wake up, work hard, and hopefully you jump and overcome an obstacle that you didn't even know was there."

Wake up and work hard, he did, evident with his tremendous Atlantic Record deal and successful national tour. From Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza,from taking over BET's Snapchat to taking over the stage at Late Night with Seth Meyers, the explosive success is as evident as ever, but offered some more input on life's constant struggles.

"You see, some of the obstacles are ourselves. The biggest stumbling block is the one we set there - out of being egotistical, not communicating with one another - we set [these obstacles] because of ourselves."

Another thing that sets Sir the Baptist apart from other performers in the industry is him and his team's determination to give back everywhere they perform. Whether it's aiding flood victims in Houston, refugees in the northwest, or simply speaking with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, they're dedicated to helping our nation's communities in any way they can.

"In this industry, I think we've set a terrible norm - taking money, calling it entertainment, and begging for money on Twitter... Like, what are you doing? They need money in the community! Don't take advantage of your community. Give back."

It's inspiring, listening to Sir the Baptist and his team speak. Nowadays, society doesn't expect artists to do anything but perform, which is precisely the notion they hope to change. "Our generation has to start fixing this... Get back to helping," he pleas. "Get involved! Get out of the studio, and go to somebody who's sleeping in a studio - one bedroom - with eight kids!"

This idea of selflessness and giving back to the community is evident throughout the team, who took me in that day at the festival and welcomed me as if I were one of their own. I'd like to give a shoutout to the fantastic team consisting of, Jay Cohen, Johnny Fan, Ajaj Frazier, Scott Englert, Joshua Stovall, Shannon Clay, Kelsey Quinn, those I knew simply as Tuba and Vet, and of course, Sir William James the Baptist.

If you have time, Sir the Baptist's music through Spotify or watch his music videos on YouTube. If you don't have the time, make it and then proceed to do all of the above. Learn more about DeedPin, a creation backed by the team to track good deeds throughout the world. Not only their music, but also their message and service is a breath of fresh air in the music industry that audiences of all walks of life are sure to enjoy.

And remember, "raise Hell until you reach Heaven's door."

Cover Image Credit: Sir the Baptist: Official Website

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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YouTube Used To Be Awesome, Now It's A Home For Negativity

What's so important about telling all your subscribers? Is it crucial for them to know everything?

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YouTube is probably the one social media site I use more than the rest of them. I can spend hours upon hours watching YouTube, which totally isn't healthy whatsoever, and catch up on the latest gossip and funny videos because as a teenager, I'd rather be unproductive than productive. However, over the years and years, I've spent wasting my time watching stupidly funny videos, I don't think I've gone one day without thinking about how annoying YouTube actually is. More specifically, how annoying some of the influencers are when they turn to the site to deliberately destroy as many of their fellow YouTubers careers as possible.

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of the people who got themselves caught up in all the YouTube drama just to lose their spot on the social ladder, most likely deserve the negativity they're receiving simply because those specific people have abused their power and manipulated and preyed on others. But, while those people are being exposed, the rest of the YouTube community is doing everything they can to find the smallest things they can find to use against their competitors. Does that even make any sense?

Disregarding all the hate and negativity I've seen within the YouTube community the past few days, here's one question I want to ask everyone:

Haven't any of you made a mistake before?

The judgments we make as we watch the careers of influencers disintegrate into dust honestly only makes us seem like hypocrites. That goes for me, as well. I've got myself caught up in the drama before because we all know how entertaining it can be. I've also made my judgments and acted as if I've never made mistakes before. But, looking at the big picture, if you gave me a penny for every time I've made a mistake, I'd have my own private island. That goes for everyone else, too. And like I said before, some of these people asked for what they got, but the large number of people who got hate for making a mistake that didn't have anything to do with the law, are human beings too and most of the time, deserves a second chance.

Additionally, YouTube should not be used as a platform to bully and expose each other. Quite frankly, social media, in general, was not created so that each and every one of us could rat out the person sitting next to us because we "feel like it". The use of social media through the means of catching predators and criminals WITH the help of the law is completely different and is something that I believe in. Using various social websites to reach out and warn others is a way of helping and saving each other, and I'm grateful for that aspect. My main concern is that people are taking their social power to wreak havoc on those that probably only did them wrong once.

Not only that, but one of the reasons why most YouTubers choose to tell their subscribers about their feuds with other YouTubers, or their problems in general, is literally because their viewer count rises simultaneously with the money in their bank accounts. Sometimes, it's not even about the money, It's about making the other person look bad so that they can look better. I don't understand why anyone would feel the need to start more drama just to gain more attention.

Once again, this doesn't relate to the use of social media through legal purposes. This is about those who bully others because they'd rather be rich and famous than be genuine. However, I can't and will not speak for everybody for there are many people who truly use YouTube to raise awareness and have every right to use their channels for those purposes. But, for those of you who would rather settle your disputes publicly instead of privately for the means of more attention, that's something that'll only leave YOU in the dust at the end.

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