You may never read this, but as a young boy who grew up, hiding to listen to Biggie, Jay, & Outkast, you are a breath of fresh air. If I'm honest, I didn't know what I was going to say or do when it was my turn to step up and get a picture with you at the Meet & Greet. The whole drive down, I was just taking everything in; reminiscing on every song that has impacted my life over the years. How you've influenced me as an aspiring artist, and how your example is one that has garnered extreme criticism, but so much respect for never wavering in your faith. So I say thank you, for a few things.
Thank you for taking the Gospel to the World. When you first came out and said that you were a Hip Hop artist, not a Christian artist, I was confused. A little turned off, because I didn't understand how one who has been changed by the Gospel would not want to be labeled as such. Now that I'm older, and have seen what you've done, I get it. I have more friends who aren't believers who listen to you versus those who are. I've found many people, including myself, that have been touched by your music in a way that has changed our lives forever. To see you in pictures with Waka Flocka, or creating songs with Tye Dolla, for me is huge. You are literally taking the Gospel to the World, you're taking the chances that most won't; talking to the people that many will ignore. Healthy people don't need a doctor, sick people do, just like the World needs Jesus. You've shown me that it is possible to stay faithful to God and what you believe and still be an artist. I've never wanted to be placed in a box because I'm a believer, and you have opened a lane for that to happen.
Thank you for Background with Andy on Rehab. Recently, The Lord highlighted a pride issue in my life, and to be honest, I didn't know how to handle that. I didn't know what step to take, what to read or what to pray. For months, i just repeated daily, "Lord, strip away my pride." I was in the car one day, and in my spirit I felt the need to listen to that song. Now I've heard it before, many times, but in that moment when I hit play, tears began to fall. I just cried, asking God to take charge of every area in my life, and show me how to take the backseat.
Thank you for All Things Work Together. I felt that Gravity had successfully crossed over into mainstream Hip Hop, but ATWT... This is my favorite album by far. There aren't too many albums that I can put on and let it ride, and this one I can have on repeat for days. Thank you for the creativity, thank you for the transparency; your openness and not hiding what you were going through at that time in your life. Your concert in Tampa was my first concert of yours, and I could hear your heart in every song, specifically Cry For You, Can't Stop Me, I'll Find You & Worth It. Thank you for inspiring and influencing a generation that needs to know Jesus. Thank you for using your platform to point back to the One who saved you, and how we all need him.
Thank you for being Unashamed. 116 Forever.