Monday, Dec 5, 2016
HomeChristian Hip HopNew York Rapper Th3 Saga talks Battle Rap, music, and more

New York Rapper Th3 Saga talks Battle Rap, music, and more

th3-saga-talks-battle-rap-music-and-more

Th3 Saga is a name that has been making it’s way through Christian Hip-Hop over the past couple of years. Major artists in the genre such as Swoope, Social Club and Sho Baraka have noticed what this young emcee has been doing. As have some fans in the community.

If you don’t know, Th3 Saga is a battle rapper. He is trying to use his God given abilities to bring light to a place where Christians typically stay away from; the battle rap culture. Over the past few years Th3 Saga has been moving his way up through the most popular and well respected battle rap league, the URL (Ultimate Rap League). Saga is breaking down walls and barriers that never seemed possible to be broken down.

Though he has been pegged as a “Christian battle rapper” there is much more to Th3 Saga. He fights to break the stereotypes of being a Christian rapper and being a battle rapper. It is a seemingly never ending uphill battle, but Saga has prevailed and is continuing to carve out a place in hip-hop for himself, that is completely unique to him.

I had an opportunity to sit down with the Queens rapper and find out what are inspirations, the reaction to what he’s doing and what his future plans are.

Inspirations and Early Career

Saga drew inspiration from artists like G-Unit and Lauryn Hill, and when he decided to follow the Lord and do Christian hip-hop, he gleaned inspiration from Mase. He learned that “you can make clean, positive music, still have fun, and make good music.”

Th3 Saga’s first song, as he jokes, was corny and was called “Solider Salute.”

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When Th3 Saga goes against hard-hitting opponents, he doesn’t shy away from letting his audience know he is a Christian. “It doesn’t matter what they call me, because I know the purpose I serve.”

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Th3 Saga doesn’t really like labels, but he wears the “Christian Rapper” label proudly because he believes that not being consistent with it can cause confusion with Christians and non-Christians alike. “I don’t really care for labels, but if you had to put a label on me, I’m a Christian rapper. I rap about God.”

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Saga was a church kid. He grew up in the church – in what he called a family church, because his aunt is the senior pastor, mom is the worship leader and both brothers are apart of the worship team with his cousin. However, it wasn’t until he was a teenager where he felt like God was calling him and he got baptized.

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Battle Rap

His battle rap roots run very deep even though he is still relatively young in the game (three years). “I have been a fan of the culture my whole life.” It wasn’t until college that he had his first battle. His friend Angel kind of talked him into it and God took it from there.

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The jump from a small college league to the biggest battle rap league in the world is a big one. Saga was able to make that jump as quick as I’ve ever seen. It started with a shout out from an opponent of his named Alonzo Green,  and that lead to URL A&R Norbes hearing about him and giving him a shot.

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The opportunity to join the URL is a great one and with that, the decision making behind it was very difficult. Saga actually wanted to stop battling after he was done battling in college. But he felt that God wanted him to keep going. He didn’t really know the purpose but he feels as if “God wants to make effective change in the battle rap culture.”

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Th3 Saga is blazing a trail, and with blazing a trail comes negative reactions. He has heard it from both the church and the world. He uses his support system, the encouragement of fans and his trust in God’s call for him, to push past the negativity that he receives.

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The feedback hasn’t all been negative though. Saga has received a lot of praise from a lot of the greats within the battle rap culture. He has been able to build relationships with big names like Charlie Clips, Hollow da Don, Murda Mook and Loaded Lux. He even had a conversation with Mook – who is a legend and most would consider the best ever – after his last battle, where Mook shared that Saga’s last round “struck something inside him.”

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Christian hip-hop has opened up and accepted Saga as well. Marz, Social Club, and the Collision family have showed their support and encouragement for what Th3 Saga is doing.

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Dealing with “church bashing” or negative stereotypes is something that Saga will always have to deal with. The way he handles and responds to that is imperative to getting his message across. Th3 Saga approaches this with wisdom and grace by trying to diagnose why this particular person is being so aggressive towards the church, and that’s how he rebuts it. “You have to just sit there and take what they have to say and just hope that what you have to say is just as effective and counters it.”

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His Music

Th3 Saga is not just a battle rapper. He makes music and projects, and he released a project in August of 2013 called L.O.N.E.R.. This project was birthed from feeling alone during a specific point in his life. He wanted to take past hurts and pains, and lay them at the feet of God. Th3 Saga’s talents stretch past just rapping, he is also a singer. He has actually been singing longer than he has been rapping.

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Saga is working on a new project called A.O.L., which is stands for “As of Late.” It’s not an album but it will have the length of an album that is set to release in the Spring.

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What’s Next?

He had a battle set at the top of the New Year, with either another up and comer named Prep or a battle veteran named Shotgun Suge. He also has some music videos coming up for tracks off of the L.O.N.E.R. project, and even a tour in the works.

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Th3 Saga wants the CHH community to know that even though you don’t fully understand it or it may seem like God isn’t having his way, we still need to step out and share Christ in these areas. He would also like your prayers and support in what he’s doing.

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Twitter – Th3Saga
Facebook – Th3Sagamusic
Soundcloud – Th3Saga
Noisetrade – Th3Saga

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Aubrey McKay has a strong passion and love for CHH, and he uses that to write album reviews for Wadeoradio.com. He is a graduate of Southeastern University in Lakeland Florida. He currently resides in Lakeland and teaches middle school. Twitter: @ajmckay24

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