Why Gifted da Flamethrowa and 007 decided to live RAW
Let’s get a few things clear.
- RAW is not a “reboot” for rappers 007 and Gifted da Flamethrowa. This is not the Spider-Man movie franchise.Over 23 total projects have been released between the two emcees. They’ve shared stages with some of hip hop’s biggest names and continue be booked at conferences and performance venues throughout Texas and across the country.
- Although greatly appreciated, they do not need co-signs from Third Coast rap legends like Prince (Rap-A-Lot Records founder/CEO) and Bun B (UGK) to establish their street credibility.Both men have records (both criminal and musical) plus bullet wounds that shine light on the harsh environments of their origin stories.
- RAW is a more succinct way to communicate their shared mission.As an acronym, RAW stands for “Ready And Willing” – a posture they take about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ whenever and wherever they are called. In reverse, it stands for “WAR” – the attitude they take toward their efforts on a spiritual level.
“We make aggressive, in-your-face music,” 007 said. “We believe it’s time to take a bold stand for truth in our communities and country.”
Such is the goal of RAWMERICA – the album the duo will release on February 12, 2016.
The project’s vision assembles a “Cabinet” of artists (like No Malice, Corey Paul, Sean C. Johnson, Victorious, and others) who serve at the pleasure of the President (God) and do not act as advisors, but instead follow HIS orders.
“We don’t pretend this is an easy assignment, but it is a worthy work toward a righteous goal,” Gifted said.
They say citizens of the United States have become too susceptible to the influence of evil – even pointing toward their fellow Christians’ passivity toward sin as a cause for the nation’s ills.
“But it starts with us. We examine our own lives and relationship with God first,” 007 said. “Then we take that same message and passion and share it with our friends and families. After that we move on toward the people in our community.”
“We’re rappers, so it’s only natural for us to present the hope we have in a way the hip hop culture can accept it.”
On RAWMERICA look for songs that speak to the pressures of pursuing a holy lifestyle in the presence of others (“Papparazzi”) and how to incorporate gratitude into an everyday attitude (“I Won’t Complain”).
Other tracks earnestly reveal the artists’ own shortcomings (“A Lot To Do”) and illuminate the dark impact the worst aspects of their favorite music genre has had on the population at large (“Two-Four-Seven”).
“We cling to the promise presented in 2 Chronicles 7:14*,” Gifted said. “It’s a blueprint for the restoration of our homeland. Our prayer is that listeners of this project will join us in executing that plan.”
* If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (English Standard Version)
To learn more about RAW visit: WeLiveRAW.com
This article was also published on the Sketch the Journalist’s Jesus Muzik blog for the Houston Chronicle.