Brinson Shares Inspiration for New Album ‘Thornz’

“Brinson is an artist and a minister chasing after God’s heart who knows the impact of music from a young age and is doing everything under the wheelhouse of music production, music promotion, to use the vehicle of hip-hop to do his part in The Great Commission.”

When Brinson was five years old, he heard Stephen Wiley’s 1985 song Bible Break and memorized it all. Then he got on stage and rapped it at a program at his church. “Then the word got around and I started doing this song Bible Break by Stephen Wiley at other churches. I had the instrumental to it so I would just do [rap] it.” In the original song, Wiley listed each book of the bible in his rap.

As he got older, he drifted away from his faith, and in high school, Brinson was part of a secular rap group with some friends. “I was one of those guys who would be in church but still listen to secular rap and have that music have a heavy impact on my life.”

He studied Music Business at Nashville, Tennessee’s Belmont University for college, and one day “I was asleep in my apartment and I felt something hit me and when I got up, I saw all of this smoke coming out of the ground. I had two thoughts. Either the rapture happened and I got left behind, or my apartment was on fire. My feet started burning then I was like ‘Oh, well, praise God. My apartment is on fire. I ain’t missed the rapture.’”

At that time, Brinson said he was not living for Christ, but the scare of that moment caused a change in him.

“I was going through the motions and doing things out of tradition, not out of having a real relationship with the Lord, and I prayed and I asked God to save me out of this fire. I told Him in the prayer that if he saved me I’ll serve him.”

When he rededicated his life to Christ, he decided to stop making music. “I just wanted to preach at that time of my life.” One day, Brinson claims that God spoke to him, telling him “I didn’t send you to study music business for nothing. Now pick it all up and do it for Me.”

Brinson then formed a record label, GodChaserz Entertainment to produce music for other artists. “Around 2007, my label put out about seven albums and I produced all of them.” In 2008, Brinson released his first solo project and “God just had His hand on it.” It gained a lot of popularity and many opportunities were opened to him.

His new album, Thornz is the third of a trilogy of albums that began with Until We Meet Again in 2015, coming from “a dark place in my life that the Lord delivered me out of.”

“Even the dark things in your life, how Paul said, ‘I want to do good but evil is all that is present,’ you can have a good life in Christ without compromise. Even with the things that try to draw you back in, you don’t have to submit to the thorns in your life, the things that are constantly trying to make you bow your knee and forsake God.”

Brinson wants listeners to know that they can persevere to follow Christ in their lives even through the most difficult of trials. He says that no matter what hate people may put against you, if you continue to follow Christ, you will win in the end.

“We need to be proud of being believers in Christ even with everything going on. People throw shade at you. If they’re hating on you, whatever, have a sense about yourself that you win no matter what.”

Many music artists only release projects every other year, and some at even lower frequencies. “Now, the climate of music with content consumption, with people really devaluing music with the whole streaming thing, you really have to constantly put out content so I never stop writing. I never stop recording.”

Since 2014, Brinson has released a new album each year. “This album actually took me a year to make from my last project. I just tried to push myself to better writing, better hook making, better beat selection.” He says that the lyrics and delivery of his rapping on Thornz has greater passion than his past project, with the intent to personally connect and relate to his listeners.

“The things that I talk about, I know somebody else is going through, so I try to write in a way that ‘if you’re going through this, I went through this last month but this is how I came out of it.’”

Concerning Thornz’ album cover, “It’s like me coming out of a dark time in my life because it’s all black.” Brinson says that through this recent darkness, he gained experience, wisdom, and learned how to forgive more. “Coming out of this darkness I didn’t need to use my natural instincts, my natural sight.”

When Jesus died, He faced the darkness of sin and cried out that God the Father had forsaken him. For Brinson, it is very important “knowing these thorns, knowing this other stuff, knowing of the betrayal but walking by faith and not by sight, knowing that God is bringing me out.”

The first track on Thornz, “So Wishful,” features Big Fil and is about wishing bad things hadn’t happened. Brinson wants to challenge people and remind them that “we live our lives in wishing without praying. We’ve got the answer. The answer is prayer but we’re still wishing on a star.”

“White Gold,” the following song, is about persevering when it is unpopular to represent Jesus. He seeks to encourage Christians who are told that living a holy life, living for God is not necessary. “When the fire is turned up, we are light shining. It burns like white gold.”

The fourth song is called “Hater Heaven,” and Brinson says “You really gotta listen to it. The hook says, ‘I want to take my haters to Heaven with me.’”

“Shepard Me” features Eshon Burgundy and Cstraight, and if you didn’t assume this by the features, it is a very lyrical song.

“It’s just all [of us] pleading to God that we know we need a shepherd in our lives because without the shepherd we’re gonna fall short.”

“Trust Him” Brinson says was almost the name of Thornz. The song shares the message that “as a Christian coming out of darkness, dark times in your life, knowing that you have to trust God no matter what.”

The title track comes in eight on the album, and “you hear the haters, the chatter, the people in your family who don’t believe in you, the thorns of real life; you can’t let it blind you from pleasing God.” The song “Thornz” features Von Won, ReadyWriter, and AyeDay 4000.

“[Von Won] is one of the best hook guys in Christian rap. He can make hooks out of everything. ReadyWriter, he is on my label, and AyeDay 4000 he has been like my best friend since kindergarten. We actually used to be in a rap group together on the secular side. When I gave my life to Christ he stopped doing secular music. He probably has one of the strongest verses on this project.”

Brinson said that “One Prayer Away” is one of his life’s mottos. “If prayer was powerful enough, thinking about Romans 10:9 and 10:10… that prayer was powerful enough to bring me out of darkness into His marvelous light. I’m one prayer away from if God heals me, I pray for that healing.”

Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) reads “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Brinson says if a person believes that God can help them through prayer, they are only one prayer away from receiving the grace of God.

The following song “Prayer” is an altar call, giving a listener the opportunity to devote their lives to Christ. “I do altar calls on every album, a call of salvation on every album. I don’t know whose hands this music is gonna get to. I never know and I don’t ever want to pass the opportunity to present somebody with the gospel.”

“Shadows” references Psalm 23, a verse familiar to many which reads (ESV) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

“I finally made an album with all my favorite artists. Hopefully when people hear it, they’ll go back and hear their catalogs and stuff like that. It’s a blessing.”

In 2016, Brinson wrote a short book titled “10 Things Every Christian Hip Hop Artist Should Know,” detailing aspects of the music business that every independent artist should be familiar with. He talks “about promotion, about touring, about making albums, about the heart behind your ministry which is super important…”

“One of my hopes is that I could be the artist that other independent artists in Christian hip-hop can look at and learn from. I’ve never been the guy who the world views [as] at the top of the genre… but I’ve been that guy who stayed on tour, never stopped no matter what happened, I kept believing God and God kept opening up door after door after door after door. If people look at anything, they can look at me and say this guy believes and God is faithful. The only things I have to do is make quality music, have the right heart, treat people good, and God will keep opening doors if I believe Him.”

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Get Thornz on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.