“Lord Badu is first of all a believer. I am a husband. I am a new father and I am an avid hip-hop fan and artist.”
Lord Badu is a Toronto, Canada based artist signed to Role Model Records.
If one was questioning his name, they may be surprised to find out that Lord Badu is his given name. His parents are immigrants from Ghana, and Badu means “tenth born” in their native language. “My mom, I think she had a dream or something that she was supposed to name her son Lord. I guess it’s from God. Who knows?”
Though he was raised in church, Badu didn’t have much interest in God as a kid. “From when I was twelve or thirteen, that’s when I actually started to get interested in the Bible and try to know who God is.” At age fifteen, he came to understand who Jesus was and how Jesus sacrificed His life for us.
“I realized I wasn’t struggling with the things that I used to struggle with anymore. That’s where I realized that the Holy Spirit was actually working in me and conforming me into the image of Christ.”
Badu’s older sister claims that he started rapping at age five. “She said I would always hit the chair when we were in the car. I’d be making beats on the chair.” Though he was rapping from a young age, he started recording music in ninth grade. “I was always freestyling. From a young age I was always making music.”
“In a heavy way” was how Badu described the influence of hip-hop on his life. Growing up it was the only kind of music he listened to. “I listened to 2pac, 50 Cent, everybody and it came to a point where I wanted to be like them… The culture was strong on us that we wanted to be who we saw on TV.”
Last week he released an EP, Identity.
“Amongst this generation, a lot of people seem like they’re in an identity crisis, they don’t know who they are.” Badu says that many people, including Christians, live life without direction.
“There’s only one place you can find your identity in and that’s in Christ.”
This is the theme of Identity. “I didn’t really have a theme when I started writing, but one thing that came to conclusion was that all the songs were talking about the same thing.” When Badu writes lyrics, he tries not to focus on one thing, rather to write about whatever comes to mind. “Everything was speaking about who we are in Christ.”
Identity begins with “Know Yourself.” Badu says that to know yourself means to live to please God rather than living to satisfy other people.
“To have your identity in Christ is to know that now you are not living for yourself. You’re living for the one who created you and you’re not living for your own purpose. You’re not living for your own pleasures. You’re pretty much living on assignment.”
Badu believes that God has a plan for everyone, whether what they do is recognized by the world or only by family and friends. He says our purpose in life should be “following that blueprint to live your life the way He wants you to live it.”
The following song, “Doxology,” is one of exaltation and praise. With this track Badu wants to thank God for “making me who I am, in Him.” The song is made to be an anthem for believers, saying “I know who I am. I know who I am.” With his identity in Christ, Badu says that he is made whole.
“Suicide” is a song that Badu was pleasantly surprised at the response for. Rather than being about taking your own life, “it’s pretty much about dying to the flesh. Are you living for God or are you living for yourself?” This is the question he wants to ask listeners. Badu says that as Christians, in order to live a holy and pure life we must ask God to help us overcome our desires that do not lead to Him.
Identity continues with “Better Days” in which he talks about the challenges of growing up in a fatherless home.
“No matter what situation you’re going through at this time, understand that there are better days ahead of you. Christ makes all things perfect in his time.”
Badu says that if we continually trust in God on a daily basis, “if you continually know that God is there with you through all things, there’s definitely gonna be a better day.” He says that if every day is challenging, there will be better, in fact perfect, days in Heaven.
“I believe everyone is made in the image of God. Everyone has something that God has put in them that’s meant to be a light to the world.” This is the inspiration for his song “Light of Mine.” He says that Christians are the light to people in the world who live in darkness without the love and truth of Jesus.
“Chosen,” the final song on Identity, comes from his time as “an extremely heavy Reformed guy. I was like the number one fan of predestination and election.” Badu believes that at the end, God calls people to salvation.
“We’re an army to the world and we are supposed to go out and spread his gospel, spread his truth because we don’t know who is chosen.”
As a hip-hop artist from Toronto, “in my city I think we have the best artists in North America.” Badu says being a Canadian artist, “it’s harder to be seen… everyone that’s from here has to leave here [to the U.S.] in order to be famous.” This is a disappointment to him but is “the only situation with where we’re from right now.”
Outside of hip-hop, Badu likes to play bass guitar at his church.
“I’m a huge basketball fan. Not just watching it, I think I’m a sick basketball player. If anyone wants to challenge me, I’m ready to go anytime.”