“I am a Christian hip-hop artist that has a passion to reach people and tell them about Jesus.”
Last month, Milliyon released an EP called Passion. He says that God has been very good to him, so he wanted to paint a picture of God’s grace with his music. “When they finish listening to the records, they can be like, ‘You know what? God has been good.’”
He chose to release it on Good Friday because “it’s the day that Jesus declared his passion publicly for everybody.”
Writing and recording this EP was very challenging for Milliyon because of complications with his baby who was born in December.
“My wife went into labor ten weeks early… my baby had to stay in the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] from December until February. He was in there fifty-two days.”
To record music in the midst of the stress and worry over the health of his child was very difficult. Thankfully now his child is in good health. Milliyon said the experience has made him more dependent on God and he feels a greater urgency to share the gospel with people through his music. “I have a more recent example of God’s goodness which drives my passion even more. My son could’ve had cerebral palsy. He could’ve had a heart murmur. He could’ve had tons of issues going on in that NICU and I’m glad to say that my son is home.”
In order to make up for lost time, “What winded up happening is that I have records that I had already recorded that wound up fitting. We just needed to put some extra stuff on it.” Milliyon went back to songs he’d previously recorded and re-worked the beats and vocals to his new preferences.
“It was like a whole new fresh set of flowers and I was like ‘This is crazy’ and I was excited to put it out.”
The album cover shows an anatomical image of a human heart. Milliyon worked with graphic designer Jermaine Haggerty and “he was really able to capture the vision for what I wanted.” Milliyon consider himself a visual person and wanted to show a heart to display passion. “He created that, and I said, ‘That’s exactly what I wanted.’ That to me exudes passion: the heart pumping blood.”
In the first song “Passion,” Milliyon wanted to break it all down. “I want it to come on theatrical, that draws you in. I wanted to start talking, that makes you listen, and I want you to stay til the end.”
Milliyon’s single, “Way Down,” was inspired by conversations with pastors about booking him for a concert. Some of the pastors he has spoken to have expressed surprise and disappointment by Christian hip-hop artists they have hosted. “I’ve had reports of pastors booking artists and the artist cussing on stage in front of the kids or the artist coming to the event high or drunk.”
When pastors call Milliyon when considering booking him for a show, he says they are often very cautious. The song expressed that “when you book me, it’s going down. There’s no denying it. There’s no side-talk. There’s no half stepping. It’s gonna be Jesus when I get on that stage and I’mma try my best to blow the speakers.”
Milliyon says that God is like a heart in how He allows and gives life. This is the inspiration behind “Pulse,” which features Evan Ford. “You can’t see my heart, but you can check my pulse to see that my heart is beating.” Milliyon wants people to see Christ in his life, in his words and deeds.
“Jesus Christ really is my pulse. Everything I do surrounds Him… Without Him I’m nothing.”
The album continues with “Can I Get a Witness.” “I want people to get out of it that God is a redeemer.” Milliyon shares his testimony and how his relationship with God has helped him get through life. “Sometimes you’ll encounter things that literally feel like a movie. You look at these shootings. Imagine if you were there… If you were looking at the things going on in the world you would be like ‘This has got to not be real.’”
Milliyon says that because Jesus is his foundation, he can endure the most challenging times of life and wanted to encourage others to do the same.
“Through the things that were going on I still am able to lean on Christ. It’s like I say, you get a second chance. I will take this opportunity to tell people again what God has done.”
“Holla Back is specifically to those who have a problem with Christian hip-hop artists… They almost feel like its old school because it’s too Jesus [focused.]” When seeing “haters” or people who are trying to discourage him for the path he is taking, Milliyon will say “holla back.” “Holla Back is something that you say when someone says something [and] you rebuttal them.”
“I have a beautiful wife; a beautiful family and I’m still doing Christian hip-hop music. Through Christian hip-hop I’ve traveled around the world… There’s nothing that anyone can tell me when it comes to doing this music. I’m not in it for the money.”
Milliyon says that “Holla Back” is the final time he will address issues regarding Christian hip-hop and titles in his music.
Passion concludes with “Who Am I.” It was inspired by an open mic event Milliyon participated in and a woman who performed in it. “You could see the hurt in her face. You could see the things that she was dealing with and the Holy Spirit was telling me some of the things that she was going through.” Unfortunately, Milliyon was not able to speak to her at the event but wrote this song as what he would say to her. The song is meant to encourage women and girls in light of God’s truth of their value and beauty.
“To that girl who may be struggling with self-esteem, God made you beautiful.”
Outside of music, Milliyon loves his job as a youth pastor. “I love talking to kids about Jesus.” He also loves spending time with his family; September will mark his 5-year wedding anniversary. “When I have free time, I take my wife out. That’s what I like to spend my time doing.”
Milliyon has already been working on another project and says it’s “a record that’s never been done before. This fall be looking out for it. I guarantee it’s something you’ve never heard.”