5ive Talks Past Drug Use

5ive: In a sense I shouldn’t be here. I was addicted to methamphetamines and crack cocaine for most of my life. On November 7, 2010, I walked into a church high on crack and meth, smelling like straight liquor, and I was immediately delivered by Jesus, instantly rehabbed bro. It’s unexplainable man. When God saved me that day, I clearly heard him say, “Show the world my grace.” I didn’t know what that meant until like eight months later after I had been in some deep discipleship. If you ask my wife, I was in the word day and night and just letting the Lord feed me, just eating the word. In my town, everyone knew me as the crack head. Everybody knew who Craig James was and what he was about. There were a lot of people in my town who were getting high with me that people didn’t know, but I wasn’t the type to hide what I did. I was out there with it, man, and I know it brought a lot of pain to my mom, and I praise God that she can be proud of me now. Everybody knew what I was about, and when I got saved, it was like nobody believed it. Some of my wife’s family was like, “Give him a couple of weeks, and he will be right back on it.” To this day, there are still people saying that and it has been three years, man. The awesome thing is my wife and I surrendered our lives to the Lord on the very same day, November 7, 2010. Nobody expected me to be where I’m at today and by the grace of God, I’m sharing the Gospel, what he has done in my life, and what he can do in anyone’s life. Eight months after I had surrendered my life, one of my friend’s came to me with a beat that he had made and he was like, “I don’t know why, but I feel like the Lord wants me to give this to you.” In like 30 minutes later, I had written my first Christian rap song. I was honestly putting phrases and verses from the Bible in there that I didn’t remember memorizing or reading. That’s when I prayed and asked God, “Is this what you want me to do?” and he told me yes.

Jam The Hype: That rap that you wrote, was it the first time you ever rapped?

5ive: It was the first time I ever wrote a rap. I’m from Texas and used to do a lot of freestyling. That’s what we would do at parties when I was intoxicated and high. That’s what I would do; just freestyle. I never pursued music as a career or anything. I never thought I was a dope emcee or anything. I just wanted to be the life of the party, you would say, man. That’s what I would do, but I never pursued it until I came to Christ and he called me to it.

Jam The Hype: Was there anyone in the Christian Hip Hop community that encouraged you to pick up the mic for the Lord?

5ive: One of my wife’s cousin’s husband named David introduced me to Lecrae, mind you, I was still on dope, and the Lord was working on me at this time. He showed me a song and told me about Christian rappers. That was the first time Christian rap hit me. When I heard Lecrae, I was like, ‘this dude is really spitting truth.’ This is dope. It was like a couple weeks before I got saved. The first album I ever bought was Lecrae’s Rebel. When I became a Christian rapper, I realized there were hundreds of other Christian rappers in my area, but I never knew any of those cats while I was lost. That really spoke to me, and I think that’s where God instilled that grind in me. I didn’t want to be that guy who when other people came up and got saved, then they found out I was a Christian rapper. I want to be that guy that people know that I do this for Jesus. It kind of got to me that I had been lost and all I needed was one of these Christian artists to speak the message over me and show me there is a better way. I really grind to reach the lost and be in my hood.