I was able to catch up with S.O before he launched his second album So It Continues. He really displayed a depth of scriptural understanding and vision during our conversation.
The first thing we talked about was his 5 Solas mixtape.
“At the time I couldn’t afford to pay for beats so I used ones from other people,” S.O. told me. “The album was a condensed version of what I was learning in school.”
Later, S.O touched on a line from his songs in which he says If I don’t speak in tongues am I now an unbeliever? S.O. said that at the time he wrote that it was in response to people around him debating the meaning of the evidence of that spiritual gift.
“It was like, if you didn’t speak in tongues you’re either not in the faith or a D-grade Christian. I wanted to challenge that,” said S.O. “I’m not cessationist, but there are camps that argue if certain gifts continue to this day. Are they not believers as well?”
Most people wouldn’t blink twice if they were offered a deal with a label. That was not the case with S.O. What went through his mind when asked to join Lampmode Recordings was unique. S.O.said he asked himself: “Should I do it? Am I ready? Is this what God has call me to do? I had to weigh the pro and cons. It took me a while to accept it. I prayed about and talked to my family about it. I’m glad I’m signed. In the end, the answer to my question was yes.”
So It Begins had a softer sound to it. From the beginning the label set out to do something different with the samples they liked since it was going to be a free album. “We sampled for every song except one. It’s weird that I started with 5 Solas with theological rap. Then there was a review that said the album was so impersonal. We added a few songs that were a bit more introspective. Those were the more popular songs on the album. The music I put out is the music I enjoy. I’m really a reflective person to a certain extent. I feel lot freer when I’m writing stuff like ‘Lamentations’ and ‘Passion and Purity.’ ”
The song ‘Lamentations’ from So It Continues outlined the impact of the death of S.O.’s father. “To be honest, I miss my dad. My dad died when I was 17. That is the time when a young man needs his father. He is coming into manhood and learning about life. It impacted me in what I went to study and how I interact with my family. I know he is somewhere better than this. He is out of a body of death in a body that he can worship freely without sin.”
S.O wants you take away from his music that God is sovereign. He is with us in affliction. He cares how we live in and out of affliction. It is the meeting of life and theology.
The I Am sample on Rapzilla.com got a lot of people accusing S.O of being Illuminati due to single’s artwork. S.O responded in an interesting fashion to those who present such allegations.
“I think it was funny to a certain extent that people thought I was Illuminati. I laughed and was a bit saddened by one of the comments which read ‘Oh no, don’t go Illuminati like Lecrae.’ What is Illuminati? A secret society that is not so secret.
“But I was encouraged because there were people who saw it was just a good piece of art. It is sad that believers get bottled down by this. One person wrote ‘Jay-Z likes this artwork.’ How do you not laugh at that? It also saddened me that believers said I lack discernment because I put up a triangle that for centuries had been a shape and eye that has been an eye. People who talk about the triangle being Illuminati… those people will study triangles in [their] math [classes]. My little cousin has a triangle shaped toy. Is the math teacher Illuminati? Is the toy maker Illuminati?”
I presented to S.O the thought of fans that if you don’t lay out theological terms and concepts in your rhymes you’re not truly Christian hip hop. “I think those in the lyrical theology camp would not agree with that vision. What does lyrical theology actually look like? Is it restrictive to one style? There are varying degrees of being lyrically theological. It is not just one thing.”
S.O is not just an artist. but also a fan of Christian Hip Hop. “I’m a fan of Andy Mineo. That is my most recent fanboy moment. I saw Jin at Legacy. I know all his raps. I took a picture with him at Legacy.”
I hope you enjoyed this interaction with S.O. So It Continues is out. Go pick it up!