“Fried chicken lover, happy husband and dad, rap connoisseur.”

That is how God Over Money Records artist Jered Sanders chose to describe himself.

“I’m a writer at heart.” Hip-hop has given Sanders the platform to use his passion for writing to share his words with the world. He started rapping with friends in high school.

When Sanders was growing up, he went to church regularly and chose to devote himself to Christ at a retreat at age fourteen. When he was in college, he entered a phase where his faith wasn’t very cool anymore, to use his own words. He pursued a career in hip-hop and was offered several record deals.

Later on, his wife got him back on track to walk out his faith. “I had an album that was almost done. I was like ‘this album is gonna change my life. It’s gonna change our lives.’ I was selling her on all this stuff and at the time I was in youth ministry. On this project I was talking all kinds of sideways.”

Seeing him attempt to work in youth ministry but pursue a career in secular hip-hop, his wife knew that he could not make it work.

“My wife was like, ‘No, I can’t support this if you do this.’ That kind of shook me at the core.”

Sanders decided to lay down the mic and take some time off of music “in order to commit wholeheartedly to living the life that I confessed back in high school. She was trying to push me to that purpose.”

On Friday, Jered Sanders released a new album, Hurry up & Wait. “Hurry up and wait was a season and it started right after I came over to GOM.” After finally getting a record deal with God Over Money last year, he felt like he had made it.

“A lot of the early music on the project came out really excited, really triumphant, and then life hit.”

Sanders went through some challenges with his family, his wife got pregnant, and he lost his job. “I think it was because I was rushing to make something happen that it wasn’t the season for yet.”

He wants listeners to be prepared to keep moving forward and taking steps towards their future but remember to wait for God’s perfect timing.

“Sometimes God tells us things for us to go and do right then… A lot of times when God deals with me, God shows me where He’s gonna take me, but He doesn’t always tell me that that’s the time it’s going to happen.”

Due to the challenges of life at home, every time Sanders tried to finish his album, things would go sideways. Over time, he came to understand that it wasn’t God’s time for him to do this.

“I had to realize that home is the first ministry, home is what I’ve gotta take care of. My house is in shambles. Why wife is emotionally a wreck because she’s pregnant and has got this baby growing inside of her, I’m unemployed, but the thing is, we’ve still got each other. We still have the opportunity to pray.”

When Sanders simplified his life and focused on the essentials, he felt the weight was lifted and was able to get back to working on music.

“After the music came, the project was complete. It completed itself without me trying to sprint across the finish line.”

The album artwork for Hurry up & Wait is very conceptual. It has two sides, a top and a bottom with different perspectives. “When you look at it right side up, the hurry up half of the album… this guy has got all of this stuff. He’s got money, these things. He’s sitting on top of this boom box [and] he’s holding this microphone, but if you look at his face, he looks somber.”

On the bottom half, the man doesn’t have all of these possessions, but he has the sun shining on him. “He’s got nothing else but that, but he’s got a smile on his face.”

“The artwork is to represent the pursuit of these things. When you get them, you may think that it’s the greatest thing in the world, but it really doesn’t lead to anything. It doesn’t lead to the joy and peace that you get from looking to God.”

The album is split into two halves, one signifying the time to hurry up and the other the time to wait.

“Go Outside” is reminding listeners of God’s call to each Christian to go forth and make disciples. “A lot of people get really comfortable in this faith walk. They get really comfortable in thinking that it’s enough to just pray and keep Jesus to ourselves. I really am challenging that perspective.”

Sanders wants people to embrace that everyone has a unique purpose after hearing his song “Different.” The track features Beleaf, Mission, and Eris Ford.

“Eyes” was one of Jered Sanders’ favorite songs to make. After hearing the hook from Breana Marin, “It kind of wrote itself. I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I kind of wanted to embrace the kind of perspective of being around believers that say we love the same God… and yet we waste so much time going at each other.”

He notices that especially on social media, Christians spend countless hours arguing with each other. “How am I supposed to run this race if my co-laborers are telling me that my shoes are too big or that I’m not in my lane?” Sanders wanted to feature Bizzle on the song, who has often been a subject of controversy.

“He speaks on social issues and it’s like ‘Boo, you’re speaking on social issues. You’re causing division’ and he’s like ‘Huh? What do you mean?’ Having him be the one to speak on it was perfect.”

“Fear of Flying” and “Fear of Falling” mark the transition in the album. “Aspiring to be better is often what causes so much conflict amongst us. It’s like fighting to do better becomes difficult.” Sanders has seen that so many people are afraid to strive for holiness that they get comfortable and lazy where they are. “We start doing things to self-sabotage.”

The latter of the two songs is about realizing these flaws and deciding to take action to correct them.

“Get Money” is perhaps Sanders’ favorite song on Hurry up & Wait. “People think that it’s about something that it’s not.” When he lost his job, he quickly recognized his need for money to sustain himself and his family. During the writing of this project, he had an epiphany moment.

“It’s not that I don’t have money. It’s that I’m so nervous that I’m allowing it to consume my mind when really, it’s just a tool.”

“Faithful” features Joey Vantes on the hook and is the second-to-last song on the album. “I wanted something that was like a hip-hop worship record and I think it was perfectly executed.”

Outside of music, Jered Sanders loves to write, watch sports on TV, and spend time with his wife and kids. He is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers for basketball, the New York Yankees for baseball, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for football.

“I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people in a hurry up and wait season in their lives. God is showing them things and they believe it’s time to go. Sometimes God is gonna call you to wait.”

Follow Jered Sanders on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Get Hurry up & Wait here. Listen on Spotify.