Chart-topping hip-hop artist KB recently released the new album His Glory Alone, which blends rap verses with big contemporary Christian choruses, and said his decision to fuse the two was inspired by the impact worship music has had on his life.
KB, who recently parted ways with Reach Records and signed on with the Sony Imprint Essential Sound, has always repped HGA which means His glory alone.
“The beginning of my mission was that I wanted to help people to realize who they were, and who God was,” the artist told The Christian Post in an interview about the meaning of his signature tag which is now his latest album title.
The Florida native went on to say that when people recognize God for “His goodness and His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, and His strength,” it changes everything in their life.
"Glory is something everyone is chasing," KB said.
"If you see it, you become obsessed with what you see because that's who we are. We were made for glory and God is glory at its finest, at its highest,” he explained. “We see that glory now. All through the world, the Bible says that the earth is the Lord’s, the fullness thereof. So we're constantly interacting with these echoes of God's glory in food, Creation, good relationships, a good drink and a good laugh.”
The 32-year-old award-winning emcee described things such as social media, fame, and the world’s beauty as an "echo" of glory, but not true glory.
“The Bible teaches us that all of that glory is simply an echo of the true glory, and to fixate on that glory is to find yourself empty because an echo is not the substance. The rays of the sun are not the sun, that stuff fades. What never fades is those who go directly after King Jesus; and if you see King Jesus in His glory, you come alive,” he maintained.
His Glory Alone is comprised of 13 tracks, some of which feature popular worship songs such as a reimagined version of Matt Redman's popular chorus in "10,000 Reasons."
"Worship has had a big impact on me," KB revealed.
The rapper said he never knew that contemporary Christian music and gospel music were popularly segregated throughout America. He said he learned that CCM was associated with “white artists” and “black artists” with gospel music. All he knew was that God used CCM to minister to his heart.
"I grew up in and around black culture, which almost necessitates black gospel music. I did not love Jesus, did not love God, and endured church until I became a believer at 16,” KB told CP. "I came to rediscover and love gospel music later in my walk because when I was in the black church, I didn't resonate with it.”
After he became a Christian he said he listened to a lot of Christian hip-hop. Then, while attending Trinity Bible College in Florida, he discovered contemporary worship music, which largely fits in the CCM category.
"I discovered a style of music I never heard before,” he said. “I had no idea that Christian music, in a lot of ways, has been racialized.”
"My first engagement with CCM was not racialized at all. I heard David Crowder singing a song, ‘Glory of it All,’” KB continued, quoting the lyrics, "'The glory of it all / You came near for the rescue of us all / You came here / After all our hands have wrought / you forgive.”
“I was on my face weeping over those songs. I went to the mission field. I've been in the hood around some dangerous situations, having listened to David Crowder, on my way getting there,” he added. “For me, it was not a racialized situation at all. It was like, 'This music has been basically an accelerant for my Christian devotion and my love for God.”
KB said he recently learned while touring different venues that music genres in Christendom are segregated.
Among the artists and Christian groups he named as having impacted him, is Hillsong.
"All I knew was these words, 'Our God is mighty to save.' That's what I want to see. It had a profound impact on my formational years. I predominantly was really captured by three artists who happen to be in this in CCM, and their music took me places, it kept me from places, and that is why you see it in my music because it had such a profound impact on me,” he said.
KB says he wants his new hip-hop/worship infused music to do the same for others.
"I'm just hoping it just makes people love Jesus more. I hope that it helps people to return to just a simple sincere love for God and people,” KB declared.
The album’s cover, which shows him looking in a cloudy mirror, is meant to be a picture of what people in the world might see God’s glory as now, but he desires for things to become clearer.
"The idea of life is to be moving toward a clearer view of God's glory, to the day that we see His glory so perfectly, that when we see it, it changes us forever,” KB shared.
He advised others not to get sucked into pursuing glory for themselves.
"Thinking too high of yourself and then also thinking too low of yourself, both of those are forms of pride and a bad interaction with praise,” he said, encouraging others to make sure they have a good set of people around them to keep them grounded and level headed.
KB also described what he’s seen other artists do when people begin to give the talented person glory which distracts the artist from praising the one who the glory belongs to: God.
"What I see artists do is that they'll be dependent on their fans' praise and worship and then when they get it removed, they want to kill themselves or they begin to manipulate it,” KB described. “They're like, 'Everything I'm going to do is not going to be for their good, it’s going to be for their praise. So I'm going to figure out how can I say things to make them praise me.'”
KB said his goal is different. "I want to have a one-way relationship where I serve and I'm not necessarily dependent on what they can give me back. Obviously, it's a job, so there is a need for support. But I don't ever want to be defined by that support."
His Glory Alone is quickly climbing the charts and is currently at No. 3 on the Contemporary Christian Albums Chart, and No. 4 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums Chart.
KB’s new album tackles themes such as struggle, redemption, racial injustice, colorism, and systemic subjugation.
Watch KB’s interview with CP in its entirety below where he also discusses his song “Dark Skin” where the emcee explained the concept that he believes people have been perpetuating since the garden — that “those who are seen as poor, or weak, or vulnerable on the outside, are less desirable.”