Interview – Carlito P.
For starters I was born in Puerto Rico (hence the Spanish name). I grew up in the States though and was raised in a Christian home. Everyone in my family does something that involves music. Not necessarily professionally, but we are all very musical. I am not strictly a "hip hop head," because I love all types of music which I try to incorporate as much as I can into what I do. So needless to say my, music is very diverse.
I started rapping when I was 16 actually, and I have been doing it now for 7 years. I have actually wanted to rap my entire life. When I was a kid I used to make beats with cassette stereos! I’d record one part play it and then record the next part on another deck. I got involved in band at school and started playing instruments in church which took me in a different direction than rap. Still, I decided one day to make it known that I loved to rap. The person that inspired me to become a Christian rapper was actually T-Bone.
You will release your debut album entitled "Firestarter." What do you want to achieve with this album?
What I want to achieve with Firestarter, it being my debut album, is to give people a feel of my style and diversity. The main thing I want to achieve though is to get the message of hope and love across to those that maybe have a hard time understanding all the theology and heavy messages, because I was there once and I was happy to find people like T-Bone who brought Christ in a very appealing way.
Why the title "Firestarter?"
The reason I chose the title “Firestarter” is because when I was younger People would always tell me what I wasn’t going to be good at anything, basically putting me down. But I have always taken criticism as a challenge and a motivator. It’s all been like a firestarter or (much like fuel in a fire). So basically what I am saying with the title is that everything people have said about me has just made me stronger as a person and with Christ I can do anything!
Tell us about the recording process of the album?
The recording process! WOW! When I began this project about a year or so ago, it was a primarily Spanish album entitled "Le Lena." The album was sounding very good, and I was very excited about it until the external hard drive holding every single song I had recorded crashed! Seeing as we had no backup files, we decided to go ahead and re-record the entire album. I had a month and a half to pull it off. On top of that, I caught a cold for about a week, but I thank God because I believe whole heartedly that it was a part of His plan. I like the second take better, and now it is an English album which I hope people can enjoy!
Any special moments in the studio?
I love the studio! I recorded the entire album in The Snack Bar owned by Mike "Verse" Mills. I've had many special moments, but I have to be honest the most special moment to me was recording "Clean Slate" which is a song about my testimony. I actually broke down while recording it. No one else was there. I just began to thank God for what he did for me and that was cool because I know that that song will touch at least one person and thats why i do what I do!
What's your favorite song and why?
It's hard to pick, but I'd have to say my favorite song is "Love Of My Life.” This song is just a love song to God, and I open up a side of me that is not hip-hop at all. Just a worship track to the Almighty giving thanks for everything He's done in my life.
If you had an unlimited budget who would you have had produced the album and why?
If I had an unlimited budget I would keep the same producers I have now, but I would definitely work more with T. Stone. I would love to get some beats from Lecrae’s producers and JR as well! Hint hint. But honestly I love the production I have on this album. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. From Foolish to T. Stone to Mike "Verse" Mills to Dextas Lab to Don Tony. I love it!
Any future plans?
Well my future plans in life are to study in college in the near future. Musically, I have some ideas for a 5 track E.P. I would like to put out but I'm not going to ruin the surprise on that one yet!
What does Christian Hip Hop need more and less of?
The one thing I want to see more of in Christian hip-hop is unity. Getting to know the body of Christ and being one no matter what label we're on and so and so. I wish I could see less division and more unity!
Any last words?
I just hope that everyone that hears the album can get something from it that can help them in their lives and walks with Christ. But on the real, get the album and take a listen. You might actually enjoy the noise! Also get at me on MySpace. I love to chat with people! Blessings to all. Peace!