HomeFeaturesStoryWack rappers inspire Serge’s new single ‘Next Level’

Wack rappers inspire Serge’s new single ‘Next Level’

Serge encouraged talented rappers to polish their craft and untalented rappers to retire on Tuesday through his new single “Next Level.”

Since the Miami-based artist began to make music in 2010 with the group Authentik, the majority of rappers who have approached him fell in the need-to-retire category, he told Rapzilla.

“I’ve had a lot of [artists] come up to me and want to do features, want to do collabs and want me to listen to their music, and, most of the time, the music absolutely sucks and they have no business doing music at all,” Serge said. “I think they’re actually doing a disservice to [Christians], and I think that’s how we got the whole Christian-rap-is-corny thing — because of [artists] doing it, putting the name Jesus in it, but, as far as the craft, there is no gift from God, I believe.”

Serge voiced his frustration on the second verse of “Next Level,” which is produced by Mashell Leroy.

I’ll lose my mind if one more rapper ask me for a feature /
This game isn’t for you, there’s plenty room in the bleachers /
I’m not tryna’ be mean, but I mean everybody’s a rapper /
If you just wanna spread the word, then you should go be a pastor /
So go pastor, no shots to the pastors, we just wanna give da best to the master

Serge, who released his first solo project, Off Season, last May, clarified that he believes the ratio of wack Christian rappers-to-gifted Christian rappers is about the same as wack secular rappers-to-gifted secular rappers. He spoke to Christians on “Next Level” because they comprise most of his current audience, but his challenge was to broader hip hop.

“My challenge is, a lot of you [artists], your stuff sounds the same,” Serge said. “Push yourself. Challenge yourself. Be more creative, and … if you do have a talent, let’s take it to the next level, together, including myself.”

Serge said he took it to the next level by studying who he considers to be top artists — Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Imagine Dragons, Cold Play and Lorde — regularly writing lyrics or recording in the studio until 5 a.m. and not surrounding himself with “yes men.”

“Have people around you who can challenge you and are not that impressed with you to say, ‘That’s good, but I think you can do it better,’” Serge said. “Countless times, Mashell has done that with me, and he’s hurt my feelings sometimes, but it’s a good hurt.”

Serge, an independent rapper formerly with CTF Records, also works for an international ministry, OneHope. He will travel to Nairobi, Kenya on Feb. 10 to train youth leaders to run Rebranded, a multimedia curriculum created to help underprivileged children memorize Bible passages, which will cease his late nights in the studio until late March.

David Daniels
David Daniels
David Daniels is a columnist at Rapzilla.com and the managing editor of LegacyDisciple.org. He has been published at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, CCM Magazine, Bleacher Report, The Washington Times and HipHopDX.


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