Battle rapper Bridge B. adds apologetics to his bars on new album ‘Blood Pressure’
Many Christians today like to focus on the uplifting and encouraging nature of salvation.
Being washed by the blood of Christ is freeing indeed, but rapper Bridge B. feels that the many believers commonly overlook the other side of the equation.
“The pressure that we’re under because of the blood of Christ; I think that sort of needs to be embodied and talked about more,” Bridge B. said, “There’s a lot of pressure that we are under in this world. We are sheep amongst wolves.”
His latest release Blood Pressure explores the sort of constraint that one can feel as a result of Christ’s free gift and also displays the multiple different styles, skills and characteristics that embody Bridge and his life.
Being born into a military family, Bridge never really had a stable childhood. While he was born at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington, the military moved his family frequently and all around the world.
“I was sort of all over the place,” Bridge said. “My brother was formerly born in Chicago; my little sister was born in Germany, so, just all over the place. The military just moved us all around.”
Adding to the instability of his family life was the divorce of his parents when he was about 12 years old. With his mother taking custody of the children, Bridge was soon influenced by his mother’s deep relationship with God.
“I just watched my mom pray, and fast, and just dedicate herself to God as a single mom raising three kids in Southside Chicago,” Bridge said.
After about six years of living in Chicago, Bridge’s mother received a job offer from Focus on the Family, and the family moved one last time to Colorado Springs, Colorado for her to pursue that career.
In this time with his mother in Colorado Springs, which is where Bridge still resides, he continued to witness his mother’s unshakeable faith. However, he still lacked any sort of personal relationship with God.
“My faith wasn’t really my own at that point,” Bridge said. “I was just sort of watching her and thinking that I was saved because she was saved.”
This sort of mentality of Bridge’s continued for several years, even into his early adulthood. He was then introduced to a pamphlet called “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine, which pushed him to become a self-proclaimed agnostic.
After informing a Christian friend of his of this decision, the friend pointed him in the direction of a video of a debate between John Lennox and Richard Dawkins. The content of this video caused Bridge to finally be able to consider his faith as his own.
“That was the first time I had ever experienced apologetics and the idea that there was any reason to believe in God other than blind faith,” Bridge said, “or other than what your parents were raised up in.”
Although the assurance of his faith and relationship with God came later in his life, Bridge had been rapping since high school. As told on the track “Hurt Me” from one of his older projects, Bridge’s first experience with rap actually came from a harmful interaction with two of his high school classmates as a teenager.
These two students had a reputation for battle rapping whenever they got the chance. They would commonly target Bridge with their rhymes, seeing as how he was usually introverted and quiet. This motivated Bridge to write his own raps in response, officially getting him involved in the battle-rap culture.
“One time, I went home, and I just wrote,” Bridge said. “And that’s literally how it started, as crazy as that sounds.”
Bridge continued to stay immersed in this battle-rap culture for years. He participated in competitions all around the nation and built up quite a reputation with his skills. This eventually transitioned into pursuing a career as a recording artist.
As Bridge’s life started to reflect that of Christ’s, so did his rhymes both as a battle rapper and a recording artist. To him, this transition felt completely un-manipulated.
“When I got saved, I thought it sort of natural just transferring that. It felt natural,” Bridge said.
Bridge listened to many artists within the Christian hip-hop subgenre previous to fully committing his life to Christ, so upon this change, he dove in head first to further the kingdom of God with his music.
Blood Pressure is Bridge’s latest project, which was released on May 13. To him, this project represents how far he has come in his faith, something he feels makes this album worlds apart from his previous album, Heaven’s Patriots.
“It’s so huge, because during Heaven’s Patriots I was still of that immature understanding [of grace],” Bridge said. “During that time, I thought that because I had this gift, because I can rap and God has blessed me with that gift, I now have to give this gift back in order to gain the favor of God… Now my perspective is because Christ has gained the favor of God on my behalf, and because I have traded my sins for his perfection in that regard, I can just have fun. I can give this gift to God as a thank you to what he has already achieved.”
As a consequence of this attitude toward his music, Bridge feels much freer with the kind of music he makes and allows him to experiment with different types of styles and methods on the project. This is something he attributes to the many facets or characteristics that make him who he is.
“There’s so many different facets that God puts in a personality of a person,” Bridge said. “I’m a total clown sometimes, and I’m not always serious, and I’m not always feeling like an apologist.”
These sort of shifts in personality can be heard on tracks such as “Ewww!” where Bridge dedicates his entire hook to rapping about a sandwich he found in a driveway while helping a friend of his move.
Another aspect of Bridge that can be heard on the project is his love for apologetics, which is especially prominent on the track “Sye Ten” in which he explores the concept of presuppositional apologetics as taught by apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate.
“His apologetics are so well-rounded, and Sye Ten, I don’t think any atheist could ever beat him in his faith,” Bridge said. “[The track] is about moral relativism. Atheists have this idea about relative, subjective morality. But if morality is subjective, then everybody is doing it right.”
According to Chris Hearn, a good friend of Bridge’s, listeners should expect more tracks like “Sye Ten” as Bridge continues to build his theology.
“I’ve also seen him further develop his theology, and I think that has really helped, in turn, motivate his content,” Hearn said. “As he’s developing deeper and deeper what he believes, you see less tracks and less bars about random topics or just about something more humorous and focusing on something that’s more serious. And, I think that’s valuable. I think he is, maybe not on par with, but is line with artists like Shai Linne or things like that, where they are really hitting deep subjects.”
As Bridge hops from spoken word, to speed rapping, to word play, it is clear that he is an extremely gifted rapper, something to which his friend and fellow rapper Rollah testifies.
“I haven’t heard anybody in gospel hip hop, regular hip hop, secular hip hop, underground rap battling; I haven’t heard anyone that has bars like Bridge,” Rollah said. “I mean, that dude has the sickest bars, some of the craziest creativity and word-schemes ever. I mean, he’s just crazy.”
However, Bridge’s main concern as an artist is that he doesn’t know how to do much of anything else.
“As a guy that has roots in battle rap, it’s like all we do is rap. We don’t know anything else,” Bridge said. “All of [my fellow artists] had to help me actually get [Blood Pressure] on the web. All of that is everyone else’s work — the artwork, I mean all of that is other people… Without that, I would just be spitting Blood Pressure on a street corner somewhere, and happily so.”
Bridge continues to hope and pray that he gains the necessary skills to promote himself as an artist as he looks to release a seven-track EP sometime in the near future.
Listen to Bridge B.’s new album Blood Pressure here.