No bongs were smoked from in the making of Montell Fish’s music videos for his August mixtape, Somewhereintheforest/Reading the Bible.
This is a change from the visuals for his previous mixtape, My Friend’s Couch, which he dropped a year ago.
Of course, Montell has also changed since then.
“We are in the end times,” the 17-year-old rapper said in a recent interview with Rapzilla. “Open your eyes, get in your word and repent.”
Few artists are as committed to spreading this message as Montell. In Somewhereintheforest/Reading the Bible, the end times are a major theme throughout.
“Once I really started getting into God’s word, one thing I really wanted to know is where we are at in retrospect to the end of the world,” the Pittsburgh-based emcee said. “God was showing me it a lot … He would show me that we don’t have much time left, and I have a plan for you.”
However, this calling came at a time when he wasn’t quite open to hearing what any sort of religious figure might have to say.
Previous to Somewhereintheforest, Montell had released two other projects, My Friend’s Couch and the King David EP. The former was made before Montell became a Christian and highlights his extensive experience with drugs. It was after the release of this project that he feels God first began to speak to him.
“I made that mixtape, and then from there, I just randomly started — well, not randomly — but I always wanted to know, is there more to this? This is all vanity,” Montell said. “God would keep showing me signs. Like, I would go to different churches, and I would go to different places and God would speak through people to get to me.”
The King David EP reflects this sort of experimentation with God and religion, showing his preliminary experiences with God throughout the project. In the same way, Somewhereintheforest continues to reflect his now stronger faith using a unique storyline structure to convey his message.
“It’s basically just me going into this type of forest school, and then finding out more about God and more about the Earth,” Montell said. “It’s all influenced from my surroundings, and mainly God.”
Despite his young age, Montell has garnered a following on platforms such as Soundcloud, as well as the backing of artists like Asaiah Ziv, BraveART and Adrian Stresow.
“I think he has huge potential,” Stresow said. “Right now, he is killing the game on Soundcloud, so I could see him doing big numbers there. A few years down the road, I’d love to see what he does musically because he’s really talented.”
Montell is unsure of what his future might hold, but he feels that a large portion of his career in music might take place outside of hip hop.
“I do believe that I am going to have ties [in Christian hip hop], but… I don’t just want to stay in rap and hip hop,” Montell said. “I don’t really want to put myself in a box. I just want to make the music that God is going to have me make, and whoever is my following, that’s going to be my following.”
Download Somewhereintheforest/Reading the Bible for free on Rapzilla.com.