Rapper Chooses Jesus Over Drugs in Weed Capital of the World
Hip-Hop is very much a global phenomenon, and with Christianity infused lyricists starting to get some shine in the mainstream, that is also trickling down into other parts of the world as well.
The rapper known as Jay-Way is a Dutch artist living in Amsterdam who proclaims Christ in his raps amongst a growing hip-hop “epidemic” in the city.
What he means by an epidemic, is that hip-hop is becoming the universal language of the youth and the social identity of the city.
“If you don’t play soccer you rap” he shared. “There are more rappers than fans.”
He said growing up people were into soccer and criticized him for aspiring to be a rapper. Now those same people are rapping even to the point that professional athletes are penning bars.
“Hip-hop became more accessible throughout the years,” said Jay-Way.
With the rapidly expanding influence of hip-hop booming, the Amsterdam “stereotype” of legal weed and partying comes into play. He even joked that artists visit and hit Twitter with a “Where the weed at?” when they arrive.
Marijuana becomes the subject of many songs and the topic of interest for rappers and their fans in Amsterdam. However, Jay-Way has made his name away from it.
“It’s a rebellious thing not to smoke weed,” the young emcee said. “People think I’m crazy, but I’m actually known as the rapper who doesn’t do all that stuff.”
Initially, Jay-Way cut his teeth as a dancer who dabbled in rap. He dropped the dancing act to not appear corny, and put 100 percent in crafting rhymes and creating music with a message … a message that was not easily digested by a wary church at first.
Christian rap started becoming a “thing” in Amsterdam around 2006-07. Jay-Way said at first the church, more specifically, the “black church,” had a problem with hip-hop. They couldn’t understand how God could be used for urban music.
“It took a lot to get the church to accept us as part of them. They banned us from youth services,” Jay-Way revealed. “It was based on the hip-hop elements that we would carry.”
The church didn’t like his “baggy clothes” and speculated about the “lifestyle” that rappers portray. This was no doubt fueled by Amsterdam’s already lax attitude toward drugs and nightlife.
Jay-Way said a documentary called “The Truth in Hip-Hop” came out that aimed to expose the “lie” and “Satanic Agenda” of hip-hop making its way into the church.
For Jay-Way and a handful of other Christian emcees, the church became their proving ground, and eventually, they broke down the walls about a year or two later. The music of Kirk Franklin, Canton Jones and other similar artists helped them out as these gospel artists used urban and hip-hop influences in their music.
Jay-Way says nowadays he gets more love for his Christian walk than his actual rhymes. Non-Christians are impressed with how he handles and expresses himself, which carries a lot of weight for the ministry aspect of his music.
The 24-year-old has many influences in hip-hop, but he said early Lecrae’s passion for discipleship was key for how he operates. “It’s a beautiful thing,” he added.
As of right now, Jay-Way has a good team helping him push out his music. One of those people is an old school rapper named Deams, who was an artist under DJ Premier. Deams has performed on tracks with the likes of Ice Tea, Big Daddy Kane and De La Soul.
Jay-Way’s latest release is from 2015 and called Jaynalysis featuring the single “Don’t Know Why” with Lola Luna.
Watch his video for “Cool Kid” below, and buy Jaynalysis on iTunes: