On July 24, 1995 in Philadelphia, a man fired a gun at 15-year-old Eshon Burgundy, and the bullet broke the femur bone in his left leg.

Eshon couldn’t move, making him an easy target to finish off. He lay on the ground as seven more bullets flew at him from just a few feet away. Only two of them pierced Eshon, which didn’t feel like a miracle at the time.

He passed out. When he regained consciousness, Eshon found himself surrounded by his crying mother, the neighborhood “crazy” praying lady and an estimated 150 other people from the local projects.

Eshon appreciated the prayers but still thought he was going to die.

“Then I literally heard a voice,” he told Rapzilla. “The sky didn’t crack open. It wasn’t a voice that everybody hear, but I literally heard the voice of God say, ‘You’re not gonna die.’ It was the calmest voice I ever heard in my life. It was the most stable, stern, sure voice I ever heard in my life.”

Eshon didn’t die, although the doctors who ultimately saved him said he was 60 seconds from passing away.

At Legacy Conference 2016 in an interview with Rapzilla, Eshon told this story and how it relates to his new album, The Passover, which dropped in May.

After Eshon survived in 1995, he didn’t immediately start to follow God.

Four years later, 19-year-old Eshon was invited to church by a friend and lost an argument there with a pastor, who proceeded to share the Gospel with him.

“My life was changed from that moment,” Eshon said.

His mother had introduced him to Christianity long ago, but he had interpreted the Bible through the lens of his friends.

“I hung around a lot of hood scholars,” Eshon said, “people who read a lot of books, Hebrew Israelites, Nuwaubian Moors, Five Percenters. These are the type of people that I would be around almost every day, rapping with and also hanging out with.”

And before Eshon’s disagreement with that pastor, he had watched another Christian defend the faith against his friends in a manner that would later be an example for him — Cross Movement member Cruz Cordero.

“I would be downtown in Philly on 11th and Market,” Eshon said, “and I’d be standing there with the Nuwaubian Moors and the Five Percenters, and [Cordero] would be there with an open Bible debating Scripture with these guys. I would just stand there. I believed the Bible, but I was in no shape to argue or debate anything. The fact that he was a Christian, and he was doing that amongst … these guys were militant, for the most part… But he had no fear… I admired that, and it encouraged me so much.”

Buy The Passover on iTunes.