NPR is known as the gold standard of story-telling and in-depth think pieces. That is why it was so wonderful to a long-form interview on two artists in Christian hip-hop crushing it. Both Derek Minor and nobigdyl. had explosive 2018’s with their albums The Trap and SOLAR. Derek’s focused on Black and urban culture, injustice, and breaking out. Dyl’s project focused on depression, anxiety, and mental instability.
NPR on Derek Minor – “He musters a force both athletic and theatrical in service of his earnest searching, anguish and confrontation, sometimes testifying to spiritual overcoming in language that hints at his fluency in contemporary church praise vernacular — the closest he gets to familiar CCM territory — but also, crucially, daring to vividly voice righteous anger about dehumanizing views of African-American people that shape criminal justice, economic and ecclesial systems of power.”
NPR on nobigdyl. – “As a lyricist, he tends to alternate between introspection and charismatic cleverness, but even his friskiest, most lighthearted songs—”Purple Dinosaur”, “enemies?” and “Shakira,” for example—subtly circle around a sense of relational responsibility. His mode on much of SOLAR, though, was prickly processing, clarifying disclosure and self-examination that didn’t shy away from describing descents into depression, but throughout it all, his flow retained sprightly dexterity and understated, conversational wit.”
Derek Minor and nobigdyl. sat down for an interview together with NPR. They spoke on their creative processes, critics to Christian music, and why they focus on the topics they do.