BrvndonP and Mission’s ‘Barely Finished II’ Is Full of Meaning [Interview]
This past Friday, BrvndonP and Mission released the second installment of their collaborative project Barely Finished. I had the chance to “sit down” with them — over zoom call of course — 5 days before the release of their second, full-length project. I thought I knew the narrative of this project and these artists. Then, when I listened to the whole album, that entire narrative changed even further. Barely Finished II means a whole litany of things — BrvndonP and Mission both spoke to that.
“Barely Finished” growing a team
Believe it or not, Mission didn’t like BrvndonP at first. Mission told me, “I can be prideful in some situations… I felt like [BrvndonP] was a little standoffish… I was hesitant.” Mission was supposed to do a performance — a “Sweet 16s”– at a music festival for Breathe Life Radio live. His performance got canceled, but then Brvndon got asked to perform. “I felt like he was like, ‘I took your spot,’ but I did a verse with him, killed it, and now we’ve been cool ever since,” Mission told me.
Mission and BrvndonP, two of the fabled Rock Paper Scissors Music Group, became a duo out of collective of almost coincidental friends. Mission knew Justin Goss (formerly known as Jesus Geek and JG). BrvndonP knew Justin Goss. K.Agee and X-Ellentz were close and knew the same church friends that BrvndonP knew. Brvndon told me, “We all knew each other, but we didn’t KNOW each other, you know what I mean? We just kind of decided one day, like, ‘alright, we’re cool’.” This sparked what would be two different projects for RPSMG. But after all, was said and done, three members went their own way to pursue different things, and Mission was left alongside BrvndonP. That’s when they knew they had to keep going.
“I think above all else when it came to chemistry and work ethic, we were on the same page,” Mission said. “The first song we did was ‘Gotta Be Here’, and that’s when we decided we had to do a tape together.” BrvndonP echoed this same story, “… after Until Next Time (one of the RPSMG projects), we realized it was me and Mission — we even did ‘Gotta Be Here’ off a fluke.” This realization that they both wanted to grind and create quality art together began the team of Mission and BrvndonP. But the two rappers actually had a falling out after their first project together.
“Barely Finished” mending a relationship
They didn’t share the full details– understandably, of course. But the two Sacramento residents gave the same general story– they broke fellowship for a time. Mission said, “I was on some personal stuff, I had stepped away from RPSMG, and I was really reevaluating some relationships.” But as believers, that fellowship didn’t stay broken for long. Mission admitted, “Every concert I went to people were asking me ‘where is BrandonP?’ I finally told [Brandon] whatever we’re going through is not enough that I don’t need to talk to you… it’s not worth it at the end of the day.”
Brandon desired that fellowship again, too, noting, “I’ve been around people who wanted me for music for what I could do… I never really had friendship growing up. So I really valued my friendship with Mission.” Brandon admitted, though, it wasn’t an automatic fix. “It didn’t start right away. [Our renewed relationship] came from hanging out outside of music to build back that relationship.” They may still be working on mending this relationship, but the music lacks no chemistry.
“Barely Finished” making music together
Individually, they are artists through and through, which means they are constantly in the studio working on their craft. Brvndon told me, “I’ve got 4 projects in the pipeline… it sucks to sit on some stuff and wait to release it, but it is what it is.” Both guys claimed to the other is instrumental in their own music creation. Mission said, “I hope this makes it in there (referring to this article) — this dude Brvndon is a genius. I watch this guy go full worship and then go full rap, and that’s not normal…he’s like a freak of nature when it comes to music. When you can grab people like [Brvndon’s music does] there is something spiritual about it.”
Mission went on to explain how Brandon also helps hone his hooks, deliveries, projects, and more– without holding back. “You gotta have that person that makes you better,” Mission said of BrvndonP. The contribution goes both ways. BrvndonP’s full-length album Better Late Than Never has BrvndonP’s name on it, but apparently it also has Mission’s brain behind it. Brandon shared, “A lot of people don’t know this but Mission wrote most of Better Late than Never. We are the minds behind each other’s projects.”
I could tell just from conversation, Mission and BrvndonP are absolutely dynamic in their musical and relational chemistry. They confirmed as much: these guys make music almost effortlessly. Mission and BrvndonP made the entire project in what Brvndon dubbed “about two or three weeks.” BrvndonP told me, “We have songs that didn’t even make it (the album is 10 full tracks). There’s been times we’ve made 5-6 songs in a day (he clarified though that this didn’t mean completed and mastered 5-6 songs in a day). One quote from Brvndon that stuck with me: “The way we work, you can’t explain it. You just have to see it.” As my own personal recommendation, find the new project and just listen to the first track — “Back at it.” It’s a textbook example of musical chemistry.
“Barely Finished” discovering the purpose of the music
I finally asked them what the title meant for them. Of course, I got different and powerful answers. To Mission, the album and phrase meaning was simple: “For me, when you see [an artistic product] that you think is done, for the artist this is only the beginning. We’re not stopping for anything. We don’t feel like we get as much love as the other artists… that’s a true statement. The concept behind Barely Finished is work ethic, it’s nonstop.” BrvndonP corroborated Mission’s sentiment, but even took it further: “Work work work work work! On the other hand, on a more spiritual note, it just means God ain’t done…He’s barely finished, and if He’s not done, I’m not done either.”
The purpose of their music is to never stop perfecting the craft. “But don’t get it twisted,” they share one purpose behind the music itself — Jesus Christ. Mission closed the interview with perhaps my favorite quote of the whole hour we spent together: “I’m big on quality over quantity, but God gives us quality in quantity. Our ability is limited, but when we put God in it it takes it to a whole new level…Don’t get it twisted, we can’t do any of this without God.”
“Barely Finished” nearing greatness
If you’re looking for regurgitated mumble rap, don’t look for this duo. If you’re looking for boring, surface-level production, find a different project. Lastly, if you’re looking for two artists who are every bit as natural at making music as they are at breathing, this is the project you want to get your hands on. I got to sit down and interview two of the best to ever do it. The album is a result of work ethic, grit, raw talent, and being who Christ called them to be. It also is full of hits. Barely Finished II is just simply great. And the two people who made this album are even better.
Mission told me, of Christ, “I think He flowed through us on this project.” I would fully affirm this statement. But don’t take my word for it– decide for yourself.
Stream Barely Finished II now.