Rapzilla Freshmen

Rapzilla Freshmen 2022 Interviews [Meet the Class]

The Rapzilla Freshmen of 2022 absolutely crushed it in 2021, and their efforts are not going unnoticed. These 20 artists were the talk of the former class and garnered a whole lot of votes from the fans.

In order to introduce the Rapzilla audience to everyone on the list, we asked each of the artists four questions about becoming a freshman.

So without further adieu, here we go!

A3

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

It’s a huge honor and a privilege to be named a Rapzilla freshmen because it shows that the space stands for me and supports me! A dream come true.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

For sure getting to meet and work with some of the artists I grew up listing to like WHATUPRG and Not Klyde. A lot of beautiful moments with my supports like them telling me my music has helped them through tough seasons means so much because it shows that God is using me and my hurt for more than myself.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I plan to drop my first full body of work in April with some features from WHATUPRG, Not Klyde, and Joseph Stingley. I also plan to do a lot of shows and show people what A3 is really about. Also, to push the boundaries on what CHH looks like.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

I really want to make an impact in our space and show people that if I can make it and if you are willing, God can use you in any way. I’m just a fisherman.

Intstagram | Spotify

Alcott

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

Being named a Rapzilla Freshmen is a huge honor and a bit of a surreal moment for me. I remember being in middle school checking the Rapzilla website for whatever the latest news in CHH was almost every day. It’s crazy for me to think about the fact that, over a decade later, I am one of the artists that Rapzilla is taking notice of.

It’s also really dope to look back at all of the incredible artists who have been on past Freshmen lists, and see how successful a lot of them are now. Some of my favorite artists and biggest influences in CHH were once Rapzilla Freshmen, so for me to now be able to say that I am also a Rapzilla Freshmen is an opportunity I am beyond grateful for.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

It’s hard to pick a singular best moment in my artistic journey. Receiving praise and validation from artists I look up to is always a great feeling and I’ve been fortunate enough to have that happen a handful of times. Because Lecrae is really the artist that made me want to become a Hip-Hop artist, to begin with, being selected as one of the winners for his “Set Me Free Remix Challenge” was a huge moment for me.

I got to speak with him briefly over Zoom and he just let me know that he thought I was dope. That alone made me feel like all the work I had been putting in for years was starting to pay off. It also served as the ultimate reminder that God is at work in my journey and he can open doors that I may have previously thought of as unattainable.

I’ve had some cool moments with fans as well, there’s one dude in particular that always showed support on IG and so we just started playing Warzone together. It’s been awesome getting to know him better.

What do you have planned for 2022?

The major thing I have planned for 2022 is dropping my debut album which is executive produced by Jesse Calentine (crazy how he also made the list this year). Jesse and I have been working on this project for a while now and I think we are both very confident that what we have created is really special. I don’t want to give away a ton of details yet, as we are still putting some finishing touches on it and trying to formulate a creative rollout strategy; however, more details are coming soon and I am very excited to share them!

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

I feel like the easiest answer to this question is simply to become a full-time artist. However, on a grander scale, I simply want to make progress towards accomplishing whatever it is God has set out for me to do. For a long time, I have felt that God’s plan for me is to be an artist, so over the next five years, I just want to make sure I take advantage of all of the opportunities he places before me.

Instagram | Spotify

Battz

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

3-4 years ago I would’ve looked at being a Freshmen as me making it as an artist. Since then my perspective has grown and I now look at it as me doing my part on giving back. Instead of looking at the list as an opportunity for growth and or come up, I now see it as me being present and supportive of other artists.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

One of my best fan interactions was at Holy Smoke Fest 2021. Me and my mother arrived late to the basketball game and as we walked into the gym a flood of fans funnel towards us and greeted me with excitement. It was about a good 20 or so of them and I couldn’t believe they even recognized me. Later they asked for some tips on growing as an artist.

What do you have planned for 2022?

2022 is a year of building an even stronger foundation and continuing to drop frequently. Also many surprise things with prominent artists in the space later this year. My goal is 100k monthly listeners this year and I feel as if we will surpass it. Also that milestone we will start on our first album.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

Within the next five years, my goal is to be in a great position financially. Allowing music to open many doors such as other forms of media. Doing all this while never compromising my faith and letting it be at the forefront of my career.

Instagram | Spotify

C4 Crotona

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

It means the hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. So many people want to be rappers and never get any type of acknowledgment so to get noticed by one of the biggest platforms in CHH is a great feeling.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

There are so many. One that sticks out the most is freestyling for Shade45. As far as fans, the DMs sent. I have a very particular sound. Dark boom-bap beats so to know there are believers looking for it lets me know what I’m doing isn’t in vain.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I have a collab project with a veteran in CHH (can’t announce). Also, my debut album on Menace titled Since We Last Spoke.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

To be able to use this gift God gave me to provide for my family and to reel in more souls for the kingdom.

Instagram | Spotify

Eddie Clark

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

To be recognized for my work is refreshing. I’ve been around Rapzilla for a couple of years now, so to see what it takes, set the goal, and have it be accomplished this year is fulfilling.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

This nod is certainly at the top of my list, but I’d also count the time one of my songs was featured on the “Willie Moore Jr. Show” here in Atlanta. It was the beginning of my CHH career and I had won song of the week. My family, friends, and church family would tune in just so they could hear my song. It was an incredible experience to start my career.

I had a fan DM me one time and tell me that he heard my music on the radio in Hawaii. I’m all the way in Atlanta, so to see my music reach that far was amazing.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I just dropped an album to start the year off (go stream that) so a lot of this year will be catered toward music videos and remixes. I don’t like to plan too far ahead because that can mess up my creative process. This year will be about reaching new audiences with what I’ve done.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

I’m in school at Full Sail University for Audio Production, so I plan to supplant myself in the music industry, whether that’s as an artist or not. I love what I make though, so my number one objective is to make this my full-time career.

Instagram | Spotify

GodFearin

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

What Rapzilla freshmen means to me is that I am a part of Christian Rap history and I’m happy to be a part of the Culture

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

I feel like the best moment was when all the hard work started to pay off, to be honest, and with a fan just signing autographs.

What do you have planned for 2022?

Shooting a lot of videos and just staying in a creative mindset to push the gospel thru the music in the best way possible.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next five years?

Be the founder of 100s of gospel clubs and comedy shows in America and have my GodFearin clothing line selling out to people all over the world. Also, running GodFearin Records and pushing my label to new heights.

Instagram | Spotify

IMRSQD

What does being named a Rapzilla freshmen mean to you?

I’ve been following Rapzilla since 2015, so it’s an honor to be part of this year’s freshmen group. But more importantly, I am officially/unofficially the first African artist to be nominated and voted in as freshmen. Africa has such a diverse talent pool and often times gets overlooked so it’s an honor to represent not only the continent and my country but many artists from Africa who aspire to achieve great things within the Christian music industry.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

Last year I was so blessed to be a part of Reach Records’ Summer Playlist. I’ve been such a huge fan and follower of the label and all its artists. They have contributed so much to my development as both a believer and artist so having their vote of confidence and being part of the tape was such an outrageous experience!

The best fan experience is being recognized in public, it’s always a blast to meet the people that are part of your micro-community!

What do you have planned for 2022?

I hope to put out as much music as possible and God willing put out a few music videos as well.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years

I would like to win a Grammy.

Instagram | Spotify

muted mike

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshman mean to you?

It’s still crazy to me to think I was selected. To be recognized and appreciated for my work is a blessing. I’m eager to work with these other artists and hear the insane verses everyone brings.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

Being able to work with other artists in the CHH community this past year has been a great experience. Rapzilla’s Critique Fridays is something I always look forward to because it’s such a dope community of CHH artists doing some show-and-tell with their music and getting feedback. For years, I was doing music on my own, so for that door to open now really pushes me to do more.

I remember way back (probably like 10-years-ago) I was playing some Call of Duty with a random kid. I played a song I made through the headset. I’m sure it sounded terrible through that, but the kid was going nuts over it. I never played with him again, but hearing his reaction to my music showed me that this is something I want to pursue.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I have been and will be dropping a single almost every month for this year to lead up to my next album, Dumber. I have high hopes for this album because it’s an experience for anyone to enjoy. If budgeting and planning go right, I’m hoping to get a couple of music videos to go along with some singles.

I’m also working on a beat store. It’s still under construction, but it’ll be up and running soon!

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

To create a strong community around what I’m doing. My ultimate goal is to help people who deal with mental health issues through my music. Music is one of the greatest and most mysterious gifts God has given. It has helped me throughout so many points in my life. I hope to impact people with my songs as much as music has impacted me.

Instagram | Spotify

MvkeyyJ

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

It’s a great step and milestone in the direction and trajectory I want to go. Businesses want to trend upwards because it represents growth and change; well I want the same for my career. Rapzilla Freshmen is a phenomenal step in that upward journey.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

I’m not completely sure about the best moment, but I must say this: I truly have the best fans ever. So far, my favorite moment has come from my first year in music. Dallas, Texas – 2019 – Incognito Tour; a fan came on stage and rapped one of my hardest songs, including Torey’s verse, word for word. I was just in awe of how people can really listen to me, resonate, and memorize my lyrics. Unbelievable.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that this year I’m putting an emphasis on live shows and sync licensing. You will see me poppin’ out on multiple occasions shaking things up because I genuinely believe I’m one of the best performers out right now; respectfully. Expect to hear my music on your favorite TV Shows, Podcasts, Movies, etc. We working hard on this side.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

I have a plethora of goals I need to accomplish. I think that so many people say “want”; if music really is your heart and soul, it’s not a “want,” it’s a “need.” With that being said, five years looks very big for me, I’m up next and treasure this opportunity to show the world. Hop on the wave now or get left behind; your choice. God Bless.

Instagram | Spotify

NXTMIKE 

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

Being named a freshmen is definitely a blessing. It’s an opportunity to partner with a great source and expand my reach so more people can hear about Jesus. Music is a powerful thing, and it has the power to make waves and change the hearts of people across the world. I’m grateful to be chosen!

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

I’m at the point where I’m putting songs out that are a bit more timeless than my older stuff. It’s cool releasing music that you don’t get “sick of,” if that makes sense. I’ve loved how my sound is constantly changing – there really aren’t any rules and it’s freeing knowing that there’s always a song for everyone. As far as a fan moment, we’ve had several of them come to Christ at our shows. I can’t even begin to explain what that did to/for me. God doesn’t need us, yet He chooses to use us to change souls and pack out eternity. It’s a wild thing to me.

What do you have planned for 2022?

This year is going to be a big year for me creatively. A lot of music in the chamber (collabs & solos) as well as several concerts. TRAPSHIP (the collective I started) has something in the works that I truly believe will be one of the craziest, most thought-out bodies of work that our genre has ever seen. I’ve also been putting a lot of work in behind the scenes with my clothing line ‘FRESHMAN YEAR CO.’ which I’m pumped to reveal soon. I’m just excited to see where God takes me and I hope you guys come along for the ride!

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

The cool thing is that I’m currently where I wanted to be five years ago. I’ve been seeing so many people get passionate about starting something new, launching it, and then quitting because the results aren’t immediate. The world makes us think that we’re entitled to instant gratification, but that’s just not how things work. These things take time! Hard work, discipline & Jesus is all we need. He’ll always get us to where He wants us.

Over the next 5fiveyears, I want to see my artistry & the TRAPSHIP COLLECTIVE grow in a way where my wife & I can pursue what we want full-time. Between music, merch, design, branding & photography – I really feel like we can get there God willing. Over everything though, I just want to be obedient & at peace in whichever spot God sets me up in.

Instagram | Spotify

Prodi Da Prodigal

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

It’s an honor to be counted among these other artists. I was happy just being nominated, but then I got the message saying I got picked and it blew my mind. I’m extremely grateful and humbled for this opportunity, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for this group.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a lot of awesome moments as an artist. One of the ones that stands out is, when I was part of a band, we had the opportunity to open up for the Newsboys, which was super dope.

The best moment with a fan was probably the first time someone asked for my autograph. I was caught off guard and blown away that somebody would want my signature, so I asked them for their autograph.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I just want to keep putting in work for the Kingdom of God and be a good steward with everything God has blessed me with and continues to bless me with.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

My hope is to someday, be able to do music (in any capacity) full-time.

Instagram | Spotify

Q-Flo

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

Being a freshmen means a lot. When I was nominated in 2021, I went back to do my research and when I saw that no other Philly artist was nominated in the past, it motivated me even more. I wanted to put the city on my back and be that bridge between Philly and the rest of the CHH community.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

The best moment in my journey, hands down was being a part of the Flavor Fest 16 Bar Challenge. Being able to just rap and shake the room in front of new people who didn’t know me as well as artists I’ve only talked to online. It was an opportunity to display what I do best.

What do you have planned for 2022?

For 2022 you can expect a few projects. Lord willing the opportunity to perform will come my way. I think I want to focus more on marketing myself and really solidifying my fanbase. I believe that being a freshmen is the boost I need.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

I have a few goals.

My biggest goal is to be in a position to put the next generation(s) in the light. I didn’t receive the help and support I have until it was late and I wouldn’t want any of the new artists to go through what I went through

Recently I’ve been seeing fans pulling Datin and Bizzle’s ears to sign me to their respected camps. It would be dope either camp opened their doors but if not, that’s fine too.

My last goal is to make it on a Lecrae album. I’ve been trying to bug him on Twitter to make Gravity 2 and I got a verse for him ready. It started as a joke but again, my supporters started to rally for the idea and now it just has to happen.

Instagram | Spotify

Ray Knowledge

What does being a Rapzilla Freshman mean to you?

First and foremost, I am humbled and honored to be mentioned as a freshmen this year. Honestly, the way that I live my life, I give my best at everything that I do without any expectations of being recognized. That’s just the way that I grew up. So when I have something like this happen for me, it reminds me that all the work that is put in is not being done in vain.

Honestly, my style of music is a little different than your traditional CHH, so I was a little shocked when I was selected. However, it showed me that there is room for growth and that we all have a voice to share our lives and Christ through our personal lenses and experiences in this community.

Also, to be mentioned alongside all of this talent is crazy to me. I can’t wait to see what this freshmen class accomplishes. Not only within this group but with everyone’s individual careers. To make a long story short, being a Rapzilla Freshmen to me, means to stay authentic, keep building, keep showing the love of Christ, and keep rapping.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

Growing up, I struggled with a pill addiction. I was a heavy influence in some of my friends’ lives who also decided to start doing drugs. After I had my first child, I started making drastic changes in my decision-making. Including, stopping popping pills. However, my friends were still engaging in those activities.

Several years later, I received a call from two of them. They told me that they see the growth in my life and they are loving the music. See, they knew what I came from and what I went through to who I have become. They said that my life changes were inspiring so it inspired them to make some changes also. At that moment, I was able to lead one of them to Christ and both have given up the drugs. That is absolutely my best moment on this journey so far.

What do you have planned for 2022?

This year I plan on dropping a lot of music! I have about five singles already ready to go. I also plan on dropping visuals for every single. I plan on building with more artists and really getting my brand to a different level this year.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

One of my goals as an artist is to get into the sync world and start getting my records played on movies. Also, I do film, so my goals might be a little broader than just as an artist. I actually want to get to a space where I am creating music for full feature films (big films) that I am filming and directing.

Instagram | Spotify

Reece Lache

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

I’d like to see how things unfold. I’m hopeful that this opportunity allows more people to get to know me as an artist.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

The best moment in my career so far was being a part of The Reach Records Summer 22 playlist.

Hearing feedback on how my songs have helped someone will forever be cherished.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I don’t like to share my plans with others. You never know how things unfold in the end. Imagine being on a tour then BOOM! The rapture happens & half of your audience goes ghost. Whatever you see from me in 2022, it was planned.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

My biggest goal in the next 5 years is to be exactly where I’m supposed to be. Nothing ever goes wrong there. I just hope wherever I am, I’m making a positive impact.

Instagram | Spotify

TJ Carroll

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

It means another opportunity to continue making dope music that preaches Christ.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

At a show, I got to witness people become friends that never knew each other and stayed friends.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I plan on releasing two or three singles a month, collaborations with close friends, VERT MOB, more music videos, shows, more Christ, MERCH DROPS, TikTok presence, and a lot more focus on my intercity youth and the local community. We go to all these places but we don’t spend enough time investing in where we came from and God put us there for a reason.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

Start a program for youth interested in music and provide after-school/extracurricular opportunities for discipleship and for them to learn how to engineer, mix, write, make beats, etc. I want to provide a space for creative growth.

Instagram | Spotify

Tre’Gadd

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

I remember just starting with music seeing the freshmen list, dreaming, seeing some artist I’m inspired by in the same position. So I’m just feeling inspired and motivated!

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

The best moment is definitely the ODD1OUT TOUR 2020.

What do you have planned for 2022?

Shout out Love Mercy Music group! Also if new music and hopefully a lot more stage presence, and a whole lotta gospel music!

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

Let God direct my steps and be obedient to his direction living in purpose.

Instagram | Spotify


Producers

Dara JT

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

What it means to me being named a Rapzilla Freshmen is that I must live a life that is pleasing to God and have a name is that is reputable. In my journey so far, I understand the value of having a good name and I have also poured into the people around me through my words of encouragement and acts of service which is mentoring the Producers around me.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

There are many moments in my artistic journey which God gets all the Glory for. These moments are winning the HP and Genius Home Studio Contest, my Production being shared by Pastor Mike Todd, meeting so many talented people around me, and teaching music production to the next generation. The people that support me are family, not fans.

What do you have planned for 2022?

What I have planned for 2022 is to graduate from college this coming May, executive produce another album at a very high level, release my debut sample pack, host my first Song Camp, and teach my first music production class through Zoom and other platforms.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as a Producer in the next 5 years?

A few of my biggest goals I hope to accomplish as a Producer in the next 5 years are to win a Grammy, to be one of the best A&Rs in music, and to have a platform where everyone feels safe and valued especially Female Producers, Artists, Songwriters, and Audio Engineers.

Instagram | Spotifiy

Jesse Calentine

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

I grew up listening to CHH a lot and being influenced by Reach. So it’s pretty cool to now be named a freshmen producer.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

When I was first starting out I would go to my home church, where my good friend Kraig Pruett (who is also a creative) would work. We would work daily at the church from midday to midnight – always making each other better, perfecting our crafts and improving every day. It was the most fun and favorite memory I’ve had in my time being a producer.

What do you have planned for 2022?

I currently have more placements with some great artists in the works, putting out a couple of tapes with my homie Alcott (who is also a Rapzilla Freshmen). Also, striving daily to land my first major placement.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as a producer in the next 5 years?

I’m influenced most by mainstream music, so I’m hoping to move into that space and be a light while making great music.

Instagram

okaywarren

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

Being a Rapzilla Freshmen this year is a dream come true. A bumpy road for sure and I still feel undeserving but I know God has put me in this position to glorify Him with the gifts He’s given me. That’s what this means for me – a bigger platform to glorify God with. A major responsibility, yes, but also a major blessing.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

My favorite moment on this journey has to be the conversations I get to have with creative kids like me who want to learn more about doing well with an ability God has given while also bringing the most glory to His name. I’m always left refreshed and renewed after those deep convos.

I don’t consider the people that follow me my “fans.” They are friends and family. My favorite moments with these people are meeting up at shows in my city and moshing every set of a show. It’s an amazing experience and I typically lead the chaos which is great.

What do you have planned for 2022?

2022 I have a couple of major placements already set to drop. I want to finish my time at Davis College and then pursue music full-time. Being 19 and in my third year of college, I have a major head start in life, which is amazing and daunting at the same time. I also plan to drop a drum kit and a lo-fi tape sometime this year. Maybe a couple of producer singles? Who knows…

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

My biggest goals are securing a BEAM placement and a KB placement. Two major artists that influence who I am and the music I make. Another major goal that soars above the others is to go on tour. I don’t really know-how as a producer, but I love the idea of it.

Instagram

wow eli

What does being named a Rapzilla Freshmen mean to you?

To me, being a Rapzilla Freshmen means the music I’m making is impacting the people who listen enough so that they voted for me to be here.

What has been the best moment in your artistic journey and with a fan so far?

Best moment on my artistic journey: making genuine friendships and being on stage while my songs are being performed at concerts.

With a fan: Being told I make some of their favorite songs of all time

What do you have planned for 2022?

Enjoying life and all my blessings.

What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish as an artist in the next 5 years?

The goal I am accomplishing in the next five years: Financial independency: enabling my parents to retire and paying off my sister’s student loans. Five years is too far out to plan so I’m accomplishing those things before the end of this year.

Instagram | Spotify

And there you have it. That was a brief introduction to our 20 Rapzilla Freshmen artists. Be sure to follow them on all their socials and check our their music. Stay tuned for much more to come with the 2022 Rapzilla Freshmen class.







Justin Sarachik

Written by Justin Sarachik

Justin is the Editor-in-Chief of Rapzilla.com. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has written or edited for Relevant, Christian Post, BREATHEcast, CCM, Broken Records Magazine, & more. He also likes to work with indie artists to develop their brands & marketing strategies. Catch him interviewing artists on Survival of the Artist Podcast.

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