I2G chilled with the talented Stevie Bee for an exclusive interview. We discuss his motivation for getting into music after serving in the armed forces, future plans and much more so check it out.
You have spoken to the world through your actions and now through the mic, what made you decide to get into the music industry after the army?
Music has always been an integral part of growing up. I was introduced to music at a very early age from learning to read music for piano to playing the drums for many many years at my dad’s church. Yes I’m a preacher’s kid. Music was the only escape that I could attach myself to being a pretty smart kid growing up and not being able to capitalize on that because with each “gifted” and “advanced” program I qualified for, my dad would hold me back thinking it was a conspiracy to categorize black people. After the drums, I picked up the trumpet, sax, clarinet, and a bunch of other instruments. When I was in high school, I auditioned to go to an advanced music school at the time, MAST Academy. I qualified but once again, my father held me back. Unlike others, the first rapper that I got into was DMX. His raw passion and energy coupled with my frustrations is what led me to being involved with the music industry. Why would God provide me with a gift, a talent and not be able to expound on it you know.
Where does your inspiration lie & where is it found when you have writers block?
I draw my inspiration from all over really. I never really know what is going to trigger it so as an old fashioned “backpack rapper” so to speak, I always try to keep a pen and pad around and if not, then I use my phone and text myself. I had an interesting journey. I took the scenic route so I’ve seen a lot. Being that I’m passionate each time I step behind the mic, I draw my inspiration plenty times from my own hardship or that of others close enough to me where I feel it as well. When I have writer’s block though, in the past, honestly, I used to smoke weed to elevate my mind out of the box. Now I just try and let it come without forcing it and see where my mind takes me. It takes longer sometimes to get it done but oh well, you can’t rush a masterpiece lol.
In Remember My Name I quote “My past can’t hold me no more” you strive for progress in everything you do but name an experience you always revisit and has given you reoccurring hope.
Well, knowing the dirt that I did over the past several years is fuel for me. It’s an additional wrinkle to the story of Bishop aka Stevie Bee. I replay all the performances that I’ve had, the trips that I’ve taken, and the people I’ve met. I’m all about positive energy and forward motion. Anything outside of those two characteristics I pretty much just ignore to the best of my ability. Some people tend to let their past hold them back but I believe that I was prepared by my past. I went through all that for a reason, to share with others who are currently going through or about to go through very similar situations.
Haitian Pride was a huge success for you and such a heartfelt tribute. When there is “hell down here” how do you find the peace needed to place that into your lyrics and still affect as many people as you do?
I aim to be as close to transparent as possible with my listeners. There is plenty of “party” music out there and naturally people are going to gravitate towards it to have fun but you can only party for so long. A major thing that is missing right now in music is people saying that “no everything is not all right” but I’m still going to keep my head up anyway. I love that kind of music. That’s why I like DMX, Pac, Big Krit and various others.
Do you remember the first song you fell in love with?
The first rap song I fell in love with honestly was DMX’s Ruff Ryder’s Anthem. I couldn’t get enough of that song lol.
We often forget the dreams we had as kids, would you say that you are achieving yours or did your dream change throughout the years?
Funny thing, my dreams changed over the years. I remember in elementary school, I first wanted to become a baseball player. Then I wanted to become a private detective from reading all kinds of mystery books. Then I wanted to become a lawyer from reading all of John Grisham’s books which I still do to this day. Once music came into my life, I knew I wanted to do something with music and here I am lol.
What made you transition into Christian rap?
I actually started off as Christian Rap. I veered off into secular rap because I just had extra things I wanted to get off my chest. Now, I have much love and respect for Christian Rap but I don’t classify myself as that kind of rapper. I tend to say things that are frowned upon in the overly religious Christian community. I like to speak my mind and convey what is placed on my heart. When I speak, when I touch the mic, know that I’m giving you that which is in me. Maybe one day you will be able to classify me as a Christian rapper but I’m still a work in progress. God ain’t through with me yet like Pac said. I’m rough around the edges lol.
Passions come one in many and often born in the most unexpected times. What should we expect from you in years to come or even tomorrow?
I’m working on Switchin Lanes: Reloaded, the final installment of the Switchin Lanes franchise. It’s a mixtape. I’m also working on Walk Wit Me which goes into my back and forth walk over the last several years. I’m bringing love, pain, suffering, joy; I’m making a movie with this music.
Any shout outs or anything your fans should know about you?
Shout out to the rest of the PSE team, Leo keep ya head up. Flo keep kicking that knowledge. She’s a spoken word artist and she’s working on Can’t Label The Light so stay tuned for that. Shout out Tariq and all of Odd Muzic. He was and always will be P-Squad. That’s my boy. Shout out to my brother. No one is closer to me than him. I can go on and on like I’m getting an award or something lol but I’ll stop. Shout out to everybody on this planet, haters and lovers alike. Peace and blessings.