Interview With Nuwine
A Nu Start

The world of hip-hop continues to undergo massive change and transition. In both the secular and sacred arenas, rap has risen to tremendous prominence. As the hip-hop game continues to develop, it introduces to another rising talent named Nuwine. While no stranger to the game, Nuwine is Nuwinegained national attention with his Real Deal Records release from 2000, titled Ghetto Mission. Though the Texas native is experiencing mainstream exposure with his recent single "One Million Souls", Nuwine is quick to reflect on his storied beginnings.

Nuwine's life was filled with varying run-ins with the law. "I'd been in jail nearly fifteen times,"says the rapper. "I used to be a thug. I mean you name it, I did it. However, God held things for His glory." After being shot at point-blank range, Nuwine soon turned his life over to Christ. In doing so, he realized that God commisioned him to reach out to those in the streets. "Rap soon became survival for me. I understood that I would have to preach through my music," says Nuwine. "Not just that but had to support my wife and my kids, so I had to rap."

In an effort to support his family, Nuwine began to make his own demos. In selling them, one even surfaced in South America. Soon, Nuwine signed his first deal with Grapetree Records. After some difficulties with the record company, Nuwine ventured towards an independent ventured and formed his own record company titled Wine-O Records. He quickly became one of the hardest working rappers within the industry and released six albums in a three year period. "It's the gift. As the wind is always moving, so should a man's gift also be moving," states Nuwine.

Having an origin within the streets, Nuwine gears his music and message towards those living the street lifestyle. With that mindset, he is quick to distance himself from the title of "gospel rapper". "I don't label my rap as gospel rap. If I did, I'd be lying. Gospel is designed for those in the church and my music is designed to be evangelistic," states the rapper. "What many don't understand is that there are three types of music that God created. There is worship, where we sing unto God. There is ministry, where we sing of what God has done. The church has always seen the first two types. However, no one is performing the thrid type which is evangelistic music. Evangelistic music is music that's designed to reach out to the lost," says Nuwine.

"The music that I perform is known as real rap. We have to remember that the carnal man can't understand the things of the Spirit. It takes the Holy Spirit to give Nuwine CD them the understanding," proclaims Nuwine. Because of his focus, he refuses to place a label on his style and prefers for hismusic to be found in the rap section of any store. "My music is designed for the thug and they won't pick it up in the Gospel section. I've found that my music doesn't need a label. Over 48 secular video shows, including those on BET, have picked up my video simply because I didn't put a label on it. I know that my music isn't designed for church people, but to save and educate souls," states Nuwine.

Nuwine knew that to bring his vision to the masses, he neeeded an national outlet. With that, he found and eventually signed with longtime friend, Evander Holyfield, and united with the boxer’s Real Deal Records venture. "I knew that Evander and I share the same vision to make Christ shine and not fail. He had the money that we needed to put Jesus all up in the people's faces, "states the Real Deal artist.

The 20-track project features Nuwine's unique vocal rap style and has brought him tremendous attention. "I've been blessed to go to London and around the world spreading the gospel," says Nuwine. While travelling the globe, the rapper still feels the call to reach out to people locally. He is very active within the community, building several ‘Ghetto Mission’ buildings and making frequent contributions to the United Way, blood centers, prisons, and schools. While Nuwine embarks on superstardom, he continues to maintain his Christ focus with his ghetto mission.

— interview by Gerard Bonner —

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