Preacher Boy: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us brother!
Young Chozen: No problem man. It’s an honor
PB: How did you get saved?
YC: I was kind of one of those kids that almost grew up in church and lived their whole life in the front pew with the itchy wool suits, and penny loafers. I was 18 when I really started living for God!
PB: What events led you to getting saved?
YC: Okay, well um, I grew up in a divorced home. My parents had joint custody. My real father was in the world and wasn’t really what you would call a Godly example. My mom’s ended up getting remarried. Her and my step-dad were my Godly examples. Because of partial custody I was living a double life. When I was with my dad I acted one way and when I was with my moms and acted another way. So I graduated from high school. I did good and could have gone to a bunch of different schools but my parents wanted me to go to bible school. At the time I was still living this double life. I was trying to be in a little gang even though I looked like a nerd. But I was perpetrating!
Anyways. So I ended up going to bible college. But I got involved with the wrong crowd. I was hanging out with the basketball team who was recruited just to play ball. So these dudes really weren’t concerned about God and knowing more about him! We was wilding out like it was a frat house. In that season of life I remember going to sleep so scared. Knowing that if I died I wouldn’t go to heaven. That’s not a good feeling. I ended up being asked to leave the school by the administration.
I left bible college and went back to L.A and the same day I got there I enrolled in the Dream Center Discipleship Program. I worked along side cats who were homeless and addicted to drugs. I was in the Dream Center Discipleship and I was working hard. Washing dishes, scrubbing floors and getting in the word also. It was almost a boot camp way of studying the word of God and taking yourself away from all distractions. I really needed that discipline It was hardcore, intense and humbling humbling. It’s a free program that anyone can come and get fed with the word. It was 14 months, and I was the youngest person ever to graduate from it. A lot of people are surprised that I was in a program like that but it’s where I needed to be for that season of my life! My job for 8 hours a day for four months was watching dishes. I like to pull from those moments when I see cats who are struggling. So that’s what led me back to the Lord.
PB: When do you start rapping?
YC: I was 6. My moms says, I was writing poems. At 10 I got a Yamaha Keyboard and did my own lil thing. 16 is when the high school freestyle battles started taking off. That’s when I got my own style and swag.
PB: When do you start rapping for God?
YC: Ummmm. While I was in the discipleship program, is when I really started doing it for God. I was about 18.
PB: There’s been a lot of criticism about your music from these so called “bloggers/pundits”. They say you don’t talk about Jesus enough in your music. What do you have to say about those claims?
YC: The best rappers that you see are the ones that say things without saying it. I’m not saying I’m a fan of Lil Wayne but he’s one of those rappers. He said and I quote, “I’ll write your name on a bullet and make you feel special.” Do you know what that means?
PB: Yeah. He’s going to kill ol’ boy!
YC: Exactly! To bring scriptural backing into the picture. I look at Matthew 13. Jesus was speaking to the people in parables. I look at those people he was talking to as world. His disciples said “Why are you speaking to the people in parables” And to paraphrase Jesus said, “You have the ears to hear and the eyes to see. I speak to them in parables so they can keep the little bit they have lest they lose it” Today, church folks know the word of God. But people in the world may not have the ears to hear. When Jesus was in the towns with the people he was rarely quoting scriptures. It was when he was in the synagogues with the pharisees is where he quoted scriptures. When he was in the towns, in the villages, or our streets he spoke in parables. So Jesus was able to switch things up depending on where he was. He could switch up the method but keep the same message. He never changed who he was. He was always Jesus Christ. He would change his delivery so the people could receive what he was speaking.
Now as Christians yes we want to encourage the saints. But if I’m only ministering to youth groups then what am I doing? How am I fulfilling the Great Commission? You know we have to go out into the world! Some people hone their craft in front of their youth groups and churches. A lot of my immediate audience wasn’t young people in Christ. So I had to figure out a way to transfer biblical principles into song to a kid who is at a house party with a blunt in his mouth. If I’m screaming JESUS JESUS JESUS then he’s not going to be receptiveve to that. It’s going to turn him off immediately. Don’t get me wrong. I have so much respect for guys like Lecrae and Trip Lee. I’m bumping Rehab all day. But there’s different methods of drawing the people in!
One other thing. You know we have the milk and the meat right? We have grown up hearing preachers say “Do you want the milk or the meat?” And of course the whole church shouts out, “We want the MEAT!!!!” right? Well here is my question. What’s wrong with milk? Think about how many miles you have walked in your life. Thousands right? But no matter how many miles you have walked it does not take away from the excitement when you see a baby take its first steps. When people are new to Christianity and new to the faith the MEATY topics and music can be intimidating. That’s why some kids say its wack if its oversaturated with JESUS, JESUS, GOD, GOD, CHRIST, CHRIST, GET YO HANDS UP!!!!! Now we who are mature in God, can appreciate this but that’s cuz we can handle meatier stuff. I am confident and secure in myself saying that my music may be on the milky side, but I feel you need it so that you can graduate into a Lecrae or something like that. If I’m the Milkman (laughter) then so be it. But don’t get it twisted I have something in my music for everyone. My next mixtape will be my deepest ever. One last thing. At many times we don’t appreciate the first steps. As Christians we tend to overlook those first steps. It’s like us laughing at a baby stumbling and falling when they are learning to walk. Not cool. And many times we as Christians do that. We aren’t supportive of those first steps!
PB: Speaking of your next mixtape, is there a release date?
YC: Yea. It should honestly come out before the end of this year. I just spoke to my manager earlier today and they’re still mixing the last couple of songs. It’s called Play Time Is Over. It’s supposed to come out this month. I definitely promise you it’s the deepest mixtape I’ve ever done. It’s going to have a lot of heavier topics. But I’m gonna try and sent you guys at New H2O an exclusive!
PB: Young Chozen. How’d you get the name?
YC: Ok (laughter) so here goes I used to have a SUPERSPIRITUAL corny name. It was DUNAMI. Now that I look back its embarrassing. It comes from the Greek word Dunamis meaning, warrior power of God. I was and am still heavy into Kung Fu and all that. And yes i still watch cartoons. But anyways I was 18 and about to do a show with some friends and they were all like my big bros in the faith and I had just moved to their town. It’s literally two hours before showtime and they told me , “Nah bro, you cant get on stage with that name!” (shout out to D.E.S. Star, Jay Breeze, and Miles Reach). So for those two hours I’m pacing backstage trying to come up with a new name. This is not the real convo so I hope I don’t offend anyone if these are your real names, but it went something like,” Big Soulja?”, “JesusBoy”. No and No! Ok how about Christswagg? NO! Ummmmmm. Gods Child? No! Hmmmm what about Young Chozen? Hmmmm that will work its five minutes till showtime so just stick with that! That’s how it really was and it just stuck with me. The first part of my rap for the night said, many are called but few are chosen. So really that’s how the name came about!
PB:Y You recently got married and had a very different wedding theme/concept. Tell us the idea behind that.
YC: I mean I’ll make this simple. We just wanted to have fun. I didn’t want to do anything traditional. I mean our marriage speaks so many volumes. It’s a dying breed. Almost an extinct breed. Young people married and on fire for God. So that kind of heart translated to the wedding. Our wedding was open to the public. Anyone who wanted to could’ve came. We wanted to put our own swag to it. We both styled the groomsmen and bridesmaids. When I first shared the ideas with my wife she liked the ideas and was cool with it. We ran off of it and bounced ideas off of each other. A couple of people actually gave their lives to Christ at our wedding so that was kinda cool!
PB: Really? How did that happen?
YC: The wedding opened up with a hip hop concert. Du2ce performed at my wedding. Then I came on and did a few songs, then the bridesmaids and groomsmen danced to the stage. Dougied to the stage and everything. When everyone was on stage we put a worship song on to be played and we just started worshiping. My step-dad who’s a minster did a quick word. From the atmosphere my step-dad gave an altar call. My wife Lizzie said there were 6 salvation’s that day. Then after that is when we did our vows to each other. It was str8 holy spirit freestyle to each other. We had Elijah Kelley from the movie Hairspray there and he sang one of the songs on my mixtape which is a remix of Alicia Keys Unthinkable.
PB: Remixes of secular music is a big topic today in the Christian Rap world. What’s your stance on it and how do you feel about the “transferring of spirits” when it comes to the songs we remix.
YC: That’s definitely a dicey issue. So funny somebody messaged me on Facebook with a 4 page lecture on why I shouldn’t do them. So funny! This is what I think. There’s no general across the board rule. There’s even been secular songs that I have said, “Hmmmm I shouldn’t do that one” It’s one of those things that is based on your own personal convictions. You have to be led by God. I personally feel where the presence of God is, evil can’t exist. I’m all about reclaiming stuff. I remixed the New Boyz Tie Me Down remix and a lot of people found out about my music because of that. You can’t tell me what I’m doing is wrong because lives are being changed because of it. All music came from God in the firstr place. Everything in the world is just a distorted picture of what God created. Without God there would be no Lucifer. God gave Lucifer that gift of music. What we have to do is reclaim what God created and what Satan stole. I have a peace about what and why I do it. It’s all about being in the word and having a level of discernment. I hate to be cliché, but we have to take back what the devil stole. When we use to listen to secular music we used to say, I liked the beat but the garbage message is what pulled us down. If God can cast demons out of people, I believe that God can erase the negative connotation and spirits that may be associated with that song. Why? Because the words that you have given that song are inspired by God. When people are talking about these spirits it at many times tells me that they are listening to that garbage too much. If they think of the bad in that songs that shows me that they’ve allowed those songs to get into their spirits! There have been songs that I did feel I shouldn’t do this one. But as long as you are following God and having discernments there should be no apologies or explanations.
PB: Young Chozen the artist! People know you as the rapper. But what can you tell them about you ministry wise that they may not know?
YC: Point blank period my heart and passion is seeing young people learning that they can live for God without changing and no compromise. Omega Fresh is not just a dance crew. It’s a dance crew/bible study/mentoring group/boy scouts group. Every member of Omega Fresh are from broken homes. They are all at risk young people. What we did was to their love for dance and music. It’s an incentiveve. You get to be a part of this crew but you gotta get in the word. You’re going to be getting disciple. Doing community work. Then and only then you can get on stage and performing. One of the kids you will see in my videos has a flat top. His mother was selling crack. His dads not in the picture. This kid was raising himself and his siblings and I had to privilege to meet this young man. Over the years Ive gotten to see some awesome change in him. He’s the most amazing dancer you will ever see. By himself he teached a bible study in change for dance lessons. The proudest moment of my life was when he called me for help so he could lead someone through the prayer of salvation. Seeing young people become world changers is my passion.
Talking with Young Chozen was truly a blessed experiencece. His spirit and heart for God is undeniable. He is one of the artist who is nominated for the Ground Breaker of the Year Award. Why? Because he is doing this thing but from a different angle! A lot of people don’t understand but this doesn’t deter him! He is still dedicated to bringing forth the Gospel in his own way. Many are called but for a chosen and we are very glad that God felt that Young Chozen was the right man for the job! Until next time y’all!
Loving God, Loving Music, Loving Life,
Micah “Preacher Boy” Butler
Check out his mixtapes!
Extra Credit Mixtape Vol. 1 & 100% Jerkin’