Being different while being yourself is sometimes the best thing you can do, especially in times like this when heroin is growing in popularity and crime seems to be turning to gang activity. Rap artist around the country continue to hit a great bass note, but the messages in their songs are still similar to the messages that were first made popular by the likes of NWA and the Ghetto Boys in the 1980’s and early 90’s. However, two rap artist who live in Murfreesboro want to change that with their music.
David Manning and Humble Me perform as a rap duo called “Change Musik.” Their songs may sometimes mention gang violence, but not in the sense you are likely thinking. Instead of glorifying criminal activity, they choose to rap about the negative lifestyle that goes along with such enterprise.
Manning stated in an interview, “Hip hop is very big on being real and true,” which of course is why you may hear songs discussing drive by shootings, drug deals gone bad and mistreating women – because the writer of the songs has lived just that – a life surrounded by crime or violence. Manning, who grew up living with a family that ran carnivals, traveled from state to state seeing all sorts of lifestyles with negative outcomes. Despite his surroundings, he picked positive things in his life to hold onto and value as opposed to negative sites or situations.
“I began to write music as my life began to change,” Manning said. He became a gospel rapper when he turned to Christianity. “Really, I want people to experience freedom man – and anything apart from truth will lead you to bondage,” he suggested.
Humble Me attended Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, TN and stated, “I scored really high in socialization.” After his short stint at Oakland, he was transferred to Riverdale High School. “When I got thrown out of Riverdale that’s when I got saved,” he recalled. Humble Me went on to state, “When people start graduating and getting out of school and you went to school and started when they went, it starts making you really look at your life.”
His next school was Holloway High School, which would be the third high school that Humble Me attended in Rutherford County. While there, he started to understand the value of good people and education. Of course, he was older than most students at age 19.
While at Holloway, he spoke to past principal Ivan Duggin who told him that the school would once again start a basketball team if he could find at least 14 people to sign onto the team roster, which he did. After helping to start the team he decided he wanted to play for the NBA. Amazingly, college representatives visited the school and watched Humble Me play and some colleges even contacted him at home asking if he would play for their school, but he turned the offers down when he felt that God told him to “Speak to his people.” It was then that he decided that he would speak to the masses through music.
It was during those high school years that Humble Me and David Manning teamed up to start a Gospel Rap duo. Together, the two focused on a solution to problems that their generation failed to see through the eyes of rap artist in their time like Tupac Shakur, Biggie, Jay Z, Eminem and Master P. Humble Me said, “All of those guys were not painting a picture of negativity, some of them were just expressing their environment.” He said there is also a solution to the problem of what those rappers sing about, but many of the rappers in his time did not see that solution.
The question of what the solution was in order to live a better life was clear to both Humble Me and Manning. For them, their solution was giving their life to God. Manning said, “If I’m really going to make an impact in my community and I’m gonna’ really reach back then this is the best means to do it by,” talking about living a positive lifestyle and rapping about the good that God can do in someone’s life. The duo wholeheartedly believe that music can be used to change lives in Murfreesboro, Nashville and far beyond.
It is not always easy to be a Gospel Rap Artist and Manning said, “People look at us like – Man ya’ll are gospel rap artist?” He followed that by stating, “Man God wants to use whatever you got to bring people to him and bring glory to him.” He said, “God has changed my life.”
In one of their songs they rap, “They say if you have faith just the size of a mustard seed, run into a forest blind probably wouldn’t hit a tree, David beat Goliath with a sling and a stone then we’ll sell a million records just singing these songs.” The goal of Change Musik is to change people by focusing on God and making sure that the Bible is intertwined with their songs.
In addition to making music, Manning and Humble Me preach to others on their television show called Change TV. The show is currently featured nationwide on CTN, Legacy TV and Walk TV.
To learn more about their music or to contact them, visit ChangeMusik.com