Colt Slack brings testimony into rap career
by Reggie Edwards
Colt Slack began writing and rapping at the age of 13. He and his buddy had a lot of music and they would go down to the basement with some basic equipment (tape decks, microphones, keyboards) and they started recording themselves.
Looking back on it Slack says it was pretty bad but they thought it was good because it was their own music.
In the beginning he rapped about money, cars, girls, things along that nature, everything the world loves that people talk about.
Then something happened when he was 19, a radical transformation.
“I kept doing music until I was about 19,” Slack says. “When I was 19 I got saved by the grace of God and my vision as far as a musician changed from a secular worldly-type view to how can I make Jesus famous? How can I glorify God through my music? So in the beginning I had this dilemma because I didn’t know if God would want me to continue to pursue music or focus on ministry.
“I thought that God and music went together because, I guess, rap doesn’t really have the kind of name for glorifying God, so that was kind of a debate of mine through a lot of prayer and talking to others. Then I kinda got the confirmation from the Lord and from others to go out and continue to do my music and use it in a positive way to impact people and to glorify God at the same time.”
Slack signed with Trachead Entertainment in August 2011 and says there’s been some big things happening since then.
“There’s a music video being shot, I released my first solo album as an artist in May 2011,” Slack says. “This year has been a big year for me as an artist with my music taking off and building from there.
“I guess the biggest thing for me as far as Christian rap is what kind of outlets are accepting to Christian rap because there’s a ton of outlets for secular rap so that’s been a huge dilemma for me which didn’t matter for me because in the beginning I was solo and I kinda wanted to stay solo for my whole career because you set up your own tour dates, do your own timing on albums and whatnot, you don’t have a lot of guidelines to go by for deadlines or anything.
“That was kinda my intent and intentions as far as music and I decided in talking and building with Trachead, I decided to go ahead and join them. The outlet is the hardest thing in how to get your foot in the door and luckily Trachead is based out of Benton Harbor, Michigan, and I was in St. Joseph, they’re considered the Twin Cities in Michigan, so I live 15 minutes from the label headquarters, which works out perfectly. It’s kind of a God-orchestrated event how that happened.”
How Slack got signed at Trachead is an interesting story.
“I did a show two summers ago and Trachead just happened to be a group that was in the show,” Slack says. “It was an H3 event that’s hosted in Benton Harbor. I had never heard about Trachead until then, I started building with them, recorded a few songs with them, got on a few mixtapes of theirs, and they liked me as an artist and my view as a Christian and my music.
“So the key is how do you get your foot in the door with a label in a state that doesn’t have a lot of opportunity, the United States, as a whole, doesn’t have a lot of opportunity for Christian artists but I think it’s becoming more prominent,” Slack says.
“Christian rap 10 years ago is completely evolved into today into something that a lot of people will listen to a Christian song and be like ‘wow, I didn’t even realize this is a Christian song.’ The beats have gotten so much better, the artists have gotten so much, I wouldn’t say better, but Christian music has taken a big step in the last 10 years.
“You see so many more artists out there have a Christian message in their music as opposed to 10 years ago. I think that’s something to say about what the Lord’s doing in music right now, which is very encouraging to me as an artist right now.”
In May, Slack released his debut, Off The Chains, a title and album that has a deep roots and meaning.
“Off The Chains,” Slack says, “Obviously, Christian artists don’t just have a name for their albums that aren’t scripture-based, God-led and God-inspired, so Off The Chains was inspired for me personally by the book of Romans, chapter 8:1-2, which says ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.’
“The biggest thing out of that verse that I took is ‘set you free.’ What that verse is saying is I used to be bound as an individual in sin like the rest of us are, we’re all born into sin, so I was this captive in this world, chained down in my sin. So when God came into my life, when Jesus came into my life, July 2, 2009, he set me free and that verse fits in perfectly. So Off The Chains came from this breaking away from the world, pursuing Jesus, I’ve been set free, there’s no condemnation, there’s nothing more I can do, he said ‘It is finished,’ so that’s where Off The Chains came from.
“It’s a testimonial almost, of I’m done, I’m gone with living for this world, I’m off the chains and I’m pursuing Jesus.”