Tedashii's 'Below Paradise' Helps Rapper Overcome Tragic Loss, 'I Approached Every Song with the Same Attitude of Bearing My Soul' (INTERVIEW)

Reach Records Emcee Tedashii is gearing up for the release of his new album due out May 27 titled Below Paradise. Breathecast caught up with the rapper to find out more about the record, his journey after suffering the loss of his young son and what to expect in the future.

In a press release Tedashii shared about the loss of his son. "In March of 2013 I had the worst day of my life. The loss of my son changed me forever. I experienced grief and sorrow to the depth of my soul. The veil was lifted, the smoke cleared and all I had was pain," Tedashii said. "I felt forsaken, alone, and in a place of darkness that has been kept masked by a focus on only the good side of this life."

The rapper's new album Below Paradise was written like a diary and provides an authentic look on life through suffering, deep and true joy, and the false expectations people carry.

When thinking about the scripture verse "All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose," Tedashii said despite everything that has happened in his life, he does believe "things have worked out for the good."

He recalls his times in college, "I can remember, time upon time of not having money either for school or money to live and somehow God would make a way," he explained. "And then you other have moments, where you just go, 'I don't know what this is for; I don't know why.'"

"I look to Paul, his example of the torn in his flesh... he was shipwreck, he was lost at sea, he was imprisoned, he was starved, on and on down the list you go..." he continued. "And then I look at Jesus and I look at all that he suffered and I look at a number of people who've gone through suffering and Biblically their suffering worked to the good of God's glory."

He maintained, "I kinda ran with the album the way I did topically because I was just convinced that this will work together for the good to those that love him."

Tedashii admitted that when everything initially took place the thought of things working for good were far from him. Now, after time and writing his record his attitude has since changed.

"Maybe I'm gonna love my older son in a way I never have before because of losing the younger one, but I don't know what that looks like," the rapper said.

Tedashii said his experience has definitely impacted his approach to the song writing on this new album. He described that he typically does two things before writing a song. In the past if he had the music beforehand then the tone of the music would dictate what he says or does vocally. Also, if he did not have the music then he would dream away and find a producer to create around the dream while picturing the audience he wishes to reach.

"With this album though, things were very different," the Texas native, said. "I approached every song with the same attitude of bearing my soul."

He went on to say, "bearing my soul was the only thing that mattered and who I was speaking too, varied depending on my mood more than the music." Adding, "For every track on this album, I spoke to every person I could think of."

"Below Paradise" features a very diverse group of artists, Crowder, Brit Nicole, his Reach Records family, and Royal Taylor just to name a few. The entire album is filled with incredible collaborations as if every artist joined with the rapper in support to convey the message of overcoming tragedy.

"For this album I did every song, completed every song and then said should it have a feature, okay who should it be?" Tedashii said of his selection process. "I recorded 37 tracks to bear my soul and then I picked the songs that fit best the story of what I wanted to communicate."

Tedashii said for his song "Angels and Demons" he knew that Crowder would really help him bring home the point of the tune. "There are guys who have stadium voices and there are guys to have worship leading voices, he's the guy with a worship leading voice that happens to translate well to a stadium," he said.

The title of the upcoming album speaks volumes of the transparency the rapper conveys throughout Below Paradise. Tedashii confessed that even before becoming a Christian he always gave his all. "Even before I was a believer and I was like, man I believe in our team, I play football and I believe in our team. To do anything contrary to that, to the public would communicate that anything I said, must be a lie," he said. "I believe... and in the moments when I wrestle with my faith, God is big enough to handle that."

After suffering such a difficult loss Tedashii said he feels like he is finally coming out of the wilderness. The rapper began working on his album intensely during the end of summer last year and said "in the midst of the album" he was "very much" in the wilderness.

"I feel like I'm on the edge of the wilderness now, where I'm looking back on it now like, yeah that's how it was," he admitted.

He offered advice and insight for those currently in the wilderness. "I had to recognize that the love of God, is not in any way predicated or obligated to the good happenings in my life, because when those cease or stop for a time, His love never does."

"I'm not slighted by God because of bad things happening. No matter what it looks like for me, that truth is still truth," he continued.

Before Tedashii came to the Lord he explained he both drank and clubbed heavily because of the people he surrounded himself with.

He acknowledged that had he not had Christ through it all he would be in the condition of "inebriation, definitely to the point of sin on a daily basis." He went on to explain, "I say that because there's been many moments prior to becoming a believer from parents getting a divorce, to not getting into the schools that I wanted to get into, not having money..." and more that got him to that point.

"And furthermore I would say I'd probably be reclusive in someway, where I wouldn't be anywhere visible unless it was to numb or ease or cope," he continued. "Aside from that though, having Him I am able to still feel those same emotions freely because God loves me to do that, He's graced me to be able to do that but have a hope attached to it."

"I use to say if I ever had to go through that, I don't know what I would do. Now I say I know what I would do, I'd fight to keep hope."

Tedashii has sold more than 120,000 albums to date, and garnered over eight million cumulative views on YouTube. His last release "Blacklight" debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart and No. 8 on the iTunes overall album chart. The talented rapper is also a radio host of the hip-hop show called "Serium", powered by NGEN Radio, on Saturday nights at 8pm Central time.

(Photo : mergepr (permission))

Below Paradise is now available for pre-order now on iTunes here.