I would like to introduce you to the music of Don Cephas. Don Cephas is a Christian recording artist born and bred in West Philadelphia, PA and a prolific singer, rapper, and producer. On the heels of the release of his new album “White Genesis”, we got a chance to catch up with him and talk to him about his music and background. Check it out after the break:
Check out his latest single The Greatest of These ft. Vernon Mobley Jr.
Who is Don Cephas and why should people listen to your music?
I’m just an ordinary Guy who The Father created to be Extraordinary. I want people to listen to my music because I want to make an impact in this world. I listen to a lot of music today by alot of artist who claim to carry the banner and there’s no real conviction there. Not alot of people are really challenging and not a lot of people are really making disciples anymore. Even in the buildings of worship. I want to create great music and use the influence that I draw to start pointing people back to The Father. We live in a vain society nowadays where its become all about us and “What can we gain”. The Gospel has become secondary to material prosperity and self help, where it’s now where GOD is treated more as an accessory rather than a neccesity. I just want to offer people truth that they deep down inside are really longing for.
What was it like growing up in Philadelphia for you? Where do you get your musical gifting/influence?
In West Philadelphia born and raised, school and church is where I spent most of my days. (Laughs) Honestly man, I Love my city. I hate what it’s becoming but I Love my City. I went to Overbrook High School and graduated in 2008 and I had a lot of good friends and memory’s coming up. I would say I was born with this gift. The very first thing musically I ever did was play the drums and that started at the age of 2. According to my mom and Dad I really knew how to keep a pocket for a 2 year old. I wasn’t banging or making a lot of loud noises and I did that all the way up until the age 19. It wasn’t until I was 12 where I fell in Love with rap. One day in the back of my 6th grade class, This kid who would later become my best friend and a couple of others were rapping. I thought it was dope because we weren’t allowed to listen to what us Christian kids back in the day called “Regular Rap” and I wanted in. So there was this rap group out at the time called “Gospel Gangstaz” and I took one of Chillie Baby’s verses because I thought he was the hottest one, and rapped it to them because I knew they’d never heard it or hear it, and they thought I was hot. (Laughs) But to be honest my biggest influences growing up were Carman, John P. Kee and Daryl Coley. Along with guys like Don Moen, Ron Kenoly, Hillsong, Michael W among others.
How did the whole FOF Collective come about? Do you all plan to release a project together?
The Faith Over Fear Collective were formerly known as Christ Mic Entertainment, comprised of just Deuce B the first memeber, and then Doc Hero came along. In 2011, I was asked to be apart of CME and it was a no brainer. These guys were unique in sound and somewhat innovative and I seen something special that we all could accomplish. We changed our name to Faith Over Fear in 2014 and it was named after Doc’s mixtape. We needed change and that name was something we all related too and connected with. In the same year we added upcoming Rapper Klaye to the mix and it kind of brought the uniqueness full circle. For the record we’re not a group. Just 4 guys who are independent artist who came together to form one umbrella, supporting and pushing each other. And yes there is a planned Avengers-esque moment happening in the near future. Most likely after Doc drops in the 4th quarter of this year
Are you a rapper that sings or a singer that raps? Which do you love to do more?
That’s the first time I’ve been asked that question. I’m neither. I’m an artist. I won’t subject myself to just one field or genere if I have the ability to do multiple. Honestly out of all of my gifts I’d have to say I Love Songwriting more than anything. Producing(not beat making) and Vocal Production are tied close seconds.
Your project is really diverse, how did the vision for this project come together?
Well it came after my mind became sober. I was wrestling with a lot of bitterness and insecurity between the latter part of 2008 all the way up until mid spring of last year. I tried to heal wounds with acceptance and affection from others, avoiding that solitary moment I needed with GOD because I was scared to be alone, but The Father put my back against the wall and took away from me the things I had put in place to make up for what I lacked. I surrendered. I was forgiven. I was healed. And I became sober again. Being made new, I realized I couldn’t take the old stuff in with the new so a Fresh Start was needed. Enter “White Genesis”.
White is defined as New and Pure. Genesis as we know means from its beginning. Put it together and you have “White Genesis”(New Beginning). Which is why the heavy Hebrew symbolism of the number 8 in the graphic, because in biblical numerology the number 8 is the number of New Beginnings.
What song on the album means the most to you personally, and why?
I’d probably have to say “Russian Roulette_Why Do You Love Me?” and Mercy Mercy. Russian Roulette deals with my desire to gamble with sin in the flesh. In the chorus it says “Tell me what is the thrill of driving into traffics opposition”. In translation what is this rush that I have of playing with fire knowing I could get burned because I’ve experienced repercussions before. In the second half the song says “Why Do You Love Me/When I don’t Love You/Why do you Love me/When I put above You everything that pleasures Me”. Because I’ve seen in the midst of my worst His Love never fails and is without condition. And its perplexing at times only because we as Humans put conditions on our Love when He simply Loves us no matter what. Mercy Mercy I feel just sums it all up….”All I Want to Do is Sink”.
What’s next for Don Cephas?
Marriage and The Next step in Ministry. I just got engaged on March 8th so I’m excited about that. As far as ministry goes I’m going to just follow The Father to wherever and whatever he has next for me. Its all about Focus and Most importantly Trusting in His plan and obedience to it.