Yesterday, we posted part one of an interview with the incredible Derek Minor. Today is part two! We’ve been hearing from you guys, and you all seem to like this interview. Feel free to share it below on social media!
TDB: In the song “Man Up” by the 116 Clique, you talk about the fact that money does not make you a man. What advice do you have for those being tempted by the love of money and how should they go about getting out of the dangerous habit?
Derek Minor: “Wow, that is an amazing question. Growing up, and even when you listen to music now, a lot of us are told that if you want to have value it’s based on either how you look or what you have. The crazy thing about it is, you could lose everything you have overnight, right? And how you look, well you could have a change in your life or get an injury, anything could happen and you could lose that. So I feel like if our value is based in things like that, that’s a horrible thing to put value in, because that’s so flighty and could change overnight. The cool thing about God is that our value is rooted in the fact that God loves us. I think that for people that have their value in money and things that are more vain, I would say, ‘Why put your value in something so temporal when you have eternal value based in God?’ The most beautiful thing about that for me is as I’ve grown older I have had tons of money at times and I have had very little money at times. If you only have value when you have tons of money, then you’ll go crazy. Or what if you never get tons of money? Does that mean you don’t have any value? It’s like, ‘no!’ If that’s the case then why even feed yourself or put clothes on yourself? It would be like, just go ahead and go die! You’ve got to have value in something more eternal, and I think that value is God. I think we have to root ourselves in God, and I think if you do that, what you’ll begin to find is that life is a little more better, and it tastes much sweeter because I know my value is in God.”
TDB: What is it like to be a part of the “116 Clique”, and what lessons have you learned from the other artists in the Clique?
Derek Minor: “It’s a funny story – when I met Lecrae and all those guys, I was a new Christian and my wife and I had just moved from Nashville to Memphis. I didn’t even know about ‘116’ or any of that. Well, when I got to Memphis I met Lecrae and a guy named BJ Thompson. BJ has a ministry called ‘Build A Better Us’. They noticed that I just didn’t know my Bible and that I had a heart for God, but I didn’t know much about what I was experiencing in my heart, so the cool thing about that was that our relationship had not been based solely in music. I think, as far as that’s concerned, I think that 116 – the whole movement is that idea, that whether you’re a doctor, a pharmacist, whether you have your own website or you’re a writer, the goal is not just to excel in those things, but to be unashamed of God in those things. And to also have your platform rooted in God. So, that’s the cool thing about the 116 Clique. If I’ve learned anything, that’s what I’ve learned – to always ask ‘am I glorifying God with my platform?’ I just want to encourage people to do the same thing.”
TDB: You released the album “Minorville” in 2013. What is the story behind the name “Minorville”?
Derek Minor: “‘Minorville’ was, you know, I had this new brand ‘Derek Minor’ and I wanted to be more internal and more personal. ‘Minorville’ is a story taking you through my life, hopes, and my headspace at the time. The intro where it talks about doing 60 in a 45 and the cops don’t pull me over, of course that doesn’t happen! It’s really just taking a lot of the life experiences I’ve been through, and putting it into an album in a creative way. The goal with that was to for people to see me transparent and open and for them to say ‘You know, I could be transparent and open’. Everyone has a ‘Minorville’ or a ‘Maddyville’, you know what I mean? All of us have a story, and if we are a little honest and transparent with our story, we’ll find that people experience the same things. We all have hurts and pains and all types of things like that.”
TDB: Your song “Dear Mr. Christian” featuring Lecrae and Dee-1 is a deeply convicting song. What inspired you to write it, and have you come across anyone who got upset over the truth in that song?
Derek Minor: ” ‘Dear Mr. Christian’, I knew when I wrote it, I thought “I’m gonna get in trouble for this one.” But, really I’ve gotten a few people who may have been upset about it but for the most part I think it was liberating for a lot of people because often times the judgmental people, usually are judgmental because they have internal issues and struggles they’re wrestling with and they want to deflect them on other people. Well, I think what ‘Dear Mr. Christian’ did was that it allowed people to say, ‘You know what? I’m one of the people that I just want people to listen to. I want people to hear my heart.’ It’s allowed people to have real conversations and I think it has been overwhelmingly more positive than it has been negative. And for the people that have been negative, once I have explained to them the premise (because often times they just don’t understand the premise) then they’re like ‘Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense!’ ”
TDB: “There’s a song on “Minorville” called “Homecoming”. Can you tell me a little about where that song came from?
Derek Minor: “My family and a lot of the environment I grew up in – like I said, my dad was addicted to drugs and my step-dad was addicted to drugs – actually, tons of people I know live in those types of lifestyles. As a Christian, I think often times we get ashamed of seeing our friends and family in those areas, or we’re like ‘Man, I wish this person would get it together!’ But then often times, there’s the people that are holding onto that hope. That’s what I wanted to do in ‘Homecoming’, because I’ve seen people be in the darkest of places and then God snatch them out of those places. I just want to give hope to the mother that’s looking out because she’s raised her son the best she knows how to raise him and she sees he’s still doing crazy stuff – I want to give hope to that person and say, ‘You know what? It’s never too late. It’s never too late. As long as that person is breathing God can snatch them out of wherever they’re at.’ ”
TDB: The song says that the main character belongs to a family that is the type that would take a stranger in. By the end of the song, she has become a stranger to her family and her family forgives her and takes her back in with loving arms. Did you write that line hoping to parallel that idea?
Derek Minor: “Not really, but it was one of those songs that as I wrote it – and when I finished it – I said ‘Wow, look at all these different types of foreshadowing here in the earlier part of the song.’ I think it was really God doing a lot of that, but yeah. It’s a lot of stuff that after I wrote it I was like, ‘Oh wow.’ ”
Stay tuned, tomorrow is part three!
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