Gospel hip-hop artist spreads God’s word
Gospel hip-hop artist Big Snipes doesn’t like to be called a performer. The 38-year-old, born Wesley Hall, prefers the title “minister”.
“Performing, in my opinion, reminds me of entertainment and that’s only a small aspect of what I do,” he said. “It’s important to engage the audience, relate to them and keep them interested in my music.
“More importantly, though, it’s about changing the hearts and minds of people through my ministry.”
That is exactly what he will be doing tonight as one of the opening acts at gospel concert, Speak To Me Lord.
Josian Maybury will headline the event at St Paul Centennial Hall, while Rickeesha Binns, Septimus, Whopper Benz, Jaedyn Clarke and The Anointed For Praise Dance Warriors will also perform.
Big Snipes said there was no way he could pass up the opportunity to minister at this event.
“People will be blessed and should come out tonight hungry,” he said. “Come with the expectation of something extraordinary happening. Bring a praise and a worship. Just come and see.”
Big Snipes has been using his rapping chops to spread the Gospel since the 1990s. Through songs such as Rock the Right Way, he has touched the lives of people of different ages, backgrounds and cultures. The genre was not popular when he started out.
“When I began doing gospel hip-hop in Bermuda, it was relatively new and no one was really holding it down locally,” he said.
“Septimus was actually my mentor back in the day. He allowed me to do shows with him back in the Nineties.
“Then, after we collaborated on Made By God, a single from his War Against the Devil album, I shifted into my solo career.”
“Words can’t express” how he feels to be able to represent God in “a real and relevant way” through music.
“The response sometimes is overwhelming but I’m so humbled by it all,” Big Snipes said. “It’s all such a blessing and an honour.”
In addition to strengthening his faith, the music gig has taught him to be more accountable for his actions.
“I don’t just sing, I live what I sing about,” he said. “If I sing that I’ve been hurt, it’s the truth. If I’m smiling, it’s the joy of the Lord.
“In fact, it’s fair to say my relationship with God gets stronger and impacts what I do on stage.”
He hopes people can hear the sincerity in his music and see how it mirrors his life as a husband and father.
If there’s one message people take home tonight he hopes it’s this: no matter what your past looks like or what you’re going through now, Jesus loves you and nothing will change that.
“I want the love of God to come through in my music and for my lyrics to be marinated in spreading the real scope of being in a relationship with Christ,” he said.
“Behind all my music, you’ll hear the theme of loving God despite the circumstances.
“You’ll see that as I write more music, I focus on the ministry aspect. So many things have changed over the years in my life and I’ve grown so much in my 27 years in my Christian walk. For that I’m very grateful.”
• Tickets, $30 for adults, $20 for children and $50 for patrons, are available at Music Box, Fish & Tings, Misty’s and Green Lite. The show starts at 7.30pm