I recently caught up with 7VN Seal a.k.a Gods Dagger (formally 80proof) via e-mail to discuss his free mixtape, his Wu-Tang influence, and coming off the mic after his Christian conversion.
Sketch: Early in your rap career you had some association with the Wu-Tang Killa Bees family. What events took you out of that world and into the church?
7VN Seal: My association with some of Wu was mostly just doing a few tracks here and there. The events leading up to my conversion were plain and simple: it was all lustful sin!
I was doing music for a while, so to finally work with guys like the Killarmy told me I was on my way to the top because they are ill artists. My main connection didn’t happen overnight, but during the time I knew them they treated me good and we heavily promoted each other on the tracks I was working on. By the time I linked up with Shyheim I wanted to start some shows out in Texas and came to San Antonio to begin to work on the P.R. side of things.
So these events in 2007-09 and prior led me to get to where I am in Christ today. In a nut shell, GOD SET ME UP! One night, on March 16th, when I was supposed to go to a publicity event for our music I spoke to a pastor. He said he had a word for me from the Lord that this was my last chance. I knew right there that I should have been dead a long time ago or in the penitentiary for a long time.
Now I truly know His mercy and grace was over my life. That night I left everything, accepted Christ, and ended up at Victory Gospel Chapel under headship with Bishop Donny Banks. I remain in Christ to this day. I mean there is way more to this story, but this is the short end of it.
Sketch: What positive or negative lessons did you learn in being around that type of environment?
7VN Seal: Shoot, what I thought was positive was really the destruction of my soul. A lot of smoke and liquor and, well, you know the rest. I was into some of that before I knew those guys but now it was just amplified ten times over. It was all sin – dirty, evil sin - nothing good was in it but Satan’s playground. But I did learn about the business.
Sketch: Wu-Tang is known for having their own philosophy/religious outlook on life. How difficult was it for you to “unlearn” that way of thinking and reconcile it with your current Christian faith?
7VN Seal: My faith then, if that, was not Godbody or 5% or Islam. I know some of them share those ideas of religion, but I was never really into all of that because I’m a very skeptical cat and very analytical. So I didn’t even agree with a lot of it but we still did music together. I had heard of Jesus then but never knew him as the Christ.
Sketch: When we first spoke, you were taking some time to sit down under the leadership of your church in San Antonio before coming back to the mic as a recording artist. What did you learn during that time and is that a process you would recommend for other rappers coming “out of the world” who might want to immediately use their musical talent for the cause of Christ?
7VN Seal: What I learned was that my life wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it was in comparison to the Word of God. I was gaining the world but my soul was lost. I learned to shut up and sit down somewhere and get Christ and stay saved.
For too many years my flesh and soul had been in charge. It was time for my spirit man to be led by the Holy Ghost. Hebrews 4:12 “…you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” says it all.
Secondly, I would recommend the process our Lord lays out in Mathew 6:33 – “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Don’t be so quick to do music. First you have to be delivered from self before you can be a leader to others. Learn to follow and serve in the kingdom, serve the body of Christ and be under headship. The bible says to be submissive to those whom God has put over you. God doesn’t need rebel rappers without headship. He needs real men and woman of God.
Better to be obedient than to sacrifice. Psalm 37:4 says “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Patience takes time to build. Take the time for the Lord to renew your mind. That doesn’t happen overnight, that takes a lot of prayer and fasting in the Lord.
Sketch: Why did you decide to link up with DJ Wade-O for the “Keep My Boots Madd Muddy” mixtape and where does that title come from?
7VN Seal: One day I was searching for Christian websites and came across wadeoradio.com. Anyhow, I call this dude up and told him my testimony and from there on we starting building and did an in-depth interview on his show. We kept building and behold, a year later we were working on a project for Christ.
Regarding the title, the bottom line is Ephesians 6:12 - “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
This is everyday, not just when you feel like it. I’ve got stories that can put chills down people’s spines. I know for a fact that demons exist, that Satan exists. We had a personal relationship if you will back in the day.
So if they are real, then the word of God has to be real.
Now back to Ephesians and the weapons of war, I gots to keep my boots madd muddy, yo. If not then I can be kept off guard and I don’t like that at all!
Dig in your closet for your Timberlands and chess set and download the “Keep My Boots Madd Muddy” mixtape for free right here.