Pastor Jamaal stands at the crossroads between trap music and street preaching: he’s a voice in the wilderness proclaiming the way and tells his deeply personal tale from sin to salvation in his latest single, ‘Different’.
Pastor Jamaal knows exactly what’s on the line, and stands in the gap as a bridge for his listeners to reach God. Whether he’s opening his Bible and worshipping aloud, or stepping up to the microphone to rap, Jamaal is able to convey with absolute authority the dangers facing one’s eternal soul, which can only be countered by turning to God.
Before his Road To Damascus conversion, Pastor Jamaal had already established himself as Dubble A, one of the best-known, and respected, rappers in Augusta, Georgia. His Southern, deeply secular sound won him regional fame, and he was well on his way to gaining national popularity. Before he got there however, he saw the Light, and heard his calling to minister in Christ.
Pastor Jamaal’s sound didn’t have a complete turn around however. With ‘Different’, he maintains the same electrifying trap music that saw him declared “Best New Artist” at the CSRA Hip-Hop Awards. His words however are all Christ-focused however, albeit wrapped in the distinctive Southern trap sound. His conversion has a further reward beyond salvation: his debut set under his new name, ‘God Told Me To Do This’, hit the top spot on Amazon’s “Christian Rap Albums”, and stayed there for two months.
The music video for ‘Different’ was directed by Pierre Liquidsmoke Luke, and tells Pastor Jamaal’s story using imagery that pulls no punches. We see the life Jamaal was living, drink, drugs, sexual temptation, and other dangerous and destructive behaviour. He travels through a forest, the daylight harsh and revealing all, then reaches a bridge which leads to his destiny. There’s a clashing juxtaposition of hellishly lurid indoor shots, contrasted with luminous, and heavenly, outdoor footage. There’s no mistaking the message: Pastor Jamaal has made it out of the trap, as it were, both physically and spiritually, and he wants all of us to come join him.
You can keep up with Pastor Jamaal online on his Twitter account.