We are looking for positive things in other people and last year I saw on the Trinity network how you have changed your life around and I wanted you to give us a rundown on what led up to that and made you want to take that bold step forward.
Taking it back to the hip hop game, I was at my peak working with the greatest rappers from Redman to Busta to Notorious. I was in the game faithfully. I saw myself in a situation where I had a lot of money and I spent it on girls, my car, and luxury and all that, but I was not happy with myself. It was like life has got to be more than this. I was always the type of person who wanted to experience life. I liked to also do research of life, I knew there was something happening in my spirit, and I just knew it wasn’t right. What ended up happening was for safety causes I joined a gang. I used to travel with them and do videos with them etc. Then I saw myself across some beef in the music business as well. Extortion started happening, people within the music business, I won’t mention any names, started stalking me for money so I was like this is crazy. I saw myself in a position where I love music, but I won’t die for hip hop. I lost my mother in ’95 and I started feeling discouraged because of that, then in ’96 I came out with my album and then I left the gang and they literally put a contract out on me. The word in the street was you see him you kill him. So not only do I have beef with the gangs but also in the music world because they were trying to put it on me because I wasn’t trying to give no money either. I’m straight from the projects and I’m a thug for life, but at that point it was like this could be another bloodbath so I went and purchased a gun and I was like anybody coming down my way I’m starting to shoot. Then my daughter was born and things started changing. So one day what happened was with all the pressure, all the confusion I was going through in my life I sat in my living room and put my head down and it was like my soul started to weep. I felt like I was going to die during that time. Something bad was about to happen and I just put my head down and just took a deep breath like this is it and I heard a voice and I wasn’t smoking or drinking at the time either. The voice called me by my name and first I questioned it but then it called my name three times and I began to hear what today I call the holy spirit say Frankie the music you’re putting out and everything you’re doing is destroying my youth, watch the music you’re putting out. A lot of music I was putting out was about boning girls and I used to do a lot of that too. My highest enemies in the business was girls too because I was having sex with girls like three times a day. Three different ones and I was just bugging, but I started to hear the voice of God in my life and three days after that I entered a church in Spanish Harlem and I accepted the lord as my lord and savior and seven years later it hasn’t stopped and I began to understand what life and love is about. That’s what happened and as far as the gangs a lot of them ended up doing life in prison or other gang members killed them. As far as me lacking for love and lacking for peace, God began to fulfill that in life so I could spread it to everyone that comes down my road. That’s where I’m at right now.
I couldn’t imagine someone wanted to come after me and kill me and the fear, stress and all the anxieties running through your body. It takes a strong person to go through that.
The thing is with that a lot of my boys started turning on me. You’re always gonna have jealousy in your camp and that’s why a lot of people who have had success in the business can’t go back to their old neighborhood. Cats are looking at you funny and people that don’t even know you hate you. Then my family didn’t understand the game, but I understand. I heard some of these guys have entourages in their basement, they don’t want to die they are scared of death.
How has your life really changed since you decided to follow Christ?
First of all I have a lot of respect for God and for people. I look at people different. I don’t look at people like they are a piece of trash. I’m here for the community more. I go out there and speak to the youth of today because they are going to make a difference in the next couple years. Also loving myself, loving my family and friends and most importantly the peace. God has shown me how to just have patience. If you knew the old Frankie Cutlass I was all shaken up looking like a nervous wreck not nervous just bugged out. I had a ghetto mentality and today I’m more grown up and focused.
I was reading your bio on your website and it was saying how you went and approached some of your former gang members with your new beliefs. How did that turn out? It sounded like a risky situation.
Some of them I just approached them and said before anything happens let me talk to you about God. Some of them looked at me like this dude is bugging but I came strong and believed what I was talking about was real. One thing is I don’t have no fear anymore. When you show cats I don’t fear nothing but God they are going to know where you are coming from. I have to give God all the glory because I went over there with a bally attitude and I knew I was saying God whatever happens to me from this point on I’m in your hands and here I am still standing. Some of them looked at me like I was crazy and some of them said peace man and kept walking.
That’s a gutsy move.
Yeah man they weren’t playing. I remember I was doing a jam for Hot 97 at the Puerto Rican day parade and twenty of them came and told me to get down from the stage. Back then I wasn’t saved so I had to lie to them because they wanted to take me in the car with them. They were like we’re meeting over here and you need to come with us. I told them to tell the head guy I give him my word that I would be there. Whenever you say that if you break that your definitely gonna get killed, so they were like he gave his word so that means he’ll show up. You know I didn’t show up man but even God was in charge then.
One thing I see is that God requires to eat certain things and when it comes to eating and keeping your body up it seems that they throw everything out the window. In Deuteronomy and Leviticus he gives us the specific meats to eat and not to eat. I feel like its important what do you feel about that whole thing?
I think its wise that we eat healthy. The bible says our body is the temple of the living God and that the spirit dwells in our temple. I’m a heavy set brother so I’m trying to get on a diet but it’s definitely important. God wants to use you tremendously and how can God use you if you’re all combobulated and all over the place and sloppy or whatever.
The bible says God is a God of order and excellence so I agree with you on that but people have these bad habits of eating these certain foods and they don’t want to let go. We have to eat healthy and it takes a wise man to do that.
In the past seven years have you questioned your decision?
When I don’t get my way.
Yea of course when I don’t get my way but that’s selfish and that’s pride. All of the great men of the bible went through that. I got a quote for you ‘œChampions aren’t those who never fail, they are those who never quit’ and that’s the truth. As a Christian I’m the first to tell you we’re not perfect. The only thing that separates us from other people is that we have God in our life and we walk towards our daily word and spiritual roots.
Looking at your past and the possible hypocritical nature of some of those in the Christian community, did some people have a problem with acceptance of your new message?
Nah, not at all. The bible says that your past is your past but the bible also says they will know you by your fruits. We have a lot of folks that claim God’s name and Jesus’ name but they are still talking about booty and bootylicious. Do you really think Jesus would take a song and sing Bootylicious or about sex that’s not God. God is holy. He is not a strict God he is a loving God, but shouldn’t be taken as a joke. As far as what you said they don’t question me because they know I’m real with this. My past is my past and I left my past. I don’t play no more. I don’t smoke no more, I don’t drink no more. I make sure that I don’t do things that are an abomination in God’s eyes. It’s gonna take time to let those things go, but I strive to make sure I please God. So they don’t question my past because they know what I’m talking is real and not only do I talk it the people in the Christian community look at you and make sure you’re walking it.
A lot of times that I’ve seen artists that used to do secular music and they find God and then they switch up and focus on preaching the word and not producing some of the same music because they feel like that’s not what God wants, but my question is, is it impossible to believe and still make secular music?
Everybody is in different levels with God and everybody has a different conviction with God. What God might tell you not to do he might not be telling me not to do it. You might feel bad when you do it because you’re on a different level with God. For me I can’t do secular music anymore, my convictions is whenever I do that, my calling was I’m polluting the kids and destroying them for generations. I have a two year old and an eight year old and when I put them in front of a TV whatever that person is doing on the video they will start watching that and making those funny moves. We have to be careful with that because that’s not healthy for a two year old to start dancing and all of a sudden doing a move where these strange brothers with a perverted mind will start looking at them. That’s why these girls are getting pregnant. These guys aren’t looking at them like they are fifteen years old they are thinking she has a hot body and she is moving just like the girls in the video but that could be your little sister or your daughter. All along that was just the trick of the enemy to impart that into your kid’s life. He’s polluting kids with all that music and negativity. Right now on TV you can curse, PG is not what it used to be.
Are the people listening to that type of music the ones you’re focusing on and if so wouldn’t it be better to use those same channels to get to them and filter in a message?
There is something new happening. Something is about to happen in the music business there is this new thing called hip hop but we are taking the phat beats, just like a Timberland or Dr. Dre, with different lyrics sharing my testimony and the love of God and its called Holy hip hop. I’m not calling it holy hip hop, but I want you to see the difference. It’s all hip hop and I’m gonna tell you right now it’s so powerful when cats hear it lives are gonna be changing. I have an album dropping in March its called New Wine, when you hear this album its gonna be like when something new comes out the closet and everybody wants to do it. It’s gonna be so ugly. I think what’s gonna separate my stuff from a lot of other cats is that when you hear the stuff today they are all talking about the same thing, my stuff is gonna be so different. People are gonna feel energy through it and what I mean by that is there are people that are hurting and when they turn to God they can be healed. The devil attempted to bring poverty in people’s life by saying you can’t accomplish nothing unless you sell your body or sell drugs or talk about this type of thing. That’s a lie from the pit of hell. You can become somebody. We’re gonna break the airwaves this year. Its gonna be a new thing in the music business. Gospel is out there, but I don’t think people ever heard it like this from the streets.
I see you have your crew God Squad entertainment. What do you guys have planned for 2004?
First official project from Frankie Cutlass, ‘œNew Wine’ and then God Squad also does bookings for Salt and a couple other artists. For 2004, God Squad will become a label with major distribution and then everybody else who falls under Frankie Cutlass will be signed and will be coming out with reggae joints, R&B joints, and hip hop joints. It’s been seven years since I came out with an album and I’m not coming out wack. I’m gonna come where people will be like this kid is still on top of his game.