Andy Mineo knows exactly who he is. As an MC, the Syracuse, New York, native is as skilled as any of today's crop of rap newcomers — and he proved it in December on the "RapFix Live" all-cypher show, where he rhymed alongside 360, Bizzy Crook and Emilio Rojas.
There is a difference between Mineo and most of his rap contemporaries, though; if you listen closely, his bars are inspired chiefly by his Christian faith. Ask his fans, and you'll find that's all a part of his appeal.
In April, Andy released his first studio album, Heroes For Sale, on Lecrae's Reach Records. The LP debuted at #11 on the Billboard 200 after Mineo was able to move about 28,000 copies in the first week of release.
Sonically, tracks like the 808-laced "AYO!" and electric "Uno Uno Seis" fit right in with rap's current crop of hits and shoot down any stigma on what Christian rap should sound like. From the sounds of it, it's only a matter of time before Mineo mixes and mingles with his big-name rap contemporaries.
"I'd love to get in a room with Kanye [West] at some point, have a conversation, and see if something cooks up," Andy told MTV News on Tuesday (January 7). "Obviously he's a legend already. His track record is amazing and I think he's in a unique place in his faith journey with Yeezus and seeing his live show I'm like, 'Wassup? What's going on with you, man?' I think it would a great conversation and obviously a collaboration over that would be dope," he said.
In addition to the religious themes that Kanye West has exhibited throughout his career, artists like J. Cole, Pusha T and Big K.R.I.T. are just a few MCs who've been known to address their faith in their music. Rick Ross and Jay Z's recently released "Devil is a Lie" is just the latest examples of secular MCs tackling religious themes.
"I think my presence in hip-hop, if we were able to mix it up would lead to some good conversation, probably some good music too," Mineo said. "A lot of these dudes grew up in churches, a lot of these dudes have some kind of history, but they refuse to talk about it and that might create some space for us to talk about it on record. I think that would be really cool to see happen in hip-hop."