NEW YORK Rapper Killah Priest says his second solo album, View From Masada (May 9), is intended to relate the spirit of Jesus Christ to modern-day street life.
"Every thug prays," the 29-year-old Sunz of Man rapper (born Walter Reed) said as he leaned back in a conference-room chair at MCA Records' New York office in early March. "Everyone prays. Sometimes it's on a deathbed. The passion that comes from that moment between life and death and what [a man] does then I'm writing about those things and what brings a man to that point. This album is more cinematic."
The Brooklyn native released his first solo record,Heavy Mental, in 1998. It came out on Geffen Records at the time that Geffen's parent, Universal Music, was merging with Polygram. Killah Priest said he blamed the merger for preventing Geffen from promoting the album and that the resulting poor sales inspired him to work harder on Masada.
The Sunz of Man are an offshoot of the Wu-Tang Clan; Wu-Tang member GZA/Genius helped launch the group. New Yorker Just Blaze produced most of View From Masada.