Drawing inspiration from the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Christian hip hop artist Derek Minor has released his new single "Stranger (feat. Roz)." In a generous move, Minor has allowed fans to download and stream the single below.
Minor says, "One of the common things I've heard people say they love about my music is transparency. I feel like that honesty allows for people to relate and hopefully be encouraged that they are not alone. As I was working on Empire, I remember being in a late studio session with Dirty Rice and Tony Tillman. Our session had come to a halt as we watched riots and protests erupt in Ferguson, Missouri. My heart was broken. It prompted me to write a song.
One thing that I've noticed in today's climate is we are a forgetful people. All of us have experienced great hurts and disappointments. In those moments, our desire isn't to be fixed or fact checked. It is to be healed. We just want the hurt to go away. We just want to be loved regardless of our mistakes.
The only way our nation will heal is if people begin to empathize with one another. We don't have to agree, but we can hear each other out. We don't have to understand each other's hurt, but we can be there to console one another. The Bible tells us to encourage and build one another up. Hebrews says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet He did not sin."
Derek Johnson, Jr., better known by his stage name Derek Minor and former stage name PRo, co-founded the hip-hop record label Reflection Music Group (RMG) with Doc Watson, and in 2011 he signed to Reach Records in a joint venture between the two labels. In 2012, Johnson announced that he had changed his stage name from Pro to Derek Minor. In 2014, he announced that as his two-album deal with Reach was complete, he would no longer be publishing releases through that label.\
He is a founding member of the hip-hop group R.M.G. on Reflection, and is also a member of the Reach hip-hop collective 116 Clique. Johnson has released three studio albums and six mixtapes as a solo artist, as well as one studio album each with the groups R.M.G. and 116 Clique. His second studio album, Redemption, charted at No. 8 on the Billboard Gospel chart and No. 31 on the Billboard Top Christian chart. His third studio album, Dying to Live, debuted at No. 66 on the Billboard 200, No. 1 on the Top Christian chart, No. 2 on the Gospel Albums chart, No. 7 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and No. 11 on the Top Rap chart. Johnson's film and television work includes the three-part webseries "Dying to Live" and the short documentary films Redemption and Welcome to the Family Documentary. Johnson also was featured as the title character in the video game Altered Pro, released under Reach Records.
Download/stream: Derek Minor "Stranger (feat. Roz)"