NEWS: JGivens letter about his departure from Humble Beast Records
I remember stumbling upon a command that had been printed on a very thin sheet that read:
“Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”
Though simply put and straightforward, I suddenly felt the zeal in my spirit wrestle with a resistance writhing about in the depths of my heart. As an exercise I’d use my last name to remind me of this unrelenting command that Jesus Christ stated in the book of Matthew. Shortly after, I met a crew of devout believers that were so passionate about radical giving and the story of the ultimate Gift (that is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ) that my life and growing years as a young adult would be forever impacted spiritually and artistically.
In the Spring of 2014 I was radically gifted the opportunity to partner with Humble Beast Records and what an experience that has been. I was immediately booked for a robust tour schedule with my mentors and new label-mates Propaganda and DJ Efechto. I can effortlessly reflect on the intimate discipleship, love, support, time, resources, money, sweat, tears, pain, storms, trials, and victories that these two have submitted themselves to for the sake of others. But what proved to be even more remarkable is this
character type would immediately prove itself through the whole hive of new lifetime friends/colleagues: Thomas Terry, Bryan Winchester, Courtland Urbano, Daniel Steele, Jackie Hill-Perry, Gary Bagby, Eshon Burgundy, Esteban Shedd, Aaron Lopez, Lee Green, Hassan Muhammed, Anthony Benedetto, Paul Barger, Rene Garzona, James Calkins, Josh Hill, Adam Crouch, and deliberately listed lastly, Phil Bouleh.
As a developing artist and a young man, the leadership and guidance in the Christ-like pursuit of excellence in art, evangelism, and theology were moreover what any single, early-twenties, unemployed, rap novice needs desperately in developing in character and career. I cannot begin to tell of the amount of grace given and intensity of the burdens that Thomas and Bryan have shared to accomplish such a task, and may God always shine his favor on these two men in a special way.
In the Summer of 2015, we were blessed to present the fruits of our labor as a collaborative partnership in my debut LP entitled Fly Exam, a creative experience that can neither be rivaled, nor reimagined as anything but an example of supernatural tenacity, patience, and overflowing grace and love amongst friends, creatives, and moreover, family—a family that has sacrificed and invested in my potential and my career as a musician.
Even now, in this reflection, I have been reluctant to the idea of crafting my statement of departure. With the blessing of my partners, I have decided to part ways and end my season with Humble Beast as a contracted recording artist. After much prayer and counsel, and months of deliberation, I’ve decided that what is best for the furthering of my career is to discontinue the pursuit of my contract with the label and pursue other ventures that have been in the works for me. I’ve been exploring a plethora of options for myself and I would not want any of these personal endeavors to clash with any of efforts that Humble Beast has for the future.
I send my deepest thanks to you and ask that you join me with a continued support of Humble Beast and all its endeavors. It is because of your radical generosity that I have been blessed with the true meaning of freely given.