JGivens and Christon Gray address themes behind 'Revival of the Realest'

Last week JGivens and Christon Gray dropped a music video called "Revival of the Realest" that turned heads for multiple reasons.

1. The two emcees were just straight spitting bars over 90s beat, "Survival of the Fittest" by Mobb Deep.
2. The music video was shot simple yet beautifully, and got a bit weird at the end.
3. Gray rapped some lines about Lecrae and Reach records that instantly had people talking.

Rapzilla decided to reach out to the two rappers to ask what's going on in the song and then directly ask Gray about the Reach lines, “Check my reach I’m wreckin’ they whole roster."

Their responses are below:

JGivens

"We are talking to several labels right now and this was strictly just to keep the momentum going. (Those labels know who they are). We didn't want to drop any of the new songs right now.

It's also great because it gives the fans something to listen to and keep it moving.

It's really exciting for me that people want more lyricism. Christon Gray bodied his verse, of course.

Among other things, I love seeing a visual of African American men working to feed and take care of themselves and their children both in the home and with their talents. That's a revival of the realest (both African American men, and men as a whole)."

Christon Gray

"Well, J directed this. The idea was created in house at Tom Drawer regarding the instrumental and the content because we're out talking to labels and distro's about getting a deal. They like applying good pressure in these situations. I came up with a lot of what you see in the video and ideas etc, but this was J's baby. We just wanted to make it real Hip-Hop, dark and grimy. Something different. We don't feel many people pay attention, so it's important we try and give our real fans something cool for staying with us. And as for the label stuff, J and I might sign together under an imprint, we might sign different places, that's in the Lord's hands. I just talked to Shabby today and I know he's happy with who's interested, so that's a good place to start. Aside from making music, my job is to pray.

The Lecrae line was more for the Dove's than for him. We were nominated by the Stellars, ya'll (Rapzilla.com), NRT and more, but nothing from the Dove's. I was just saying if I was Lecrae, I'm quite sure I'd have been up there with The Glory Album. I don't think Rap/R&B music is high on their priority list, so most often it's a bunch of Reach artists and their extended family along with someone a major label is pushing. I can't be mad at that, it's their awards, they can do whatever they want! That responsibility falls partly on my old label and partly on us for not befriending them. We got love for the Dove's, I just feel like the best album last year didn't get nominated, so I said something. I'm pretty sure if I remember my mentions, Chad Horton [Rapzilla SEO] said something about it too.

As for Reach, there's nothing going with me and them, it was a playful line. Everyone thinks it, no one says it. And man, I have no hate in my heart, I just call it like I see it and I believe what I said. There was a while there before the top dogs in the industry tried to blackball me when I was like the 5th Beatle to them. No project came out without a feature from me. I can't say it didn't hurt to watch them switch sides on me without even a text, but that's all been addressed on "50 Shades" & "Connor McDees" (from 'The Glory Album), we've moved on.

With regards to the rest of my verse, I just vented. I've had a very rough year both professionally and personally, culminating with requesting and being granted my release from Fo Yo Soul/RCA. I'll get into all of that when the time is right, but I have to thank Ron and Kirk for believing in me at a point in my life when there weren't many that did. I love and respect them both."

Special thanks to Christon Gray and JGivens for answering these questions quickly.

Watch "Revival of the Realest" below:


About the Author
Justin Sarachik has been writing about music since 2010 reporting and editing for The Christian Post, BREATHEcast, Broken Records Magazine, and his own blog TheSIBandGuy. When not conducting obscenely long phone interviews he jumps around on stage with his progressive rock/rap band Process of Fusion in Staten Island, NY.

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