– credit Springfield News-Leader
Andy Mineo occupies a rare space in the music industry — he’s a Christian hip-hop recording artist.
Mineo says he gravitated toward hip-hop as a teen growing up in upstate New York.
“It was exploding at that time,” Mineo says in a phone interview while on the road with Winter Jam 2020. “I was listening to DMX, Jay-Z, Nas, Tupac — all those guys.”
But there was a disconnect between what he was hearing and what he was feeling.
“I became a Christian around my teenage years. I was at a conflict because I thought you couldn’t be a Christian and enjoy hip-hop.”
When a friend introduced him to Christian rap, “my head exploded a little bit. ‘Oh. These two things can co-exist. Hip-hop isn’t intrinsically bad.’ That’s when I kind of got that my passion for music didn’t have to be hindered by my faith. They could co-exist,” Mineo says.
Mineo began writing his own music and has since put out a couple of studio albums — 2013’s “Heroes for Sale” and 2015’s “Uncomfortable,” both on the Reach Records label — a trio of mixtapes and many other recordings. “Uncomfortable” hit No. 3 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop chart and No. 10 on its Top 200 Albums chart, according to Mineo’s website.
“It was really cool that I got in at the time I did,” Mineo says. “A lot of success is attributed to timing. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. Lecrae was killing it at the time. The rest is kind of history.”
Now in the midst of a three-month tour with Winter Jam, Mineo says it can be tough to find time for the creative process.