Drugs, sex, violence and money are recurring themes of many rap songs. Undray Harrison, a Seton Hall sophomore from Edison, N.J., is looking to break away from the ordinary with his own special brand of rap lyrics.
What makes Harrison stand out from other rappers is that his music focuses on the spiritual aspect of life. An ordained Christian minister, Harrison said he likes “music with a message.”
He said he likes to talk about his faith but at the same times tries to be versatile in his music. As a sophomore history major, he values education highly.
“I do spiritual music but at the same token my main focus is to get my degree to break the negative stereotypes that rappers have,” Harrison said.
Harrison, who is 19, said he tries to balance his schoolwork and rapping life evenly. He performs mostly through his ministry and at other colleges.
With a performance at Rutgers, New Brunswick, coming up in a few weeks, he is already on his way to making a name for himself. His plans after graduation include taking rapping seriously, but he would also love to teach history at a professional level to graduates.
Before coming to his ministry in his sophomore year of high school, Harrison described himself as a troubled kid.
“What really changed me was when I found out my mom had cancer. I made an internal decision to become a better person for her, which inspired me to turn to music,” Harrison said.
Harrison wrote these lyrics for his mom: “Walk into that hospital/ Angry with no hope/ See my mother lifeless/ Dead with no pulse/ Tears streaming out my eyes/ Asking like why YO/ I’m acting real prideful/ Denial is a blindfold/ I know that she’s mad gone/ But me I’m too mind blown/ It’s Me against the world/ Machiavelli what I’m on.”
Having suffered through a lot in his childhood, he said he needed an outlet to express himself and rapping became the domain.
All of his songs are original pieces he wrote. He’s written close to 100 songs.
He tries to tell a story through his music and his favorite part of rapping is being able to “tell someone else’s story.”
He has two mentors who help him in all different aspects of life. One is a Harvard graduate from his ministry and the other is his bishop, who he sees as a father figure. Both help to guide and teach him. When asked who he idolizes in the music industry, Harrison didn’t hesitate to mention Jay-Z. He looks up to him because of his versatility to not only be a rapper, but also a businessman.
Harrison mentioned how thankful he is to Seton Hall for all of the opportunities it has brought to him.
Harrison's music can be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaCgSJ1f5FM&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop.
Mackenzie Scibetta can be reached at email@example.com.