It is Wednesday and it’s the day you get to know your favourite Christian Hip Hop artists a little better in SACHH’s In SYNC interviews. This week we zone in on one of the most influential artists in Southern African Christian Hip Hop – Courtney Antipas.
Courtney Antipas who was previously known as Ill Ceey is a Zimbabwean Christian Hip Hop artist and producer. When he got into Christian Hip Hop he didn’t know anyone who was doing it at that time, (according to the YouTube video in which he shares his testimony)he shares that he and his friend had initially thought they were the pioneers of Christian Hip Hop back then before his circle grew informatively bigger. What is undeniable however is the impact that Courtney has had on Christian Hip Hop not only in his country but surrounding nations as well(such as South Africa).
Courtney’s journey is detailed in his music, and this is not by whim but it is his intentional effort to be transparent with listeners, it was for transparency that Courtney Antipas changed his stage name from Ill Ceey to his real name. In our discussion about transparency, Courtney elaborated that he thinks people need to know that they are allowed to be themselves (or rather the person that they were created to be). Generally, the entertainment industry is all about image and people tend to fake it. So He feels it’s up to us as entertainers to change that narrative as well…. This step to be transparent and genuine has been well received by the people; proof that people prefer genuineness over character. Evidently it is a misconception that many artists hold when building up their brand, “I think it comes from the one size fits all approach. For me, I looked at what my values are and sought to build my brand around those things; honesty, transparency, and truth (even when it’s not convenient to share)”, says Courtney.
His song Be yourself is about just that, it encourages creatives to be comfortable in their own skin and sharing Christ in the context of the culture He has placed them in. A homiletics lecturer Brian Hedges puts it this way “preaching through your personality”- meaning Christ’s message preached through the uniqueness of your personality.
Courtney Antipas describes his music style as honest, transparent and fun. He draws inspiration and influence from many artists and creators. Having listened to hip hop throughout his life he progressively became a part of this artistic culture that he loved. His discography of 13 projects includes; Thoughts Of A Prodigal Son(2012), Live Wise State Of Mind Vol.1(2014), Live Wise State Of Mind Vol2(2015), Vigilante: Deluxe(2015), LWSOM EP Vol.3(2016), Transparent(2017), Forever Still -Beat by Ozwald Bozwald(2018), Live Wise State Of Mind Vol.4(2019), Runthings ft PrayerSoul(2019) and No Way(2019) to list a few. He has a good working ethic of quality in both content and production, he can spit fresh bars in freestyling and still pack them up into a hard-hitting yet turned up tracks.
Courtney shares that he is ready for a collab with Church Boyy Bizzness. The SA CHH artists that you will probably find on his playlist are, Church Boyy Bizzness, Lux Kent, Gruth, Blaque Nubon, Recruit, Z Lus the Zeal, Smasher, Phlo girl, Last Days fam….the list goes on. An artist that Courtney Antipas suggested we look out for is Yahboy Codi, “he is an amazing guy with an amazing story, and he’s got bars – he used to be a battle rapper before,” Courtney added. Follow Yahboy Codi on Instagram and check out his killer bars.
The recipe for Courtney Antipas’ live performances is to encourage people towards exploring their freedom in God and communicating truth in a fun and relatable way. The “Be Yourself” artist has performed on many stages with international and local artists such as Sho Baraka, Lecrae, Blaque Nubon, to name a few. His most memorable performance was at Blantyre, Malawi in 2018, “I was sick but still gave it my all and the crowd was just insane.”
The organizers of the Freedom Fest SA announced that Courtney Antipas will be performing at the Dome on the 18th of April 2020, so get your tickets now and watch him perform live in SA
Apart from Christian Hip Hop Courtney spends his time on film and photography. “I find photography to be therapeutic for me. Filming is something I have a passion for. I’ve shot a few music videos and I’m currently working on a documentary for a friend who beat alcoholism.” The Zim CHH artist also hosts a podcast called LWDR (Live Wise Die Ready) available here. The latest was Every L is A Lesson, Courtney pointed out 5 Ls that became lessons that were helpful to his music journey and could be for other urban Christian artists.
Courtney Antipas is one of the most real and humblest artists out there, he is a dedicated father and a doting husband; who loves God. He is planning to drop an EP this year so connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so as not to miss out on the drop. His genuineness is an inspiration to all urban Christian artists to be yourself and shine the light of Christ the way He has uniquely made you shine it. Keep up with the latest in SA CHH by following us on Facebook.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:16
SACHH raises the flag and raises the bars.