by Sam Robinson
Earlier this month Humble Beast artist Eshon Burgundy unleashed a new album, The Fear of God (read our review here). The record explores what it means to fear God, and the ways in which our sin shows that we don’t fear God as much as we should. I recently got to ask Eshon about the record, and also what the fear of God means to him.
SAM: Eshon, can you briefly share how you came to know Christ?
ESHON: I came to know Christ at a very young age. My mother shared the gospel with me and taught me to pray when I was probably 3 years old, although it wasn’t until I was 19 when I began to understand God’s mercy and love.
SAM: Your new album, The Fear of God, dropped a few weeks ago. How’s the feeling now it’s out there for all to hear?
ESHON: It feels really good… It felt like I was keeping a secret from the people. So to finally share it feels amazing!
SAM: Where did you record it, and how long did it take?
ESHON: I recorded most of the album in Portland, Oregon at Humble Beast’s studios over a period of about nine days.
SAM: Were there any funny moments during the recording process?
ESHON: Yes… When I was recording my verses for Higher Learning they kept coming out with a different cadence each time. I had to record those vocals maybe 20 times over and over again.
SAM: Let’s talk about the concept of what it means to fear God. You explain very clearly what that looks like, particularly on the interlude with Shai Lynne. What led you to create an album where this is the focus?
ESHON: In my opinion and from what I’ve been hearing there isn’t an accurate explanation or understanding of God in the popular music of today. So I sought to reveal a little bit about the God of the Bible according my own understanding of His scripture. With so many biblically charged song titles in hip-hop today, I thought it was necessary.
SAM: Do you think the fear of God is something we don’t talk about enough as Christians?
ESHON: Maybe not, I’m not sure, but I do believe it’s something that can never be exhausted.
SAM: I want to ask about a few tracks, firstly Blood Money. There’s some amazing images painted there – what’s the story behind it?
ESHON: It’s simply an expression of how I believe Christ’s blood was the payment for our sin and through faith restores man’s fellowship with God.
SAM: Higher Learning is a powerful song, both lyrically and musically. How did that track come together?
ESHON: I got the track from Daniel Steele a month or two before recording and began developing a concept around it. I believe the behaviour being exhibited in our urban communities is a learned behaviour and if we were taught the Lord’s Word we could quite honestly follow with the help of His Spirit. I wrote the hook and couldn’t think of anyone else to sing it but Uncle Reece, and I’m glad I did.
SAM: On Respect, Power & $ you share about what used to be important to you. You describe these things as dangers, yet hip-hop often brags about these things. Were you trying to make much of this contrast?
ESHON: Yes… I definitely wanted to make a contrast between my old thinking versus my new thinking in Christ and also show the Lord’s grace.
SAM: On Retro Sonday you crave Jesus’ return. Do you think a healthy fear of God leads to a longing for that day to come?
SAM: As you’ve reflected on what it means to fear God, how has the concept and the scriptures (through the Spirit, of course) changed your heart?
ESHON: More than my heart I think it rewired my mind and has caused me to see Him more for who He is rather than who I imagine or would like to think He is. He is the King of Heaven and Earth and I get the privilege of fearing Him.