One of my favorite artists of the last few years has been Andy Mineo. He’s about to embark on the second leg of his headlining Uncomfortable tour. We recently talked about some of the pressures about being on the road, racial tension in hip hop, and communicating on Twitter.
Gabe: Okay, I’ve gotta start out with this question. We’ve talked with KB, Tedashii, Trip Lee, and Derek Minor. A majority of them said that if they were was a basketball game with you guys and they were the captain, they’d pick Lecrae. Would you like to defend yourself?
Andy: Yeah, I would say that you can’t teach height. So I understand why they’d go with Lecrae as the first pick. What you can teach is a jumpshot and that’s something I have on him.
Gabe: That’s what Trip Lee said. Derek Minor actually said something like he’d choose himself if he could (laughs).
Andy: (laughs) What an arrogant jerk! That’s funny.
Gabe: So, the Uncomfortable tour is starting it’s second leg. This is the first tour that you’ve headlined. Do you feel pressure being the head guy on the marquee every night?
Andy: Yeah, of course for lots of reasons. For one, if the show goes bad it reflects on me. Two, if the show goes bad, all of the finances reflect on me. It’s a big financial risk to do it. The openers and everybody else are guaranteed to get paid every night. So it’s a lot more pressure. There’s pressure enough just being the leader of the tour. I kinda feel responsible for all the guys out on the road. My wife and I spend a lot of time praying about how to be really good leaders. I really believe we can set the tone and that can all start from the top. If I’ve got a bad attitude or if I’m anxious, that can trickle down to everyone else on the tour. I wouldn’t want that to happen.
Gabe: For sure. There’s been a lot of racial tension in this country especially with this election. Hip Hop has seemed to be a vehicle to express the frustration in that. As a white guy in the game, what’s your role in that?
Andy: I think that’s an interesting question. We’ve seen other white guys explore this like Macklemore. And it’s difficult to talk about privilege and to try to explain these things to people that are indoctrinated by their surroundings. In a country that is big as ours that has so many places, cultures, and people, there are certain areas that are more condensed than others. The coasts seem to be so much more open-minded because they’re diverse. They tend to interact with more races, creeds, thinking processes, and religions than other parts of the country. Having these conversations can be tough because they warrant more than 140 characters. Talking about these things on social media can be tough because so many things can become misconstrued.
My voice, in music, is to encourage conversation. I want to continue to point people in the right direction as much as I can, so that they’ll have more conversations with people that don’t look like them. Engage with people that think differently more often. And above all, approach conversations with humility. But I am very aware of it in music. I am very aware of my privilege in my music. And I try to pay respect to the artists that came before me who did their thing, which allowed me to be able to do this.
Gabe: Speaking of 140 characters, you recently asked an open-ended question about profanity that got a little controversy. How do you deal with the backlash of that as a Christian as opposed to someone else?
Andy: I think as a Christian I’m called to bear with my brothers and sisters. So I know that as I am arguing with people…or they’re condemning me for asking questions trying to prod a deeper conversation… I think one of the things I always try to keep in mind is that my views are often a lot bigger than just being my views because I represent something that is much bigger than myself.
That’s a tough thing to consider when you say “I just want to have a conversation about this thing”..but it stirs up controversy. Sometimes I forget that the culture puts a lot of attention on a handful of guys to be the leading voices. Sometimes I have to take a higher road or refrain from some of the liberties I have to talk about things or engage in certain topics so that I can just be a better leader. That’s tough.
Check out andymineo.com to see if the Uncomfortable tour comes to a city near you. And follow Andy on Twitter: @AndyMineo