This Rattler is a Christian rapper on the rise

Photo courtesy Dustin Yates

Strong in his faith and passionate about his craft, Official Duss is an artist to pay attention to. The Christian rapper recently released his first EP titled “On My Mental,” and he has been receiving great feedback.

Dustin Yates, a Florida A&M business student from Leesburg, started his music career when he was 18 years old. At the time, Yates only wrote raps and didn’t consider himself a Christian rapper.

“When I heard my first song [after it was recorded], it wasn’t Christian rap, and I was very impressed by it, but I wasn’t proud of it,” Yates said. “And I only want to put my name behind something I’m proud of, so, that’s what made me want to do Christian rap because I know I love God [and music] and what better thing than to do what you love?”

Yates makes his music purely about his relationship with Christ in order to minister to his fans.

“I want all of my music to be passionate, because I feel like, when you have a relationship with Christ, it becomes very intimate, and you should be able to feel that passion,” Yates said.

In addition to ministering to his fans, Yates’ decision to make his music about him and Christ makes him stand out in his genre.

“I’ve always looked up to Lecrae and Andy Mineo, but both of those rappers, they ended up switching and going to the secular category. So I made it my mission to make a new name for Christian rap,” Yates said.

“On My Mental” is Yates’ representation of how Christ renewed his mind and gives off a straightforward or “aggressive attitude.” The EP features seven songs: “New Mental,” “No Chill Interlude,” “Medic for Life,” “Tell Me,” “On My Mental Freestyle,” “Faith Over Fame (bonus track)” and his most popular song, “Faith Fiend.”

“In certain songs, like ‘Faith Fiend,’ I sound crazy in some of the songs, and I sound, like, a little aggressive because I want people to stand, I want people to realize that this is serious, it’s not something to play around with,” Yates said. “Like, yeah, it sounds cool, but that’s what this is about.”

Chadler George, Yates’ good friend and a music-maker himself, mentioned that he enjoys Yates’ music because it’s unique.

“I like it, it’s different. He’s, like, the first gospel rapper-rapperthat only raps and not really harmonizes and all that,” George said.

Yates plans to create more worship and storytelling music. “I want to make the type of music where you can play it in the car with your friends and not feel ashamed at all. As Christians, we shouldn’t feel ashamed,” Yates said.

“On My Mental” is available on all music platforms and Official Duss can be checked out @official.duss on Instagram.