Kash Memphis has seen more brokenness than most in his life. It was there in his upbringing, through his time in the military during overseas service, in relationships, in his body and health, even in seeking to serve God. These days he is pursuing dreams and helping others chase theirs. He’s a Christian rapper who has built his own label and coaching brand.

 

http://kodakpurple.com

https://www.facebook.com/kash.memphis

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https://open.spotify.com/artist/4JS6JHuHiev1icOxDH13jW

https://music.apple.com/us/artist/kash-memphis/1460421161

https://www.amazon.com.au/Kodak-Purple-Kash-Memphis/dp/B08KWWZLM3

https://www.patreon.com/kodakpurple

 

 

 

(This transcript is intended as a guide only. It may not be 100% correct.)

 

Emily Olsen 

Wherever there are shadows, there are people ready to kick out the darkness until it bleeds daylight. This is Bleeding Daylight with your host Rodney Olsen.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Kash Memphis has seen more brokenness than most in his life. It was there in his upbringing, through his time in the military during overseas service, in relationships, in his body and health, even in seeking to serve God.

 

These days he is pursuing dreams and helping others chase theirs.He’s a Christian rapper who has built his own label and coaching brand. I’ll introduce you in a moment.

 

Please remember to share this story with others and connect with Bleeding Daylight on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please follow Bleeding Daylight wherever you listen to podcasts. It's free and it'll ensure you never miss an episode.

 

Kash Memphis describes himself as a rapper dreamer, author and creative. But for so long he dealt with feelings of rejection and just not fitting in. We'll explore his story today on bleeding daylight, and will travel through some of the twists and turns that his life has taken cash. Welcome to bleeding daylight.

 

Kash Memphis 

Hey, Rodney, thanks for having me.

 

Rodney Olsen 

I want to start by painting a picture of your early years. What was life like for you growing up?

 

Kash Memphis 

Well, you know, when I look back early in my childhood, one of the key words that continues to come up through my mind is that of brokenness or broken, I guess the way I would describe it as more like a desert experience, the first part of my life more like the childhood, I was called to Christ at an early age when I was about 10 years old, but went back into let's say, my living situation wasn't what typical people would think is a traditional church family, brokenness, as a child brokenness as a teenager and early adulthood.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So you have this experience of church, but your home life doesn't reflect that tell me a bit about that home life,

 

Kash Memphis 

I was the first person to come to Christ and my family. I felt this calling towards God. And I almost felt as Okay, maybe I'm the one that wants this. But I kind of felt like I was still alone. I had discovered this new thing, this newfound freedom, this newfound peace, I'm newly found in Christ, but I go back into this environment. There's a seed planted, but it's almost as if it's a dormant seed.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And what about the sort of neighborhood you are growing up in? What was that like for you.

 

Kash Memphis 

Growing up, it was more like a rural neighborhood, and a tri regional area in West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland area, so very rural, and very mixed nature. It wasn't a town where it was majority of white people or black people, it was very, culturally different, ethnically different. In that I found myself growing up in a childhood that was ethnically challenging, I felt is almost almost as if like, I didn't fit in with my own people. I felt like I fit in more with other races than my own, not just one race. But I almost felt at that sense, like I had been adopted by the king. And I really, truly hadn't understood who I had been adopted by. So I wasn't really accepted by one sense of one group versus the other. It was almost as if I was a lost sheep, trying to discover myself.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And as part of that growing up, were you taking on elements of of the other cultures that you are now surrounded by to try and find that acceptance?

 

Kash Memphis 

Absolutely. So and I really love that you point that out Rodney, because one of the very first things that I ever took to was rap music. And I remember as I was younger, periodically, dreaming of man, because I grew up in a secular rap environment I grew up on Biggie and Tupac Shakur, and Snoop Dogg, and it wasn't very God glorifying music. So I had found an outlet and I don't think I really ever noticed it as a kid. But what I identified with rap music was the struggle, the acceptance, the cultural nature of it. So ideally, when I'm looking at these cultures, I'm seeing their struggle to so that at some point probably played a huge part in my life as well.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So rather than identifying with a lot of the themes that they were bringing forward, it was more identifying with that sense of struggle that they will portray.

 

Kash Memphis 

Absolutely, because I think where where I really struggled was for a lot of different cultures. Now, American culture is not necessarily this way anymore. But in other cultures, they were more let's say friendly to their, their elders, you know, there was still a communal guideline. And it was a way that different cultures operated. Part of me fell in love with that culture because they felt like they really loved their own people. And maybe I was asking the question of why didn't my people love me the same way?

 

Rodney Olsen 

We fast forward a little bit and as a young adult, you join the army was that again, a part Trying to find that acceptance to be part of a movement, so to speak, where you felt that you might fit in?

 

Kash Memphis 

Yeah. And you know, it's it's interesting how life happens, isn't it? You know how God uses us and shapes us. And we don't even really know the full grasp to that, after I'd come out of my school age years, and it was I didn't have these influences by these other cultures, what it kind of did was carried over and for me, I no longer had that influence. So I was trying to take that influence of my family, my dad, my brother, my mother, and then that was kind of my influence to join the military, because what other hope do I have in life?

 

Rodney Olsen 

So what happened during that experience in the army? Did that turn out to be the saviour that you were looking for in that acceptance or was it something different?

 

Kash Memphis 

I would really like to say that it was the greatest experience ever, it wasn't. But what I will say it was the most important experience in my life ever. And here's why I want you to picture a young 20 year old man who's grown, used to a life of brokenness. And then as I'm joining the military, and I'm feeling like maybe I should do what my family did, and, you know, they love to serve their country, or for whatever reason, in the back of my mind, I had this idea that I would go serve my country. And I had this idea that I would be a better person because of it. As I joined the military, I was still a Christian, not really, living the lifestyle that God requires of me, as I got into the military, it wasn't spiritually the nicest environment. But it made me grow up, it revealed a lot of things to me, as a person. For instance, seven of the 13 years that I spent in the United States Army was spent and more as I'm going through this, now, I'm really alone, I'm at war. And, you know, I have my battle buddies, and I have my comrades, but maybe I'm not necessarily the same, because I still have this spiritual struggle. And so this 20 year old is getting ready to go off to war, he's been married, he's going off to war. And while he's at war, his wife serves him divorce papers. So it becomes a very vital point in my life, where it seems everything is crashing down. Or at war, I'm losing battle buddies. This is a whole new reality. And now, I'm getting a divorce. I've been served papers, and I'm waiting to come back to the States after the war. So the war wakes me up. God shakes my life up in that any shows me truly who I am in that time. And in that experience, while fighting the physical war, the spiritual war is just starting at this time.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And of course, being at war, you'd be seeing and experiencing things that I guess we're really not designed to see and feel and experience.

 

 

Right. And, you know, when I look back at my experience on that all of the images that it's taken years to not necessarily get rid of, but the images of maybe those who didn't return, going through survivor's guilt, going through mass casualty events and not being able to bring friends home. Ultimately, when you do end up, almost making it a career, it comes to a point where it leaves you broken, it leaves you broken from the war. Because after the war, I came back, started jumping out of airplanes, and eventually broke and destroyed my back ended up being medically retired. As I'm exiting the army, I'm exiting, physically broken, spiritually broken and at this point, it's where it takes another turn towards more brokenness.

 

Rodney Olsen 

The USA has this great tradition of honoring those who have served the country. But I guess coming back and having to be medically retired, would really be a bit of a struggle for you in knowing that you're coming from this place where people would honor to have to leave that and again, to have to find another way of fitting in.

 

Kash Memphis 

The way I equated to the army and serving in the United States Army is that we were family. My friends are the ones I fought with my family were the ones that I fought the war with, as I'm coming out of this experience and and going into this new reality. It's almost as if you lost your family, your job, you lost all sense of purpose, you've been told you physically don't meet the standard anymore, you can no longer provide your services here. So in that experience, I walked away from that, feeling jilted and empty handed. But I also ended up leaving as a drug addict.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Is that something that started to happen whilst you were still in the military? Or was this your response to having to leave the military.

 

Kash Memphis 

As I was dealing with the physical and that the army was realizing that this is a much longer term issue. And mind you, you're being dropped out of air planes repeatedly over several years. And so the back is not in the greatest. And so once it's really injured, what they began to do was at this point, pain management. And so in that point in pain management, they began to retire me. And in that process, I did not know that I had become addicted until it was too late.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So where did that addiction lead you?

 

Kash Memphis 

Well, I can tell you, for sure, Rodney, it leads nowhere good. I do remember as we were exiting the military. And as as all of this stuff is happening. There comes a point where we lose it all, financially, professionally, coming out of the military. Now it's beginning to erode the family. It became a point where God had to step in, I feel what had happened was, is that in the midst of our opioid epidemic amongst the United States, even going back several years ago, I don't think that our leaders had the proper knowledge to know that this was going to happen. And so maybe in my physical treatment, that's what did it. But nonetheless, I had a problem that I now needed God to deliver me from,

 

Rodney Olsen 

And how did that deliverance come? What What was the low point that made you turn around and see God to cause a difference in that situation?

 

Kash Memphis 

It's really interesting how God likes to intersect our lives again, because, you know, it's, it becomes a certain point in our life, where it's like, God, I need you to help me because I've done everything I can. And most of the time, it's because we have to submit to Him and allow him to do the work in us. One night, I remember going to sleep and and I was using at the time, and as a result of that, my wife had an allergic reaction for the first time, and she almost passed away, due to my negligence.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And it's at that point, you decided that this has got to stop,

 

 

I'd like to say that was true. But two nights later, I was going to bed. And in order to understand the story, we have to go back a little bit because while I was in a military, my wife, and I have miscarriage. After this, God reveals to me in this miscarriage who our daughter was in heaven. And I remember hitting this point in saying, God, I need to understand what's going on here. I need to know what you think of me. I need to know that you're there. And I remember going to bed that night, and seeing her and my dreams. And I remember waking up the next morning and saying I can't immediately fix it. But I'm running in the right direction. And it was shortly after that. God called me on to the next mission.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So where did this next mission take you?

 

Kash Memphis 

When you served in the military, and you've been medically retired and you've lived the life of brokenness, and you've had different life experiences that have brought you to where you are. The next logical point for me, that God was calling me into was pulpit ministry. So I became a pastor.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Tell me about the process of becoming a pastor coming out of this background of brokenness, to a place where you're leading others. How did that transition begin for you?

 

Kash Memphis 

Well, the transition really began for me, kind of when I was in the military, as I was getting medically retired out I had come to a point now see, I served as a chaplain assistant, the last 11 years of my career. I had decided in my military career, I wanted to be a chaplain. And so while I was in the military, I had gotten my degree and then I was approved to go to chaplain school. Well, so That was the natural path. But when I got medically retired, that plan changed, obviously. So naturally I have this degree and I'm, I'm already accredited. And I hear God calling me to being a pastor, I seen this wealth of experience and and I had a number of people around me who were doing the same thing. And it really encouraged me that I could really make a change for the kingdom from that perspective. You know, I'm like, I can really put my mark my stamp on, this is the crescendo. This is what God called me to do.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So you have the opportunity to be a pastor, and this continues on for a number of years. But it doesn't continue to go, Well, what what happened in that season.

 

Kash Memphis 

At this point, I think what changes is that God has a mission for me that I truly don't understand. Because as he's calling me into the pulpit, I have this this expectation in my mind, that it's white picket fences, I'm now doing the will of God, I've got the most important job, which is leading the sheep. And it seems that from day one, when I step in the door, I mess up from day one. I guess maybe the reason that I don't know that I truly understood what a pastor was. I think I failed from that perspective. But I also didn't know what to expect, you know, so I was a young pastor, and I just left the military, I just gone through this. And from the time I became a pastor, it almost seemed as if Satan wanted to destroy me from the ground up the entire time. And when we come through some things we don't always notice when God is providing us opportunities. And so when I look in retrospect, I think about it, what could I do differently? Why didn't it go? Well, I don't think I was a good pastor, to be honest with you. I don't think I lead people well, I'd come from leading soldiers to firing bullets downrange, and church just wasn't the same. So when I walked into my first rural New York church, you know, farmland, New York, I had this idea that people were just going to support me because they, you know, the pastor was the most important person, or, you know, when when we had the commissioning, it was like, everybody loved you with open arms. But I slowly started to find out that it was hard. And then war is waged in the spiritual realm. So I learned a lot there. But if I were to, if I were to put it in a short statement, I think I was a bad pastor.

 

Rodney Olsen 

I know that as a pastor, you're often helping people to deal with their brokenness and their struggles. Did you find it difficult that in your own brokenness that you were trying to help others with their own?

 

Kash Memphis 

Yeah, because if we're not active in combing through our struggles, our doubts and our fears and our anxieties, and if we're not focused on surrendering those things, if we're not dealing with those things, then I think it's difficult to help other people deal with their brokenness. What I was doing is I wasn't necessarily addressing all my baggage too. So it's kind of difficult, you know, you want people want you to lead them. And they want you to help fix them. But at the same time, when you have two people who don't understand the work that's required, it becomes really difficult.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So a few years down the track, you leave the church, and there is that sense, once again, that you've lost everything. But then there's a turning point, tell me about what happened then.

 

Kash Memphis 

I remember exiting the church that night. And I have to admit that I didn't quite agree with where this whole thing was going. I didn't understand what God was doing. The only thing I could see was the circumstances. And I was angry. You know, God, how could this happen? How could I lose it again? Now, you know, I've lost these people that have become my church family. Now I've lost my friends. They've all turned against me. And now I feel like I have to walk my head away and shame. So I'm standing in this church parking lot. And I'm just I'm walking and I'm pacing in a circle around this parking lot. I'm angry. I don't know if I'm angry with God or if I'm angry with myself, I just kind of had this vital moment. Like when you switch the light on the severe contrast that everything that I had worked for, and it lived for what I thought I was doing right, I realized that I had become sick and tired of who I become, I become disgusted with myself. And I felt like the organizational body or the organization of the church had left me misfit, orphaned, neglected, rejected, and I have nothing but to rely on is that of God. And so in my passion, and just you know, because rap is a very aggressive form of music, whether Christian or secular, it talks about the struggle, it talks about the pain, it talks about the realness of, it strips down all the pretty curtains, and you can see everything for what it is kind of feeling. And I'm pacing the parking lot. And I just, I'm listening to instrumental rap music that I either grew up on or I start freestyling with that. And if you're not really sure what freestyling is, it's just basically sped up talking to a beat in my heart, and and then maybe my, my frustration, I said, God, I'll give you the rest of my life, I'll do whatever you want me to do, if I could just live my dream and do it for you, and you take care of my family. But that's what I want to do. And I feel like that night I got God's blessing, even in the worst time of my life. Because I truly, for the first time, found an outlet in which I could express my thoughts, not only express my thoughts, but express a way for me to say, I'm sorry, thank you a way for me to say the thing that I normally could not say, at that point in that night, I just said, God, I want to write rap music, on a rap for you, I don't even know that I'm good at. But that's what I'm gonna do the rest of my life. And I want to build this company so that, you know, I can put my music under it. And you know, I'm just, I want to live my dreams. I want to work for you the rest of my life. But I want you to just allow me to be able to have some fun with it and be creative. I'd like to rap. And God answered my prayers. That night, it may not have felt like it that night, but he did.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So in a sense, you've come full circle from being that young boy in a neighborhood where you feel you don't quite fit in, and you're turning to wrap to to try and understand the struggle. And you feel a connection there. You're now using it as a way to connect with the struggle of other people all these years later. And to turn it into something for good. Tell us where this has now taken you.

 

Kash Memphis 

Well, Rodney, that's a loaded question. And so I'd have to respond by saying this is that once, once I started down that point, and all of this starts coming together, I realize God takes me back. Right before I began writing Kodak PowerPoint, he calls me to a 40 day fast with him, you know, I'm supposed to pour my blood, sweat and tears into it. And during that time, God really opened my eyes. So spent three weeks working on my music and you know, giving him you know, 110%. And then the last week I did a traditional fasting, you know that the Bible says don't boast about it, but I'm not telling you this to boast about me. I'm telling you this to boast about God. But when I spent that time with him, one of the things he revealed to me was, he left Moses in the desert for 40 years. It took him 40 years, to prepare them to enter the promised land. You know, at this point, I'm not I wasn't even entering 40. But I was going through my read, see. And what he revealed to me is that like that little boy, in that time was that all of my life, he's allowed me to experience the brokenness of human. I mean, you know, not like him because I'm not perfect, but I really identify with broken people. And really, because of my story, because the brokenness that I walked through goes so deep. I look at it and I say, Well, God had it not been for this brokenness, what I be prepared for now. The little boy that was broken, the soldier that was broken, for the marriage that was broken, and all of the broken things. I was allowed do live my dream. As I'm living my dream, I realize it's gonna take a little bit more work. And as I'm finishing up some music during this fast, a friend calls me and I, I just finished up recording as a friend from my military days. It's interesting how it comes full circle. The chaplain that I was serving with in Afghanistan, had asked a favor of me and he said, Hey, I would really like it if you could train my chaplains and my chaplain assistants on area operations overseas, because I have had a number of years deploying and I was highly experienced, and say, Well, yeah, I'll go ahead and help you. So after this is done, he knows of what I'm doing. He says, Would it be helpful if I get our unit to write a memo for you so that, you know, we can just express that you're professional, that things that you did, maybe that'll help you down the road? So well, Steve, that would be okay. So Steve calls me the next day. phone's ringing. I'm like, yo, what's good, Steve? He's like, hey, there's a change of plans, man. I thought we had two weeks. But I need you to do it today. And so that I was flexible. I said, no issues, Dave, I can I can get you there. So I do the training. And afterwards, he he's sending the memo over from the military. And what's really interesting about this military memo, is that when it comes to military memo, it's almost like its own language. And so it's very guided, it's very directed. But there was five bullet points on this memo. And while the other four are important, they're not as important as the fifth point. So I'm reading the memo. And I get down to this final point. And this is the part in my life, where I realize I should start taking my dreams a whole lot more seriously. Because God found a way to intersect with me to prove he is faithful to prove he is just because that last bullet point on that memo, would have never appeared on military memo. But it says, we recommend Brian Havens my real name, or we recommend Kash Memphis, for whatever he wants to do. And in that moment, God just invaded my heart, with love. And with an understanding, I thought, I have life. But to bring it full circle. It's like I felt like this is part of a releasing point where he confirms everything that I've been dreaming of and been working towards,

 

Rodney Olsen 

You're now are running your own label. And you're also working with other people to help them release their dreams. Tell us about that experience for you.

 

Kash Memphis 

When I started this dream, I had the idea in my mind that the company would be named missiology. And that is the case. But when we, when I started that dream, in missiology basically means living on mission. You know, whatever you're doing, just as, you know, you can use that for kingdom. It's a missiological lifestyle. But what we're doing by that is the idea is that I started living my dreams when God called me to when he called me to them. And so it is my belief that when I walked into that mission, I wasn't only doing it for me. But I was doing it with the expectation that missiology his mission would be to awaken dreamers and sleepers to live out their kingdom purpose, and then provide them a roadmap to accomplish it. As we talk now. That's actually our reality. The first of the year, I started up my coaching program, that means I'm coaching people to live out their dreams. I'm coaching people, to have a little bit of fortitude, to push into their kingdom purpose, to seize the opportunity that God's called them to. Because while he says in Scripture, in these days, he will pour out visions and dreams on his on his people. I think the part that we don't acknowledge when we read that is that we're responsible for those dreams and we'll be rewarded for living them. So I've dedicated my life to living for Jesus while I predominantly write and perform rap music wherever anyone will have me but part of getting people to live their dream is also being able to lead from the front. And so that's what we're doing through coaching Through the many other things we do in this theology,

 

Rodney Olsen 

What has been the reaction to your music? You're talking about struggle through that and struggles that you faced? Are you getting feedback from people that it's actually helping them to deal with their own struggles?

 

Kash Memphis 

Absolutely. Let me give you an example. My music is played in 62 different countries, the response that I'm getting is phenomenal. A friend of mine from the military sent me a message the other day and said, Hey, man, I love what you're doing, I appreciate you, you are going to be able to go places no one else can go. And the reason I share that is because God is providing me opportunities that I never thought I would be in position to be here had I not start chasing my dream, had I not start living out what I felt God had purposed me for.

 

Rodney Olsen 

It's a real different change to this young man that we heard about at first. And I'm sure that life still has its struggles, it has its ups and downs. But knowing that you're living this dream, obviously makes a big difference in your life.

 

Kash Memphis 

It does, it does. And you know, even as I sit here, and I'm talking to you, I just have the relative sense that that God still wants to do more. It's a sense of being found in being surrendered in my purpose. It's not so much anymore, that I'm unhappy with me, and I'm unhappy with where I'm at. Now, I've focused on my relationship with Jesus, I've allowed him to guide me in love instead of walking away in bitterness and that's been really formative, but to see where I'm standing now, and then look back at all the little places where he gave me like GPS, turn left here, do this, it really gives me the sense that, Papa, you love me. And when you say you died for me, you weren't just joking. When you say, you, you've got dreams, and you've got plans for me better than I could ever understand. I take you serious. I now feel like I did when I was once 10 years old. When I walked up, and I received Christ at this Baptist camp, this church camp that day that God called me when I was 10 years old. I felt as if I could walk into my purpose, with my head held high. Knowing God's sent me with authority.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Your music is available through Apple Music through Spotify, and all sorts of other places if people want to track that down. But if people are wanting to find out more about you to get in touch, what's the easiest thing for them to do?

 

Kash Memphis 

The easiest way to get in touch with me Rodney would be either through social media, kodakpurple.com is up. That would be the primary way right there. So if you if you can't reach me there, contact me through social media and I'll be sure to return every contact.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And I'll put some contact details in the show notes at bleeding daylight dotnet so that people can get in touch and and hear more of your story. But cash Memphis, it has been so good to talk to you. Thank you for sharing some of your story, where God has brought you from and is taking you to and we look forward to hearing more about you in the future. Thank you for your time.

 

Kash Memphis 

Well, thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure and a blessing man.

 

Emily Olsen 

Thank you for listening to Bleeding Daylight. Please help us to shine more light into the darkness by sharing this episode with others. For further details and more episodes, please visit bleedingdaylight.net

 

 
 
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