(AllHipHop Features) ZaRio SonRise is taking a uniquely powerful approach to music. Under the musical movement Unite Or Die, the Atlanta native is taking his talents and message to the masses. The visuals for “Unite or Die,” his debut single, have garnered him thousands in views and a burgeoning following. A fierce activist, ZaRio SonRise has taken his brand of activism from the streets to the music industry, know to be wrought with apathy. For more, go to zariosonrise.com.
AllHipHop: A lot of times, when people think of Atlanta, the first thing is something like a strip club or the trap, but you showed a lot of unity, strength and a couple of other visuals as well. Talk about the “Unity Or Die” video and why you did it that way.
ZaRio SonRise: I think it’s time you know, I mean, people got to come together. What we’re lacking in is the area of unity. Strategic unity, I like to call it. Atlanta, being the birthplace of Martin Luther King, also, the birthplace of the most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and other greats. We lost the great John Lewis. We just lost the great CT Vivian, you know. We have a lot of different salts, you know, a lot of different flavor. God blessed me with a gift for music, God blessed me with a gift of speech, in organizing, the love of my people. So, all of that is intertwined with what you see in the visual.
AllHipHop: Now, one thing I picked up is that you’re singing on this song. In the past, you’ve rapped. What made you sing?
ZaRio SonRise: Okay, I gotta be honest: I did start off rapping, but rapping wasn’t really my calling. I didn’t want to disrespect the art form because I wasn’t gonna put my all into it. But I still like to do it from time to time. But singing has been my thing since I was eight years old, and it’s a way for me to transfer this message to the people, you know. I sing about everything from love to partying to subjects that really touched my heart.
And our unity and us coming together in our survival is really dear in my heart. I actually put my music on hold to go out to the community and organize and stop the violence and sex trafficking and a lot of other different initiatives. So music is a great conveyor of a message and universal tone. And right now universally we have to unite all for our community for all of humanity. And the biggest fight is the fight of good versus evil.
AllHipHop: For some reason, when you were just talking Tory Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion popped up in my head. Man, it’s hard to unify because it seems like every step, every second there is something that’s tearing us apart. You don’t have to speak on that specific situation, but do you have a comment regarding that sort of unity?
ZaRio SonRise: It’s the same old trick. Its the trick of the slave master. Without a Black unit: male, female, children, we can never have a Black, a strong Black community. Never have a strong Black nation. We’re not going anywhere without our sisters and they’re not gonna go without us being in the proper position.
Unless we both come together properly, relating with each other properly, carrying out our roles, our duties, our responsibility that we have towards ourselves and each other. We can Never have a strong Black community and the enemy understands that. The enemy is invested in keeping that relationship apart. The most important thing that we could do is repair that relationship. But they break up the family, and you break the slave like you break a horse. So it has to be repaired, the man has to be repaired and given guidance. The woman has to be repaired and given guidance and now you can repair the relationship and start a strong Black community a strong Black nation.
AllHipHop: How have you found support? Where is your support?
ZaRio SonRise:My God. And with family. And with those that want to see a change in the society. I don’t want support from the enemy. I really don’t. This is a trick. And we’re tired of being tricked. We’ve been tricked for over 460 years. It’s time for us to go free now.
AllHipHop: The issue of sex trafficking. It’s something that’s not on any news station. It’s really on the fringes, even in the Black community. Over 60,000 black women and girls just end up missing. First of all, I think it’s pretty obvious, but what makes you pick that up? But why isn’t it a hotter topic for us? Nobody seems to care for our sisters.
ZaRio SonRise: She’s the most unprotected and the most disrespected woman on the face of the earth. But she’s the mother of all civilization. And the Bible says respect and honor your mother and your father, that your day shall belong. We as Black men…first I take the accountability. He can no longer tolerate the disrespect of those that we came from. Right? And how can we call ourselves men? How can we not care when she’s missing out?
10’s of thousands…GONE. Nobody said nothing. Naturally at home, taken into remote locations and missing – sometimes, they’ve been killed, the organs are being sold. All of these things are going on right on our nose. And we as men don’t have no outcry.
AllHipHop: What is the state of Atlanta, the leadership? It seems like a lot of rappers are stepping up even working with the mayor. I mean, I’m really, I’m talking about T.I., and Killer Mike and others. Typically other communities don’t look towards entertainers for leadership, but it seems like we do and that’s not in any way to diminish those voices.
ZaRio SonRise: Yeah, I mean, it is what it is. They are the leaders. We are the leaders in the entertainment industry. But how are you leading? And are you being responsible with your leadership? So I applaud those that are striving to be responsible with their leadership. But those that are not, I’m encouraging those that are not to get on board. We got to unite or die.
AllHipHop: Who are your top five?
ZaRio SonRise: You will be surprised who my top five that are alive. Pac was my number one, but I still respect Tupac. I still love Tupac.
As a as an artist, I move along with the time, so I’ll say what it was and then I’ll say kind of who I’m enjoying right now. There’s a lot that goes into the top five is a lot for terms of impact to the culture, skill level, impact to the game, and winning the awards or selling as many albums. So, I’m not just gonna look at this skill level. OK: Jay-Z, Kanye, a toss up between Wayne and Drake. Drake is creeping up to that top five. I really enjoy Future, I’m seeing a Lil Baby come up and do his thing.I love about my Atlanta brothers, you know?
AllHipHop: So musically, you do you have an album. forthcoming Do you have what’s next for you?
ZaRio SonRise: I have an EP coming. It’s called EP waiting. You know, I mean, it’s an R&B Ep. We feel like we have what the game has been missing. And like I said, I was doing a lot of community work and I’m continuously doing that.
AllHipHop: What would you say is your ultimate goal?
ZaRio SonRise: My ultimate goal is to see my people free and to do God’s will on the earth.