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SaulPaul, formerly known as SaulPaul Silas, is an American rapper, motivational speaker, and prison reform activist from Houston, Texas. After spending several years incarcerated as a young adult, SaulPaul emerged with a mission to spread positivity and inspiration through his music.

Introduction

Born in 1974 in Houston, SaulPaul had a turbulent upbringing surrounded by crime and drugs. He became involved with gangs and dealing drugs as a teenager, which ultimately led to his incarceration at age 20 on a 3-year sentence for possession of cocaine.

In prison, SaulPaul underwent a spiritual transformation through reading the Bible and discovering a passion for music and poetry. He started rapping and using his life experiences to create uplifting songs. After his release in 1998, SaulPaul was determined to leave his criminal past behind and use music to motivate others.

Discography

SaulPaul released his first album, The 13th Disciple, in 2001. His discography includes 7 studio albums:

  • The 13th Disciple (2001)
  • Rise Infinite (2004)
  • The Greater Good (2006)
  • I Am Somebody (2008)
  • Beats, Rhymes & Redemption (2011)
  • Make It in America (2013)
  • Core Convictions (2017)

His music blends hip hop styles and instrumentation with uplifting lyrical themes about personal growth and societal change. Singles like “Skip to My Loot” showcase his trademark rapidfire positive raps.

Musical Style & Influences

SaulPaul coined the term “message hip hop” to describe his style that fuses old school beats and flows with conscious, socially motivational themes. The time he spent incarcerated clearly influences his lyrics advocating for criminal justice reform.

He cites rappers like Tupac, Nas, and Jay-Z as early inspirations for getting into hip hop music. The positivity of artists like Will Smith also impacted his more uplifting direction.

Collaborations & Features

In addition to his solo albums, SaulPaul has collaborated with various other hip hop artists over the years. He was featured on the song “Prince for Peace” by the Christian rap group GRITS in 2008.

Other collaborations include songs with notable Christian hip hop artists like Lecrae, KJ-52, and B.Reith. The track “Be With Me Now” teams up SaulPaul with producer Sam Mizell and singer Sherice.

Touring & Performances

As an independent artist, SaulPaul has toured extensively over the past 20 years to promote his albums and spread his message. Stops have included churches, schools, concerts, prisons, conferences, and community centers across the United States and internationally.

Some notable SaulPaul performances include:

He typically performs original songs, acapella freestyles, guest features, and inspirational speeches between songs.

Personal Life

SaulPaul experienced his share of struggles even after leaving jail and starting his rap career. He’s been open about his two divorces and subsequent bouts with depression and suicidal thoughts.

He credits his Christian faith for helping him persevere through dark times:

“God put His loving arms around me and walked me through the darkness.”

With renewed purpose, SaulPaul has since focused on touring and advocacy work speaking out against mass incarceration. He also launched The SaulPaul Scholarship Fund providing financial assistance primarily to children impacted by the criminal justice system.

Other personal details on SaulPaul:

  • Currently 48 years old, born in 1974
  • Father of 3 daughters
  • Resides around Spring and Houston, Texas

Net Worth

There are no official figures available regarding SaulPaul’s current net worth or annual income. However, given his long career and heavy touring schedule, he has likely earned a decent living as an independent musical artist.

Most financial estimates put his net worth somewhere in the range of $250,000 to $500,000 as of 2023. Revenue streams include:

  • Music sales (albums, singles, streams)
  • Touring and live performances
  • Merchandise sales
  • Public speaking engagements
  • Partnerships and sponsorships

Additionally, SaulPaul earns income related to his prison reform non-profits and scholarship funds. He lives comfortably but continues touring and recording music out of his passion for spreading a positive message.

Popularity & Fame

While not as widely known in mainstream music circles, SaulPaul enjoys great respect and popularity within Christian hip hop and prison reform advocacy communities.

His blend of inspirational music and personal redemption story resonates with many listeners. He has over 50,000 followers across social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Songs like “Rise Infinite” and “Be With Me Now” have amassed hundreds of thousands or millions of streams and views on Spotify, YouTube and other platforms.

SaulPaul may never achieve the same widespread commercial success as mainstream rap stars. But his authenticity and sincerity continue attracting dedicated fans around the world.

Conclusion

Despite past struggles, SaulPaul serves as a shining example that your circumstances don’t determine your future. Through faith and perseverance, he transformed his life and now uses music as an uplifting force.

With 7 albums over 20+ years and continuous touring, SaulPaul stays busy spreading his “message hip hop” sound and advocating for change. While relatively under the radar in mainstream hip hop, he enjoys respect as a positive artist making a real impact among his fans.