Local music: Copywrite

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

Copywrite has never worried much about offending people. But anyone familiar with his Twitter account's frequent proclamations of love for Jesus Christ realizes the acclaimed Columbus rapper will be pissing people off in an entirely different mode on his new album "God Save the King."

"I know people don't want to hear it," Copywrite said. "I don't care what people want to hear, though."

"God Save the King," out this week on Man Bites Dog Records, was originally conceived as a UK-only stopgap while Copywrite works on the upcoming reunion album by MHz, the group that made him an underground star in the late '90s. But as Copy (born Peter Nelson) began piling up tracks, he realized he liked what he was hearing. Furthermore, he had something new to say.

Though he accepted Christ as a kid, Copywrite said he suppressed the desire to rap about Jesus. Even when he was working with hot underground labels like Fondle 'Em and Eastern Conference and being courted by majors, part of him was jealous of his old friend John Reuben's career as a Christian rapper.

Then, about two-thirds of the way through recording "God Save the King," Copywrite's conscience caught up with him. In the wake of his mother and grandfather dying, the reality of his mortality set in, and priorities changed.

"It got to a point where it was weighing too heavy on my heart," he said.

Thus, the album is split between songs recorded before and after his spiritual breakthrough. The difference in subject matter is jarring, but stylistically they all feel like Copywrite bangers.

"I don't think I've made corny music, so why would it start now?" he said. "If anything, this reminds me of being a white rapper in the mid-'90s because you really had to prove yourself 'cause people were already ready to shut you down."