Andy Mineo is probably not on your radar, and he’s looking to figure out why. “Many publications and outlets haven’t had too much rapport on us. I also think that some of it is probably some of my faith,” says Mineo. “It’s kind of like don’t touch with the hip-hop culture. I think the hip-hop culture is sometimes afraid to engage. It’s probably some fear to engage because they don’t mix.”

Whatever the reason may be, numbers don’t lie. The 25-year-old signed to Lecrae’s Reach Records has seen chart-topping success for Heroes For Sale, his first studio album, and the recently released EP Never Land, which occupied the No. 1 spot on the iTunes sales chart. The NYC-bred rapper delivers an eclectic sound—often mixing boom-bap rap, rock, and pop into one listen. Simply put, Mineo isn’t the stereotypical “Christian rapper” per say, as many critics have boxed him into. He’s been out to gain rap respect through his love for hip-hop and the message he intends to deliver with his music.

After years of an indie grind, Andy’s hunger to become a bigger rap star grows by the day. So, we had to find out why we’ve been sleeping on him all this time. Here, Andy speaks on linking up with Lecrae, how his music relates to everyone, what separates himself from other New York rappers and more. Get to know Andy Mineo in The Come Up.—Eric Diep