Hip-hop sensation Quavo takes off his Cartier sunglasses and takes on a new role in the new Peacock film, Praise This. Produced by Will Packer Productions and directed by Tina Gordon, Praise This is a musical film that follows Sam (Chlöe Bailey) as she’s forced to put her musical dreams on hold to join her cousin’s struggling underdog praise team in the lead-up to a national competition. 

In the film, Quavo stars as Ty, a famous Atlanta rapper Sam is desperate to meet and impress. Having faced his own hardships, they embark on a journey that leads to an appreciation of friendship, forgiveness, and faith.

EBONY recently chatted with Quavo about his new role, his songs he would remix to gospel, and how he stays focused as he moves forward in his career.

EBONY: Congrats on your role in Praise This. How did you come to be a part of the film?

Quavo: I just bothered Will [Packer] for 4 years straight. I kept telling him, “I need to be in a movie. Put me in something.” He said “Alright, I’m going to wait for the right time.” He called me up and said he’s got Praise This. I saw it, I saw the cast and said “Oh yeah, this is the one. Let’s get it.”

We love it. Tenacity, that’s what it’s all about!

For sure.

Your character, Ty, is a musical artist like yourself, but we see an evolution in him throughout the film. In what ways can you relate to your character?

Of course, there’s that connection to me, but I just wanted to make Ty feel silent, you know? I wanted to make sure he had little a soft spot, to keep him vulnerable. I wanted to show that side of me, to show that side of Ty. And I think I got it.

The casting of this film was perfect and is full of talent like yourself, Chlöe Bailey, gospel artist Koryn Hawthorn and comedian Druski. What was it like being on set with talented creatives from different genres and backgrounds?

We all come from different worlds, but we’re the greatest in our worlds. We all have respect for each other. I’m proud of Druski, by the way. He came from where I came from. Just watching him, a guy from the north side. And Anjelika [Washington] is very, very funny. She’s super funny on-and-off the screen. I’m just here to absorb all this greatness and I just put my splash in when I can.

One of the most notable features of this film is the music. It’s giving Sister Act II vibes from my generation…

That’s hard (laughing).

Flipping popular secular songs into gospel songs happens a lot throughout the film. If there was a song of yours you could flip into a gospel song, which one would it be?

One would be “Hotel Lobby,” the other “Bad and Boujee.” We have to convert both of those into gospel. 

Praise This is more than just about the music, it’s a very inspirational film with a faith foundation. What are some lessons that resonated with you from this film?

Just being true to yourself. Coming from nothing and coming from what people think is nothing. It’s like what the pastor said in the movie, “The devil was born in some pretty sh**ty places.” Making what you think is a sh*tty place and turning it into a kingdom is a lesson that resonates with a lot of folks. Sometimes it’s not the best appearance, but if you can work hard, you’ll end up being #1. You’ll be on top. That’s how I feel about my rap career taking off and to get to the next level. It’s just, sometimes you have to take over the town; sometimes you get mad because some people look better than you but don’t have the skills or tools to take it to the next level; and sometimes people just overlook you. But if you keep nailing that hammer and keep going and keep doing you, some of that light will shine on you.

You just dropped a new solo single “Honey Bun” and a few others. How are you taking that same lesson to define this moment as you move forward in your career?

Just staying prayed up, making sure the family’s taken care of and keep going. I have a lot of people in my corner, I have a strong team. This cast, this family—Tina and Will—they’re behind me, and on the music side, I have a whole lot of people behind me. Just making sure I turn around and see all my support. I can’t look back. I have to keep going.

Before we let you go, EBONY is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of hip hop and there’s no doubt you helped change the game. How does it feel to be a part of hip hop history and is there a moment when hip hop changed your life?

The defining moment when hip hop changed my life was in the 2000s era. The jerseys, the chains all the way down, Allen Iverson—those years made me say, “Ok, I know what I want to do.” As far as my moment, when we came in with the triplet flow, the Culture ICulture II, and Culture III era was the time we put our stamp in the game and said, “We’re here to stay.”