You’re probably thinking “what does Tam know about RAP music?” Well, thanks to my bff and my quest for enlightenment via ART I’ve slid on over to this genre.
Overall, my interest in rap music is solely educational. I consider myself to be an artist in many ways: whether it’s blogging, poetry, singing, etc. So I take note when there are other artists doin’ they thug thizzle better than anyone else in the game. Music is by far the GREATEST unifying element of society today. Seriously, it knocks down walls of age, race, income bracket – you name it and I bet you can find at least 2 people who listen to or play the SAME kind of music and other than that they are complete opposites. For example, list the characteristics of a Michael Jackson fan. I bet you will have traits all across the spectrum because overall, MJ was a performer. It didn’t matter if you was “black or white” because when it’s time to “BEAT IT” or you see a “PYT” walking down the street honey shuga iced tea, you were ALL EARs.
Now to understand the POWER behind music and the INFLUENCE artists have, let’s discuss your experience with this system of beats, lyrics, melodies and clefs. Has music ever “taken you there?” You know what I mean. When you were sitting at home one day by your lonesome, did you not put on some Whitney Houston, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” or some “Stanky Leg” and supremely KICK IT. You didn’t need no crowd, no drank and no distractions. When it was time to pick the songs for your wedding, did you not borrow the classic lyrics from the O’Jays, Babyface & Luther Vandross? See, music will take you places: voluntary or involuntary.
See the dangerous element of music is its ability to creep into your subconscious, plant a garden and have you sprouting up emotions you never thought possible. I can recall a many of times riding in the Cobie and “One Last Cry” from Brian McKnight simply take me to a rough time in my life…now I’m crying ‘cause I’m remembering “the one that got away” and all the HELL that last foo’ took me through. So BE CAREFUL what you allow to enter in your spirit. MUSIC can be a dagger or a hoist, use it wisely.
Back to the topic at hand: RAP MUSIC. What I love about rap music and any music with quality is how clever they string together the song as a whole. As I mentioned before, I sing, write poetry and most definitely respect MUSIC as an art form. So when I listen to music: I dissect the lyrics, critique the beat and if it doesn’t intrigue my mind or spirit, I turn it off. For the majority of my musical life, I’ve only considered R&B, Gospel and more of the “calm” side of music to fill up my cassette case and disk drive. That was until I heard these artists below….
Christian Lecrae, Da T.r.u.t.h., Flame, Sho Baraka, Trip Lee
All these artists TEACH the word of God to the masses.
Their target audience is the YOUNG ADULTs in and out of the church.
All have a testimony that would normally disqualify them from ministering, BUT GOD!
Secular Jadakiss, Wayne, Nappy Roots, Lauryn Hill
All these artists TEACH you their principles of how to live life.
Their target audiences are quite diverse.
All have life stories that, for the most part, coincide with their identity in music.
So you might ride past me in traffic BLASTIN’ some “Background” from Lecrae or “Tie My Hands” by Weezy F. Oh my word – how can a Christian justify listening to SECULAR music?!!!
Simply put: I use it for various ministry moments & the METAPHORs are ridiculous!
I put some of my favorite pieces below. Guess who they belong to.
Only the 9 artists listed above are choices. You might be surprised.
1. I'm leaning to the right. The light is where I'm running.
I thought I wanted life, drunk, sexed out and blunted
2. As I look at what I've done. The type of life that I've lived. How many things I pray the father will forgive
3. But who am I to talk? We in the same picture but we all got different poses
4. If I was worth dying for, yes this God’s worth living for.
5. I just wanna make you famous.
6. ...scared to get some water, roaches hangin’ over the faucets
7. I'll mess around and lose my life man tryna walk in you
I'm standing on these stages and got these people believing me
8. Why they gon’ give you life for a murder - turn around only give you eight months for a burner.
9. If the bible was re-written and the writers put me in it. I wonder how my life would read? Would the people that have heard of me read just to learn of me be turned away by what they see? Or would they slump in their sofas blown away and sober by my life... didn't come to believe. Or would they do a once over read the pages of my life, and once it's over, close the book and say that's not how I want to be!
*Answers will be e-mailed to all readers that leave a comment.*
Did I write this to make you start/stop listening to rap whether Christian or Secular. NOPE! I consider myself to be open-minded at my core so I’m like a SPONGE – tryna get educated and enlightened in any way that I can. Do I listen to every Weezy F song he puts out? NO because sometimes I can’t handle its profanity or I’m on something different that day. I respect his hustle tho’. I’m becoming more and more aware of what I allow into my personal bubble: people, music, teaching, spirits so of course I’m not promoting either artist but I will say that if you want to bring people together, stop judging people by the music they listen to. It might be mess to you but it could a reflection of their own life. No, I’m not a gangsta and no I’m not a saint but I am ME: an artist at heart, child of God, hustla’ in my own right & lover of music. Jesus didn’t hang out with the saved all day long, did he? He was in the streets so if I can connect with a person on the music front, maybe I can convince them to lower their wall and consider another viewpoint – after all, you can’t have a ministry moment with a conversation starter!
Hope you enjoyed my insight.
Go pick up that Le’Andria Johnson and Kirk Franklin (Hello Fear) album (shameless promo).