Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why Do I Listen to RAP Music?

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).


veeBizzy said...

I am a lover of music including RAP. I miss the days of empowering, radical, make some changes kind of rap(Public Enemy). I also really enjoy rap where people are describing their reality / struggle (ICE Cube - Amerikkka's Most Wanted; Tupac). I listen to present day rap too but if I here one more song about stripping, i'm going to lose it!LOL... Rappers (and R&B artists) have the potential to influence millions -positively. I wish they would use their power for good. There is so much more to life than smoking, sexing and money. The beats and the hooks catch me but then I actually listen to the lyrics and i'm turned off or have to readjust. I love 'Quickie' by Miguel. Personally, I know that it's the last thing I want but I can respect someone if they are straight up with you like that. There are some songs I can't or won't listen to because of where they take me. I'll leave you with a computer programming saying ... Garbage In = Garbage Out.

Miss Quanta said...

Veelo, always articulate & ON POINT! That’s why I still listen to Tupac. You can say he had a foul mouth, but the boy was educated. He was talkin about REAL LIFE. People fail to realize that although the word is powerful and should be used to speak truth, sometimes people, young and old, can’t relate to it @ this point in their life. I’m not saying it’s non-applicable, we just aren’t ready for that BLUNT truth sometimes. I so feel you on the rap nowadays. Why does a song hit #1 on the Hot 8 @ 8 or 106th & Park just because it: tells girls to bend over the floor and touch your toes, sell drugs or glorifies the life of a gangsta? Listen to the lyrics people – it might have a DOPE beat but does it promote self-decline? One of the most important things to consider is YOUR TOLERANCE LEVEL: can your spirit handle this song? Is it gonna propel you into a spiral of temptation, emotional roller coasters and ultimately SIN? If you can’t handle the heat, TURN IT OFF! Sending the answers to your e-mail now…

Mz Dee said...

I am a lover of music and it all has its place, but like everything else it should be used responsibly. It is what it is “A tool by which to get ones point across”. Don’t hate the entertainer for expressing the way they feel, just have knowledge enough to know if that music is for you. Is it speaking to you, your soul, and is it developing you into what you want to be? I LOVE MUSIC ~ All Genres

Oseloka Albert Okagbue said...

This is a very honest article and for that I respect it. Rap Music was essential to my assimmilation to African American culture as an African/foreigner. However, it only worked because I asked many many many questions. I asked REAL people what they thought; what the songs meant; and thus placed it in PERSPECTIVE. I am not, have never been, nor do I endorse being a thug, gangsta, criminal, or goon.

My opinion: Abnormal music (e.g. Rap Music) is not for people who don't want to think and ask questions...because it is not made by "normal" people. Those that do not want to question every word of their music will be best served by sticking to traditional religious music (No "Mary Mary - it's the God in me") - and staying away from anything "Pop" (don't get me started about Lady Gaga).

I LOVE THIS. Keep it up.

Miss Quanta said...

Mz Dee: DITTO! I think the slogan "Drink Responsibly" should be pasted in the music industry as well - "Listen Responsibly."

Al, I'm laughing at the text you just sent me. I say go head wit yo bad self. I thought about tag-teaming up with my bff - she raps, I sing but I digress...lol. Thanks for reading. I will e-mail you the answers soon.

Miss Quanta said...

Just sent the answers via email. Thx!

Shauhnie said...

Very well put...i remember my preacher kept quoting a bunch of rap songs...and I couldn't understand why my preacher knew so much about this secular music...but he appealed to the younger generation...the older folk understood the word...but the younger kids learned the word because they could relate...bottom line...the devil is real and he's here to lie, steal, cheat, and deceive...so keep bumping your rap music cousin

Ms. Tamz said...

Amen cuzz, I'm like years late I'm responding but yassssss. You have to stay abreast of the war if you're gonna win the battle.

Ms. Tamz said...

Amen cuzz, I'm like years late I'm responding but yassssss. You have to stay abreast of the war if you're gonna win the battle.