Why Christian Hip-Hop/ Hip-Hop by Christians is Important to Me.

Because it’s a living picture of artists taking the risk and using what they know is their gift from God. Rap, in essence, is storytelling and the honor code of rap is that you can only rap about something that you know about. The Gospel can’t be faked (well, shouldn’t be).

Hip-hop, as a movement at the infancy of its mainstreaming, was(is) also about liberation and pulling back the veil with honesty.

As an artist who is still coming to terms with my own gifts, it’s been a helpful phenomenon to witness. These guys are mutants in their own element, tasked with bringing the Truth in a genre engorged with ruthless materialism. Psalm 2:1

Hip-hop and it’s instructions fed my womanhood with lies and misconceptions about relationships. It sent a message about my value and identity as a woman of color living in the city.

But let’s call it what it is: sin.

I don’t shirk my responsibility for my choices in my teenage years and young adulthood, but I believe that I am not alone in seeing how the repetitive messages from saddened and vain rap lyrics made a deeper impression on my soul than I realized. Proverbs 23:1-4

Now, I feel blessed that the Lord has given me a new love to enjoy and explore from music that bumps the blessin’s that I know to be true and real, just as the pavement and work week that I face. I don’t need to compartmentalize a portion of my musical identity from the precious, vibrant life that I have in Christ. Colossians 1:17

Thank you to the artists, sound and music engineers and crews that are behind the redemptive movement of our sound culture. I put my earbuds on and  now I can be relieved. Romans 12:1-2

In the courts, in the pavilion

In the courts, in the pavilion

in the center with my God

Behind the gate, as His daughter

Sings and sighs, with letters and

chatters to her Father.

I am telling Him stories

and He listens patiently

Allowing my laughter and

Amazement fill His room.

He talks with me  in a steady

gentle voice called Forgiveness

and wipes away my tears with Grace.

I contend.

He corrects me in His Mercy

and I sit up to play a new song for Him.

 

My Beloved – Contemplation of Honor

My Beloved,

Is it passing your belief that God led me to cross the ocean at such a young age, to expose me to the love and art of sound that you know so well?
Was it only the angel’s clumsy coincidence that I swim through turbulence, only to immerse in books and stories that equal my conversation with you now?
Even recently, do you overlook the orchestrating of the Great Conductor, who removed things that served as my distraction, only so I could focus on our own wandering thoughts?
Have I come so far, to be devoured for one weekend and be delayed in time?

Would I wait, Beloved, until your work produces enough satisfactory paperwork for you to file? Would you wait, Beloved, until I am equipped to make the same drive you do?
All the while, are we busying ourselves with sensibility, and sacrificing the life that is “ours?”

How much longer do we have?
How many points do we each need to earn?
How much of each other’s cares must we take seriously, before we act?
Have I already made the promise and not told you?
Am I so foolish or faithful to do so?

What is Honor to me, Beloved? Or status? Or title?
Haven’t I grown beyond that?
Haven’t I grown to fill it?
What are presents and rings, flowers and chocolates, that show me my importance?
Would it be knowing you breathe deeply in the night and your knowing that I wake slowly in the morning?

What have I to study but righteousness?
What have I to sing but patience?
What have I to plant but devotion?
What have I to write but love?
What have I to listen to but your promise?

You choose how to honor me.

Lovingly,
M

[Originally written 7, September 2009]