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 Peaceful Life is Coming – A Poem of Rest

My peaceful life is coming
It shall be delivered soon
Package complete with sugar sunsets
And cinnamon sighs on a full moon
 
My serenity is en route to my door
I’ll sign for it with open arms
They left out the chaotic accessories
But included conversations with charm
 
My hushed and peaceful sonnet
Is a bonus to my set
Fully equipped with books of wisdom
Trimmed with passion, textured scarlet
 
My peaceful life is coming
The Great Exhale Deluxe
I’m greeted and guided by enlightened minds
And I am stronger to share and trust
 
My quiet happiness is on schedule
As promised by my Lord
My heart simply needs to be home to receive it
On the day of my Reward.
 
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

I Used To Take Walks With My Father

I used to take walks with my father.

It was an uninterrupted time.
Before emails and cell phones and separation.
Before complicated conversations, more than 3,000miles apart
About how next year is a better time to come and visit.

He would hold my hand, around the block.
Cherry Street, where it curves, and we pass by the neighbor’s home with the high gate.
The dogs hear us chatting and they’d bark
Then my soul felt like it was in danger.
Because I was six.

I would keep walking with my father
Who held my hand and kept his stride.
He’d walk me past the gate, with the barking dogs
And talk to me through the noise.
Sometimes I couldn’t understand him
But I always knew his voice was there.

Our conversation would change after the gate.
After the barking dogs, we had to talk about something new.
Tangent and unrelated, but still very important.
I would hear the crickets again
Singing from the thickness of the untamed grass
Those sounds could only reach my ears a certain way
Because I was at the height and age to listen.

He smoked in the evenings
With cigarette in farthest hand
I can’t remember if the smoke ever reached me
Anything on the other side of him
Couldn’t hurt me
He might have even paused on his answers, to exhale
But it’s hard to notice that when you’re next to a moving tower.

It was easier to love my father because
He didn’t correct me.
I didn’t have to grow up under his rules
Our only restriction was distance, occasional pride and politics
Would my decisions have been different
If we walked a few more times
And I told him new stories
Through the noise of dogs in my adolescence?

Maybe it is better we fell short
That I don’t have opportunity to outgrow the evening walks
Avoiding the charge-off, that it was a waste of time and breath
And step and wisdom
I’d rather have memories cut off at six
Than extend them with images of my trying to escape his presence at sixteen.

Now that I’m older
Walks are still special
Uninterrupted talking time
To stay close to the ground, every step a clearing experience.
Maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo or some earth sign explanation.
Maybe because it’s a time I can talk to God
And still feel like I’m going somewhere.
I mold this to my understanding
That this fragmented memoir
Is infused with love and acceptance

Because I am at the strength and age to write it.

“My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” Psalm 45:1

What Did I Do To Get Here

What did I do to get here?
Now, what did I REALLY do to get here?
I planned every day.
I specified every goal. 
I asked every question.
I released every doubt.
I looked up at the trees, out to the mountains.
I slept many hours.
I swept much ink.
I counted every penny.
And counted them again.
I saw the end of the path.
I hummed songs while I waited.
I kissed quietly when I dated.
I had my website rated.
I wrote more.
And more.
I prayed faithfully.
I listened to other people.
I followed no one.
I kept it simple, even if it hurt.
I walked. I thought. I tried.
I acted. I hesitated. 
I flew.
I cleaned and kept my eyes on the good things I needed to see.
I watched what I said.
Then I said it anyway.
I got what I wanted.
Then I asked for what’s next.
I got dressed to show up. 
I got jiggy.
I got swag.
I got skills.
I dreamt and I visualized.
I meditated, cleansed and
Separated myself.
I walked away.
I let it go.
I closed doors.
I stayed away from corners
and gravitated to open spaces.
I looked up, looked within.
I looked at Luke 21:14-15.
I chose to stay home.
I woke up at 4am.
I read books. I took notes.
For a deeper cleanse, I “repeated steps 1 & 2.”
 
I argued. I hated. I apologized.
I forgave…eventually.
I stepped forward.
I took the stage.
I never looked back. 
“Let all things be done decently and in order.” I Corinthians 14:40

 

written in May, sent in June – Friendship Poem

at 3am. i thought of how you mention your flaws.

and how your flaws put you through trials.

and how your trials give you wisdom.

then your wisdom fuels your examples.

your examples build your testimony.

those things highlight your leadership.

your leadership conveys your character.

your character initiates your progress.

your progress uplifts your gratitude.

your gratitude sharpens your perspective.

your perspective sweeps aside your obstacles.

your obstacles evolve into opportunities.

your opportunities mature into your victories.

and every morning, God has you again.

and you win.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13