Brad Washington; Hip Hop, Yes The Miseducation of Christian Preachers…
(ThyBlackMan.com) I can’t remember a time where I didn’t walk into a church and at one point have a particular preacher who decides to go on the typical “Rap music is bad for you, and it’s the devils music” campaign. I always look around the sanctuary and look at the teens roll their eyes, and the parents and adults seem convinced. I would always get angry hearing this because one. I listened to all types of rap music from conscious rap of Kanye West on College Dropout, to 50 Cent gangsta raps and Clipse drug dealing narratives. Never affected my mind or “thought” of associating the Devil with them. Two, I never went down the road that any of the rappers wrote about in their content. It always interested me on how and why these preachers have such a disdain for rap, but much more interested on the lack of validity of their statements, and their failure to find it.
Criticism of hip hop has always been prominent in the church for years. From the days of N.W.A. in the 1980’s, to 2Pac’s gangsta rap lyrics in the ’90s, preachers have been attacking rap from all angles and accusations. The criticism of the 2000’s to present day is basically a who’s who in rap. Ludacris, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, etc. Preachers will go on BET, listen to a song, then go and include all the negativity of the songs in their sermons. Yes they are correct with the content of the music can be bad, and parents must step in to tell their children what rap music is at a young age. But the main problem with the criticism is the obvious lack of research and actual studies of the artists and songs. They usually go by what they see/hear and never do validation checks to see if their theory is standing on fact on the issues. Preachers will get on stage and tell a half-messaged truth to the congregation and that must stop.
I remember my Brother Landrum (who is deceased) was a minister and he carried the similar messages and thoughts of anti-rap in his sermons, and to me. One day about five years ago, he came home with a DVD of a guy name G. Craige Lewis. I remember watching the video as Lewis claims hip hop is a “religion” and “satanic” and claims its the devil’s music. More ridiculous claims like DMX album cover on “Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood” resembles DMX with horns and is “mocking” Jesus Christ while being covered from head to toe in blood. But the worst claim he could ever state was Jay-Z being a devil worshiper, which actually started the Devil worshiping claims that currently dog Jay-Z to this day. He based it all off of a Danger Mouse mix of Jay-Z and The Beatles mash up album, which was not endorsed by Jay himself. The particular track he uses for ammo was the backwards version of a song called “Lucifer” which in the mix played backwards say “666 Murder, Murder, Jesus” at the time I started to be precautious of Jay, until I began doing my own research on the topic, which is when I found out that that mix was made to be played backwards. I Listened to Lucifer normal, No indications of no back masking. Over time I kept researching and came across an article written by Clarkboy Productions with criticism of Lewis campaign against Jay over the track and it’s intriguing:
“However, the story behind this track is not as simple as The Truth Behind Hip Hop makes out. Underground DJ Danger Mouse mixed an a cappella version of Jay-Z’s The Black Album with the Beatles’ The White Album to make The Grey Album. If you play the track Interlude normally it makes no sense; however, when played backwards it includes the lyrics “666…, Murder, Murder, Jesus”. The track was made to be played backwards, and DJ Danger Mouse simply samples Jay-Z’s voice and edits it to make him say what he wants. The album is not made or endorsed by Jay-Z, yet Lewis does not make this clear.”
Lewis and many other preachers are responsible for this foolishness. So okay, cool. Rappers are terrible for kid’s minds. But where is the proof? The problems sets in that when they sale these messages, they have two things in mind: One, because of their disdain of the youth listening to rap, they try to demean it so that the youth of today can turn to THEIR message. Two, they know the older folks and parents more and likely don’t associate with hip hop culture and rap music. So if the preacher says the music is satanic, then his word is bought without question. And what makes it even worst, is that not only do the preachers NOT do their own research on these topics, (such as Jay-Z/Kanye/Rihanna being in the illuminati) it’s that the parents/adults who listen to these preaching’s don’t do their own research on the claims, and are believing half truths. It seems that preachers know these things, and if they had researched these claims, they should know that rap music is no different than the movies. Entertainment based, currency the ultimate generator. Preachers got to stop gassing folks just to fill seats, having them run with their “opinion” and have tithes cometh and gain new found exposure.
It’s always bad and sad for me to see preachers using tactics and preaching’s just to further their following. It seems that although the Bible is at the center of their faith, they forget about the content that is actually inside of it. Some preachers are always dancing around the Bible, to achieve personal gain. This will lead you to “all gays are going to hell” and “rap music is satanic.” These notions that are beyond comprehension in understanding are sadly followed by people who believe in these ways of thinking. We must always use our own brains that the good Lord has given us, which is something that my father always has told me. Next time a preacher comes to the pulpit to down rap music and culture, do research on the topic to make sure the preacher isn’t gassing. Maybe, even present the facts towards him. Because all a lot of people ask is to give truthful facts that actually are valid. We wouldn’t complain if this was the case. A message is always, a terrible thing to waste.
Staff Writer; Brad Washington
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