I wanted to share this information in my first post, and decided to wait, but its so much on my mind, that I can't wait any longer. My DH told me about two weeks ago about a clip he came across on youtube in which a pastor talked about the subliminal messages hidden in a rap recorded by Jay-Z. He further went on to tell me this same pastor talked about another group who had a curse written in their album liner notes, the message was backward and one had to hold it up to a mirror to read it. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I knew about hidden Satanic messages in rock music, but RAP?
To be clear, I'm not a fan of RAP/hip-hop now and wasn't much of one when I was younger. I will admit that back in the early nineties, when Christian rap was coming into its own, my brothers and I would play CDs of some of the artists, some of them who even had a "hard-core" sound that reminded me of Public Enemy. As for secular rap/hip-hop there were a few songs I liked. This was mainly because I trained myself to listen to the lyrics of a song, and not just get caught up in the beat, as many of my peers would tell me they did, and many times I quickly got turned off by many of the artists and their songs.
So this past Monday, Labor Day, my husband found the clip for me, I played it, and couldn't believe what I was hearing and seeing and yet I knew it was the truth!! This pastor even digs up the roots of the "thug" -- just like everything else around us on this planet, its has spiritual roots. Unfortunately, the clip on youtube has been removed due to "terms of violation", so I'm unable to share it.
This pastor, tells it like it is, and to be sure, he has his critics. His name is G. Craige Lewis, his ministry is EX Ministries, and he has traveled the world preaching to young people, mostly teenagers about the spiritual roots of the hip-hop culture and lifestyle. Not everyone is a fan, and a search on Google resulted in the usual that I've come to expect: web pages that claim to refute him and prove why he is wrong are listed along with message boards and other blogs that praise him for his crusade. The Dallas Observer even published an article on him.
His message is not just directed at the hip-hop artists. He also calls on the carpet many famous famous gospel singers who appear on the albums of secular artists, or have secular artists guest on their albums. He also takes to task black ministers, preachers and bishops who have in his estimation, compromised the gospel message in one way or another. The first reaction is to think, who does he think he is? But when one gets past their emotional reaction to his message, and really listens, and old saying may come to mind "It's tight, but its right".
His website has a page of testimonials from people, many of them teenagers who have been impacted by his mininstry, and a podcast page where you can listen to and download mp3s of Minister Lewis and discussing various topics that affect the Body of Christ from the recent Don Imus scandal, to BGLOs, and of course the influence of Hip-Hop on the culture. Listen as he discusses the spirtual power of influence (the true meaning of the word), and the difference between "stars" and "celebrities":
Aside from the spiritual ramifications, rap has recently also been under the microscope for the attitude displayed towards women, especially black women, in thier lyrics. The Imus scandal shed light on an issue in the black community that very few leaders have dared to deal with -- that of the mysogynistic lyrics, and the lifestyle it promotes. Bill Cosby has twice spoken out about social ills in the black community and how to remedy them, but his loudest critics have been other blacks.
This gentleman has also tackled the subject, long before the Imus debacle, in this well thought-out and written essay (A word of caution, song lyrics are quoted here and they are explicit). I discovered his article on this blog that belongs to a fellow believer in Christ. Take a look around there, you might find a thing or two that causes you to SMH.
I'm glad God has raised someone to inform and help bring deliverance and healing from the spiritual effects of the hip-hop culture. I'm also surprised that he has elicited the kind of reactions that he does. When truth hits one in the face, one has two choices: to accept it or reject it with a face of anger (masking denial) claiming its not for you. Unfortunately, this isn't anything new. After all, Jesus Christ, who is our example, said the Gospel is offensive, so its no surprise that this message, an off-shoot of the gospel, is offending people across the country as well.