Thursday, December 21, 2006

My vent part II- Religion attacking Hip hop

As a professed Christian, I am the first person to say that hardcore Rap is not something that someone trying to make it into Heaven should be listening to. However, I am irritated that most people fail to see a distinction between Hip Hop and Rap. Let me do my best to explain: 50 cent and Camron are rappers, and Common, Kanye, Tribe called Quest are hip hoppers. Rap is the commercialization of Hip Hop. Hip hop is a culture that at it's core, started as a unification effort for people of color (and minorities in general) to come together and better ourselves, while simultaneously stopping the black on black violence that was stating to mount in the 80's.As many of you are aware, Pastor G Craig Lewis has mounted a concerted attack on Hip Hop as being evil and pulling people out of the church, yet at the same time he claims that it isn't possible to turn around and bring people into the church using hip hop? Does that strike anyone else as strange?What about Andale'? Am I now supposed to believe that what this talented brother does is wrong and should't be used to bring people to the Church? GARBAGE. Why isn't it okay to rap a positive message over a beat to a rhythm, especially considering that same formula is being used VERY effectively to disrespect woman and set the african american people back?(On a side note, has anyone else realized exactly what VH1 is doing to us as a people by making someone who was part of the biggest black conscious movement in the 80's with Public Enemy a bufoon and representative of us on the airwaves? that's another vent though.)
While we are on the topic of G Craig Lewis, I must be the only Adventist person who went to his program (At Madison Mission), bought his dvd's (both of them) researched his sources and footnotes (extensively), and walked away with more questions than I came in with. I will publicly say here that I don't believe (at this point anyway) the whole "Science" of putting messages backwards into songs. I've heard the songs, seen the tape, and it doesn't ring true. As a scientist, I was trained from an early age to investigate and, as unbiased as possible, look at the facts and data presented to form my conclusions. I have played many songs backwards and forwards, slowed them down, looked at snippets, and have yet to reproduce any of the voices and stuff that Lewis was able to get. For instance, on his recent dvd he plays a jay-z track backwards and we hear Jay-z saying "Murder Murder Jesus" As any jay fan will tell you, Jay-z says those words at different points in the song, as well as in completely different context, never together as a sentence. I own the black album with this song on it, and I was not able to reproduce this amazing effect. If any old school Oakwoodites read this post, you may remember that in the middle 90's a gentleman made a presentation at AY about devilish messages in GOSPEL. He then proceeded to play snippets of Donnie MCClurkin, Kirk Franklin, and Fred Hammond backwards and the whole audience gasped as horrible words spilled out over the speakers. I find these attacks on hip hop interesting because they really for the most part exclude the whole spoken word movement, which in reality go hand in hand with the whole art of rapping. Why is it that the same poem said to the snapping of fingers all of a sudden becomes evil when timbaland throws a beat behind it? I really wish that these evangelist would do better research and would play an album we would buy in stores instead of a mp3 file or something that can be manipulated. Don't get me wrong, I believe that the devil is all over rap, but I don't believe we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. NOT ALL HIP HOP IS BAD. Please comment on how you feel about this post, agree or disagree. Do you believe in this "Science" of messages being inserted backwards into music? Is the devil doing it or are the artist inserting the messages?


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