This past Friday I went with a bunch of friends to a concert at a church in Lancaster, PA that was the final act of a missions conference. The artists performing were Reily and Lecare, which I was really excited for! I have seen a bunch of Christian rap artists live but I have never seen Lecrae and he is definitely one of my favorite artists. Besides the music being awesome (and the DJ!), the messages he shared between songs were equally great. It’s awesome how these Christian rappers have such a passion for the Lord and have such a great knowledge of Scripture because they pour hours of study of the Word when they write their rhymes. Their devotion to their faith is always so evident when they pour out their souls into their music and it causes myself and others to be drawn deeper into love and appreciation for Jesus as well.
But it is always a struggle during concerts to not fall into the trap of idolizing the performer and elevating them to a position of importance higher than the God they’re singing about. The rhymes and music point to Jesus, not to the artist. I like taking pictures and movies of the concert so that I’ll remember it in the future, but it’s sometimes a battle to want to take a picture of the guy on stage so that I can make him my god and worship him instead of Jesus. I trust that they have a right attitude while on stage to not want people to worship themselves, but fall back and point to Christ, but sometimes the people in the crowd forget that. That’s why stopping the music every now and then and reflecting on the message of the music is always so helpful. It helps to deter the temptation to make it all about the music or the performer, and to keep the focus on the One who really deserves all the attention.
That being said, I really enjoyed the concert and appreciate what Lecrae does with his musical talent and how he serves God with it. I would upload a short video I took of the concert, but unless I’m an idiot I don’t think WordPress can upload .MOV files from iPhones…oh well.
One of my favorite websites, Shadowville.com is a site where music producers create and share hip-hop, rap, R&B, pop, and club beats. I’ve really gotten into this kind of stuff lately. I don’t produce because I don’t know the software hardly at all and I don’t have that kind of talent. But I do enjoy writing lyrics to the tracks that they provide. Although I’m not that good and it takes me forever to write one song, it’s lots of fun. The link above is a link to one of the tracks that I just downloaded and is next in my queue write for. Check it out!
Since becoming a Christian three years ago I’ve been deeply affected by Christian music of all genres. But the genre that has had the greatest impact on my life has been rap. I was never really into rap before my conversion. Like everyone else in my high school and college I knew the most popular songs and could appreciate them for their lyricism and production skill, which probably comes from my musical education and appreciation for musicians in general. But after my conversion I was introduced by my friend Dan to Christian rap from a CD he gave me of his favorite tracks (big ups to Dan on that one!). I was instantly hooked by not only the track production, but by each emcee’s passion for putting the Word of God into rap form to reach young people, especially those in the city. They do such a great job of redeeming a genre that has always been used to openly oppose the advancement of the gospel. In many ways, each song is a mini sermon as each emcee is conveying a specific message about Jesus and the gospel. The genre has always been criticized for lack of quality in production, for being outdated and unable to match the quality of their secular counterparts. But this has changed and can no longer be said of Christian rap. Over the past three years I’ve been able to follow the careers of several emcees and it’s been amazing to see how they’ve grown as artists, not only lyrically, but musically as well. Recently released Christian albums have made their way to #5 on the secular charts! Lecrae’s “Rehab” album is a prime example of this phenomenon. The genre has really grown a lot in the past three years and it is clearly evident that God is using it to influence people’s lives and lead them to Christ! In short, Christian rap has had a great and profound influence on my life and I am extremely grateful to God that I was exposed to it! I’ve recently taken up my pen and begun to write my own content. I don’t think it’s very good but I am proud of it nonetheless. So far I’m only writing lyrics because I don’t know enough about music production to make tracks, but I’m learning, albeit slowly. Here’s one verse I just finished writing a minute ago. Even if it never gets put to a track it is still inspiring to me and helps me in my daily walk with Christ and the process spurs me on to godliness and a greater love for my Savior! Leave a comment if you have any thoughts or suggestions! Grace and peace!
Life in a fallen world ‘aint easy, but it’s very easy for me to get queasy in a world that’s sleazy & wants to tease me/Believe me I walk each day tryin’ not to slip, I know my team but sometimes I wanna flip/All the things that I used to do would ravage my body like a bad flu/I was sick from my sin, Achoo! until I met the Great Physician, You/Sin had me dead on site, death was my mortician ’til I learned there was a resurrection/Upon Your volition You cured my condition, gave me salvation, granted conviction, sanctification, & glorification!/Now I walk in the steps of Christ my example. If life is a constitution new birth is the preamble/The journey doesn’t end, there’s a battle to be fought. The only way to win is the way that Christ taught/Call upon God in your moment of weakness. He will deliver you & you will certainly defeat this!/
*If you want to hear the beat I was writing to go to http://www.shadowville.com and search for “All 4 You”