Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Religion in Rap (Oh God!)

What's going on Bull Penners?!

So I went to check my grandma the other day and I was playing Kendrick Lamar's album "Good Kid Maad City" on the drive all the way there. By the time I got to my grandma, "Money Trees" was stuck in my head. Quick side note: If you haven't heard Kendrick's album yet, I don't know what you waiting for! I swear it's one of the greatest Hip-Hop albums I've heard in quite a while. I'd even go out on a limb and say that it gave Nas' "Life is Good" a run for its money, and I had declared that the greatest album of 2012. So go check that out if you haven't.

But anyway, like I said I was talkin to my grandma and whenever it would get a lil quiet in the room I would start singing out in my calm singing voice "It go Halle Berry or Hallelujah, pick your poison tell me what you doin...."
And my grandma looked at me with the "Does this nigga really think he can sing?" look on her face! Lol. So I looked back at her and ask her "Le gusta mi cancion abuelita?" (Do you like my song grandma?) and she responded by asking if the song was a Gospel song. Responding without thinking I said no and asked what made her ask. She said "Because it says "Hallelujah," it has to be Christian music right?" I completely overlooked that in the moment and almost told her it was, but I can't lie to my grandma! So I said, "No it's not" and she responded (in spanish) "Well if it says "Hallelujah" and it's not a Gospel song then I don't like it! That's fake Christian music!" I laughed out lous and left it at that.

Now today I was coming back from grocery shopping with my mom, and "Amen" by Meek Mill came on. I found myself, mindlessly singing along as we all do, and it hit me.

Religion seems to have snuck its way into Hip-Hop. Have you noticed that? Think about it? What's Big Sean's most used ad lib? "Oh God!" then you have a song like "Amen" by Meek Mill, "Money Trees" by Kendrick Lamar and lets not forget that Rick Ross yelled out "Oh Lord" in "Don't Panic." Which is what A$AP Rocky calls himself, "the young Lord." At least that's what I read in his latest XXL magazine interview.
And I laughed, what could it mean? Where did it start? Are these rappers finding religion? Cause I can't see Rick Ross talkin bout being "talkin to the Holy Ghost" like he said in the intro to his mixtape "Rich Forever" anywhere outside the booth! Lol.
Then there's Kanye, not only did he do "Jesus Walks" ("College Dropout" 2004) but he's mentioned God on a few tracks. Like on "Clique" when he said "But I been talkin to God for so long that if you look at my life I guess he's talkin back F^&kin'with my Clique"
Hmmmm. Or maybe it was Jay-Z, he's been callin himself Hova for well over 10 years! Could it be that it just took a while to catch on? Nas refers to himself and his colleagues as "God" and "King" etc. Maybe he was the start of it?

Either way, I'm not complaining, in fact I find it quite intriguing. Almost refreshing if it weren't for the fact that most times God's name is used in a song where he has no business. But isn't that the wrong way to think? Do we not want God in any and everything we do, good or bad? I mean if the kids are gonna be singing along with anything, might as well be something God related right?
So I have no issue with it.
In fact I think I like the idea of it. It works for many people. Take me for example. I believe in God and have strong faith, but I feel I'm more spiritual than I am religious. I don't go to church on Sundays (or any other day for that matter) but I do have a relationship with God, which I feel is important. I try to live my life right and according to what I feel is the way. However, because I don't go to church I make sure to take my headphones off and pay close attention to any sermon given on a random train in my travels. Given that the person is not condemning every person on the train to hell! I try to read a few scripture out of my Bible app as often as possible. I guess what I am saying is, that this generation has created a wide gap between the common man and religion and spirituality, and I find it (for lack of a better phrase) very cool that it has managed to sneak it's way into a genre of music that is so heavily rooted in violence and negativity. Even if only for a brief moment in time, it's a great that Hip-Hop has embraced God. If you gonna create and or follow any trend, might as well be one in a more positive direction such as the Lord above than anything else right?

To think not too long ago, it was "Pop that Pussy for a real nigga!" And now.... Well I guess not much has really changed, but you get what I'm sayin! Lolol.

Like my man Pazo said: "God Bless"

Stay Up and Stay Tuned!

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