What up good people? I know some of you are wondering why I named the BLOG the way I did. Well, here it is.
As a young man growing up in Sarasota (Newtown), FL., I absolutely loved rap music. Mannnn, I still remember hearing “The Rapper’s Delight” for the first time. I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to listen to it over and over again. I was fascinated by the sound, the lyrics, the bold, in your face style of it. Run DMC said “Its like that” and that’s the way it is, all while wearing a pair of “Adidas”. Afrika Bambaataa was "Looking for the perfect beat" when they found “Planet Rock”, a song I still love. Whodini asked us how many “Friends” we had and knew the "Freaks come out at night". LL Cool J holla’d at us about his “Radio”, “Rockin the Bells”, and he told the ladies "I Need Love”. Men are still telling the ladies that one. Big Daddy Kane was the coolest rapper I have ever seen. Rockin dem suits and cigars in his videos. Kool Moe Dee always had on them big ol' shades. I used wonder if something was wrong with his eyes or something. Doug E Fresh taught us how to be “O O On, O O On”. Curtis Blow told us about the “Breaks”. The Fat Boys had too many slices of pizza at Sbarros. Heavy Dee was the “Over weight Lover” in da house. Eric B and Rakim was making em “Clap to this”. I could go on and on, but I won’t. Rap/Hip Hop became so many things to me. It gave me strength to speak up. It became my teacher and my source of understanding. They spoke to where I was in life and that was in the projects!
As a young teenager, I wanted to learn more about who God was. I had just become a Christian and wanted to experience God in a real way. One day, while I was praying, God spoke to me. I couldn’t believe what He said to me. When He spoke it I was startled. I know it wasn’t coming from me, because I would never consider doing what I was hearing. I even told God that He couldn’t be serious. Of course God did not participate in my back and forward conversation with Him. He only stood by to see if I would submit to His Word to me. After a day or two, I relented to God and took all of my music, put it in a huge paper bag and proceeded to the garbage can outside as He said to do. I was hoping this was going to be a Abraham moment where God doesn’t really want you to make the sacrifice, He only wants to make sure you are willing to make the sacrifice. Once He sees you will, then He says, 'that’s ok, keep what you were going to sacrifice.' Well friends, as I reached for the garbage can lid, God said nothing. So I dumped them in the garbage. I was so distraught. I must admit I cried like a baby. I kept waiting for God to tell me to go back and get them, but He never did. My friends, God wasn’t saying to me that the music I owned was horrible, although that is what I originally thought. He just wanted to be the one that gave me the strength to stand up. He wanted to be the one I leaned on for understanding. He wanted to be the place from which I launched my life. While I didn’t understand it then, I completely get it now.
After getting rid of all my music, I wondered what music I was going to listen to. Remember, I love music. That same day my uncle, who happened to be a pastor, came by. He gave me a cassette tape and told me to listen to it. Mannnn it was horrible! Some guy talking about getting a “Bible Break”. I needed a break all right! A break from listening to that stuff. I really didn’t like it and the beat was not nice. OK, I’ll say it; IT WAS WACK!!!! I don’t think I ever listened to that song again. However, I decided to go to the Christian book store to see what they had. They did not have much at all. In fact they had, Stephen Wiley, the “Bible Break” man. They had this group called P.I.D. (Preachers In Disguise). They had one song I liked. That song, my friends, was called “Get you a Bible”. They had this deep bass version that I loved. What can I say, I am from South FL and we love dat bass down there. I also found a dude named Jon Gibson. He was not a rapper, but I just liked his voice and music together. He was a white dude that sounded alot like Stevie Wonder. The man had soul. I still love Jon. The next tape I ran across became my favorite. This group called SFC (Soldiers For Christ). Mannnn this tape was hot! It had that Whodini sound to it. It wasn’t cheezy sounding and Super C, the lead rapper, reminded me so much of the rap I knew. He was so in your face and I loved it. He talked about everything from false teachers, drugs, TV (which he called the idiot box), and being black. He had Christ and his cultural concerns all on the same tape. I was blown away. I could go on and on, but I will save the rest for another time. I just wanted to wet your appetite a little bit.
My friends, I want to make sure I speak with clarity. Jesus to did not become hip hop to save my soul. As a matter of fact, He did not become hip hop at all. He did not cop a B-Boy stance to get my attention. He did not say “YEAHHHHHH BOYYYYYYY!!!” as an offering of salvation. He is definitely not rockin’ a 59 fitted, although some of them are hot. No, my friends, THE DAY JESUS SPOKE HIP HOP to me was when he sent a group of Preachers in Disguise to tell me to “Get a Bible”. He, through, the homey, Super C and SFC, told me that he didn’t come here to make me shake my bootie and that, with Christ, there was “No Stoppin” us. Through a white dude sounding like Stevie Wonder, He told me that “God will find You”. He did not stand on stages and tell me how fly he was and how many chicks He was going to get with tonight. He did not tell me to “POP that C#$%@$”. He didn’t stand up and tell me to call a woman a Ho or a B@#$%. You see, my friends, God did not become what He was not to save my soul. In fact, He was beaten and bruised, spit on and mocked at. He was killed by the horrifying act of Crucifixion. He suffered all of that for the whosoever, of which I am one. You see my friends, you can not become sin to rescue someone from sin. You can not become a sinner to win a sinner over to Christ. We must remember in all our doing; only Jesus can save a soul and only Jesus came to give us salvation. And with that, He is willing to meet that soul anywhere it is. Whether your soul lives in the suburbs, a big mansion, or in the hood, God will find you. Whether you’re Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, or any form of person, God will find you and meet you where you are. For me, the day those brave brothers decided to take a music I love and speak Christ through it, was, THE DAY JESUS SPOKE HIP HOP. How is Jesus speaking to you today my friends?
© 2010 L. A. Jackson