Applaud Christ with spikes
In His palms – not rewrites of
Brian De Palma’s.
Why are rappers so quick to idolize
Getting rich and dying to try
Scarface’s quips and diatribes so adept in destruction?
He got rich in the end but he also got ionized.
Yet this is what we falsely lionize…
Why do we idolize what’s lyin’ to our eyes with no depth or substance?!!
Why are we not yet transformed from Michael’s lies?!!
Why do we keep at Bay the message of Christ on High?!!
Why do we micro size righteous strides for how
stars scream for CREAM with dreams of grandeur?!!
When will we not conform – when will we revitalize?
When will we adore Him more – when will revivals thrive?!!…
When will we waive the title and tides of widescreen streams and banners?!!
Straight and narrow is the path that the righteous climb:
Make your gait fit arrows’ straits: aim with heightened minds.
Try miming Christ Who died – razing death with life from such depths, only He could raise it.
Who healed us after He gave His life with stripes?
Who restored and revealed to us the might inside?…
He’s in the Bible line for line – but if the script became film, would you screen or play it?!!
Why emulate a thug who steals, kills and destroys
Who ends up immolated in a lake of bloodstreams spilled in a void?
If your idol spills his blood, it should instill joy for countless sheep.
Forget kilos! I’m only counting keys from the Cross Christ drugged.
Forget “llello” – I’m flipping “llaves” to turn Christ’s love
Into a priceless crush from a sacrifice He drudged which mounted my release.
That’s the type of resounding increase
That should be heard like sounds within creeks
That come rushing down to meet us from heaven’s conscious stream of Godliness.
That’s the type of constant fountain standing on mountains should reap.
That type of conscience spoutin’ is grand and outstanding, to say the least…
So why not ‘grandstand out’ with feats cleaned by Christ’s stream of consciousness?!!
That’s what tempting fate is – that’s REAL, Illinois.
Innovate STEEL to fill that inner void.
Build, don’t destroy! – forget nickel and diming brandished firearms.
Trade in your guns and toys, tots –
grow a pair of arms that are firebrands.
Stop putting faith in fake men stuntin’: stunted from ploys and plots –
grow up and declare God’s fire in your hands…
Desire HIS plans – be the bad guy: a bad man on fire for God!
So though your firearms are too short to box with God
And your fire alarm retorts mock His swiftness at large,
Go with it, go hard: exclaim ‘Say hello to my little friend!’ – quit foolin’ around!
Introduce your little problems to Him
Then switch views to review how pitiful they are to Him…
They’re large as the tops of pins – God’s “el granada” in that extent:
He’ll blow ‘em away as you’re pulling ‘em out!
Now THERE’S some dope lines to know, apostle!
There’s some hope lined right beneath your nose and nostrils.
There’s a whole crime that unfolds if you miss the Gospel’s merger proposed.
So yeah, get convicted – consign your goals.
Your line of credit’s twisted – let God cosign your soul…
Let Him co-pilot your role which He wrote without all these murderous tones.
So though you may think you’re hostile at times,
Capture those juvenile thoughts in the hostel of your mind.
With God, it’s possible to bind them all up.
So though there are scars on the face of the earth,
The scarred world isn’t yours –
it’s the Lord’s to heal as He builds the landscape for His Church…
He’s birthing His mark to remake its worth – the time is upon us!
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 Psalm 24:1 1 Corinthians 10:26
So If you’re gonna follow somebody to the end of the earth,
make sure he can walk on water.
If you’re gonna chase ends until you end in dirt,
Make sure your disturbed nap stills and stalls squalls in water.
That’s not a tall order when you’re walking with the Prince of Peace Who’s a miracle maker.
After all, His Spirit hovered over the face of the deep
And booked your image covered and fit for face to Face speech…
Why disfigure it with the faded crease of an artiste who’s a hypocritical faker?!!
Let’s break it down:
one is ever flimsy – whimsical by nature, a duper.
One is never-ending – spiritual by a nature that’s super.
One’s favor is sooner to outweigh your favorite shooter’s blankest shells.
One’s Roman one day by way of rumor
Until his next role makes him gay with two-faced maneuvers…
One’s nomenclature is RULER – so which way will you face: towards heaven’s haven or hell?!!
I know most won’t feel me –
to them, this leaven is Braille.
Though they’ve got eyes, they can’t see me –
seemingly, I’m destined to fail.
Yet this lesson prevails if even one takes it at face value.
If even one lessens himself
To increase He Who intercepted the veil…
That’s one less decrepit deception that hails from satan’s defacing altitude.
“Sky-Tinted STEEL Waters”
- commemorating my 10,000 poem written on 10/18/13
If handed 10,000 shakes
From a land that lends mountainous quakes
Many men would bow and break to such tectonics.
But he who cherishes this expanse
Is as the meek who inherits the land:
Finding merit in the grand scheme of a bequest accomplished.
If spoken to in 10,000 maelstrom tongues
From broken-down, hick towns they didn’t hail from,
Many men would bail and run from fiery darts.
But he who bears the shield of faith
Fails to reveal such angst…
STEELED in his gait, he toes the line with a mighty heart.
With wiry arms and hands that were weak and porous,
I would never have been hired as a farmhand* or deemed important.
I was seen and decreed in ordinances as insignificant.
In the same way that a passive drop of water
Isn’t granted a chance to damage the granite rock it tortures…
Once men ignored it, my steady presence poured and bored in with persistence.
And though it may bore more boarish men:
Wild at heart with whorish grins –
I’m pouring it on thick from a wellspring of Living Water.
Between the heir of God bubbling within me in quotas,
I’ve been refreshed little by little like swigs from mini sodas…
As Steel Waters steels my borders within end quotes of trendy recorders.
Rather, these words speak life with clear, prophetic stamina
That treat life as more than mere propaganda –
His words have purged and seared proper manners with documented fervor.
As I prefer their stats as they form reform,
I refer back to them more and more…
So that what I once lacked becomes a tour de force opulently nurtured.
So as cool waters pool
And pooled waters cool,
I’m not luke-warmer to be spewed – I’m hot as lava and cold as hellacious glacier flows.
Both states change landscapes hewn form water pressure –
Carving out man’s greatest lakes and views with dormant gestures….
Imbued with the Lord’s measure, my coldest flows are folded
within pelagic layers and zones.
Such hot springs expand and collapse surrounding groundwork
As they pop and bring gas elapsed from beneath the round earth.
Bound and girt with truth, my work bears the mark of Minnesota Fats.
That means I’m the slickest pool hustler
When it comes to these liquid tools I muster…
What I’ve written moves the moon’s luster as it quickens oceanic impact.
Rather, I’ve got 10,000 damp lakes immersed in ‘sky-tinted water’:
10,000 man-made verses written in the sky and emitted in order.
Equipped to strip disorder, I’ve been given a gift of mythical proportion.
That’s why I am Legend with these blogs, text and poetry.
Ask leviathan and Loch Ness – they know of me…
My prose is deep! – I’m a victor tipping scales who rips
Richter scales with indispensable forces.
Given a baster and a minute or so,
I’m an administrator who ministers with flows
Where pen-etrators overflow to drown out decades of decayed flesh.
As such, it keeps my spirit moist when it’s hoisted.
It’s the key to my choice once I voiced it:
As I rejoice in The Viceroy Who destroyed vices in my joints when He raised from death.
With such a great bequest led by Pensacola writing,
My thankfulness comes off intrepid like a Minnesota Viking.
Demonic tenants within Villanova Scotia begin writhing when I trouble the waters with lead.
As such, my words break spells
As my worries are cast from faith’s realm…
With the great I AM at the helm as The Reformer at the head.
Rather, with God as The Head Writer, Master
And mightier Crafter of every chapter,
It doesn’t matter who comes after me – God is before me.
He splits the waters deep so I can stand in the gap
So that as ‘title’ waves slam, they help others withstand mishaps…
This is the gift He’s wrapped: I’ve got untapped waters entrenched in fjords streamed.
So while Saul Williams‘ has quilled his thousands,
My palms of STEEL have quilled tens of thousands –
Much like David’s psalms on hills and mountains, my pen is a fountain of life.
I now subdue with ‘dew’ diligence: I’ve got cows upon a thousand hills.*
I use digital resilience to rouse and till ploughs in fields…
And I dare not look back, lest I’m cast out as a pillar of salt in a watered down rite.
That’s why I write without limits:
The sky is my limit.
The Son’s light has kissed and tinted the depth and skill of Steel Waters.
That’s why I am not timid –
In the eye of the storm, I’ve repented…
This water’s turned into wine – pristine and vintage from the Will of the REAL Author.
I’d never play God at chess.
I’m His pawn at best.
As He palms the next, I get anxious to see Him move.
When He’d given me a Queen to protect,
He delivered my dreams to my steps…
I’ve been deemed and blessed to see His dues come true.
God often seems to lean toward backwards vises,
So I tend to lead pieces into sacrifices.
I do this despite His captor’s license that grips and repossesses.
I believe that if I willingly succumb to Him,
The Chess Master will willfully stun the student
By skillfully fronting a union of His prowess with my weaker session.
Though I don’t intentionally anticipate
His wise wizardry granted in faith –
His grand hands planted strands of His plans within my mind.
When I commit to a move, I can’t help but think how it exposed me
To the smooth operation that’ll show how He owns me…
Though He won’t control me – every capture hereinafter
guides my stance’s strengthened climb.
But there’s a dark bishop – I hear his laughter though placed behind.
His crooked factor fears my chapters that wait in-line.
He tries to slide crosswise to assault and sideswipe with daunted might.
Though he may jolt and jeer this knight’s mare,
It is he who’ll bolt from and fear the light in his own nightmare…
As his might’s impaired next to the
enlightened heir of God’s awesome foresight.
I’m Beyond Common… I Am Legend
I used to love H.E.R.
Like a commoner ‘til I
Switched my moniker.
rapt – adj. 1. lifted up and carried away;
2. transported with emotion;
3. wholly absorbed
H.E.R. : Hearing Every Rhyme
(from Common’s I Used to Love H.E.R.)
If I could, I’d like to capture the rappers who’re flauntin’
How they’re actively slaughtering
Captive audiences as they laugh and applaud them for their efforts.
I’d like to slash and flog them
With these captions I’m bloggin’
As they’re snatched and tossed in the trash with their fraudulent treasures.
If I could rapture ‘em without caution,
I’d wrap ‘em in gasoline draws then
Trap ‘em in the bottomless pits of Tartarus.
No awards or plaques could absolve them
From the tactless taste of their jargon
As they spit death from the acts of their jaws so ‘tartarous’.
If I could, I’d pack them with hell’a gauze
To retract facts from their impacted, rebellious cause
To hold back their hellishly, devilish clauses that have ensnared and entrapped souls.
If I could, I’d saw off the assault of the smooth shakers
Who moved in with their saltless soul food flavored
To extract the claws donned in the talented talons that spayed H.E.R.
in rap’s attack of the clones.
I mean, look how these ‘raptors’ display H.E.R. –
They’ve surpassed being crasser how they’ve dissed and splayed H.E.R.
They’ve exposed and twisted every word with brave nerve –
they’ve razed H.E.R. seeds chained in spades.
Like a gutter nose guard,
They’ve cut her with no regard…
Gutting her open heart as the guards who flooded her gated chambers
with hellishly selfish deeds enflamed.
But they spit hot fire, though!
They’ve got that flyer flow!
They’ve got the hype to promote and post H.E.R. to the masses!
They can’t be touched – they’re Midas dope!
Every kid they touch excites the Pope!
They’ve got that gifted flow off the tip of the dome–
such miter’s gold provides hope to the hapless!
But on the backend – look at the ringworm they gave H.E.R.
When they engaged H.E.R. after they trained H.E.R.
Only to mask how they neutered and betrayed H.E.R. by portraying H.E.R.
like some geisha truant.
With their gold ropes and fetters of gaudiness,
They continue to boast coast to coast measures of tawdriness
Despite her treasured chest, lesser men augment it with greater influence.
With the same gold ropes, they’ve hung death on H.E.R. every word.
Bodying her best before their breath of life is ever heard.
They’re breadth of lies embodies spirits from severed words re-hearsed
that intoxicate with toxic waste.
By the time we recognize it –
We can’t even breathalyze it…
As death disguises depth-defying lyrics in immoderate rates of immodest ranks.
In other words…
DEATH IS LITERALLY HANGING ON EVERY WORD, FOLKS!
DEATH IS SPIRITUALLY BANGING ON EVERY DOOR POST!
We can’t even plead the blood of Jesus ‘cause most abhor
the dopeness of His sweet antidote.
Given in doses of a lovely rose,
The depth and height it approaches just bloodies their nose…
Though dozens have spoken of it, it remains broken and bludgeoned
by yokes of street anecdotes.
But alas, I can’t cut off the nose to spite their Pharaoh face.
Despite the displacement of the rights of their feral waste,
They can’t be denied a narrow escape from the wrath of God in my allegiance.
Though I may lack His obvious lenience,
An act of Godliness is the cleanest…
As I push passed my resolve to leave ‘em in their flawed malfeasance.
So though I’ve rapped words slated to their captives:
Rapt by a world where its fate is their captain,
And though I’ve taken a switchblade to this massive growth of cancerous lyrics –
I can’t say it’s too late for Christ’s great Passion
As I passively write them off like May taxes…
I go against the grain – crafted to pull them towards the light like Lazarus’ spirit.
With such a hazardous clearance, I’ve got to bring these rappers back to daylight!
I can’t just leave them wrapped in words of decayed plights.
COME FORTH! – regain the might and flow of Living streams of Water!
Remove the taste of fiery mortar from the evil in your mouth.
Stop admiring Mordor – Smeagol, COME OUT!
Cool your tongues before you’re too weak to surmount
being midstream amidst screams of torture.
Stop spittin’ ‘bout C.R.E.A.M. and spreading evil with that fire brimmin’.
Stop threading the needle – you might not fit it.
With those lifestyles of women and riches, you’re gonna end up
wailing and gnashing your teeth.
Don’t wait ‘til the Master says ‘I never knew you’
To switch from mammon’s fetters to a new tune…
Especially since your true view’s on YouTube blasting your beliefs.
Or rather, blasting others’ beliefs with holes.
Now THAT’S the real beef to behold:
Tainting young brothers’ feats with the mold of misdirected, decrepit steps.
Prepared for the Gospel, peace and thrones,
Being stumbling blocks at their feet’s not condoned…
Free will’s not obsolete – it’s controlled within insurrected flesh.
So while my Invictus diction
Hasn’t convinced or convicted them that their victims,
Your dismissive sentences are mentioned with zeal and fervor.
But the real disturber is within you –
Concealed as a lurker within your sinew…
That’s why I’m breaking the seal with verbs in venues that kill its nerve as I still it further.
That’s why I’m a STEEL encourager –
What I write prophetically reveals the usurper:
What the devil’s instilled is a murderous merger of rhymes and mindless mindsets.
Idle threats in the minds of wordsmiths make suitable workshops
For forming idols kept in line for worshipping indisputable Word docs
That dilute the beautiful words copped from the Creator of space and timelessness.
And I’m convinced – if I can just show these insipid rappers and Stans
The POWER of God that expands from Christian matters at hand,
Their spiritual captors can no longer entrance and enchant
with gifted yet ill-equipped songs of sirens.
If I could just police the beats they walk
With at least a ‘peace’ of what Pete rocked when he walked…
I could release a Grecian spark upon waters embarked –
spilled and scripted as psalms from the palms of a firebrand.
As the NFL season approaches and Redskins players begin their strength conditioning for training camp; fans and owners apparently need their own version of sensitivity training to strengthen the core of their moral values. This was made evident by a USAToday poll taken earlier this week which asked the question: Should the Redskins change their name? Dan Snyder, the owner of the franchise that I grew up rooting for, denounced such a change with a statement that they would NEVER change the name even though it’s been decried with recent scrutiny as offensive to Native Americans.
The poll revealed that the majority of fans overwhelmingly agree with Mr. Snyder – stating that it’s a tradition that shouldn’t be broken. Certain articles I’ve read reveal that some Native Americans aren’t even offended by the football team’s moniker. I’ve already written a blog about the offensive nature of this name which voices my support of changing it (though admittedly, I’m not sold on the Red Tails suggestion which pays homage to the Tuskegee Airmen) – so I will not rehash that here.
The Offensive Redskins
Though not known for
offense in the pass, ‘Redskins’ have
an offensive past.
There is, however, an interesting parallel in the fans and Dan’s reaction that echoes sentiments of church folk that’s worth exploring:
Offensive Lines: When Tight Ends Justify the Mean Green
Dan and Redskins fans
Are Stans: too fanatic to
Stand for drawing lines.
Church folk LOVE tradition the way Dan Snyder loves money and Stan (the fan) loves Eminem… to a fault. Many things have become, in the truest sense of the word, “religion” in the body of Christ because we have gotten used to a certain thing. Even when a truth is revealed through His Word and/or prophets, it tends to be rejected. After all, “synagogue folk” beheaded John the Baptist for His Gospel message and many of the prophets back in the day were murdered. Paul, Luke AND Jesus confirmed that themselves:
“Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.”
– Matthew 23:31
“Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.” – Luke 11:47
“Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.”
– Romans 11:3
“Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men…” – 1 Thessalonians 2:15
Why were they killed?!! Because they challenged the status quo of tradition in favor of adhering to the Word of the Lord (made flesh in Jesus’ time of visitation) as revealed to them in real time:
Good Friday to “Sunrise Service” on Easter Sunday doesn’t equal three days and three nights as Jesus prophesied (Matthew 12:40). Will you renew your mind on this holiest of days?
The Church’s response: No; it is tradition.
Apostles and prophets are ALIVE AND WELL today! Their offices didn’t die off after Paul (Ephesians 4:11-12). Will you accept that they walk among you NOW?
The Church’s response: No; it is tradition.
Speaking in tongues and praying in the Spirit are the same; this is how you build yourself up in your most holy faith (Jude 1:20) and can communicate more clearly with God 1 Corinthians 2:12-14. Will you repent from denouncing it?
The Church’s response: No; it is tradition.
You can do all things through Christ Which strengthens you (Philippians 4:13) exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ask or think according to the power at work within YOU (Ephesians 3:20) if you would BELIVE ONLY (Luke 8:50) and stop blaming God’s Will for everything that goes wrong beyond your perceived control. Will you step up and rule as a king to make things on earth as it is in heaven?
The Church’s response: No; it is tradition.
You can do GREATER things (John 14:12) than what Christ did according to His mandate. Will you step out on faith (understanding that you will fail because of unbelief but that through reason of use, you will be able to discern good and evil; Mark 9:24 and Hebrews 5:13-14, respectively). Will you DO better?
The Church’s response: No; it is tradition.
YOU can heal, cast out demons as Christ did for the Holy Spirit that gave Him the gifts to do so (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) is the SAME Holy Spirit that indwells within you (1 Corinthians 6:19) that allowed Jesus to do what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). Will you HEAL? Will you PROPHESY? Will you discern evil spirits and CAST OUT DEVILS instead of relying on medication and worldly things ALL the time?
The Church’s response: No; it is tradition.
… I don’t normally place much faith in polls but I’m feeling this one today.
Hail to the Redskins?
No; it is tradition.
To hell with tradition.
Hail to the Red Tails!
I AM the 6%!
When it comes to this happiest time of the year,
My son status blinds from the rear:
Past times where I shined my rear – showing disrespectful assonance as only a teen could.
Copying your pronounced Kee pattern wasn’t in my lexicon.
Locking you out was the key plaster I put pressure on…
Yet even this bore a Kee master with evidence drawn to a spirit redeemed for good.
You see, to initially reject what you had to offer
Reflects what you had with your father.
Mom and Devonna saw our closely drawn personas prior to this piece being written.
They observed the bitter banter
Of our absurd and bickering chatter…
And saw the child in the father bothered by the father in the child
before I could believe and admit it!
As such, I don’t need a carton of blood drawn
To prove our father and son bond.
I’ve come along – I’ve peeped your fatherly blessing through the ‘Kee’ whole.
Though there was a time when it was presented
That I did resist and resent it…
I now write sentences to redeem the exquisiteness viewed within a keen mold.
Your paternity could never be a curse to me.
But there is a worse degree that occurs to me –
I’m concerned that you see only my shortcomings patterned after your faults.
While there are unresolved flaws I need to work out
That once accosted and bogged your worth’s clout…
I reserve no doubt that my unlocked potential gathered matter from your vaults.
Rather, copying your Master Kee patterns
Unlocked my stature’s esteemed grandeur.
Thus, I’m copying the Master’s master Kee pattern custom-fit for me.
The Lord cut and crafted you with purpose and vision
To break through doors and cuffs that once shackled your person within them…
I’m your versioned revision – fit to pick and Pop-lock with substance that clicks on-‘Kee’.
‘You ask: “Why is not the son charged with the guilt of his father?” Because the son has done what is right and just, and has been careful to observe all My statutes, he shall surely live. Only the one who sins shall die. The son shall not be charged with the guilt of the father, nor shall the father be charged with the guilt of his son. The virtuous (righteous) man’s virtue (righteousness) shall be his own, as the wicked man’s wickedness shall be his own.’
– Ezekiel 18:19-20 (Catholic canon, amplification added)
‘Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do : for what things soever he doeth , these also doeth the Son likewise.’
– John 5:19
*Kee is my family name which my pen name “Legend” plays off of. It’s coat of arms translates the name to “Manu Forti” meaning “with a strong hand” *
Though it may seem strange to say it, as a Christian I have taken some cues from Malcolm X and Dave Chappelle. To make it even stranger, these cues are in reference to the music I’ve listened to over the past decade of my life. In retrospect, I see a transition that has occurred that is quite drastic; having gone from being 100% immersed in secular Hip-Hop to my current preference that lends an exclusive ear for the likes of Jesus Culture and Israel Houghton.
In order get to the Malcolm X/Dave Chappelle references, I’ll have to do some backtracking. 10 years ago, though clearly Christian, you couldn’t have given Gospel music to me (downloaded for $FREE.99) that I would have willingly placed in my music rotation. My selection was almost exclusively Hip-Hop music. 10 years ago, I was a burgeoning poet who had only just begun to explore this God-given ability to write that was downloaded into me during my early college days at the University of Delaware. Although I started off as a child being mildly interested in Hip-Hop’s own infancy and was sparingly espoused to it as a pre-teen; by my senior in high school, I completely despised it. College was where I developed a habit for it. Throughout this time period, my affinity for gospel music had always been lukewarm. Yes, I knew my favorite songs to sing in my predominately black Catholic church in Southeast DC as sung by its Baptist-style choir. Yes, I knew the words to the songs that played on the radio en route to said church every Sunday. Yet these never fully appealed to or connected with me the way Hip-Hop would in years to come.
KRS-One calls the culture of Hip-Hop a religion in its own right. And though I would be inclined to agree that many treat it as such, that was not the case for me. Religion is something that one does out of a rote and almost mindless routine without careful consideration. It is a tradition. Hip-Hop was clearly not a tradition for me. What it became for me was an analytically calculated obsession. I lusted after Hip-Hop. I went from being diametrically opposed to it to being completely driven by and drawn to its siren. Have you ever heard stories about people who once hated a thing or person only to end up dangerously intoxicated by them? That was me. Hip-Hop was my drug.
I have never taken or abused drugs but I know how it draws a person in. After an initially adverse reaction to it, more exposure to it builds up an immunity and resistance to the highs it gives which increases a person’s tolerance to it. What this means is that the person begins to increase the usage to get the same euphoria that they previously experienced from smaller dosages. Eventually, if left unchecked and unbalanced, it can become something that they are completely dependent upon. Eventually, it becomes an addiction. I was addicted to Hip-Hop. Without getting into all of the sordid details and proof of this confession, it became a yoke and crutch for me at the same time. It alienated me even more from Praise and Worship music which is supposed to be a hallmark of my Christian relationship to God through Jesus Christ.
The Tracks of Lifelong Addictions
When you’re blind from the
Facts, the signs from the tracks are
Lit’rally in vain.
I remember refusing to listen to Alicia Keys when she first came out. Despite the accolades she was getting for her masterful craft and powerful voice, I tuned her out for one reason: I thought she was a Christian artist. I don’t know how I had come to that conclusion but I thought she was in the same vein as Yolanda Adams. As such, I had no desire to hear what she had to sing about; that is, until I knew that she was not of that particular genre of music. I have fleshed out the spiritual matter of this stronghold of idolatry in previous articles such as The Exorcism of Emnity’s Prose, America’s Got a Talent, Hypocritical Me, Uneasy as A-B-CD-DD… and Jay-Z: The Greatest Scape G.O.A.T. of All Time?… , so for the sake of redundancy and time, I will not rehash it here.
Enter X. In his autobiography, a part of Malcolm Little’s transformation into Malcolm X involved kicking a drug habit. As his mind became open to analyzing its imprisonment to drugs, skewed social norms and the moral dilemma of his life (all while incarcerated, mind you); one major step he took to rid himself of the burden and sins of his past life was to get off the drugs. He didn’t do this willingly but was assisted with the help of a less potent chemical agent. He transitioned from being drug-dependent to a more drug-free life with a tea concoction that consisted primarily of nutmeg spice. It wasn’t illegal, it curved his appetite for stronger drugs and thus, it provided a chance to gain clarity in his mind to receive deliverance from his former ways. Holy Hip-Hop was my nutmeg.
A Hip-Hop, Skip and a Jump Away
I’m seconds away
From jumping tracks and skipping
I was initially disgusted by Christian rap. It offended me. It killed two birds with one clumsy stone in my soul when I first heard it because while it was not honoring the beauty of Hip-Hop’s robust beats and “dope” lyricists, I knew that its message about God was being lost because it wasn’t good music. Thus, in my mind, its artists were like the Insane Clown Posse of rap: “Of God, they were making a mockery” (that’s a Chino XL reference right there!). However, the artists and production has made leaps and bounds since my initial introduction to it and became my vehicle for leaving behind my former fix(ation) on Hip-Hop.
Turn Away and Table Fables
Turn your itching ears
From undiscerning fables
Churned from turntables.
‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.’
– 2 Timothy 4:3-4
My choice to stop listening to something that I had made an idol (placed in reverence before God) in my life almost introduced me to another potential false idol as I felt myself beginning an entire new fascination with AHHH: All Holy Hip-Hop. I had a happy medium to wean me off of secular Hip-Hop yet I was concerned that I might make it into its own monster; but this never happened.
As I grew in seeking, analyzing, understanding and applying God’s Word in my life, I began to understand the reasonable service of making myself available to God through true Praise and Worship. I began hearing spiritual lyrics clearer. I began feeling chords differently. I began seeking out artists like Israel Houghton to express my adoration for the Lord that I served. I was transitioning from poison to purity.
An Untrained Ear
Tunes you let run up in and
Impregnate your tubes.
‘A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.’
– Proverbs 17:4
‘He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.’
– Proverbs 28:9
I still listen to my Nutmeg tracks as I believe my soul is just built in such way to receive bass and lyricism a little differently than other Christians but even that is beginning to wane. I have no desire to find or listen to new Christian rappers and even some that I listen to now bother me slightly because I can hear puffed up arrogance and rebelliousness in some of their words. At first, I thought it was jealousy of what and how they’re performing but having put such childish things away and relying on my discernment, I have discovered another moment of clarity.
Enter Dave Chappelle. I once read a transcript of an interview where Dave was asked what comedians he listens to. His answer was off-putting because he said that while he listened to the classics before getting into comedy, he doesn’t catch the acts of his contemporaries. Why?: because he doesn’t want his material influenced by his peers. I’m not a Christian rapper but I am a Christian lyricist/poet. I respect the gifts and talents that God has distributed through His body but if I begin to focus too much on what one hand is forging, it may cause me to either mimic it or undervalue my craft as I lose focus on the “strong hand” that God has given me.
Hate it or love it, when I’m under God, I’m on top. Take that Game. Take that 50… eh, eh!
Getting on Track and Setting Records Straight
Let’s set records straight –
Getting on tracks isn’t the
Only way to rhyme!
The beauty of your birth shows
The duty of my birth stone –
For the ruby has a worth bestowed to the measure of a virtuous woman.
Born in July, my best gift was truly unsearched and unknown
Until May the thirteenth could unfold…
As your uncertain and untold fortune makes other treasures superfluous and wooden.
As such, your birthmark of beauty exceeds
A beauty mark birthed to me that’s truly esteemed.
Duly and indeed, there is no Cancer that maligns the note of your skin tone.
You are my tropical bounty.
Your beauty marks my topical foundry…
As Steel Waters owes its flow and phenomenal boundaries
to the odes you tend to invoke.
So to you do I owe an immense token
For bringing what was intrinsic within me into the open.
I dipped my fountain pen into a chromium ocean and drew
out your invaluable value.
Since then, even before we were newlyweds, your gift to me
Has given propensities written from me in ruby red tendencies
That have dually bled and bred my ministry in incalculable volumes.
‘Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.’
– Proverbs 31:10
originally composed on 3/26/05
A woman that circles ‘round His thrown
Exhibits virtues that ground the grown.
Her profound role has risen well in the Maker’s oven.
From the sustenance of her brown rolls
To new ranks ushered in of newfound posts…
Crowns of gold now crowd her goals like a baker’s dozen.
With the shrouds of old
Cast out from their doubtless molds,
Once clouded souls now resound with bold power and vigor.
The beauty we knew to be in countless homes
Can now be viewed and seen around the globe…
As we proudly boast the renown we’ve known within our sisters.
Such women weren’t ripped away from vertebrates –
They were picked from rib cages of dirt and clay.
So it’s absurd to say that the good ones stand behind us.
Since the touch of such women could cheapen and spoil Midas’,
From young and up, they should be treated as royal Highnesses…
Alongside the Godly guidance of His, their footsteps are planted beside us.
For whom God’s delivered and placed in our lives
As moms, sisters and graceful wives,
We should be grateful guys! – yet we sometimes take them for granted.
Every motherly instinct we feel hovering nearest
Recovers the mysteries revealed by our ‘mothers dearest’…
Each woman hosts a wonderful clearance – to ignore it, forsakes the planet.
Who is it that rocks the foundation
Steady upon the Rock of Salvation?
Whose loins start and stop nations – birthing both war and peace?!!
Whose gravity are ‘can’t get right’ men drawn most towards
That gradually draws them close to the Lord?…
It is she whom Mother Earth is known for – you whom we adore so sweet!
‘Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.’
– Proverbs 31:25-31 NKJV
Our Christian community glows amidst the light
Christened for unity by the crimson tides of Jesus Christ.
Our bond with Him is stronger than the sins He shed for us.
Jesus being a light in His worldly journey,
Freed us from seeing the sight of eternal burning…
Replaced by an internal yearning fueled by that which He bled for us.
Jesus prepared His wisdom and splendor
To be shared in crimson embers.
We’re entered members in the kingdom of His new family.
Not by anything that we’ve accomplished
Nor by anyone whom we’ve admonished…
But by the honest love that He holds for humanity.
The sacrifice that God offered
Baptized a right for us to honor.
As the Father’s Son became one with what is the Church –
So, too do we symbolize in marriage
What the blood of Christ has forever cherished…
Once severed to perish, we now inherit everlasting worth.
Sanctity best found in this life
Is thankfully bound to me in my wife.
What our matrimony represents is a blessed event.
Our soon to be unity
Assumes a deep beauty to me…
The hues we’ve deemed infuse a theme that’s heaven sent.
These candles and colors epitomize
What we handle as lovers deep in our lives.
Sanctified by His blood, our unity is christened in crimson.
Let this flame stoke what’s enclosed in our hearts
What this sanction of two souls must impart…
As the gold that we spark is a moment embarked as strengthened Christians.
The Tie That Binds
Thanks to Jesus’ crimson tides,
Matrimony is christened with pride.
As men take Christian wives
To eat of His bread and strengthened wine.
Through such lengthened ties,
We make the mission wide
That’s hidden in the submissive guise
of men and women Christianized.
As the honor glistens in splendid eyes
For being bought at such an expensive price –
Paid for by the Prince on high
And held together by the knot of His crimson ties.
‘Therefore, brothers, since through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way He opened for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,” let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.‘
– Hebrews 10:19-22