Food for Thought: Music

I recently decided (as in a few seconds ago...literally) to do a regular(ish) post on various things that cross my mind. Ok...let me rephrase, on the things that give me cause to pause and think a little bit (such a rare occurrence in the aftermath of the mental exam mush that has currently replaced my brain). So here's the first of many of my 'food for thought's: music.

Music is such a therapeutic thing for is writing sometimes. The music I listen to can set my mood, help heal my wounds, make them worse or piss me off. At times I've been really surprised, shocked even at my personal reaction to music and that of other people to the same medium. For those who you who have never heard of it or never watched it you should check out The Truth Behind Hip-Hop, something I first watched at a youth retreat with my church when I was about 18. It had a real impact on me and it's something I have never forgotten. I threw away ALL of my 300-odd ORIGINAL CD's (...this was pre-mp3 downloads, lols...) and though I felt spiritually cleansed, IT HURT. A lot. I'm such a Nas and 2Pac fan...and Outkast...and Busta...and DMX...damn that HURT! But I felt it was all for the greater good, I mean it's not just the influence of Hip Hop, it's also the belief's that inspire many Neo-Soul musicians, the explicitness of Ragga and the longing and lustfulness often in R&B...even love songs. I was not a new Christian when I watched the DVDs but I would be a liar if I did not acknowledge that they opened my eyes.

Now what human being is not moved by music? NO ONE (as far as I'm concerned, but feel free to comment and challenge me at the end of my post). However as a hip hop head I noticed discrepancies and falsehoods in some of the preacher's (G Craige Lewis of EX ministries) claims and the student of politics and school debating champion that I was, these things for me just undermine some of the evident truths in his words. A grand debate wages as to whether G Craige Lewis is of God, or exploiting a Godly message for personal gain to the detriment of the Christian community. I believe the later. COMMON SENSE can tell you that much of the music is not good for our very souls and encourages and supports behaviour in us that contradicts much of our base belief's and I think that is true whichever faith you (do or do not) follow. I applaud the Preacher for perhaps reminding me of the importance of music in inducing emotions but I'll take much else of what he says with a MASSIVE chunk (not a grain-o, chunk) of salt. I believe he was sent to give me a message and my bible and the holy spirit in me exists to cross check what I hear, WHEREVER I hear it.

I have much of my old music back. I even have more than I had before. BUT...I thank God for the spirit of discernment, I feel that now I veer away from the tracks I feel can be emotionally damaging to me and do not feel bad listening to empowering tracks made by 'secular' artists. I implore you all...BE AWARE OF WHAT IT IS YOU LISTEN it Hip-hop, Hip-life, Ragga, Highlife, R&B, Neo-Soul, whatever, how it rests with your soul is a good indicator of how it may benefit you. The preacher is correct when he says you don't know what influences some of these artists, we really don't but neither does he. It is up to GOD to judge the hearts of men (and the subsequent heart they used to compose the music), I don't presume to label someone a believer or a non-believer because they wear their jeans low or listen to rock music or go raving, how is that my business? that's between them and their God. So I'll take the music as it comes, when I'm sad and I just need to revel in it, embrace it and move on I will listen to some Mary J.! When I feel militant, 2Pac still does the trick and when that foolish boy is acting up I agree with Erykah that he'd better Call Tyrone! But I just need to be aware that when I need to move on from my misery I should switch from Roses to Just Fine. Or that after being thoroughly pissed-off I should perhaps not listen to They Don't Give A Fuck About Us or When We Ride On Our Enemies and focus on Keep Ya Head Up. When I'm confused what's wrong with Lord Give Me A Sign? Me and D both need a sign, we all struggle!

Here are some excerpts from 2Pac – Better Days:

'Time to question our lifestyle, look how we live
Smokin weed like it ain't no thang, so even kids
wanna try now, they lie down and get ran through
Nobody watched 'em clockin the evil man do'

'I'd love to see the block in peace
With no more dealers and crooked cops, the only way to stop the beast
And only we can change
It's up to us to clean up the streets, it ain't the same
Too many murders, too many funerals and too many tears
Just seen another brother buried plus I'd known him for years
Passed by his family, but what could I say?
Keep yo' head up and try to keep the faith
And pray for better days'

No matter what he believed, what sins he committed, I don't know but no one can convince me that that can ever be at odds with my God!

Peace xXx

Nsoromma...Child of the Heavens

I'll leave you with DMX's Lord Give Me A Sign:

'No weapon formed against me shall prosper

For this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
In the name of Jesus
Lord give me a sign

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