How do you say thank you to someone that continues to be a beacon of light in a time where so many people are content to stand in the dark?
That’s how I feel when I listen to so many of our young gospel artists. Roughly 15 years ago, the Senior Saints had a fit when Kirk Franklin came out with a song with some extra bass and a secular rapper. It was said that he was mocking God, creating unnecessary noise or teaching the children inappropriate dance when it came to Praise and Worship.
I feel he was just watering the seeds of Christianity in the next generation. He has opened the doors for so many other artists (by introducing them, signing them to his label, writing their lyrics, or collaborating) to express themselves in a way that fits them. A way that has allowed artists to go mainstream, furthering their reach to those who need to hear the word of God.
Is it Grandma’s dance? Nope but their praise is uncensored, unabashedly and unashamedly authentic to themselves. A praise that has nothing to do with the people in the pews or in the pulpit. A praise that is for God and him alone.
My problems aren’t the same as Grandma’s either. What she connects to is not what I can connect to, so why condemn me because I Luv God? If I can rep my God in the Church, how is it that I’m considered worldly by bumping the Trap Gospel? If you turn down the bass, slow down the beat and soften the verse the message is still the same. The call to Christ is still the same. The call to remain strong in the face of temptation and adversity is the same.
Kirk Franklin, Uncle Reece, Gemstones, Lecrae, Kierra Sheard, Erica Campbell and Mary Mary, Andy Mineo, Canton Jones, Dewayne Woods, Mali Music, Bizzle, Jor’Dan, Travis Greene and so many others — Thank You for using your God-given talents to be fishers of men despite what others have to say.
At the end of the day, all of these artists are doing something that churches who ostracize them and their music have trouble doing. They’re reaching a generation that feel unable to be themselves because they aren’t churchy enough, they don’t know all of the scriptures and their prayer sounds different than the deacon’s. They’ve been told that they only drink milk when it comes to the word because their interpretation takes on a more real-life application, a fitted cap and a pair of blue jeans are their church clothes, and they greet you with dap instead of the sideways church hug.
I’m glad that I can be a part of a generation that refuses to conform to the ways of past. I’m glad to be a part of a generation that becomes radical in its praise as the world continues to become even more radical in its destruction. How can you not in times like this? A time where you have to stand for Jesus or fall for anything.
And I thank God that I’m allowed to raise a little person who is just as passionate about turning up for Christ as I am. I thank God I can prepare a kingdom builder who can share HIM inside and outside the church. So I take her back to when an artist dared to change the way we praise, going from a step to a stomp.
And let her know it’s okay to get crunk for Christ. If a king can dance out of his clothes, it’s the least we can do.
I’m just saying.