Maya Angelou said “Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.” So it is that music has such power, so much so that it has comforted us in times of great sorrow. Music has inspired us to fight on in moments of great weakness, it has even helped us to express the anger that we feel in our hearts and minds in times of difficult rage. More than it has done either of these music has given us a reason for joy and dancing. It makes us move without even realizing that the body has started to shift to the rhythm. I nearly stayed silent on this subject, due to the fact that I’m just a young preacher from Baton Rouge, who no one knows thinking who would listen. A man of flaws but also a man of convictions, knowing my imperfections yet challenged from my inner man to speak out. Lyrical content to songs is often depicted as a way to freely express that which has happened in our lives. Hip Hop is the form of expression of my generation. Music that is not often understood and misinterpreted. Recently however a song came out by Meek Mill called “Amen”. The song starts off with the strum of the piano followed by Meek Mill going into what is thought to be a prayer. A prayer in which he thanks God for women, money, health and family, followed immediately by saying, “Now there’s a lot of bad b****** in the building (AMEN)”. I thought to myself this can’t be real! He didn’t say what I think he said. So I turned the radio up, to make sure that I could clearly hear the words to the song. I was enraged for several reasons the disrespect that the song expresses to the those of us who walk in the Christian faith. The BOLDNESS of this character to say the things he’s saying in conjunction with the words “CHURCH” and “AMEN” as his landing strip for the chorus. I’m not your typical young preacher so excuse me while I break this disrespectful so called freedom of expression down.
It would be enough ifMeek Mill was just disrespectful in his song to cause me to write. However he went even further than his song. He got on the radio and attempted to defend his actions by stating that he gives away coats to kids in Philly in the winter and that he has taken 20 or 30 drug dealers off the streets. I assume by employing them to work with him on his quest to make a name for himself as a rap star. He took the time to state that he didn’t want to hear anything about God he was talking real life, as if God is a myth. Music is an expression true enough, but the moment music attacks the CHURCH by DISRESPECTING the CHURCH I have a problem with it. It’s not okay! It’s not freedom of expression. It’s not art! Meek Mill in his song proceeds to lyrically mock the church by saying “Pull up in the Phantom watch them B****** catch the Holy Ghost”. I would go into breaking down the significance of the Holy Ghost to the Christian believer but that’s another time another post. The fact is that this young man thinks his words are acceptable. The truth is most rappers feel that their actions are acceptable. It’s sad that we have gotten to a place in society where because you have the ability to combine words to a melodic rhythm that we call it a form of art no matter how disrespectful it is. Art is something that can be appreciated. This isn’t art. It is the worst form of disrespect to me. Meek Mill in his interview justified his actions saying he is trying to feed his family. Well if in his attempt to feed his family he wants to disrespect my faith I nominate him to be the first man in the unemployment line on Monday morning.
I am fed up with the rappers who get money and fame and think that it makes it alright to disrespect the very God that created them that many of them “CHOOSE” not to believe in. To disrespect the very institutions that have helped our communities develop over the years. Will I pretend that the church has been perfect over the course of time, no, we have dropped the ball and the failure of men and women in high positions has not always given us our best foot forward, however overall the church has been much more of an asset to society than rap music ever has and ever will be. I’m not going to be silent about the fact that in this song (which I will not deny is catchy and if I were ignorant to the word of God I would probably think was a hit) Meek Mill takes the opportunity to put his bad habits into a positive light by using the words “CHURCH”, “AMEN”, and “PREACH” to express that you agree with his ignorance. I could be politically correct but why? I could be more civil in my discourse but why? Why should he get the respect that he didn’t give the Holy Ghost? Why should we allow this trash to continue to corrupt an already corrupt society? When Maya Angelou said that music was universal she was correct. It is something that no matter where you are from and what you believe, it has the power to touch you. It has the power to reach the masses. This music that he has released is reaching the masses daily. His lyrics make it seem alright to disrespect the Lord’s church and I for one want him to know that what he has done lyrically as he took the bullets in his heart, used the trigger of his mind, and the gun that is his mouth to degrade the church and our spirituality to that of common street talk is unacceptable.
I look at this as an opportunity for my generation to really stand up and say something. A chance for US to say, to US that some things are just not acceptable, you can’t proclaim that you believe in God and then not defend God when He is disrespected. I could have went through the bible and given scripture to support what I’m saying, but let’s just be practical about this. If your mother or father established something and went as far as to die for it, how silent would you be when someone disrespected it? That’s how I feel about Meek Mill and this song. Jesus died that first of all people like you and I would have access to be forgiven for our sins, but also to build the church to teach us how to live a life that can produce fruit. This man in his music has the ability to infect people with a poison of deceit, causing them to believe that it’s okay to pull God down and His church along with it. If you are a believer and truly love God don’t excuse this arrogant, disrespectful individual by allowing this song to play in your car. Let’s use the hashtag #banmeekmillamen and send it to the radio stations in our cities. The church full of the Holy Ghost has power, but all power isn’t spiritual some power requires simple practical action. We may not ban him, but we can make some noise in the process and take that opportunity to spit some truth about Jesus to people who would never otherwise enter our churches on Sunday. Sitting back and doing nothing is like having a Bentley with no keys, you look good in it, but you can’t go anywhere. We can’t go forward if we don’t turn the key. Do something to let the world know that the CHURCH has POWER!
Until the whole world hears,
Gary D. Chambers Jr.
P.S. Meek when you read this, remember, you can believe in God or not, but EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW!