Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday's Weekly Rap-Up - May 23, 2014 - "Darkest Hour" - No Malice, Lecrae - CNN, Bill Weir, Interview with No Malice

"Darkest Hour" - Lecrae, No Malice

Earlier this week I came across a post on Rapzilla chronicling a CNN Tonight interview from host Bill Weir that took a behind the scenes look at two rappers, Pusha-T and No Malice, brothers who once performed as The Clipse. As Rapzilla points out regarding the rap culture, "Few media outlets have embraced the challenge of looking deeper into the complex struggle of right and wrong that has always been the invisible narrative of the culture." Rappers are usually glorified for their lyrics and actions, especially when it comes to pushing and using drugs, drinking, violence, sex and making money, without any question of motives, or the impact they have on culture.

Wier asked both brothers about their lives. Pusha-T showed off his fashion boutiques, clothes and business ideas, while No Malice showed Weir the Virginia Beach home where he and his brother began selling crack cocaine and started rapping. No Malice was a bit uncomfortable talking about his past, as one might be when admitting to selling crack on national television.

No Malice said “When I think about my infidelities…the heartbreak that I caused my wife, that I caused myself. When I think about her forgiveness, how the Word of God repaired us and nothing else. When I think about that; to me, it’s a no brainer. I can’t return to that lifestyle and that kind of way. I don’t have a choice.” When asked about returning to rap for a Clipse reunion, No Malice is adamant that he is not interested. It seems that he is satisfied in his life in Christ, rather than performing for crowds and raking in cash and notoriety. His decision just doesn't make sense to a watching world that does not see Christ as their ultimate treasure. It surely doesn't make sense to those reading XXL. It doesn't make sense to those watching MTV. And it surely won't make much sense at BET's 106 & Park. Jesus tells us that those who know him will be hated and mocked.

In the book of Colossians, Paul reminds the church at Colossae, as well as Christians, that before we are in Christ we were all alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds. But now, Christ has reconciled sin for us through his death, making us holy and blameless before our father. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul reminds us that we are new creations in Christ.

When we hear interviews like this with No Malice and see fruitfulness of the Spirit, it is an encouragement to all who are struggling with some form of sin, not just pushing drugs or promoting cash, women, cars and clothes. We can be sure that Jesus is better. We can be sure that Jesus uses different art forms and methods to bring glory to himself, and to encourage others in faith.

Following Jesus certainly won't make much sense to those who find comfort in fame and material possessions. Through his testimony, we can be sure that pushing rocks is of no satisfaction compared to standing firm on the rock of our salvation.

"Darkest Hour" - Lyrics

Bonus: "Lord Have Mercy" - Lecrae, Tedashii and No Malice