There are some things I absolutely love in life, one of them is jamming out to some well-crafted beats and powerful bass drops that shake me to the core, I absolutely love Hip Hop music. Through high school and middle school, even elementary school, I enjoyed listening to artists like Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Akon, Young Jeezy, and especially Eminem. These men were very influential in my younger years of life.
As an aspiring martial artist and MMA fighter, Hip Hop shaped a lot of my training and my overall demeanor. I would carry a discman with me and listen to albums like The Eminem Show and Get Rich or Die Tryin' while at school. I would take advantage of any breaks or down time at recess to listen to my CD's. I loved to jam out and pretend to rap along with my idols. Music would pound into my ears before bed and whenever I would have a few moments to sit alone.
I remember when I upgraded to the first generation of iPod and how my music library began to expand exponentially. Hip Hop began to shape and shake my life more than ever. I fell in love with different rhymes and beats from each of my favorite artists. Inevitably, I fell in love with the lyrics, lyrics that were motivated and sung out of a deep self-worth and entitlement. These linguistic masterpieces became a second language to me. Even today, I can recall almost every Eminem song without even thinking twice about it. Listening to countless hours of secular Hip Hop and allowing it to fill me up actually did just the opposite: it left me empty.
So many things can influence and shape our lives. Listening to hip hop was one of those things for me. My perspective was skewed and poisoned by a false lifestyle that hindered me from seeing the reality of my true identity. I was engulfed and influenced though the power of music in a negative way.
Now, not all music is bad, but what I was listening to sure was. I felt in my heart a yearning for something more, something that would compliment the Lord's work in my life instead of take away from it. I came to the conclusion that I needed to surrender my music to God. I needed to allow the right kind of music to pound into my ears. It was quite the dilemma, actually. I thought surrendering my music meant that I would be stuck listening to K-Love radio and old school hymns. Even if that's what it meant, I was ready to do what I needed to do. I was eager to find hope and not anger, peace instead of chaos.
I began to explore the world of Christian Hip Hop and R&B. I didn't even know there was such a thing until I Googled it. At first, it was a little odd. The beats were still sick but the lyrics weren't what I was use to. The lyrics were uplifting and joyous. The rhymes dealt with things I could relate to and pertained to my Christian walk. Artists like Pastor AD3, Lecrae, Flame and Dre' Sr. began to influence me.
Today I have over 1,700 Christian Hip Hop songs. I try my hardest to abstain from any form of secular music, not because it's bad, but because I know myself to well. I can easily get lost in the power of music for the worst.
Maybe you can relate to me? Maybe it's something other than music for you. We all have things in our lives that may not be the best for us. Whatever it is that wages war in your heart I encourage you to surrender it to God. Allow the right influences in and throw out any garbage that slows you down in your race. Give God more and more and He will honor every sacrifice you make. He is so loving and so worth it.
Below is a link to one of my favorite sites and resources: Jam the Hype. This sight plays 24 hour Christian Hip Hop and R&B music. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!