Ahhh… I’m torn. But not really. Ok, I’m not going to beat around the bush (surprising?).
Some might say its…. (read below)
1. It would be smarter for me to remain silent to the things I see, and hear, that go on in Christian Hip Hop. Why you might ask? Well, If I keep my mouth shut to some of the things I see, then I don’t make any waves… then my website’s reputation isn’t looked at as “controversial”. If I keep my mouth shut then everyone is happy! If I keep my mouth shut then everyone thinks that I’m “ok” with what they are doing. As long as people “think” I’m indifferent about the things I hear and see… then everything is gravy. No one’s feelings get hurt, nobody closes any doors on me (including financial). I’m the guy who just “stays out of it”. Its safe. Its a good place to be if you are one of those who constantly worries about what both signed and unsigned, both big and small names, both popular and unpopular think of you, and your brand name.
2. It would be smart for me to turn a blind eye to the wrongs I see in Christian Hip Hop. Would it? Sure, then everything in Christian Hip Hop is “all good”. It’s really not as “jacked” as many would like to think. Hey, Christian Hip Hop has come a loooong way. Dudes are doing big things, and me opening my mouth is only going to put my dealings with them @ risk. The smart dude keeps his eyes closed, and his mouth shut. Keeps his opinions to himself…and plows along not wanting to say anything, because then he’ll be “that dude”.
However… What is important? Is it my site’s reputation? Is TRUTH important? Does truth get tossed in the closet once opportunity and “growth” comes into play? Will I get blackballed because I say “hey…something doesn’t look right”? Will phone calls, e-mails, casual side conversations during business meetings mention my name in a negative way because I say things that thousands of people already see, but don’t have a platform as large as mine to express them?
What do I do? I feel torn… The Lord Jesus has something to say to both believers, the pharisees, and the unsaved. He didn’t look at the pharisees and purposely overlook their cold hearts just because they had their doctrine down tighter than the laymen. The apostles didn’t hold back their criticism and rebukes of the early church simply because the people in them (the church(es) were already “saved”.
Why is it, that I cannot call a spade a spade? Why is it OK for me to expose heresy, but not expose callousness? Wait. I get it. WE expose heresy, but God exposes peoples callus hearts. Right? Am I missing something? Man, I cant talk. I cant be real with folk. I cant just sit down with a brother and say… “hey bro…I have soooo much love for you… and I see soo many good things in your ministry… but I also see sooo much doo-doo!”. Why cant I say that? I’m torn because some of the people I care the most about will turn a deaf ear to me. Their mentors, their connections don’t care for me. Their esteemed see me as a rebel. It feels hopeless.
I can hug the throwaways… I can comfort the misunderstood, I can relate to the rejected… but the moment I’m seen doing that, I’m looked at differently. Must I take a side? Do I choose my camp? I see so much beauty in each. I see soo much potential and room for growth in many different people, but I also see soo much darkness in people, soo many callused hearts, so many deaf ears. How do you talk to the person who’s always right? How do you level with someone who has put himself into a position of being skewed? Do I simply pray for that person and hope that God sends someone into their life (not me of course, never that!) to expose their double standards? I’m confused. Do those who say they love me really love me? Or do they love the thought of loving me? Will they only show compassion when I’m in agreement with them? Will they lend a helping hand only if I’ve kept myself within arms reach? Will I be allowed to think for myself? Can I express how I feel without being fearful of having the plug pulled on me? Or being cutoff?
How do I choose my friends? Will I delight in those who are exactly like me? Those who remind me of myself? Or will I flock to those who will keep it 100 with me. Those who will tell me “how it is”. I don’t want to feel caged up. My site WILL reflect me, AND those who I co-labor with! I cannot willfully show grace to certain people, and not extend that same grace to others deserving of it. I love people. I love Gods people. I love doctrine. I love the essentials. I TRY…and believe me, I try to show grace in the non-essentials…even when they are sold to me AS essentials.
I want people to think of Holy Culture as an open place. Not open in the sense of “anything goes”. Never that. But I want people to know Holy Culture for being that place where fairness, and balance is given to Christian Hip Hop. Sometimes the self righteous will get called out on the carpet. Sometimes heresy will get exposed, but my hope and prayer is that at the end of the day, both labels, artists, and causal fans/reader/listeners will say “at least he didn’t take any sides at the expense of the truth”. God is really working on me. I’m an imperfect vessel who God is putting through the refiners fire. I haven’t arrived yet, but me reiterating that, by my words (I’m flawed), wont be what lets you know that… My prayer is that my ACTIONS would show it. Anyone can say “I’m imperfect”, but if his/her actions say otherwise, then they are a liar. There are a lot of artists out there, and labels that I know…I just know don’t care for me for one reason or another. But know that there are people in your camp who will tell you whatever you want to hear, everyday, no matter what. They will tell you whatever makes you happy until the day they are not in your camp…then you’ll hear it. I’ve always tried to be honest. I think I’m a lot more honest now than I was a few years ago.
I love Christian Hip Hop. I have a personal connection with it. I love what MANY of you in Christian Hip Hop are doing. But understand that love doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear. Love doesn’t always say Yes and Amen. Love will tell both the proud, and humble “what it is”. I just wish more kats appreciated people, and places (like Holy Culture) that DO have opinions about issues concerning Christian Hip Hop. Our site is not run by faceless individuals. Its not run by robots. Its run by people who have hearts, have opinions. REAL people, who have REAL concerns. I don’t want to be known as having the nicest looking site or the most visitors. I want whatever I do to be looked at as fair, and honest. Who really cares for a place that doesn’t have a mind? Its just a machine that pumps out “stuff”. Christian Hip Hop is personal to me, and I want Holy Culture to reflect being personal as well. I’m trying yall. Sometimes its hard because you “feel” like you gotta make everyone happy, or like you. What normally happens is…the moment you open your mouth, someone is going to have something to say about it, and someone is gonna get twisted over it. Thats why a lot of people I know in the industry would just rather be quiet. The platform is important, but not at the expense of truth… freedom and liberty to be fair. I know MANY people that read, and hear about things that go down in Christian Hip Hop, and just wont say anything. They have their reasons, but IMO… ultimately, it has to do with their ambitions, and how kats might view them if they expose how they feel inside. I cant be that guy. I just cant. Its not real. Its fake to me. Lets allow ourselves to be 100.
Well, thanks for allowing me to just get some things off my chest…and even if it was just little, share my heart with you.