Mali Music: Revolutionizing Gospel Music for a New Generation

In this episode of Church on the Block, Pastor Phil, along with his guests, Kena Young and Tajah Kelly discuss the role of music in the church and its impact on the African American community. They share personal experiences with gospel music, discuss its evolution, and address its importance in worship and connection with God. The episode also features a guest appearance from Mali Music, who discusses his unique style and the cultural impact of his songs.

The Role of Music in Worship

Kena, who was raised in the church, has a deep love for gospel music. She appreciates the transition and impact that music has had on her, particularly in worship and connecting with parishioners. However, she also expressed concern about some music becoming more about performance rather than ministry. This is a sentiment Pastor Phil shares, as he believes that the true essence of gospel music lies in its ability to minister to the soul and connect us with God.

The Evolution of Gospel Music

During the discussion, Pastor Phil touched on the historical evolution of gospel music, from Thomas Dorsey to Andre Crouch and beyond. Gospel music has played a significant role in the African American context, particularly during the civil rights movement. It has been a source of strength, hope, and unity in times of struggle. However, Pastor Phil also acknowledged the heightened scrutiny that hip hop faces compared to other genres.

Tajah, who grew up in the church, shared her experience being exposed to different genres of gospel music. She values music that has a relatable and meaningful message. She also expressed her dislike for judgment and opinions being imposed on artists.

The Impact of Mali Music

The discussion took an interesting turn when they started discussing their experiences with Mali Music. Kena was introduced to Mali through her daughter’s performance of his music and was touched by the meaning behind his songs. She mentioned that his music can resonate with different aspects of life, such as spirituality, family, and relationships.

Tajah also shared her introduction to Mali through a Christian performing arts company and expressed her admiration for his relatable and motivational messages. She appreciates how his music can uplift her before starting her day. Both Lachina and Tasha highlighted Marley’s ability to connect with people and stay true to himself throughout his career.

A Conversation with Mali Music

Pastor Phil was happy to have Mali Music on the show, who talked about his music and how he sees it as a genre of its own. He compares it to funk and rock, explaining how certain genres are birthed from powerful individuals who bring something unique and digestible to the table. He emphasized that his music is not just for himself, but for teaching and empowering others.

When Pastor Phil asked Mali Music about the songs he loves and how they contribute to the culture he is trying to create, he explained that his music is like medicine, addressing the pains and wounds of the culture. He refers to it as “Tuesday music,” meaning that it is relevant and encouraging beyond just Sundays.

The Church as a Sunflower

Mali Music shared a powerful analogy of the church being like a sunflower, attracting butterflies (people) to fulfill their purpose. He encourages the church to embrace change and evolve with the times.

A Trip to Ghana

Pastor Phil and DJ Ruckus recently had the opportunity to visit Ghana, West Africa, where they brought a group of young men for a rites of passage program. Pastor Phil expressed his desire to learn more about African theology and the African perspective on faith, rather than European theology.

The Power of Lyrics in Gospel Music

Reflecting on the power of lyrics in gospel music, Pastor Phil mentioned how certain songs can bring him to tears and evoke a sense of reverence for God. He wonders about the younger generation and whether they have the same connection to gospel music. They discussed the potential impact of artists like Mali Music in bridging the gap between secular and gospel music.

The Future of Gospel Music

As they wrapped up their discussion, Pastor Phil and DJ Ruckus touched on the future of gospel music and its evolution. They discussed the idea of artists crossing over into different genres as a way to reach a wider audience. We also expressed excitement about the power of music to make people dance and the joy it brings.

Thank you for tuning in and we’ll see you next episode! God Bless.

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The evolution of gospel music (00:01:01) Discussion about the history and transformation of gospel music, from traditional church choir songs to contemporary styles.

Performance versus ministry in music (00:02:30) Exploration of the difference between performing and ministering in gospel music, and the impact it has on the church and worship experience.

The role of gospel music in the civil rights movement (00:07:15) Highlighting the significance of gospel music as a key component of the civil rights movement and its impact on the African American community.

The evolution of music in the church (00:10:13) Pastor Phil discusses the evolution of music in the church and how personal growth influences musical preferences.

The role of gospel music in the civil rights movement (00:12:54) Pastor Phil talks about the role of gospel music in the civil rights movement and the importance of addressing both the good and challenging aspects of life through music.

The impact of Marley Music (00:13:13) Kena Young and Tajah Kelly discuss their personal experiences with Mali Music and how his songs resonate with different aspects of their lives.

The Evolution of Music Genres (00:20:08) Discussion on how music genres like funk and rock evolved and how Molly Music fits into the music landscape.

Creating a Counterculture (00:21:51) The importance of creating a counterculture through music and being grounded in faith while offering something different.

The Purpose of the Church (00:24:31) The church as a sunflower attracting butterflies, and the church’s purpose being to reproduce and bring forth new life.

The African Theology (00:30:22) Discussion about the experience of African evangelical church services in Ghana and the desire to learn African theology.

Grief and Grieving (00:32:25) Conversation about dealing with death and grief, and the challenges of experiencing multiple losses.

Mali Music Concert (00:33:47) Review and discussion of a concert by gospel artist Mali Music, including comments on the sound quality and the impact of his music.

The evolution of music in the church (00:38:33) Discussion about the impact of music in the church and the lyrics that can bring people to tears.

The generation’s connection to gospel music (00:39:03) Exploring how the younger generation connects with gospel music and the songs that resonate with them.

The role of gospel music in the civil rights movement (00:41:07) The power of gospel music in expressing pain and the importance of feeling and experiencing the music before singing it.

The evolution of music in the church (00:47:57) Discussion about how music has changed in the church, its impact, and the role of local churches in embracing different styles.

Performance versus ministry in music (00:47:57) Exploration of the debate between using music as a performance and using it as a means of ministry in the church.

The role of gospel music in the civil rights movement (00:48:26) Reflection on the significance of gospel music during the civil rights movement and its power to inspire and bring people together.

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