I just want to say I love Christian Rap. I’ve been following the genre for years and for as long as I’ve been following the genre there has always been a debate on Sacred vs Secular. In the past the debate was just that, a debate because at that time there were really no CHH artists that were really crossing over into the mainstream. The debate was more one of I rap for the church vs I rap for the streets. Today I see a shift in what’s happening in CHH and they’re more opportunities for Christian rap artist to viably crossover. With Lecrae winning a Grammy award, Trip Lee videos being played on 106 & Park and Andy Mineo appearing on MTV there is now very real inroads into the secular realm but do we loose anything with this new found success? I’m a proponent for Christians going into these environments and having conversations with the lost about Christ and using our skill and abilities to reach those beyond the church but how should we do this?
In November my wife and I interviewed Christian Rap artist Flame and in the interview Flame said some pretty provocative things. One statements that Flame made when asked about how to navigate this new found success for Christian Rappers was that rappers who want to pursue a more secular route should just step away from the Christian market and pursue the secular avenues and leave some space to those who want to remain “Christian” in their approach and methods. I would have to say I agree with him on that.
Here is our interview with Flame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__RlEFrDpGg
Until this weekend I had never watched A&E’s Duck Dynasty. I had no interest in it at all.The very name of the show was a turnoff in my mind. In the past I had heard a lot about the show and I have seen a lot of merchandise for the show in stores but I’d never sat down and actually watched an episode. This weekend my wife and I watched the show for the first time actually we watched pretty much the whole first season of the show and I tell you what I can see why people love it. I work in a predominately white workplace so I would hear references to the show all the time but I had no clue what people were talking about. Now we all know about the big controversy surrounding Phil Robertson who is the dad and patriarch of the Robertson family. Robertson made some remarks that really ticked off the homosexual community, well after watching the show it really puzzled me why A&E was so caught off guard over Phil Robertson’s remarks. Phil Robertson and his whole family for that matter strike me as “we say what we want” type people they are pretty no nonsense. They are self proclaimed Red Necks from Louisiana that love to hunt, fish, eat and have made a lot of money selling duck calls. Nowadays I look a lot through the eyes of what needs to be done and how can I do more to help the Black Community so as I watched this show episode after episode I started thinking, man there are some valuable lessons that we, the Black community could learn from Duck Dynasty.
1. Value of Family. The thing that I found endearing about the show is the tight bond in the Robertson family. Family is the bedrock of our communities and our families in America and more specifically in the Black Community has been ravaged and torn apart by many factors. I believe at the helm is the enemy, the devil using systems of this world even our governmental system which is suppsed to help us to inflict untold harm on the family. All families have their problems and the Robertson’s family problems are on display for all to see yet at the end of the day they stick together and that’s very noble. The strength of this family is something that puzzles me about A&E decision. How did they think they could take Phil Robertson off the show without the whole family saying well we will have to go too? Very dumb.
2. Phil Robertson the Patriarch and the men of the family. Just by watching the show you see male leadership. I have a respect for Phil Robertson in that he leads his family, he teaches his kids and grand kids the things that he’s learned over the years, his wife loves and respects him and he loves her, he promotes hard work and is a prime example of someone who made it from nothing to something because of the grace of God and his work ethic. Black family we need this infused into our community once again. We need Godly patriarchs that will lead families and teach the young boys how to become real men. We need no nonsense fathers, uncles, and grandfathers that will impart wisdom and knowledge that is beneficial to the younger generation of black men. We need older women that will teach the younger how to take care of the home and how to create an atmosphere of love for all who come through the doors.
3. Respect for God. I would say if I asked how many or our black homes eat meals together as a family, or how many of us grew up seeing a patriarchal figure in our home each night open our meal up with prayer the answer would be a very low amount of our black homes do this. Of course I’m guessing based on personal experience and the knowledge of friends and families I’ve observed but I think my guess is pretty accurate. Also within the show you see the family not ashamed to speak or their priority of church and God and his Word. This was something that we once had in the black community but my fear is that the fear of God is rapidly going away in our homes.
4. Well defined roles. Believe what you want but as men and women we have very distinct yet very important roles as it pertains to the home, the family and how our households function. I see Phil’s wife as a keeper of the home she not only loves to cook but from the looks of things she provides Phil and the rest of their family with an atmosphere of love and warmth. This is no knock on working wives (my wife is a working woman) but this goes far beyond whether a woman works or if she doesn’t this speaks to the atmosphere and environment of the home and whether a wife works or not she can create a favorable atmosphere for her husband and her kids to enjoy.
Of course I don’t know the Duck Dynasty cast personally some people would say look at Phil’s comments about the blacks who he worked with and knew being happy. Well here are Phil’s comments exactly:
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field …. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word! … Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
I don’t know Phil Robertson personally but looking at his comments I personally don’t see anything racist about them. He is speaking from his personal experience where he was and the people he was around. Is he saying that there were not injustices against blacks at that time? No he’s speaking personally but I feel that what we should be concerned with as Black people is the end of Phil’s comment he said “I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word! … Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
The picture we get of the blacks at that time from Robertson’s point of view was positive. We didn’t blame others, we didn’t feel a sense of entitlement, we were not looking for handouts, we were godly! Let’s focus on getting back there helping ourselves to get back on track and stop wasting time listening to the race baiters who need to stir up controversy that keeps us divided and keeps them rich.