With rappers like Shyne and The Clipse’s Malice having recently displayed a changed attitude toward religion, Deadest Rapper Alive author Pastor Jomo K. Johnson gives SOHH his take on holy worship and hip-hop.
In Jomo’s eyes, it is not uncommon for hip-hop artists to embrace a higher power.
“When an artist finds Jesus Christ, that’s a wonderful thing. When I say finds Jesus Christ, I mean really finds him. When a person has an encounter with Jesus Christ, everything changes,” Jomo told SOHH. “It’s not a case where you find him and then go back to what you were doing. That shouldn’t happen. I believe all men are religious at their core. Everyone worships something. Some people worship Allah, some people worship themselves. So we’re all going to worship something but the question is ‘what’ are we going to worship? So the hip-hop industry is no different than anything else. I would say most hip-hop artists, especially commericial mainstream artists, obviously worship themselves and money.” (SOHH)
He also pointed out certain artists like Lil Wayne and Jay-Z who have often cited themselves as godly figures.
“We’ve seen something in the last 10 to 15 years in hip-hop that’s gotten worse,” Jomo added. “That’s blasphemy against the true and living God where men are openly speaking against God. They’re speaking against Jesus Chris. They’re claiming themselves to be God. Lil Wayne’s said on his albums ‘I’m God, this is the New Testament.’ Jay-Z is constantly referring to himself as Hova which is the most holy name of God. Tyler, the Creator and Lil B [a.k.a. Based God] have gone to another level of blasphemy. With the rise of artists kind of recognizing they need God in their lives, we’re also seeing the other tip of the scale with artists doing blasphemy on the living God and also Jesus Christ.” (SOHH)
Last year, The Clipse’s Malice spoke on his newfound devotion to the Lord.
“I’m working on a solo mixtape titled Hear Ye Him,” Malice revealed in an interview. “I just think it’s going to be so crazy and I’m so excited that I can’t sleep at night. I can’t wait to get these verses out here to the fans, especially those who thought I stopped rapping or I’m doing Christian hip-hop or gospel music or something now. I’m definitely not doing that — I respect any vehicle that promotes Christ, so I definitely respect, but that’s just not something I do. I don’t think I would do a good service to gospel music or Christian hip-hop.” (Karmaloop TV)
In November 2010, rapper Shyne spoke on his conversion to Judaism.
“All these rules, rules, rules,” the rapper said about the strict religious requirements. “But you know what you have if you don’t have rules? You end up with a bunch of pills in your stomach.” Even though Shyne sports a Hasidic-style hat and a black jacket that hangs to his knees, the Brooklyn-raised rapper said he hasn’t lost his street cred. “There’s nothing in the Chumash [a Jewish book] that says I can’t drive a Lamborghini,” said Shyne, who was released from prison last year after serving nine years. (New York Post)
Check out a recent Jomo K. Johnson interview below: