OK. The gospel community has been supportive of the clean version of "Jesus Walks"; and of course, it should be written in stone that anyone can rap, sing or say whatever they please about Jesus Christ. Even if they don't believe in what he preached, we do live in a free society that has the right to free speech, at least that is what our government tells us.
Just today, my sister was destined to pick up the debut project of John Stevens, better known as John Legend. The new R&B sensation is taking the nation by storm with his clean approach and with his talented array of song writing and vocal skills. He conjures up deep emotion when his silky voice is heard and the lyrical power of his songs are reminiscent of the neo-soul movement, with a tad bit of originality attached to it.
Let it be said though - that John Legend is no gospel artist at all.
So why am I speaking about it???
Well, Kanye West, who is very much instrumental in Legend's current success, appears on his project and even helps produce this worthy collection of smooth R&B/hip-hop flavored songs. And he appears on the cut, "Number One", which features one of my favorite jams from back in the day. Using the backbone to "Let's Do It Again", penned by the late great Curtis Mayfield and sung by the Staple Singers, this song is like ice in a warm Pepsi in the summertime. It's just delicate. UNTIL - Kanye West opens his mouth to utter a senseless rap using words like "penis", "suck" and "shit" and "ho" and several other words - and using them in very bad usages. I mean, c’mon, I don’t need to repeat exactly what the young emcee said - like you really can used the word "ho" in a good way!!!! Please...I don't need to go there.
It's very sad that John Legend has to be attached to West's current controversies. It's not really his fault. He wants to put out good music and with a contract with Sony Urban and Columbia, he is doing that. But to be connected to one bad track like "Number One", it could hurt Legend's "legendary" status later on.
As for our good friend, Kanye West, I pray he doesn't fall into the same pitfalls as his fellow contemporaries, because it's not worth it. Just for money...just to please ghetto-minded folk...just to satisfy such sinners...why? Give us good music, and leave the filth out. Gosh, I prolly listen to Gospel, but I do expect to listen to wholesome R&B every now and then. And these days, it's getting harder and harder for artists with that frame of mind to even exist.
Sad to say, when the music stops - Kanye fails to present his integrity to J. Matthew Cobb, such as when he was singing about Jesus on "Jesus Walks". That's why us, the believers, shouldn't be so supportive over events like "U Saved Me" and "Jesus Walks" just because they talking about our Savior (that goes for you gospel radio, gospel retail, industry vets and e-zines). Talk is just what it is...TALK. I'm beginning to believe that's all "Jesus Walks" is.
Talk on, Bro. West. Talk on.