This evening as I was driving to my business meeting, I found myself yelling at the radio. Deitrick Haddon apparently has a new CD coming out, and CoCo Brother played the single. I think he said it’s called Well Done. True, I didn’t hear the entire song, but I heard most of it. I’m telling you guys…that song got on my nerves! I swear, the majority of his recent CDs have that one song on it that is the oh-crap-we-still-need-one-more-song-so-let-me-write-something-really-quick song. You know…the lyrics are lite and almost unnecessary because either it makes no sense, or it’s like, “DUH!!” And then the music is “safe,” simple, and unimaginative unlike the rest of the CD. This Well Done track is that, although I have not heard the rest of the CD. Anyway, so the reason I was yelling at the radio is because I think sometimes black Christians say things because they sound good without really thinking about what they mean. This song was talking about how he wants to hear “well done” when he gets to Heaven. That’s great. My issue is with the rest of the lyrics. There were a couple lines that pushed me over the edge, but the one that stands out the most was when he said that he’s working hard to get there, and all he wants is his name in the book and to hear well done–or something like that. WHAT?! All you want is to get your name in the book?! That’s pre-school! As soon as you accept Jesus, your name goes in the book!!! Why would one have to WORK to get their name in the book when it’s already there?? AND if that’s all you’re working for, then isn’t your work in vain? If that’s true, then that would explain a lot about his music–we can talk about that later! I love his voice, and he can definitely lay a track down, but I have some issues with his content sometimes. Anyway…so yeah, if you’re working hard to get something done that’s already done, then what are you really doing?
I forgot the other thing Deitrick said that made me yell, but then I started thinking about other dumb things that black Christians say. The word inheritance popped into my mind. I started to think about it, and then all of a sudden I disliked every song that talks about going to GET your inheritance. Think about it: an inheritance is something that is LEFT for you. You don’t have to go get it because it is GIVEN to you. Typically an inheritance is left after someone dies which implies a certain level of patience on our part. So, if an inheritance is something that we have to WAIT for it to be given, then “going and getting it” wouldn’t be right, correct? Isn’t this the exact same thing that the prodigal son did?? And how exactly does one “go get” their inheritance anyway? I mean like, Jesus didn’t physically leave money and real estate behind, so what are we getting? Well, actually He did leave some real estate behind, but it’s not for us because we’re not Jewish! That’s another thing. A lot of us church folks go around quoting scripture and claiming promises that don’t apply to us because the scripture/promise was not written to us! That’s a whole ‘nother topic right there….
I was responding to my brother because he asked me why I was frustrated with gospel radio stations today–at least the one here in the ATL. I could write several paragraphs, but I’ll just point out one thing. Honestly, I’ve noticed that they are getting better about it now, but they still have a long way to go. In the past, that station typically plays the same type of songs over and over and over again! What kind of songs? I’ll tell you! These songs have the same ol’ tired lyrics: “get me out, Jesus,” “fix me, Jesus,” “help me, Jesus,” “bless me, Jesus,” “work it out, Jesus….” Is Jesus only good for what He can do for us??? I thought WE were supposed to be serving HIM! That gets on my nerves. I challenge you to listen to the words of the so-called hot songs and see if there are really all that. And OMG, the screaming females!! My God!!!! That makes ME say HELP ME JESUS! LOL, I mean, I know the Bible says to make a joyful noise, but I don’t think it really meant a joyful NOISE!!! AHHHHHH! All that screaming makes me want to SCREAM! But anyway…I will come down from that.
There’s a reason why Fred Hammond is my favorite artist. His lyrics are consistent! Consistent with what? They are consistently focused on praising and worshiping God for who He IS and not for what He’s DONE. True, it is appropriate to praise God for what He’s done. There are plenty of songs that I love that center around that, but if ALL your songs have to do with what God can do (especially for you), then I would question your motivation. There is a difference between someone who used to run the streets and has been delivered from drugs, and the songs talk about how God delivered you and everything God DID for you. I call those testimony songs. Shoot…tell it!!! Somebody needs to know about that. Honestly, you could probably use that as a basis for your ministry to seek to reach out to a certain group of people. DO IT! That is TOTALLY different from some church folks who ain’t never been through nothin, ain’t never did nothin, and ain’t gonna do nothin (and that’s excellent English!) talking about “bless me bless me bless me bless me bless me bless me, fix me, bless me bless me bless me bless me bless me, get me out, bless me bless me bless me bless me, work it out, bless me bless me bless me. Get my meaning? Those lyrics are a cop out and is a result of sheer laziness in my opinion. Why don’t more people tap into who God is to them and write NEW songs? You know…like, ones we’ve never heard before?!
Of course, I’m not trying to put anyone down. I’m just saying that I wish gospel music was a little bit more creative than it has been. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY appreciate artists who always creative and have always made great music, and are just beginning too like Forever Jones! Talkin’ ’bout straight from the Horse’s mouth?? Their songs come STRAIGHT from Heaven…no, seriously. All the songs on their album were birthed from their family prayer time. Awesome stuff. Check’em out if you haven’t already. The long and short of it is just to be more cognizant of what songs are actually saying.