April 2016


We have Lost our Message (Inspired by Huffington Post Article, “Bono wants Christian Music to get more Honest”)

So I’m on the road to meet my girlfriend for a date in the infamous Atlanta traffic with nothing but time to burn. I remembered that my mentor tagged me in an article someone posted on Facebook captioned, “Bono wants Christian music to get more honest”, it was the same article that an industry friend inboxed to me earlier that day. I figured what better time than now to read the article while I was in traffic (I know I know, I’m not suppose to be reading in traffic. I have three words to reply to you for your swift judgement – MIND. YOUR. BUSINESS.) Ok – so now that we got that out of the way, I was pleasantly surprised that there was a video attached to the article. So with my phone connected to the speakers in the car, I pressed play. Well let me say, I got way more than I bargained for. I was thrown into deep thought that almost ruined my date night. Once I arrived at the restaurant, I was tempted to sit in the parking lot and jot down some notes from my thoughts that would turn into a blog, but I didn’t want to trouble my relationship. Now that I’ve setup the story properly, let’s get this started.

Bono (lead singer of mega group U2) and Eugene Peterson (the creator of The Message Bible) had a very candid conversation concerning the book of Psalms and the authenticity of the message. Interesting enough, the fact that a rock star and a bible translator would be sitting at the same table discussing the world and her culture through the lens of the book of Psalms is amazing. The question is how did they meet? Bono a lover of the Psalms, happened across Eugene Peterson’s Message Bible translation and fell in love with it and sought Peterson out.  The Message Bible was a breath of fresh air when the 1st edition was released in 1993 – It was real and raw, it was connected, it was organic. In the course of the discussion, Bono begins to say how David was honest, not perfect, but honest, he goes on to say how he wishes Christian music was as honest as it was in the book of Psalms. When I heard him say that, I could have screamed. I have been saying this for many months now that the issue with the Christian Music (The Gospel and CCM Format) industry is we have become fake. Our songs don’t tell the real story anymore, our artist are not required to be real. We only won’t them to be what our fantasy has created, anything other than that and they are deemed unacceptable. This has created at best a faux message that can only stay within the perimeters of fantasy, but never meet you in the dead heat of your reality.

As I said before, this threw me into deep thought about honesty. I begin to examine myself – wondering was I living an honest life? Was I creating from my honest place as an entrepreneur or was I status quo in my production. I thought about the kickback of being honest, having to show your vulnerability, having to expose yourself and your weakness to the world. In the stop and go of traffic, 5 minutes seemed like 30 minutes as I was lost in thought, I wondered if the music we have out right now would sound different if creatives would flow from their honest place. Would the lyrics be Happy – Happy –  Joy – Joy or would it be Happy – Happy – Lost my Joy. As I sit here and write while simultaneously thinking I’m wondering why is it that no one wrote a song about Eric Garner, Tamir Rice from the Christian Genre – why is it that Beyonce beat the Christian Genre and producing a very HAWT record called “Formation” that spoke to the injustices in our community? How did we miss the opportunity to raise awareness? How are we comfortable watching someone else do what we are suppose to be doing?? I think we are too busy trying to create a “sound”, trying so hard to be right and have the proverbial “oil” that we forgot to include the message. Everybody wants to be “church anointed” no one wants to be relevant.

I remember just a couple of months ago as I was in the thick of an emotional battle. I was determined to not use porn, food, anger, or any other distractor to ease my pain. I was going to just deal with it head on. I would search for songs from our top Gospel artist that would speak to me where I was at. I knew eventually I was going to come out of this emotional battle on top, but I knew if that was to happen I would have to spend sometime in it. (That is a another blog for another day folks!) I couldn’t find any music from the Christian creatives of the genre that spoke of what you do when you’re in it. So I had to look outside the genre, because K. Michele knew exactly what I was going through when she released a song called, “God I Git It”. Let me introduce you to some of the lyrics so you can see for yourself.

Always loving what don’t love me
Put my trust in things I don’t need
My poor heart should be mad at me
I just leave my wounds to bleed
Haven’t I learned anything
You showed me signs to help me see
But I love so blindly
I’m taking full responsibility
God I get it
I’m a mess & I admit it… whoa
I keep learning the same lessons
While I’m missing out on blessings
God I get it… whoa whoa

That song had to be one of the most played songs in my playlist. Why? Because the lyrics spoke DIRECTLY to me. I wasn’t given some pseudo spirituality that I can’t do nothing with in the middle of the night when my mind is racing and my failure list is increasingly taken over my consciousness. I just wanted to hear real. That is what drew Bono to Eugene Peterson, his translations made the scripture real. Interesting enough he called it, “The Message Bible”.

I have one more thing to say and I’ll conclude. Often times when I’m in a consultation with a burgeoning entrepreneur that is Christian, I have to stop them in the middle of the consult and request, “Do No Mention Jesus”. Ok, so I know you are like huh??? (I wrote a very long paragraph – that I have decided to edit out of this blog. Not sure if everyone is ready just yet. Just use your imagination on why I tell my clients to leave Jesus out of it LOL)

Christian Creatives, we have to change the appetite of the masses. We’ve done so well watering down message that it’s what is preferred now. I hear someone saying, well all music is watered down now. I have to say that is true – generally speaking, but if there is any genre that is suppose to bring real, authentic message to the world, it’s suppose to be the genre of the Christian creative. I’m not talking about the message of Jesus Christ, we’ve brought that and apparently it’s only working for us. The world at large isn’t interested. How about you bring YOUR message to them? Let us behind the front doors of your proverbial home and see the darkness you fight – give us lyrics that talk to us about the pain of the abortion, the drudgery of mental illness, the intoxication of sexual misconduct. Give us lyrics that tell how you were being raped for years, and you were too afraid to tell. Tell us how you felt the first time you were physically abused by your mother and the last time she hit you before you ran away because you couldn’t take it anymore – and tell us the story without mentioning Jesus. Tell us through song, what you said to yourself, not what the preacher said. Empower us to take a stand against social injustices. Sing to the young black men that want to do right but are fighting against a broken system. If you have an album and you haven’t specifically, purposely and DIRECTLY addressed any of the above I have one question for you – WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?

The End.


The Burden of Greatness

I just read a report from “TMZ” (I know they are not the most credible source) on the cause of Prince’s emergency landing a couple of days ago. The report said it had nothing to do with the flu, but a drug overdose. When I read that, I was sorta thrown into thought, thinking of great folks who have shaped the culture, changed the way we hear music or see life, make our lives better then die tragically. Their last breath snatched alone.

I wonder what was going through their minds, after serving the world, giving us joy – as a matter of fact some of our parents “made us” listening to their music and/or dated using their creativity as entertainment. These people would mount the stage full and stagger off empty – leaving it all to the fans. What were they thinking when they took their last breath. I would almost like to think it was more of a sigh of relief then a gasp for life. robin-williams-cover-ftr

See greatness comes with a cost that most of us will never be able to fathom. It keeps you up at night, causing you to walk the floors of your mind. Greatness leaves you always looking to quench that thirst in you. You know that thirst? That thirst that after you’ve done the very best you can, you still feel like there was so much more you could do. So you are forever pushing, plowing, forcing yourself to the next level hoping that you’ll find that moment of satisfaction.

It’s a bit of a tough spot to be in, because all the while everybody around you is singing your praises, lauding your name, but most people don’t know that your greatness even puts a void between you and them. Greatness throws you ahead of your time, your best work won’t even be recognized like it should. Only people that think higher, live on another plain, can fully grasp the true magnitude of your art.

Whitney-Michael-AmyAnd the thing is, because you have collided with greatness you can’t fake it, you can’t dumb yourself down. You have to be real about your greatness, which causes you to have few friends and to be heavily misunderstood. To add to the problem, people start mistaking your greatness for you. Now people overlook you and only see your greatness, the human touch is few and far between even so now that you depend on your own greatness to feel “normal”.

To say the least, greatness is a burden that few will ever understand and fewer will ever stand under. 


So I can’t help but think of Micheal Jackson, Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe, Vincent Van Gogh, Earnest Hemingway, Whitney Houston, and now Prince….did the burden of greatness drive him to a lifestyle that ended in death? Did they take a sigh of relief or a gasp for life? I’m willing to bet no matter how they died, knowing that they left the world better than they found it, knowing that it was time to pass the burden to the the next generation they took a sigh of relief and went on to eternity.

Freestyle Blogging: Life’s Contrast

Well I’m trying something I’ve never done before which is freestyle blogging. Think of it– I have lines vs. bars!! Ok I know for some of you that was the corniest joke ever, but I’m hoping there are some of you out there like me who got GREAT pleasure out of that joke.

It is amazing how life can be good and bad at the same time? It’s like the universe knows how to keep everything properly balanced for your good. Picture it — you are about to embark on the biggest journey of your life, but at the same time you are scared to death. Will that fear stop you? HECK NO! Is that fear causing you great anguish? Heck Yes! The most interesting thing about it is, working through that fear, facing it while simultaneously moving forward is what brings the best out of you. It’s really a lesson I had to learn the hard way….

Work through it vs. letting it work you

I remember when I really understood the above section divide statement. I was laying on the floor in my room trying to figure out how I could get out of this mess of a state I was in. It was like I couldn’t get myself together. I remember thinking, I’m letting life, clients, and money pass me by. I said to myself, I can just throw all my problems to the back burner and act like they don’t exist or I can just accept the fact that this is what I have to deal with and learn how to manage life with major issues. I decided the latter option was best. Now for some of you, you might think this is common sense, but for me (at the time) when life would get challenging I would loose focus fall into this deep dark depressing abyss. When I learned that I could live life, grow my business, be normal while simultaneously managing dark issues — that is when I found my true freedom. I didn’t have to choose between evolving internally and evolving externally. I focused on inward evolution and it led to external evolution. In essence I learned how to work through my issues vs letting the issues work me. You have to realize you are as powerful as you realize you are. Self-actualization is key to winning in life. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, failures and victories is like the melting pot that creates success.

Life with Imperfections is Perfect Living

Yes you read that right! Ok so I promise this will be my last paragraph, I’m on the roll now. Since I’ve spent the last two paragraphs really focusing on life’s contrast let me finish it with one more. The only way to really understand perfection is to be intimately involved with imperfection. It’s only when you acknowledge imperfection that you can then change it. See that’s the beauty of life, you see something wrong and you attempt to alter or fix it. This experience of seeing imperfection and addressing it also can serve as a great mirror to self. You realize things about yourself that maybe you didn’t know, for example, though that particular thing is imperfect you prefer to leave it as such vs. going through the inconvenience of change. Going through the consistent cycle of seeing, acknowledging, and addressing imperfection, and learning about yourself yields a wisdom on life that can’t be purchased in a book. In essence it yields perfect living.

Ok so I won’t guarantee that I’ll do this freestyle blogging again, but I must admit it was fun just to shoot off the top of my head. Thanks for reading and be sure to connect with me on my Facebook page by Clicking Here.