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Monday, September 1, 2008

Jesus Walks

Hip-hop and rap are some of the few musical genres that typically don't appeal to me. There's just something about the genre that just lacks a lot of depth, in my opinion. I like songs with a message, and that isn't often times found in hip-hop or rap tracks. A lot of artists in these genres aren't so much in it for the music as they are for these fame and fortune. Maybe that's a misconception; maybe that's just how they seem at first glance. But in all honesty, that's how they present themselves, and that representation doesn't make me desire to know any more about them - as people or musicians.
So far, I've found Kanye West to be an exception.
The stuff I've heard from Kanye West - which isn't a lot, granted - seems to have the depth and message that is often times missing from the type of music he sings. And this song of his, titled Jesus Walks, is a perfect example of that. The entire song is about how what he's rapping about - the Lord - isn't something that is typically "accepted" by followers of the genre ("They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus / That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes / But if I talk about God my record won't get played").
The message behind this song is very self explanatory; just take a listen. And really listen. Hear what Kanye's trying to say. The music video is beautiful and also helps get the point of the song across.
I commend Kanye for taking a chance with this song. It's great to see that rappers can sing about more than "guns, sex, lies" ... you know.
This is Jesus Walks by Kanye West.

Kanye West - Jesus Walks Official Music Video



Jesus Walks
Kanye West

Yo, we at war
We at war with terrorism, racism, and most of all we at war with ourselves
(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me) with me, with me, with me ...

You know what the Midwest is?
Young & Restless
Where restless - might snatch your necklace
And next these - might jack your Lexus
Somebody tell these - who Kanye West is
I walk through the valley of the Chi where death is
Top floor the view alone will leave you breathless
Try to catch it, it's kinda hard
Getting choked by the detectives yeah, now check the method
They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us
Saying "We eat pieces of s**t like you for breakfast"
Huh? Ya'll eat pieces of s**t? What's the basis?
We ain't going nowhere but got suits and cases
A trunk full of -, rental car from Avis
My momma used to say only Jesus can save us
Well momma I know I act a fool
But I'll be gone 'til November I got packs to move I hope

(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now
(Jesus Walks)
And I don't think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus Walks with me)
I want to talk to God but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long

To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers
(Jesus walks with them)
To the victims of welfare for we living in hell here, hell yeah
(Jesus walks with them)
Now hear ye, hear ye, want to see Thee more clearly
I know He hears me when my feet get weary
Cause we're the almost nearly extinct
We rappers are role models, we rap, we don't think
I ain't here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis, that's the way I need Jesus
So here go my single, dog, radio needs this
They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes
But if I talk about God my record won't get played, huh?
Well let this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then I hope this take away from my sins
And bring the day that I'm dreaming about
Next time I'm in the club everybody screaming out

(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks)
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now
(Jesus Walks)
And I don't thing there's nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus walks with me ...)
I want to talk to God but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long

3 comments:

Amy said...

That was phenominal.
I also highly dislike rap, for really the same reasons as you, but this song is an exception.

It's so sad, but true, that we can talk about anything these days publicly except what this country was built on, our faith in God.
Hopefully that song will be played on the radio often, and will get through to some people in a positive way.

Savy said...

Wow I really love the lyrics and the message. It's great that someone as famous as Kanye West can make a song about Jesus and not be ashamed.

Matios said...

Wow. Thank you very much for this humble point of view on rap, but recognizing some of the depth that's found in there.

But don't worry, because most of us that listen to rap don't have to be so polite when we say a lot of the music out right now is trash, and lacks substance.

The reason it's so prominent in today's culture is because of
A) Its history in struggle, and its struggle through history as an art-form primarily for urban areas, but not quite accepted on the mainstream

B) The beat makes so much of a difference! That's the only saving grace. And all though there are a lot of instrumentals that suck, when they're in the club, the base makes for a great mesmerizing effect. It's been proven to be hypnotic.

You should ask some people you might know about some GREAT songs and artists, and if they give you whack ones, e-mail me so I can send you a video a day of phenomenal stuff!