By Jomo K. Johnson
A few days ago, a good friend sent me a message on Facebook. His message was, “Have you heard the new Rick Ross song?” The answer was no. I have not been following Rick Ross or the infamous Maybach Music Group since my on-air debate with rapper Meek Mill. So when he mentioned the new song, I could only imagine that it was somehow related to the defamation of the Christian faith or good religion. I decided to do a Google search and came across the song featuring Kanye West and Big Sean titled Sanctified. Upon reading the title of the song, I could only imagine what lyrics might be embedded in a song with such a religious title.
Before I continue with a critique of the song, let me say this. I have said all I can say about the war against Christianity and the profanity against the name of Jesus in Hip-Hop music. But there are a few remarks that I believe can be communicated as it relates to the new song by Rick Ross. First and foremost, I applaud Mr. Ross for being willing to communicate his faith so clearly and consistently in his music. He is a firm believer in the gods of money, power, and respect, and he preaches that message with the power and profundity and the utmost sincerity of any Christian preacher I know. He has amassed millions of followers, millions of dollars, and seems to be a new role model in urban African-American community. So for those reasons alone, I recognize the unique talent and work ethic of the Hip Hop Superstar.
In the song, Ross enlists Betty Wright to sing what at first appears to be a very passionate and gospel-centered hook. Ross employs Christian terminology as the song refers to: “being born again, the spirit of God, being sanctified, testifying, and the word of God.” Kanye West, in his alter ego known as Yeezus speaks about, “having his sins washed in the blood of Jesus” and “champagne as holy water” and refers to “God giving him a personal message.” This verse proceeds Rick Ross comparing himself to cult leader, child molester, and mass murderer David Koresh.
Instead of the utter contempt or anger that would proceed from a Christian believer, a victim of child molestation, or a family member of anyone from the Branch Davidian cult massacre upon hearing such a song, I am more so filled with sympathy. The gods of Rick Ross, Kanye West, and Big Sean, are no gods at all. They are idols just as wood, stone, and other statues, in the world that men worship. These idols do not provide safety or security, satisfaction for spiritual satiation, nor eternal life. There is only one person who can do that: the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a Christian, author, and former pastor, it is my desire to communicate not only to Rick Ross, but all who read this article, that while Mr. Ross may have the best producers to create the most unique musical beats, while he may have the most successful rappers as featured artists, and while he may soon have the number one Hip-Hop album in the country, his soul is not sanctified. There is only one who can sanctify, or set apart of soul for a good purpose and use, and that person is Jesus Christ. Until Rick Ross, Kanye West, or Big Sean choose to turn from their idols of money, power, and respect, they will never be sanctified.
While they can thank God for their blessings that derive from the proclamation and propagation of murderous and misogynistic, blasphemous and profane music, they are actually giving honor to another god, the devil. In the words of Rick Ross, the devil is a lie. I am saddened that Mr. Ross would follow the same lie that he warns his listeners about. The true God does not take pleasure in evil, and therefore cannot be thanked for any thing that is obtained through evil music, evil lyrics, or evil intentions.
Some might say that Rick Ross is simply an entertainer and his music is no more than a film in music form. If so, it would be good to hear this from his mouth. Please tell us, Mr. Ross, that comparing yourself to a child molesting cult leader is just entertainment. Tell the Christians in Sudan and Arabia who are tortured and imprisoned for their faith that you mean no harm. But more than that, please tell Jesus that are a sinner in need of his grace.
I may be wrong, but I highly doubt that this music is simply entertainment. I believe this type of music is a religion that exemplifies the core beliefs of the lives of that rappers that communicate it. Therefore it’s my prayer that all three artists would turn away from this type of message that their music personifies, and turn to the Lord Jesus in repentance and faith. He died on the cross that they might be forgiven. I ask all fellow brothers and sisters who believe in Jesus to pray for these men until that wonderful sanctification occurs.
Dear Father, I pray for Rick Ross, Kanye West, Big Sean and all other rappers who do not know you. Please show them that true sanctification comes from the shed blood of your Son and faith in that blood as the only way to be saved. Humble them that their lives would reflect your glory and that they would no longer live for themselves, but for you alone. Show them your love and save them that they might be a vessel to tell others about you. All humans, including myself, are sinful at heart, and need your mercy. Please show them what true sanctification is by drawing them to yourselves.
In Jesus Name