I know as much about rap as any freakishly white, curly haired, freckled girl from a small town in Texas that can best be described as “po-dunk” should. That sentence, despite its, I’m sure grammatical incorrectness, should be read: “I don’t know anything about rap.” I don’t know what makes some “good” and some “bad.” I also think it depends on how you define “bad.” Maybe you think the “artist” should have cursed more and talked less about drugs, or vice versa. Maybe you measure the quality of a rap song by how many times the word “booty” is used. I don’t know. I know that I don’t really like listening to rap, but it sure is good to work out too. If you find a good beat it can make the difference in a long, boring run, especially if you are on a treadmill. However, to enjoy the beat you usually have to fill your mind with useless crap. As my dad always said, “You can’t spell CRAP without RAP.”
That is why I love Tedashii. If you have never heard of Tedashii you tube him now. He performed at our church a year or two ago and in the middle of thinking “some of these old people are going to fall over dead from shock” I fell in love with what he was doing. Like I said, I don’t know much about rap, but this seemed good…and it was Christian! And he didn’t just give God a random shout out here and there. It was as if he took a few sermon series and put them to music.
Last week I was taking a couple of the PE classes into our fitness room for class. While it is nice to have a fitness room, it feels kind of like a dungeon in there. Fluorescent lights, white walls, cold tile, you get the picture. We tried to make the room seem less prison-like by having music, but if I had to listen to Adele sing about how she is going to find “someone like you” again, I was going to pull my hair out. So, knowing that the majority of the girls enjoy rap music but knew better than to suggest listening to it in class, I bought Tedashii’s CD off of iTunes. When I turned on Tedashii’s jams, the girls looked like they liked it but also looked a bit confused.
“Miss, who is this?” I told her his name and that he is a Christian rapper.
“Miss, Christians can’t rap.”
I think I had a sarcastic response that was something like “sounds like they can” but it sounded less mean than that. We listened to the music and I translated some of the lyrics (no one understands a rap song the first time they hear it), and they really enjoyed it.
I learned two lessons that day. 1) Tedashii does what he does with excellence (again, excellence from my opinion). You can be a rapper, teacher, lawyer, student, baker, painter, construction worker, doctor, janitor, assistant, CEO, anything and do it with excellence, as you should. Colossians 3:23 baby, and Tedashii gets it. He has a great beat and music matched with lyrics that are truth all the way around.
2) I want my students to learn that, yes, there are certain things that Christians don’t do (or at least, shouldn’t do), but more than that I want them to learn that Christians should be more about what we do do. That Christ is glorified when we abstain from the things he told us to stay away from (for our own good) and when we use the talents he gave us to glorify him.
Now go and youtube Tedashii ( I like the songs “Thank You” and “Make War”)