Interview with The Plumbline Collective (part 4 of 4)


HR: So as far aspirations, do you all want to do hiphop as the main thing or do you want to be pastors or something else?

Alex: Man, Hip Hop is more of a hobby than anything else for me. I know that sounds bad, but, to some degree I’m forced too. Working a full time job and serving in my local community. Music is one of the last things on my mind most of the time. I want to get into school and try to get certified to teach in the Atlanta school system, but I may be dreaming. Ive spent some time in bible college, but I would like to explore the idea of seminary in the future.

Kevin: I don’t see rapping as my main focus. My goal is to get a job and make as much money as I can, live off as little as I can, and give the rest to the Church, and serving and encouraging the body in whatever ways the Lord allows me.

Omri: Nah, not me. I don’t wanna be a full time rapper. I like teaching the students that I have as a full-time job. The idea of full-time shepherding is appealing though. But regardless, I wanna meet the qualifications of an elder laid out in I Timothy 3.

HR: Why Hiphip? What do you say to those who say that there is something sinful about it?

Alex Faith: Hip-Hop is what I grew up on. Just a cultural thing, as well as locational. Growing up in Atlanta, that was the only music that existed for us. I don’t really respond to people who think that Hip Hop is inherently sinful. I think that sprouts from immaturity and legalism. I’m not against a dialogue, but there are bigger things to address about Hip Hop culture in general.

Kevin: For me hip hop has always been my favorite music growing up and it heavily influenced me. Not quite sure what I would say to someone who says that it’s sinful, I think that’s pretty ridiculous. I think most who would think that would so because they have probably heard “christian” rap that just wanted to sound cool and tag the name Jesus on it. I would want to let them listen to The Cross by Shai Linne, or The Humility of Christ by Timothy Brindle. I can’t imagine a true believer listening to those songs and saying that they’re sinful.

Omri: (haha) Yeah, we’re well aware that some people label Christian hip hop as a contradiction. I’d point them to Psalm 69:30-31 and Acts 10 though. God’s using sinful people, so surely he can use the music of a certain culture for His glory. As far as why we use hip hop, it’s not real deep for me. I just love it! I’ve always had a bent toward enjoying hip hop and rapping over other forms of music. Now I just take it and use it to glorify the Creator.
HR: What drew you guys to lyricism and hiphop in general? What records did you hear coming up that made you say, “Yeah, I wish I could do that?” I mean for example, myself being a beathead, I almost died when I got a hold of a copy the first Jurrasic 5 EP and then when Dilated Peoples’, “the platform” dropped I was  so floored and became a real convert to that L.A. underground sound. What records did that for you?

Omri: Honestly, growing up, I wasn’t even allowed to listen to any form of hip hop! I remember the first gospel hip hop album that my brother did buy. When my dad heard it, he took it from us and threw it away! My family always liked more traditional gospel stuff. I can remember enjoying this one rap verse on a Yolanda Adams album though! (haha) Later on, during my first year in high school my dad let me buy Knowdaverbs’ album The Syllabus and one night, after listening to it, he actually enjoyed it. Verbs is his favorite rapper to this day…wait, no. I take that back. Actually, I think Alex might be his favorite rapper now.

Kevin: First rap song I heard was Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio when I was 7 or 8 when I was watching Dangerous Minds. I was so drawn to the beat and I loved rap ever since. I really started getting fascinated with rhyme schemes and lyricism when I noticed Eminem doing them. Ever since then, almost every time I would hear a rap song or somebody else rap, I would pay close attention to whether or not they could make syllables rhyme in their raps. I liked all kinds of rap, but particularly east coast was drawing me with the lyricism. Listening to Fabolous, Dipset, among many others, and also watching freestyle battles on street DVDs really drew me and influenced me to admire and adopt lyricism.

Alex Faith: The Minstrel Show by Little Brother made me want to construct songs, and not just rap. They aren’t the best emcees, but they made good songs, and thorough albums. Guys like Royce Da 5’9 made me want to go in on a beat, not rap passively about whatever, but make you believe what I’m saying. Guys like Tim Brindle and Shai Linne, Ackdavis, and Eshon Burgundy have encouraged me lyrically, especially as a Christian.

HR: If you could sit under any theologian, living or dead as your pastor who would it be and why?

Omri: Man, I hate to sound super-spiritual or whatever, but I don’t know of any men dead or alive that I’d rather be cared for other than the elders of my body at Grace Bible Church. Those are the most humbled 7 servants that I know! They epitomize loving, servant leadership. Over the past (almost) two years, I’ve seen their service to the people in our body infect the attitudes and hearts of the people there. They are a great example and definitely evidence of God’s grace in Tempe, Arizona.

Kevin: Martyn Lloyd-Jones because he had such a good balance of realizing and embracing the necessity of having sound doctrine and good theology and also having the reality and the power of God upon your life. He stressed knowing God in an intimate, real way and not just having academic theoretical head knowledge. He believed and expected God to do the miraculous things that are typically shunned in a lot of churches with sound doctrine.

Alex Faith: Not sure about the answer to that…. I love sitting under my pastor. Don’t mean to sound spiritual, but I enjoy the teaching that comes from the pulpit in East Point.

HR: Omri, Why a Master’s in Biblical Counseling? Why not just serve the church over beats?

Omri: Great question! I chose to pursue a degree in Biblical Counseling because I want to see people changed and come to a greater understanding of and love for Jesus! Biblical Counseling aims to take a biblical view of the nature of man and effect the hearts of men through Scripture for God’s glory. No philosophy, psychological system, or religion outside of the teachings of Scripture has a right anthropology. Since they don’t get God right, they fail to understand man properly as well. And without a right understanding of the nature of man, true change can’t take place. Why not just serve the church over beats? Basically, because it’s not biblical to do so. First, God has given every believing rapper spiritual gifts and rapping is not one of them. If the only thing I’m doing with my time is shows, writing, and recording, then chances are, I’m not maximizing the gifts, talents, time, and opportunities that God has given me to serve the people around me. Rappers who take that approach should repent, love God’s church more and search for more ways to serve Christ’s body.
HR: When you’re dead and gone what do you want to be remembered for?

Kevin: I gave myself to knowing Christ and counted everything else as loss and vanity.

Omri: When I’m dead I want people to remember what I said about Jesus.

Alex Faith: That I enjoyed Christ by enjoying the life and things that he gave me while here. That I took advantage of opportunities that he gave me to share about him to a dying world. That I loved people, by loving God.

  1. April 26th, 2010
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