Foreword: This is a blog on an independent website. We realize that you don’t know who we are, thus you are not obligated to finish this piece if you are not happy with the content. We are not perfect and thus everything in this blog applies to us FIRST. Enjoy.
First of all it’s, probably noteworthy that we only blog once or twice a year (which will increase soon). We normally limit our rants and thoughts to the Facebook timeline, but we have taken a much needed hiatus from the Facebook world to sort out some personal matters. (Social Media can become an idol if you let it). After a two month break we decided to look at what was going on in the world of Christian music, namely Christian Hip Hop as this is the category that we attract the most submissions from. After a quick Google search on what could be considered major news or releases, we noticed that nothing much had changed. The majors were still the majors and the minors were still the minors. Some labels had made some “upgrades” in their roster and other labels continued to put out great music. Some artists are still under the radar and continue to get overlooked, and some artists are settling court cases for songs that………uh….nevermind. (Email us for a further explanation).
Continuing through Rapzilla, Wade-O, new h20 and a few other sites, our staff had one question that really plagued our minds: What is an anomaly? By definition it has been defined as the following:
1. a deviation from the common type, rule, arrangement, or form; irregularity; abnormality.
2. someone or something anomalous.
3. an unexpected, unusual, or strange condition, situation, or quality.
Let us examine each definition one by one.
The first definition states a deviation from the common type, rule or arrangement or form. It seems to indicate that some deviation or alteration has broken the mold and become different from the other common types, rules or forms. It suggests that something has become so different from the other components that it now has another title or has to become described by another word: an anomaly.
The second definition states that SOMEONE or SOMETHING is now anomalous. Of course this is the simplest way to define a word by using the word or a form of the word in a definition. The interesting thing about this definition is that now, unlike the first definition, this definition has now shifted the focus and attention to a person or thing. Now it’s no longer about a general definition but now it’s getting into something or specifically someone specific.
Last definition delves back into the general definition of “an unexpected, unusual, or strange condition, situation, or quality”. Notable in this definition is that now we have moved from someone or something now onto to a situation.
In all three definitions, it seems that something, someone or some situation has completely become “outside” of the “normal” situation or expected lifestyle or life path. Whatever it is, it’s no longer common. It seems that with this word anomaly, it creates the idea that the subject, whomever or whatever it may be, is different from it’s counterparts. The anomalous one or situation has now grown to a state to where you can no longer identify them with a more recognizable term such as different, or peculiar, but they are now an anomaly.
Here is an interesting question: Who has the authority to deem one person or a situation as an anomaly? What criteria are needed to classify an individual or a situation as an anomaly? By what authority does one rise to an anomalous state? How many strange conditions in one’s life or one’s current situation does it require to make the situation become anomalous? How long does a person place or thing remain an anomaly?
By now you are reading this and you have arrived at a few thoughts:
• What in the blue duck feet are you guys talking about?
• Y’all just a bunch of haters!
• You are simply trying to get some shine.
• Judgmental Christians; I can’t stand them!
Whatever your thought process is, it’s clear that marketing seems to be one of the most important items in Christian Hip Hop. It’s almost as if you need a marketing ploy to run with the big boys now (Churches do this as well). It’s as if you need a gimmick to sell albums. Your album needs to have just enough worldly appeal to market to non-Christians so that you can spread the gospel message. After all, the thought is how can we spread the gospel through music if no one wants to listen to our songs? How can we get people to listen to our pitch if something doesn’t catch their ear? Non-believers need to know that we are serious artists so maybe if we sample their music on our first single they will listen to us faster right? Maybe if we use secular producers they will cop our album, right? Maybe if we appear on our social media outlets taking pictures with very famous celebrities, it will give us “street cred” and clout right?. Maybe if we take a different path, unlike our other CHH counterparts we can be seen as “fishing” and “evangelizing” and not just socializing with the unsaved right? After all Jesus did walk with sinners right? (Note: Jesus hung with Disciples for three years, and delivered the Gospel message to sinners but we digress.) Maybe if we rub shoulders with the upper echelon of society than we ourselves, our position in the music industry and/or our situation or placement has become of such a nature that now we have to classify ourselves as something that can only be deemed as an ANOMALY. (imagine EPIC sounding music right here)
Well if this is the process CHH, or any other genre for that matter, is going to display, then exactly where is the anomaly? How as a CHH artist are you (we) being anomalous?
• We use “their” music, (while falsely claiming there is no such thing as a secular/sacred divide)
• We utilize their producers claiming we are planting seeds (while increasing their net worth)
• We exhibit almost an identical process for marketing (because it works for them)
• We appear on the same television networks (because they don’t know who we are)
• We go to the same parties (for evangelistic purposes)
• We occasionally attend the same festivals and perform ( fill in your own reasoning here________ )…
…but at some point we expect to be labeled an anomaly….yes we are confused as well. (Selah)
As we inquired previously, what are the requirements, or what makes one acquire this status? While we as believers are slated to remain a set apart people, royal priesthood, salt of the earth and for lack of a better word peculiar how do we attain an anomalous status as a Believer? Should we now be considered super saints, mega believers, or extraordinary Christians? Should the fact that we have overcome situations in our life, (that others before us have conquered as well) make us legends?
(We understand right now you are either preparing to sign in and give us an earful or you haven’t even made it this far in the blog….and yes we already know, you hate judgmental Christians)
For the sake of the discussion and to be perfectly objective, we can admit Christianity as a whole has become somewhat self-centered in its presentation to the world. New non-Biblical agendas are being introduced from the pulpit almost every week. A lot of popular comedians even poke constant fun at Believers for our antics. It’s even getting to the point that Christian comedians are beginning to do just as much, if not more damage to our identity than that non-Believing comedic outlets. It’s almost deplorable the amount of content that becomes available to the world every day on the internet. (Thank you Google, Samsung, and Apple for making it easier for us to capture, upload, and display random acts of foolery from the body of Christ. We still love our brothers and sisters).
We certainly don’t want to continue to occupy your time reading this long thought, so we will just sum this up with a few observations: We may have all taken different paths, but we were saved by the same Jesus Christ who died on a cross for sins He didn’t commit. We have all become overcomers not only through the words of our testimonies, but also by the person and work of Jesus Christ. We all may have had various accomplishments, achieved certain statuses in our daily walk or fields of employment, but none of us have reached a truly anomalous state. This is not to diminish the life you are living as a believer because it’s very unique, it’s important and Christ has deemed you just as important as any other person to have ever been redeemed under His blood. However, it would be a tad bit of a misrepresentation to suggest our walk has become of such a nature that we now have to identify ourselves as something other than Believers or Christians; not super saints, not mega Christians, not ultra worshippers..just Believers…or simply Christian. If anyone one person or situation could be called an anomaly it would be Jesus Himself.