With the hip hop world anticipating the release tomorrow of the new album from Kanye West and Jay Z, aka the Throne, I had more than a few thoughts about the whole thing.
Now before you write me off as another Christian lambasting Jay Z and Kanye – this isn’t that blog. I pray for these brothers often, and as a hip hop head for the last 25 years of my life, I recognize their influence and their talent. You can say what you want to say about them, whether it’s connections to the Illuminati, or extreme materialism, but one thing is for sure: they are very highly gifted.
Neither is this the blog where Pastor Neli is encouraging everyone to go out and buy Kanye and Jay’s music – by no means do I want to do that either. Especially when the subject matter of their albums, in a nutshell, is themselves.
What I do want to highlight is the theme of their new album: WATCH THE THRONE. So as all eyes are on them like 2pac, we turn to these two, not just hip hop, but pop culture icons, to see what it is of this throne they talk about? Kanye West on one hand, known for his groundbreaking production, and extremely braggadocios rhymes on one hand, and Taylor Swift mic-grabbing/anti-George Bush comments on public live stages on the other. His “mentor” and current “throne of hip hop” occupier is Jay Z, who arguably is the best rapper alive, and successful business mogul, but of course, he won’t hesitate to tell you that himself… on every album he releases… on every second song…
Now despite outlandish god-like claims (Kanye “I made Jesus walk”, Jay-Hova etc.), one can easily see, especially me as a Christ follower, just how deceiving a few things can be, that once attained, can easily throw us into a spiral of becoming full of ourselves. Christians looking to be successful in ANYTHING, (and especially artists and entrepreneurs) take note – these are a few of those few things:
1) Giftedness/Creativity – One thing to remember that as all of us may be gifted a certain way, much like the brothers Kanye and Jay, that we must remember the one who has blessed us with the gift. Even at our best, you’ll never outdo the God of Wonders. The moment you start taking credit for your giftedness, you become the villain in your own story. Acknowledge the source – always. (Romans 1:17f)
2) Fame – As your stock rises on the fame market, so does the tendency to think you’ve attained some form of purpose. I remember Darlene Zschech rightfully telling us at an Every Nation conference last year, that us as humans were never designed to receive glory. Fame belongs to our God – alone.
“Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:4)
3) Gold – when we begin to equate our capabilities to be the sole source of our provision, we enter into yet another dimension of self glorification, and even into self-destruction. As stated earlier, God is the source of all provision, and like Nacho Libre, God will let us enjoy our “day in the sun”. But that which is founded on the weak foundation of self, will always falter in the scope of eternity. Guaranteed.
Like I said before, I pray often for Kanye West and Sean “Jay Z” Carter – that they themselves will watch the throne of Jesus Christ, the ultimate King of the universe. Jay and Kanye, may make some hot music, but Jesus created galaxies, stars and planets. Beyond that Jesus also endured the most horrendous death anyone has ever experienced and came back to life, to give us eternal life.
Next time you hear “Otis” or any of Jay and Kanye’s songs, pray that we all will get the correct perspective of the Revelation 4-9 throne. That’s the one we all should be watching…
Song of the day: Dewy Sinatra “Popular”