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Spit the Truth 2

Another case in point: Rapper Flowsik (KA, Jay Pak) out of Queens, NY representin’ East Coast, who is a Christian rapper making enough noise to perhaps win a record deal.

In the brief interview, if you close your eyes, you may never know that he’s Korean. He sounds like DMX and I had to rub my eyes a couple times just so that his Korean features really came into focus. Understanding that most Asians have a different experience than African-Americans, it surprises me that the rap and beats sound so similar. But seriously, he flows and he’s got talent. Of course, the material is different and I think it will be interesting how it will accepted by the Asian and Christian community. But if what Jay Pak says is true, there are a lot more where he comes from. And besides fighting their parents from the typical white-collar careers, these artists are honing a true craft, pursuing a dream with a growing audience, and here’s the catch — reaching people that the church may NEVER have access to. Now will we support them? Will we cultivate them and invest in them? Even if you can’t keep him contained within the walls of a church…will you and I still love them and give our lives for them?

C’mon church, we need to think this out…


About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come.

10 responses to “Spit the Truth 2

  1. josh ⋅

    well the black church has largely failed to do too much with hip-hop culture although there have been some efforts so if you guys figure it out let us know

  2. paul

    we should definitely support them; i have little musical talent, barely memorize the 1st verse of jesus loves me this i know;

    but the traditional church is too full of itself (institutional crap), and i like the concept of the emergent church, esp as it applies to missions; but isn’t every ministry in a mission field?
    … much religious opposition for those who dare to break out of the traditional church boundaries and love someone who doesn’t fit the subcultural mold of evangelical christianity; it’s like in the 80’s when the holy people fought hard to keep the evil drums out of the sanctuary.

  3. peterong

    uh? the 80″s??? more like the early 60’s anyway’s I think that the hip-hop scene is an interesting concept and to renew and to “baptize” these popular art forms are an interesting move…however like the mainstream Christian music scene, it is riddled with mediocrity and sometimes I wonder…are they doing this for ministry for for their only avenue for celebrity…in terms of the community of saints, I find that a lot of the hope in these movement are to entertain people and not provoke people into some level of discipleship…it is one tool on a progession towards a deeper place of worship…not just a cool beat or a groove that makes your head bob…but an understanding of the measure of God greatness…and for me…I love that about the innovation….but not for innovation sake…but for the gospel to be heard.

  4. 😀
    Wonderful comment Josh. I should think that the black church would take a leading role in this, but the presentation of hip-hop in the AA context is a little different, don’t you think?
    I smiled when this rapper Flowsik, talked about his “struggle”, because it’s not the same struggle as i’m used to hearing when I hear some real hip-hop philosophers talk about it (a la KRS-one or OutKast). I’m interested to see if there can be a Christian innovator in this realm a la Bono and U2 in the realm of rock. Kirk Franklin is definitely there in terms of the quality of music, but would you say he gets equal footing in terms of influence? Can Christian music ever regain that type of influence, perhaps is a larger question we should ask. Any thoughts? any lessons to be learned from your observations of the black church?

  5. And if an artist “crosses over”, does it ever bring those in the secular world to be interested in the Christian? Or is that precisely why many Christians shake their heads and wag their fingers at those who secularize their music? Can music be evangelistic? or as Peter suggests, it’s simply innovation, never substantial enough to tell the story?

  6. josh ⋅

    Philosophically I don’t believe that the music of the church is primarily to be evangelistic. When we as believers sing, it is about honoring God and worshipping him at some level. Actually all that we do as believers should be about those things. So the evangelistic value is largely incidental — as people hear or interact with our expressions of relationship to God, they can become curious and want to know more. So whatever genre is used, crossover music can never really get the job done. Also, I think many artists often pursue that route because it pays more quite honestly. After all look at Jessica Simpson.

    The good thing about people like Bono and U2 (not that I am so familiar with them but…) is that they are primarily Christians who make music, rather than trying to be crossover Christian artists. In other words, they are doing what all should do and that is to honor God in their work. They are not trying to be evangelistic, but rather trying, as I understand it, to be faithful Christians who happen to be musicians, and good musicians at that.

    As for the Black church… hip hop hasn’t gotten far into the Black church culture although the music is a bid edgier perhaps because of that influence and the influence of rap. But you have to remember that in many respects the Black church is the mother of other Black musical forms and lots of artists start off singing in church choirs. This is especially true of R&B.

    Interestingly enough, a lot of Black church gospel themes are an undercurrent in hip hop music: liberation, making it against the odds, the faithful mother who prays for her son, struggle & redemption; not to mention that almost every hip hop artists gives a testimony (straight out of the Black church tradition) thanking God and his momma for supporting him.

  7. puresouls

    People gotta know that God does not have one tune of music in store. We believe He glories in what He gave to all those who choose to serve Him with their gifts.

    We rap for Jesus no crossing the line and people who do this for Christ’s sake have experienced God’s power in it. We dont seek for people’s approval but Christ’s.

    This is the way we preach the gosple and no doubt we speak the truth, just take time to listen you will get serviced.

    God bless
    Puresouls ministries,2098 kampala

  8. Flow Sik

    Hello all. Came across this forum and I would like to speak my mind. First off thanks to David for the post. Well I am a christian, I can’t say that I’m the best christian, I am a very bad sinner, corrupted, foul mouth korean-american, but with the heart to try to do my best to serve God. I serve in the elementary ministry in my local church, then attend service every sunday. A lot of people agree with the idea of a korean church(or any other church) being instigators, people in the church talking smack about each other, going to church for the wrong reasons, etc. But the fact is, that this is normal,I mean think about it, we are ALL sinners, our worldly way of thinking makes us act in such a way. But, it’s the heart, the will to try to help one another,serve the church, encourage one another, help each other stand on their two feet that makes a church so beautiful. There was times when my whole church knew I smoked, telling each other thatI’m a bad kid and not wanting to see their kids talk to me ever. Although it’s wrong for me to smoke and just being a sinner in general, it’s the heart to try to make the better that truely counts for me. I’m sorry if my explanation isn’t clear to you guys, but it’s the heart and the will you have, then taking action. There’s a difference between someone who smokes and drinks and what not, and a person who smokes drinkand what not that has the heart and takes action for the better. If you disagree, i respect that but this is what i TRUELY believe. But I still need to quit smoking and drinking, it’s verybad for me but it’s sort of hard right now. Pray for me ya’ll and God bless.

    -Flow Sik renovation)

  9. Flow Sik

    I realized that I haven’t mentioned the music aspect. I agree with everyone’s comments, God can speak through any one, any thing, in any form, and we all know that music is one of the most beautiful ways God portrays himself. Hip-Hop is the next element that will be emphasized through God, and I pray that He may portray his love through my music, I mean after all, He’s the one who gave me this gift for His Purpose in the first place.

  10. Flow Sik,

    thanks a lot for your post – that was very cool. You are right, we are all sinners and indeed, the beauty is that God would use us(!) to serve and encourage one another, and to build each other up. But we are so good at tearing each other down sometimes. That’s why you expressing yourself is important. We need to be honest about ourselves and who we are and we need to be honest that it wasn’t for God, we wouldn’t be anywhere.

    Keep the music up man. You definitely have a gift. I pray that God would be able to speak through you and your music.

    As for being Christian, there are no good or better Christians — put it like this, good people don’t go to heaven, forgiven people do.

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