Message in the Beat IV

At a point I thought I would be unable to post any video this weekend. Then I remembered today is Tomi’s birthday. So as a token, this post is a special edition dedicated to Tomi Oladepo for encouraging me to start writing.

My analysis today will be on a video by (drum roll) King James!!! Cee Mee.

Wow, this song is basically a mixture of Nigeria’s legendary PIGIN ENGLISH and two other Nigerian languages; Yoruba and Idoma. Well as most of you may already know, the western part of Nigeria is predominantly Yoruba. On the other hand Idoma language is the language of some part of the Middle Belt region of Nigeria i.e. Benue State which is just beside my state Kogi state (at least let me claim a close relationship here now ;)lol).

Arguably, for your CD to sell in Nigeria, you should be ready to add Pigin, Yoruba or Ibo.

Anyway, this is a typical Nigerian dance hall beat. It is one of those songs that you are more likely to start dancing before you take note of what is being said. Well there is no need to panic; you’ve been dancing to the right lyrics. Even my pastor likes this song.

Chorus:

See me o

God e bless me o

See me o

I dey thank God o

Listening to the verses of this song shows the artiste here has only one thing in mind; “if not for God I wouldn’t be where I am now”

The opening scene of the video shows a homeless person under a bridge, representing “a long way coming” to his present state of “HAVING”. From under the bridge to under the duvet.  Of course you will agree with me that in Naij, you can only use a duvet if you can afford an air-conditioning unit with constant electricity. “No bi small thing o”

I wonder how many of us are grateful to God for those things we have and might now consider little, although before now was actually a big deal for us. Oh how often we forget to show our gratitude to God for life.

Remember if you are not grateful, you are just being a great fool. Note that what you thank God for, he always multiplies.

A song writer once said; count your blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. Indeed take time to reflect and you will really discover that of a truth God has been faithful.

Love the song, the groove, the video everything!

Happy birthday Tomi, Thank God for your life..Cheers

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INFiNiTY drops New Album

The Infinity band is back again with a sequel to the Olori Oke album. It is titled “7 LAWS OF INFINITY”!

The album was released on May 29th, 2011, and is available at all Mr. Biggs outlets in Nigeria, Total Bonjour filling stations in Lagos, Hub Media (The Palms) & your neighbourhood stores (all in Nigeria).

Fans in diaspora have access to downloads from iTunes, Amazon.com, Emusic, iLike, Spotify, MySpace music, Media Net, Zune, Rhapsody, Nokia and Napster.

INFINITY guys want to say a big thank you to all their fans for the overwhelming support they’ve been shown in the past.

I trust GMET MUSIC Head, Gideon to justice to the tracks on this album in his Message in the Beatcolumn right here on Gospel Metropolitan (watch out for Message in the Beat every friday evenings).

Just in case you have a hard time recalling who they are .. here is a track from their old album:

Message in the Beat III

It is common knowledge that the UK’s gospel music industry is not as popular as its US’ counterpart. The reasons for this will form the topic of another day’s discussion.

On my video selection today I have decided to feature a UK born and breed video by Victizzle  called “iSing” Ft. Utter Once & Muyiwa

These guys have taken a genre of music which has a negative image in the UK and is usually associated with stuffs like gang violence etc., and turned it around; thereby projecting grime in a positive way.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, ‘Grime’ is a music genre that was born in East London, and maybe only makes sense in East London. It is a bastard blend of street English, Jamaican dancehall reggae and two kinds of rave music: (1) drum ’n’ bass, an electronic party monster built from breakbeats, or loops fashioned from the percussive “breakdown” sections of other songs; (2) a U.K. delicacy called garage, which rhymes with carriage and feels like R&B running a fever. The sum is a fast clatter of syncopated claps, alien chirps and machine bursts.

Grime vocalists resemble turbo-charged rappers,(lol) racing to match backing tracks that thump about 130 times per minute — near your target heart rate for vigorous physical activity. This feels like going 2 the gym for me (Just thinking)

What Victizzle has done here is to merge “makosa” beat with “grime”, which I think is kinda innovative. This is a motivational song with great dance beats for Christian birthday parties, wedding receptions etc.; definitely not for choir ministration. lol

Now, I was in a music workshop some years ago, we asked a question whether there was anything like gospel beat or secular beat. The answer was that there is no such thing as a secular beat, what matters is what the lyrics represent and if they give glory to God or not.

I agree with the presenter at the workshop however, with a slight qualification, that there are some music progressions that are “too notoriously tied to certain un-edifying songs,” the even though the lyrics you apply to it subsequently is RIGHT, because of the knowledge of the previous lyrics, it might be really hard to pass the right message across.

Having said that, I must commend the efforts of Victizzle in trying to use this beat as a bait to win young street guys/girls into Christianity. This is “eating with tax collectors’” but making sure you are not becoming a “tax collector” yourself. Jesus never became one!

My favourite part of the lyrics is

“See I gotta’ make moves in my life
Lord I’m all yours make moves in my life
My skin colour, that’s no excuse
Coz’ the blacker the berry, the sweet the juice”

The message is clear; no room for excuses with God we can make it to the top! Race, colour and even location are immaterial.

Against the background of what the youths of our generation have become, I think this is really a great effort to stay decent in a video. Enjoy your weekend guys.

NB

In other unrelated news, I congratulate my brothers and sisters in RCCG JCC Coventry because of what God has done and is doing in our midst! Love you all.

Message in the Beat II

Message in the Beat II

Hi guys, I guess the week has been wonderful so far!  It’s been eventful for me especially with regards to my forth coming graduation.

The song for analysis this week is Mary Mary’s “it’s the God in me”

Hmmmmmm (clear my throat). In gospel music I have come up with two broad categories of songs. Songs that are meant to minister and others that merely entertain. It is only on rare occasions (if any) that you get the two in the same song.

I will start by saying the Mary Mary duo have been a great inspiration in the gospel music industry; from songs like “Take the shackles off my feet”, “I can’t just give up now” and a long list of others. So this write up is not in any way a witch hunt.

Well “it’s the God in me” is substantially contemporary both in the beat and the lyrics. I have no major issue with the lyrics; obviously God in me will definitely make my life radiant, prosperous and free from errors etc. However, I have some reservations about the video representation of the song.

C’mmon let’s call a spade a spade and not a “very big spoon”. The Holy Spirit I am sure will not say its ok to expose some cleavage. I am sure that is not God!!! Well ask me where in the video? Let me draw your attention to minutes 1.34- 1:39. Also check the lady in minute 1.57, common people, it’s good to look fabulous but don’t be a source of temptation.

In this video there seems to be a crossing over of things of the world and things of God. The success which is seemingly celebrated in this video is that of celebrity culture. Although Israel Houghton appears towards the end of the video the vast majority of people who appear are secular artists like; Kanye West, Heavy D, Farnsworth Bentley, Common, Felix Alexandra and Amber Rose amongst others. Are these the people that we are meant to be looking at and thinking “it’s the God in them”?

Have we forgotten that 1Timothy 2:9? Don’t get me wrong, like I said earlier it’s perfectly ok to be gorgeous but where these guys got it wrong is in the area of modesty.

Well if there were secular artistes, I wouldn’t be bothered. But when you bear the name of Christ, your disposition “plus-including” your videos should not look like “Beyoncé’s video.” Rather Beyoncé’s video should look like yours!! This in my opinion is just a case of mistaken identity. These days Christians just want to “belong” forgetting that we’re not to be conformed to the world’s practices.

This is my view: Mat 5:13 “You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it.”

Peace

Message in the Beat

Alright guys, I am really excited about what my write up is going to be about, because it’s really an area that I have had issues with coping with. It’s simple; a lot of us don’t listen to songs because of the lyrics. I have discovered from my personal experience that the first thing that attracts us to songs most times is either the beat or the artiste. Well as I grew in my Christian Faith, I recognised that it was just common sense to know what these “guys” are saying before I begin to move to the beat or appreciate the skills displayed by the vocalists and the instrumentalists.

Truthfully before now, I hid under the guise that “I am listening to get new skills on chord progressions” and bla bla bla, to listen to all kinds of junk that do not edify my spirit.

Now, what I would be doing here is simply picking a song at a time and appreciating the message in the song as well as the aesthetics involved. I know a great deal of objectivity is required, so even my own favourite artists will not be spared 😉

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Let’s get the ball rolling!!!

The song for today is “Give me that” by Kirk Franklin Feat Mali Music

I like Kirk because he knows his area and just sticks to it. Of course you will agree with me that he rarely attempts to sing, he does the talking although sometimes he is tempted. Anyway, this particular song is a prayer and a confrontational piece as well.

From the first verse, shows the heart of someone asking God in humility for joy unexplainable, love that will never change,

“…Give me that power to walk away

When another god wants to take your place

As much of You as I can take

Give me that”

The next part goes straight to the message of the song.

Anybody ready?

Ready for His glory?
If you a seeker for life,

Let me tell you this story.

Every place that’s dark,

He will bring it to light.

Hypocritical hearts, backsliders,
Liars time to get right.

See I include myself

I cast my own stone

I’m the man in the mirror y’all

I can see my wrong

But I’m here by grace

Through Christ by faith

I had to make that choice,
I had to open up my mouth and say…

The next part talks about getting the actors off the stage let the church begin.lol.  I must confess I use to be on good actor in church before now. Let me just quickly give examples of actors in this context. Those who are engaging in fraud and come to pay their tithe, those who have sex with persons they are not married to, those who kill others with their tongue; they see same persons and put on a smile like they really care, those who watch pornography and feel no guilt; being unwilling to repent and forsake those evil things. Guys the list is endless; what you’ve got to do is to identify where you have been acting, and get real with God.

Yea someone’s obviously tired of church folks being hypocrites; having sanctimonious looks all the time in church, and being something else out side. The good thing here is that he does not leave himself out thereby fulfilling the scriptures that says ‘remove the log in your eye first, before the spec in your brother’s eyes.’

The message from the song is direct and clear. Some church folks are just obsessed with titles…”everybody’s got a title but do you know your name”. It only shows your degree of emptiness to allow yourself worth be determined by your title. Who are you? Selah.

This is just one song that’s got both the message and the musical aesthetics. The groove in the song makes you get your bounce on. This track is just an excellent contemporary gospel piece. Feel the groove-get the message. Nice one Kirk!