Category Archives: Topics of Interest

Lecrae – Church Clothes (Review)

On May 10, 2012 Lecrae, The President of Reach Records and Leader of the 116 Movement,  released his first mixtape. With a title like “Church Clothes” and a prevalent host like the infamous DJ Don Cannon, the anticipation was heavy across the hip-hop world and church world alike.  Questions lingered in the air as to whether Lecrae would be breaking away from his Christian background and embracing the secular world. And debates sprung up across discussion forums in the secular and religious world as to the merit and morals of this release. It was safe to say that Lecrae had stirred the pot with news of the release. Then, the music video for the title track to the mixtape “Church Clothes” was released and the cyclone of controversy gained strength.

Lecrae

This is the cover for the new mixtape from Lecrae, Church Clothes

As I sit listening to the mixtape now, I can confidently say that Lecrae has not disappointed either side of the spectrum. With lyricism, substance, and swagger Lecrae unleashes a barrage of social issues, truths, and challenges to the culture of hip hop. All the while he maintains a biblical worldview, and manages to incorporate the gospel message without alienating the hip-hop culture. As a fan of hip-hop I am both impressed and relieved for the fresh wind in the midst of stale air. As a Christian I am overwhelmed with joy that the truth is being preached without being “preached”, if such a thing is possible.

DJ Don Cannon does a great job as the host of this tape. We hear just enough of him to keep us motivated and excited about this new sound to the game. He isn’t all over the place like some DJ’s are, yelling over every track, and he does surprisingly well with his humble and profanity-free voice overs. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes the DJ of Choice for several upcoming tapes by artists who are well outside of his norm. Can we say Lupe and Cannon?

The production on Church Clothes has a well-balanced mixture of hard core, up tempo beats and melodic synths and Tantalizing chords. Great sounds from the likes of Street Symphony, and Wit with tracks like Cold World and Inspiration respectively. Also we see Boi 1da make a classic show of things with the notable track ‘Gimme a Second’ on which Lecrae discusses his motives and methods and dispels a lot of misconceived notions about him.

When it comes to features, we see No Malice (formerly Malice of The Clipse) put on for his newfound faith. The sweet sounds of Tasha Catour, the lyricism of Tedashi and Andy Mineo (reach records artists), Swoope and Suzzy Rock (High Society Collective members). Propaganda shows out, and Odd Thomas (Humble Beast) are just a few of the features that cover this mixtape.  Strange as it seems the amount of features don’t dilute the quality of what is being considered Lecrae’s debut into the secular rap arena.

Amidst all of the great points about Church Clothes are some drawbacks and negatives, but only a few. Lecrae has what many will consider a downfall as an artist, He only has one message. But even with his overall topic being the same, he handles it well and covers a wide range of concepts and subject matter. Other than that, hip-hop fans will be somewhat bothered that Lecrae isn’t spending time tearing down the system and criticizing the government for their failure to live up to someone’s standard somewhere.  Put those two issues to rest and Church Clothes becomes an excellently executed project.

The mixtape is free, so my recommendation is to download it and share it. Lecrae’s intentions with this mixtape were to introduce himself to those who may not as of yet have heard of him. Hope you enjoy it. If you’ve already listened to the tape, or are going to listen to the tape, leave me a comment and let me know what you think about it.

For the Download of the mixtape go to http://www.datpiff.com/Lecrae-Church-Clothes-mixtape.348497.html

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Agape Cafe Outreach Center

Indianapolis has always had homeless and financially impoverished citizens. The likelihood is that there will always be some number of people below the poverty line in this area. However, there is also a responsibility and need for the remaining population to help them in ways that will empower them and enable them to progress. The question is what is the best way to help?

In the past, money has been thrown at the problems facing our community with the best intentions, and the effort is applauded. However, the growing rate of homeless and needy families Indianapolis is evidence that this tactic is a failing one. The age old saying becomes increasingly true in this present day, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”

People of all socio-economic backgrounds suffer from various living conditions like depression, identity crises, lack of job skills, broken homes, estranged families etc. Needless to say, this issue is magnified amongst the low income and underprivileged communities. Add to that already long and growing list of issues the inability to pay for childcare, lack of transportation, and the absence of money management skills. Now you have an already bad situation that just became impossible to overcome. The difference between the middle to upper class and lower class is that the lower class, generally speaking, does not have access to the same resources that people who are in better situations financially may have.

These problems have kept back some of the best and brightest that our communities have to offer the world. Birth into an already poor situation teaches, and therefore, genders generational poverty. That same impoverished situation encourages a defeatist mentality. Poor children become poor parents who develop poor families. Our crime rates and suicide rates are on the rise as people who have no clue how to improve their situation seek an escape from the black hole which has been affectionately termed, “the Hood” or “The Trap”. These effects are seen across the board in all races and creeds.

Outside of these communities we see the influence this has had on the world. While Martin Luther King Jr. fought alongside John F. Kennedy for civil rights decades ago, and the walls of racial segregation came tumbling down, new walls have been erected. Walls of financial division that create subdivisions of social classes where society has digressed into an extreme version of high school cliques rules and reigns over the people. The divorce rates and recidivism rates are rising on either side of the fence and it would seem that we are blind to the correlation. Indianapolis is growing and shrinking simultaneously as buildings are raised only to be left standing with no workers to fill them.

So, what can we do about it? Certainly such a daunting task is outside of our power to effect a change. Nothing could be further from the truth. This giant is only as strong as its roots. Kill the root and the tree will wither and die. That is the ACOC’s task in Indianapolis, to effectively strike the roots of this monster, In the Home.

The ACOC exists to bring back the former glory of the family structure. Our goal and vision is to chip away at the greatest problem facing our city today. The breakdown of the family. When the family prospers so does the community in which it lives. As the community goes, so goes the society.

But how do you restore the family? By taking each piece and developing it to a successful standard.  The ACOC intends to create, build, and promote programs that will take each member of the home and develop them into successful members of the household individually. The Father (Man), Mother (Woman), and Children are all a part of the family, thus they are all a part of the strategy and objectives of the ACOC.

Where ever men are present we will empower them to take their place as leaders in the home and the community. Where women are present we will empower her to be the woman she was born to be, powerful, strong, and able to work side by side with a man to successfully build a home. Where children are present we will educate and develop them to be successful and secure in their identities, thereby empowering them to become successful adults.

The agape Café is present in Indianapolis for Indianapolis.  We don’t serve coffee, we serve people.

 

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Did Jesus exist – ExploringGod.com

Did Jesus exist – ExploringGod.com.

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#KONY2012

This is an accurate breakdown of the contreversial Kony video that everyone is fussing about. Check out this blog.

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March 9, 2012 · 11:43 pm