A few months ago, we lost Andrae Crouch, who penned some of the most powerful gospel songs in the game. “Soon and Very Soon,” “Through It All,” “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” – those tracks burst with emotion and resonated strength. They inspired generations.
In his absence, we’re left with THIS:
A couple of days ago, Erica Campbell of Mary Mary fame dropped this … thing on us, christening it “Trap Gospel.”
Lord give me strength.
I see what Erica is trying to do and, in theory, I’m not mad at it. Mary Mary has become the biggest gospel act in the past 15 years by making its music relevant for the masses. The biggest problem with modern gospel is that your grandma n’ dem think that hymns have to be confined to Sunday morning service. Y’all have LITERALLY been preaching to the choir for years.
News flash, Rev. Dr. Bishop Elder Man, the folks you want to reach are outside your church walls.
That’s why I had no problem with Kirk Franklin and Salt stomping with God’s Property or Kanye West walking with Jesus. Those songs took the message of gospel in new directions.
“I Luh God” is going backward, playa.
In an attempt to reach new audiences, Erica is falling into the same trap (so to speak) as your favorite trash radio rappers – dumbing down their messages to appeal to soft-minded listeners. It’s not the direction I have beef with, it’s the preschool-level message.
I mean look at the title alone – “I Luh God.” Playa you can’t take an extra millisecond to properly pronounce LOVE? The production, the lyrics, everything is embarrassingly basic and has none of the substance of earlier contemporary hits like “Shackles” or “Go Get It” or “God in Me.”
I know some of y’all only listen to music for beats, ignoring lyrical content. To me, that’s like eating the skin off your fried chicken and throwing the meat in the trash. Well, the power of gospel lies in its lyrics. They’re meant to inspire and provide hope, not simply to just be catchy.
We went from saying this in “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”:
For it reaches to the highest mountain
And it flows to the lowest valley
The blood that gives me strength
From day to day
It will never lose its power
I luh God
You don’t luh God?
What’s wrong with chu?
And I won’t even get into the sheer madness of christening a genre of gospel “trap” – who told Erica it was cute to name hymns after drug houses?
I have no doubt that “I Luh God” is gonna be one of the biggest songs of the spring – maybe even of the year. And I’m sure youth groups across the country are already choreographing their praise routines to this trash song. If you got tired of hearing “God In Me” as every church lady’s ringtone, wait till you hear “I Luh God” interrupting this Sunday’s sermon.
Look, I ain’t mad at gospel moving out of the choir stands and into the streets. But there still needs to be a semblance of reverence in the lyrics. If we gotta talk like Lil’ Darryl to express our love for Jesus, something has gone seriously wrong.
I have no problem with God being in the trap. But y’all don’t have to MAKE God trap. Y’all need to do better.