2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
According to Billboard Music, the top song remains Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United. Since we’ve already discussed that song, let’s move down the list. The #2 song on the list didn’t get there legitimately, it debuted at #2. Market manipulation of some sort, not sure who is behind it, and I don’t really care. The song is “Say I Won’t” by Lecrae. Apparently he has just released a new album, so this #2 placement is probably due to the marketing buzz surrounding the new album. We’ll look at this new song, but honestly I expect this song to disappear off the charts once marketing money moves to a different song. I truly hope so.
Lyrics (via AZLyrics)
“Say I Won’t”
(feat. Andy Mineo)
[Chorus: Lecrae & Andy Mineo]
Say I won’t (why y’all scared to be different?)
Say I won’t (why y’all scared to be different?)
Say I won’t (we them outsiders, that’s just how we live it)
Say I won’t (and I bet I will)
Say I won’t
I might do it just to show you [x3]
We be like la, la, la, la
[Verse 1: Andy Mineo]
From the same city as the B-I-G
Wanna serve these bars, gotta see ID
Now I’m on their radar, where B-Dot be?
Was a slave for the cars, then we got free
Used to only wanna pull up in a black sport
Just a white man excelling in a black sport
Now I’m really doin’ pull ups
Got a honeymoon for the summer tryna get a six-pack for it
Say I won’t catch ‘Crae slippin’ in the studio at like 3 AM
Autograph that forehead with a Sharpie pen and then Instagram
Might swag out a fanny pack
I might bring Velour back
Nobody wanna change the game, man y’all just want more trap
Okay, say I won’t rap over bagpipes
Say I won’t talk about that price
To know Christ and live life like every night my last night
‘Bout to switch up the program
I rock name-brand, I rock no brand
My whole life GoPro cam, got rap like I had no fans, nope
They say, I know I say, “veto”
Danny DeVito, and Al Pacino, those are my people
Also I’m rockin’ the speedo
This that casino, you bet your revenue
Thinking you’ll stop me, no never not letting you
You must be high on that medical thinking I won’t
But I know better, know that I bet I do (kill ’em, ooh)
[Verse 2: Lecrae]
Say I won’t sell my shoes and take my kids to Chuck E Cheese with the money
Say I won’t bring my own bottle of Pellegrino to the movies with me
Say I won’t
Look, I’m from an era of fast living and mass terror
Boys cover them cover girls like mascara
I don’t need to keep a gun and a mask ever
I still make ’em put their hands up, ask Derek
My role manager damage all of you amateurs
Sneaking up on a tour bus with a demo to hand to us
When I was younger, I just wanted a chain
Now a chain of events has afforded a change
See, I been a rebel since back in the day, I don’t follow the people
I follow the leader through valleys and shadows of death and I fearin’ no evil
So say I won’t do it, say I won’t turn the music up and get to it
Won’t come down H-Town all the way to their town
In the old school, drop top Buick
And I’m getting, maybe 8 or 9 miles to the gallon
Still feeling like a stallion
I got Andy ridin’ shotgun with 30 gold chains on, talking about he Italian
Say I won’t go drop a double album, and rap double time on all dub-step
Got no producers, just me rockin’ over beatboxin’ by Dougie Fresh
Say I won’t
Only 2 lines can even remotely be linked to “Christian” theme (underlined portions). The first (Andy Mineo) is so quickly followed up with a “live life to the fullest” theme that it isn’t worth teasing out. No more significant than an NFL player pointing to the sky after scoring a touchdown. The second (Lecrae) looks like it might pull from Psalm 23, but…well… Coolio also co-opted this passage in his “Gangsta’s Paradise”, so we will not be going there either. This song does not honor God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or Scripture. This song seeks to glorify its performers.
So this song is completely worthless. This song isn’t about Christ, it’s about Andy and Lecrae. It could play on a secular Top40 station, only it doesn’t live up to the grit and debauchery of popular Rap/HipHop, so it might not do very well. This song is on a Christian Chart to get whatever mileage it can for promoting the album.
I’m sure Lecrae has one or two songs that are better than what we might expect from the genre, but that is setting the bar very low. You see, Rap and Hip-Hop are not built around edification or inspiration; rather these styles are built around trash-talk set to a beat. The heroes of the genre are gangsters, thugs, drug dealers, and convicts. The lyrics mostly focus on self-aggrandizement (exaggerating one’s accomplishments) or justifying one’s reckless or even criminal behavior by a twisted victim mentality. That is what the genre is built around. Sure, occasionally you’ll get a poetic anthem about the human spirit from someone like 2Pac, but that is the rare exception rather than the rule. Even then, it isn’t Biblical.
The call of the Gospel is to come out of the world. Is there a way to do rap/hip-hop so that it honors God? Yes, but it won’t be popular “in the ‘hood”. Why? Because rap and hip-hop are self-centered musical forms at their very core. Fans of the genre like to take on the persona of the one rapping and feeling a sense of self-empowerment, strength, notoriety, and infamy. The most popular songs are either anthemic declarations of power, a challenge to authority, or shameless carnal gratification. None of these themes glorify God. A similar problem exists with “death metal” and it’s core appeal to rage and anger. While the vast majority of the popularized rap music glorifies “no shame in my game” and extols the achievements of “Old Gangsta’s” a God-honoring rap would be a call to repentance and to come out of that mentality, lifestyle, and to set aside those idols. Those songs exist, but they don’t last long within that genre because they don’t fit the core reason fans of the genre listen to the music.
I hope this song disappears from the chart before it ever gets any “Christian Radio” airplay. I hope this is just a marketing stunt to try to force the song onto unsuspecting listeners and not a reflection of what the industry truly considers to be Christian music. Since I consider this to be a throw-away chart position, I think we should do a bonus review.
I’m not sure Billboard is the best approach for this endeavor, given it’s manipulation of the standings. I’m considering moving to a different chart, any suggestions? I am also open to reviewing songs submitted by readers. In the meantime, please do spend time in God’s Word this week. I’ll do my best to share what I’m studying and reading, but whatever I post here is no substitute for reading God’s Word for yourselves. Take notes and ask your pastors/elders/teachers questions about your readings. Be a disciple of God’s Word and submit to the authorities He has placed over you in the church. If you question any of my posts, take them to your pastors and elders and discuss with them. I just ask that you provide feedback to me so that I might be edified (be it by encouragement or correction).
May the Lord bless you and keep you firmly in His Grace