Participants: Ivor Myers, Atonte Myers
Series Code: BOF
Program Code: BOF000007
00:15 Welcome to Battles of Faith
00:17 We're your hosts Ivor and Atonte Myers
00:21 Today we're continuing our discussion
00:23 on the entertainment industry, which we compare to a black hole
00:27 A black hole is that place in space where no light can escape
00:31 Today our program is dealing with music
00:35 Particularly rock music and hip-hop music.
00:38 We've entitled this program "Killing Us Softly"
00:41 Listen to this -
00:42 This is taken from the far west and popular culture conference,
00:46 February 1998
00:48 The hip-hop culture has permeated popular culture
00:52 in and unprecedented fashion.
00:54 Because of its enormous cross-over appeal, the hip-hop
00:57 culture is potentially a great unifier of diverse population.
01:02 Although created by black youth on the street,
01:04 Hip-hop's influence has become world wide.
01:07 Approximately 75% of the rap and hip-hop audience is non-black.
01:13 It has gone from the fringes to the suburbs and into
01:17 the corporate board-rooms.
01:18 Indeed McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Nike and other
01:22 corporate giants have capitalized on this phenomenon.
01:27 I don't agree that it's a unifier
01:30 However, what's interesting in this article is that
01:34 approximately 75% of the rap and hip-hop audience is non-black.
01:39 Because I think that when we think of hip-hop music,
01:42 we think of black kids on the street listening to rap music
01:45 and break-dancing and those kinds of things,
01:48 where hip-hop has gone much further than that.
01:51 I would actually say that I do believe that hip-hop
01:56 is a unifier, but just in the wrong way.
01:59 We see that because this music has crossed
02:03 all cultural barriers
02:05 And we have spoken in another program saying that you can go
02:09 to almost any country, even to Iraq and Israel.
02:15 And you will find that rap music has become a part of
02:19 the culture there and it's expressing the feelings
02:24 of the youth in the culture in particular.
02:27 So, yes. It has gone across all boundaries
02:31 And definitely it is unifying people across the world
02:35 Some of our viewers may not have watched some of our previous
02:38 programs and don't know about your testimony.
02:41 But you can talk about this because you actually have
02:44 come out of the hip-hop industry
02:46 That's right.
02:47 And that's why we have entitled
02:51 Many of these talks are actually dealing with the entertainment
02:55 industry in terms of the black hole.
02:57 What it means to have escaped from the black hole.
03:00 In particular hip-hop and rock music.
03:06 As you've said, rock music is melding it's way
03:12 into hip-hop music. The music is becoming
03:17 a phenomenon and it's crossing all boundaries.
03:23 It's so interesting to me.
03:25 I remember the first time I was driving in my car
03:28 I looked over to the right and I saw a corporate business man
03:32 doing the hip-hop beat thing.
03:34 I was like 'Wow! Everyone really is into this!'
03:37 And it was just amazing.
03:39 In the context of what we're talking about
03:42 The black hole, killing us softly...
03:44 There was a song that came out some years back
03:47 called "Killing Me Softly"
03:50 And it was about the words in a particular song
03:53 that were having an effect upon this person's emotions
03:57 and feelings and we found it appropriate to entitle
04:01 this program: "Killing Us Softly"
04:04 Because we want to look to what rap music and rock music does
04:08 to a person's spirit or to a person's character.
04:11 We want to see that it actually is indeed
04:14 killing us in ways that we don't realize.
04:16 That's right.
04:17 We just think we're listening to a heavy beat and some words
04:21 but it's actually doing something to us.
04:24 That's right. Let's take a look in Revelation
04:26 And we invite you, as usual, to get your Bibles
04:29 We're going to open up to Revelation, chapter 18
04:31 and, Atonte, we have been focusing in
04:33 on this text because it shades so much light
04:36 on the battle that we are up against.
04:39 We've entitled this program "Battles of Faith"
04:41 We are talking about what it takes to overcome
04:45 In fact Revelation 12,11 calls us to overcome
04:47 And to overcome by the blood of the lamb.
04:50 We're going to talk about that in a later program.
04:52 But we want to focus in right now
04:55 on the concept of this battle in terms of hip-hop and rock.
04:59 Let's read this verse - 23 of Revelation, chapter 18.
05:04 And the context here is speaking about the fall of Babylon
05:07 Remember that!
05:08 Because Babylon is a key player in last day events.
05:13 Notice what it says here in verse 23.
05:32 We see there that according to the Scripture,
05:36 it is Babylon's sorceries that deceived all the nations.
05:42 We've discussed the word before
05:44 Sorcery is the Greek word "pharmekia"
05:57 And I hope that you'll remember that.
05:58 That understanding is so important 'cause what it does is
06:01 it opens up our understanding.
06:03 Wait a minute! Sorcery is not just Harry Potter
06:07 Even though it is.
06:08 It's not limited to Harry Potter
06:10 It's not limited to reading your horoscope or a palm reader
06:19 But is actually anything that medicates the mind so that
06:23 it will not follow the Will or the Law of God.
06:25 Atonte, when we look at music
06:29 In particular rock, hip-hop and other styles of music
06:33 A lot of these styles of music actually medicate the mind
06:38 so that it will not and can not and don't want to
06:42 follow the Will or the Law of God
06:44 Many people believe that music just doesn't have that power.
06:48 They believe that they're just listening to some lyrics
06:51 And there's a melody and in rock and hip-hop there might be
06:54 a heavy beat behind that
06:56 And that's all it is. It doesn't go any further than that.
07:00 We have just settled that this particular context
07:03 This particular text is speaking about Babylon.
07:06 And if you remember the story of Daniel
07:08 I believe is Daniel, chapter 3
07:11 Where Nebuchadrezzar had set up this golden image
07:15 And he invited all the people to come and worship the image.
07:19 Music played a very important part in that scenario.
07:24 In fact the command went out that said
07:26 The time when you hear the sound
07:28 It goes on to list all these kinds of music's and instruments
07:32 When they heard that sound, they were to bow down to this image
07:35 And as in the type, so in the antitype
07:41 In other words, we will see in the last days
07:42 The Devil will be using music to get people to bow down
07:47 to his image, to his character
07:52 And we see that happen before our eyes
07:54 You were in the hip-hop industry yourself
07:57 You actually were on a TV program, you did concert
08:02 What did it bring up? What surrounded it?
08:09 One of the first things that is evidenced in the hip-hop feeling
08:14 I know this from experience
08:16 is the issue of pride.
08:18 Pride is a necessary thing in the hip-hop culture.
08:22 There's no such thing as being humble
08:24 and being a hip-hop artist
08:26 You mean you can't rap on a stage and be humble?
08:29 No. It's impossible.
08:31 You got to have the head going, you got to show that...
08:35 The whole spirit.
08:36 Even the body movements represent pride
08:42 They just scream "pride"
08:45 So it's impossible. You can't get on stage and just say
08:49 I'm not going to rap.
08:50 I'll just hold the mike and try to be meek,
08:55 It doesn't work.
08:56 So, one of the things that hip-hop calls for and rock music
09:00 It calls for pride.
09:02 And we know that pride is diametrically opposed
09:05 to the character building process of a Christian.
09:09 Something that I see with the hip-hop music or the rap music
09:14 And I've said this in another program
09:16 It has definitely crossed all cultural barriers
09:21 A friend of mine let me know that a lot of people who even
09:25 used to listen to rock music, there's not that many very
09:28 popular rock bands anymore. It's more hip-hop.
09:31 And the rock bands have joined some of the more famous
09:36 hip-hop groups to make songs together,
09:37 just to keep their name out there
09:40 The point that I was trying to make is that most of the hip-hop
09:44 music and the rock music has to be talking about sex, drugs,
09:49 what you're going to do to somebody if they do this to you
09:52 It has nothing to do with the good things that
09:57 are in the world, absolutely nothing.
09:58 It has to be that hardcore things that they talk about
10:05 Or it doesn't sell. It's just not popular.
10:07 That's right.
10:08 Can music really affect the character?
10:14 Again we want to contend that it does affect the character and
10:16 if we are trying to strive to reflect the character of Christ
10:21 we've got to understand that we've got a battle on our hands
10:26 We've got an enemy who wants to subvert that whole process
10:29 who wants to destroy that process of character building
10:33 He's going to use whatever he can to do so.
10:35 When we talk about the word character...
10:39 The word "character" is defined as this:
10:41 Thoughts and feelings combined.
10:45 Thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character
10:50 That's from "Heavenly Pages", page 164
10:52 And not only it makes sense.
10:53 The way we think about it is as a man figured in his heart
10:56 So the way that we think and the way that we feel
11:02 make up our moral character.
11:04 Why is that so interesting, Atonte?
11:07 I have an acquaintance who has also escaped from the black hole
11:12 His name is Peter Gregory.
11:14 He was a break dancer just around the same time
11:16 that my brother and I were involved in the hip-hop industry
11:20 And the Lord led him out in His mighty way as well.
11:22 I heard he gave an illustration once, where he talks about music
11:30 Music is made up of two components.
11:31 You've got the words and you've got the music.
11:34 And, basically, words reflect thoughts
11:39 And the music reflects feelings and emotions.
11:44 And you put those two together, so you've got to understand that
11:46 what we listen to can actually shape and affect our characters.
11:54 And that's true. You look at rock music.
11:56 You look at hip-hop music.
11:58 The spirit behind that music is rebellion.
12:03 I know that, being around at the introduction of hip-hop music
12:07 It was a vehicle of rebellion against the status quo.
12:12 The same thing with the rock music, when it became popular
12:14 in the 50's and in the 60's
12:17 The feelings that this kind of music evoked out of the heart
12:24 were feelings of rebellion.
12:27 And so, you've got these rebellious feelings, you've got
12:30 these rebellious words that go together and what you have is
12:32 character forming issue.
12:34 It's not only with the rock and hip-hop.
12:36 The Devil will use any kind of music he can, in order to
12:41 shape our character.
12:43 You think of even some styles of country music.
12:47 Some times country music can be known as being very depressive
12:53 So, even in country music, there are certain country songs
12:55 that are good, and there are certain that the Devil's
12:57 going to get in there and say
12:59 Just moan and groan and be sad ... My dog died...
13:05 I'm sure they talk about more than that.
13:07 We've got to realize that the enemy we're trying to comment
13:11 ...in any way now...
13:12 I would say that while there is some good country music,
13:14 there is no good rock music, there is no good hip-hop music.
13:18 We know that probably some people probably think
13:20 What about Christian hip-hop? What about Christian rock?
13:22 We're going to hold those...
13:25 We're not going to answer that yet.
13:27 We're going to do that in our next program.
13:28 Now we're going to focus in on secular rock and secular hip-hop
13:33 And see the effects that these things are having
13:35 on our character.
13:38 One of the things that I can see with hip-hop and rock,
13:42 especially in the young women is I don't know
13:46 if it's the beat or it's just the culture of the music,
13:50 but the more they're into it, the less they have on.
13:56 They're talking about sexual things, they're talking about
14:00 rebellious things, and their dress goes with that.
14:03 The women, they don't have a lot of clothes on
14:06 when they're rolling into the hip-hop music.
14:09 Modesty is just nothing. And then for the young men
14:13 They're dressing with the saggy pants and the hats on backwards
14:17 and the oversized shirt and everything is too big
14:20 It just doesn't make a lot of sense.
14:22 That's right. It's a spirit of rebellion.
14:25 When you look, Atonte, not only at the words
14:28 I was born in Jamaica and reggae music is the music of Jamaica
14:35 I remember growing up as a child Not a Christian
14:40 I remember thinking to myself 'This music sounds so sexual'
14:45 Everything about the reggae music is just sexual.
14:50 When you listen to reggae music its rhythm... calypso, reggae
14:56 Those rhythms in a lot of the island music
15:00 is very suggestive sexually.
15:03 And so, music carries emotion. Music is that vehicle through
15:07 which we express our emotions and what we're feeling.
15:11 And this is one of the tests that we need to apply
15:13 when we're considering what kind
15:16 of music do we want to listen to.
15:17 That's right. That's Satan's whole ploy.
15:21 If young people listen to music that suggests sexual things
15:25 planting seeds in their minds, then they'll actually going to
15:29 Want to go and actually play those things out.
15:32 They're not just going to continue to listen to the music
15:34 dance in a sexual way and not actually participate in that act
15:38 That's right.
15:39 1st Samuel 15, in verse 23 the Bible says there
15:43 "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft"
15:48 And we notice that the word of witchcraft actually means
15:53 to whisper a spell.
15:55 And again I suggest that a lot of this music,
15:58 when this people are speaking, some rap song
16:02 comes out and the guy is speaking in the 1st person
16:04 I do this and I do that and I shoot this guy and I do this
16:08 and I get all these girls and all these different things
16:11 When a person is sitting and listening to this music
16:15 They're listening to it through the ears of the first person,
16:20 I believe that the Devil himself, through those words
16:23 that he inspired
16:25 Is speaking in first person form and he is hypnotizing, Atonte
16:30 He's saying "I"
16:31 You're sitting there, you're listening and you're going
16:33 That's right. I do this. And I want to do that.
16:36 And this is how that form of hypnotism spreads itself
16:40 Thousands... millions of kids listen to this
16:43 And they hear one guy going
16:44 "I do this... "and they're saying
16:46 I want to be like my hero... I want to be like him...
16:48 And what you have happening is witchcraft
16:50 You have people who are being whispered through the enemy
16:54 And say "Don't you want to be like this?"
16:56 "Don't you want to do like this?"
16:58 "Don't you want to act like this?"
17:00 And really what it is - is the working of the Devil.
17:03 People may be thinking out there
17:05 "I wonder why you're so focused on hip-hop?"
17:07 But again, hip-hop music is taking over the world literally.
17:13 When most of the commercials on TV, their background music is
17:17 hip-hop music, like we mentioned
17:19 the beginning: Nike, Coca-Cola, Sprite
17:21 They all use the hip-hop beat to sell their products.
17:25 And so, it's taking over.
17:27 That's right.
17:28 And jumping, now. This is going into the rock realm
17:30 I remember back in 1994, I believe it was,
17:33 There was a popular video that came out
17:36 And it just broke a lot of standards
17:38 It's a video about a young child who was being teased at school
17:43 And one day, he walks into the classroom with a gun
17:47 And he shoots himself in this classroom
17:49 And everybody thought "Wow!" "This video is incredible!"
17:53 And everybody was ranting and raving about the video
17:55 It was shortly after that, Atonte, that
17:57 school shootings began to become more and more constant
18:04 And I don't think anyone has ever stopped to think
18:06 Could it have been that this particular song with its lyrics
18:10 giving the idea of going into school and proving that you
18:15 are somebody, about getting in and taking a gun and doing harm.
18:21 Is it possible that that could have been a player part in
18:25 the beginning of what went on a series of school shootings?
18:29 Definitely. It's definitely connected.
18:32 In this article that I was reading it's talking about
18:36 How much money the hip-hop industry is binging in
18:39 And it says that
18:40 "Today hip and rap is the fastest growing music in the US,
18:45 accounting for more than 10% of the 12.3 billion dollars
18:50 that music sales did. " That was in 1998.
18:54 So I know now that it's even more.
18:56 It takes me back to "the love of money is the root of all evil"
19:00 The entertainment industry is not interested.
19:02 Or, the music industry is not interested in saying
19:05 You know what. Let's regulate this rap music
19:08 Let's clean it up a little bit. Let's not allow somebody curse
19:12 words or don't talk about sex so much or the bad things that
19:16 you're going to do to this person or that person...
19:18 They don't care about that.
19:19 They are going to allow our young people to hear
19:21 and experience anything if it's going to bring in money.
19:24 That's right.
19:25 I have a quote here that I'd like to read.
19:27 It's from the book "Medical Ministry", page 1-11
19:29 And it says this
20:06 That's amazing, because what this is saying here is that
20:10 the Devil has a power
20:13 to imbue his thoughts into our own minds.
20:17 To connect our thoughts together and to make them as one
20:20 There's a word that most people won't probably understand
20:24 The word is "syncopation"
20:27 Basically the word means "to fuse together"
20:31 And when we talk about syncopation
20:33 we're generally talking about what kind of music?
20:35 Rock and hip-hop.
20:37 Because what happens is they take a rhythm and
20:41 they basically cut off the beginning of one part of the
20:44 rhythm, the end of one part of the rhythm and they
20:49 fuse it together, making this fusion through music
20:53 So it's called syncopation
20:55 And I just wonder, Atonte...
20:57 Could it be possible that through this style of music
21:01 which is very effective in bringing about a
21:05 spirit of rebellion, could it be that Satan himself is
21:09 syncopating or fusing together his thoughts with our own.
21:13 I think it's very possible and I think it is happening
21:16 There are so many friends that I have
21:18 who are in the hip-hop industry
21:20 and who have been in the hip-hop industry
21:22 and have experienced that lifestyle of rebellion
21:27 I don't wanna have anything to do with Jesus
21:29 If I come to Jesus, then He's going to take away
21:31 all the fun that I'm having right now.
21:34 And this is one of the greatest barriers
21:36 that stop people from coming to God.
21:38 Because that music says that you can do your own thing
21:42 You can live your own way
21:44 And this is a spirit of rebellion
21:47 You're right, Ivor.
21:48 Hip-hop music does produce the spirit of rebellion.
21:52 But, you know, there might be some people out there
21:55 who are thinking
21:56 I want to give this up, but it's to difficult
21:59 It seems to have control over me
22:01 It reminds me of something that happened to me
22:04 when I was a teenager and I was listening to Prince
22:08 And I don't remember where I heard it from, but
22:11 I heard that Prince's music was from the Devil
22:15 And I thought "You know what?"
22:16 "Maybe I will stop listening to this music"
22:18 So I threw the tape away. I threw it away in the garbage.
22:22 And that tape kept resurfacing
22:25 And I know that my parents were not taking the tape
22:28 out of the garbage can.
22:30 I really believe demonic spirits were taking the tape and trying
22:34 to bring it back into my life
22:36 But I can testify that if you really want
22:38 to give this music up and to allow God
22:40 to help you to listen to music that's edifying to Him,
22:44 that will draw you closer to Him, He can give you the Power
22:47 and He can overcome Satan's supernatural power
22:51 that he tries to put upon us.
22:52 That's right!
22:53 The Bible says in Romans, chapter 8 verse 6
23:12 So we're told here that we need to make a decision
23:15 between which mind we want to live in, we want to dwell in.
23:18 Because if we want to exercise the carnal mind
23:21 the Bible says that we're gonna die, the result of this is death
23:24 Not only death in the end, but death now.
23:27 Because what we are pleasuring in the carnal mind
23:32 is nothing but death.
23:33 It robs us of joy and happiness and peace.
23:36 And God has come to give us joy and happiness and peace.
23:40 The Bible says the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy.
23:43 And really when you listen to this music, it's robbing you
23:45 of what is true peace and true joy and true happiness
23:49 That's what the music does.
23:51 I can remember the last time I was at a club
23:54 A club where you dance and party and listen to hip-hop music
23:58 And I remember being there and and desiring and wanting
24:02 happiness and peace but feeling so empty while I was there.
24:05 And I know it was the Holy Spirit, He just spoke
24:09 into my mind and I said
24:12 I know it was God 'cause nothing good comes from me
24:15 But I know it was God and I just said to myself
24:16 "This is the last time I've ever come to this type of place"
24:20 And I remember just walking down the street thinking
24:23 "This is so empty, this is not really what I want"
24:27 It's only Jesus who can bring those things, the music does not
24:30 It brings emptiness and loneliness.
24:33 There was a British occultist by the name of Aleister Crowley
24:36 who lived between 1875 and 1947.
24:41 And he was a rock icon. I mean he wasn't a rock musician
24:44 He was a musician, he was a poet, he was a mystique
24:47 But a lot of rock artists hold him as an icon.
24:53 Probably one of the most profound statements he made
24:56 Which is definitely not a true statement, but profound because
24:59 it has an effect upon a lot of people, is this.
25:03 He said
25:05 Do what thou wilt, shall be the hole of the law.
25:11 And basically what he was saying was
25:13 Whatever you want to do, however you want to live
25:16 that's the way that you should live.
25:17 And when you think about the spirit of the 60's
25:21 And the hippie movement. When you think about hip-hop and
25:25 all these various types of music that encourage rebellion
25:29 That is basically the principle there
25:30 Do what you will shall be the whole of the law
25:34 This is again diametrically opposed to the
25:38 character building that Jesus wants to take us through.
25:42 God says: "I want you to submit yourself to me"
25:45 This law says: "Do what you will shall be the hole of the law"
25:49 I remember when I was coming out of this industry
25:51 And I said to the Lord "Lord please, you need to
25:53 give me the strength to break away from this.
25:55 And it was a struggle
25:56 But, you know what?
25:58 God gave me the power and the strength to do it.
26:01 And cutting that off made my journey out of the black hole
26:05 much, much, much easier much, much, much quicker
26:09 And I praise God for Him giving me the power to do that.
26:12 Praise God for that.
26:14 I know there are people out there who are thinking
26:16 What do we listen to, then?
26:18 Does God like music? God does love music.
26:22 Music started in Heaven. We know that.
26:25 We're gonna talk about that in our next program.
26:28 Let me just share this final text, Atonte.
26:31 It's in Acts 19, verse 19
26:48 Why did they do this?
26:49 They wanted to make a public statement
26:51 That they were giving their lives to Christ
26:53 and they were getting rid of all the magic books
26:55 Well, we may not have magic books today
26:57 But we do have magic CDs
27:01 That music that is turning our hearts and our minds
27:06 away from Christ.
27:07 And we've been in many churches where we said
27:09 You need to go home
27:11 Get those avenues that the Devil has into your home
27:15 Get those books and those movies those videos and those music CDs
27:19 And get them out and burn them.
27:21 Have a bonfire, get rid of them.
27:23 They're no better than the a Quija Board.
27:25 Get rid of them and start fresh with Jesus Christ
27:29 And He will come into your heart
27:31 And He will do a miraculous thing for you.
27:34 Because people who have not actually gotten rid of damages
27:37 and kept them in their home, they eventually go back to them
27:39 They eventually go right back.
27:40 Just like that tape kept resurfacing strangely
27:44 The same way that spirit of rebellion will keep to resurface
27:48 if we don't cut it off
27:49 And the only way we can do that
27:50 is through getting connected with Jesus Christ
27:53 through saying
27:54 'Lord, I want to give my heart and my life to you'
27:56 'I want to get rid of this thing'
27:58 'And I want You to come in and impound me to do it. '
28:01 On our next program we will be talking about
28:03 what type of music we should listen to
28:05 So, you don't want to miss that program
28:08 Until next time, God bless!