I listen to a lot of different music but mostly what folks would say falls into the Gospel and Hip Hop space. Being a former record label executive myself, I have a profound respect for people who can entertain and educate through art. In the Gospel space, I tell you no one in this era musically makes me think about my spiritual walk more than Jonathan McReynolds. Pressure, Make Room, Cycles, Not Lucky, I'm Loved and God is Good are all such thought provoking spiritual declarations connected to daily life. For example, Not Luck, I'm Loved reminds me to be thankful for everything that God has done and continues to do in my life. Make Room reminds me to move everything else over and put God first. Gospel music reminds you of who God is and the things that help us to be our best selves.
However, Hip Hop is the music of my generation. The late 80's, 90's and early 2000's had a wide range of Hip Hop artists. The game changers like Run DMC, Eric B & Rakim, KRS One, Nas, Ice Cube, Too Short, Dr. Dre, Tupac, Biggie, Jay Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dog, Outkast and in this era a few names that come to mind are Kendrick Lamar, J-Cole and Joyner Lucas who continue to paint meaningful expressions on the canvas of the Hip Hop industry. Many of these artists are those who helped to define the genre and some are continuing to build their legacy in Hip Hop. Their words can be powerful and impactful for a lifetime. To this day, I have never forgotten, Melle Mel's verse in The Message: "A child is born with no state of mind, blind to the ways of mankind. God is smiling on you but He's frowning too because only God knows what you'll go through." A song that was released on July 1, 1982. One of the first rap songs to ever give a report on what it was like to be Black in America.
Yet, there is something beyond the creativity that matters more. Art is important to us because true art often speaks on the experiences of life. The critical question is who we are becoming as we experience life? This is the means by which some of us create art and it can also be the reason why we ingest art that appeals to us. We ingest art and are inspired to become or feel more of what the art displays. It is all about what our spirit is receiving through our eyes and ears. In addition, it is about the filters we have created through intellect, experience and wisdom. Actions are a result of what you ingest and the filters you have adapted use of to understand what you have taken in as far as information. Life is all about building wisdom and understanding. They increase our effectiveness in life. How you handle the information that comes into your mind and spirit will make a significant impact in your life.
The Message Bible states, "Never walk away from Wisdom, she guards your life; love her, she keeps her eye on you. Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! Throw your arms around her, believe me, you won't regret it; never let her go. She'll make your life glorious."