The beat goes on. That’s right, it is the beat that grabs your attention first, then the familiar melody in tune with that angelic voice of your favorite artist, and then almost uncontrollably your foot begins to tap, head begins to bob back and forth or side to side almost breaking your neck. Suddenly, you jump up out of your seat and you notice how your hips begin to sway about when you ask the question “What is happening to me”, and it’s that very moment when you begin to lift up your hands to the sky as you sing along with the melodic chant, you turn and look at the person next to you and yell out with glee “THAT’S MY JAM!” Yes, that is your jam, and yes without realizing it, you are now officially in a trance. Gloria Estefan warned you that “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You”, and it officially has.
Yes, we are all guilty. We love our Rock ‘n’ Roll, Hip Hop, Dance, Rhythm and Blues as well as our Gospel music. We have all at one time or another become entranced by the tunes and frequencies that cause us to be influenced in one or two ways, positively or negatively. So what problem are we addressing here? The problem is as simple as it is complex. In a single word it is…INFLUENCE.
Just how open are our minds to receiving the messages being driven by our favorite tunes? To answer that, it is important to quickly look at the origins of music. If we jump into our way back machine briefly, we see that as long ago as the beginning of existence music was, is and will always be a gift from God. This gift of God in its original intent was to give God praises through song and melody. Unfortunately for us something happened that kinda messed all of that up…among many other things. You see there was this one dude back in Heaven, who we could likely compare to many of our biggest celebrities here on the 3rd Rock. Long story short, dude was really feeling himself since he was the best singer, best on any instrument, most handsome and his jewelry game was top notch, dude had ice grills way before Paul Wall and Johnny Dang…yeah, talking about that guy. Sadly, he kinda messed it all up for everybody and now he is stuck here with us. Uuuuggghh, that guy! Dude is still extremely cocky because even after all that caused him to be cast from Heaven (which he’s still pretty bitter about) bro just cannot leave the music alone.
Music has evolved over the ages, and even though there has always been an element of influence for good or evil, I believe is more influential now because people are virtually sleepwalking through life and more easily swayed. In saying that, we must be honest with ourselves and realize that the music and entertainment industries are well aware of the power of influence. While we are on the subject of honesty, can we also be honest about who controls said entities of entertainment? Here’s a clue, he’s been here for a minute.
There have been a number of studies that prove that radio frequencies, tempo and instrumentation can literally control people’s though process, which in turn will likely control their actions. In saying that, take a journey into your own personal Waybach and think about that one song that just always takes you back to a place of peace and serenity. Just the thought of that song is enough to release enough endorphins and dopamine in your brain to put you at ease and at times literally take the pain away while making your body move to the rhythm.
There once was a time where parents forbid their children from listening to that sinister son of Satan Elvis Presley. His brand of brand of “Burnin’ Love” was just a hunka hunka too much for many concerned parents. Then there was the era of Woodstock and the Psychedelic flower power music, which produced a lot of children and stoners. The 70’s and 80’s respectively brought in a new wave of elaborate dance, soul, and cool mellow grooves as well an introduction to the Hip Hop movement and Heavy Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll. I believe the 1990’s by far brought about the most influential form of music that literally changed the entire landscape of what music would become. In the early 1990’s Gangster Rap was mainstream. Never before had our music glorified murder, drugs, hate for authority and sexual misconduct with such an in your face, no holds barred approach. The fact that there were curse words in the music was nothing new, but there were certain words that had never been an acceptable form of musical expression of any genre.
Lets take a look at the impact that a single genre of music has taken on our communities. The obvious would likely be the widespread gang mentality. Now of course gangs did not originate from Gangster Rap music, but the reach of the message of gang violence traveled from coast to coast in record time. This no doubt was one of Satan’s most masterful ploys. A musical genre influenced a generation of young people to hate themselves, hate each other and have equal disregard for their communities. We witnessed nice neighborhoods quickly turn into “THE HOOD”, simply because of the mentality of the people who had been influenced (there’s that word again) to believe that all hope was lost. The rappers constantly reminded us that it was a sin against our people to trust authorities. They tell us that snitching is the worst thing we could do. Yeah that’s right, reporting to the authorities on the very people who terrorize your communities is a bad thing.
Now that we have adopted Gangster rap into the mainstream, we’ve seen how that movement has affected every other genre of music. Everything we consume in entertainment is far more vulgar and sexually explicit in these current times. The agenda was to desensitize us to the horrors of the sin in our lives. It’s caused us to turn away from God and idolize ourselves. It reminds us that the main goal in life is wealth and personal gain regardless of who you may have to take down in the process. The church has even adopted many of the practices of the worldly influence of todays music. We must be especially vigilant in our discernment of the gospel music that we ingest, keeping in mind that many of those artists are employees of the same secular record labels. We may be listening for an uplifting musical message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the enemy will skillfully slip in a message glorifying sin without us catching it.
Just imagine a world without music. It’s hard to imagine isn’t it? How about a musical fast for a month, could you do it? How about a week? Its not an easy thing to imagine for many of us and almost impossible for most young people. So, can we now ask ourselves that million-dollar question…IS MUSIC MY GOD?¨
Check out this short message on Music by Pastor Cortt Chavis