BRUNO D OF PARIS FRANCE by THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTIAN RAP
16 May 2020
My name is Bruno D. (29 years old) and I was born into an evangelical Christian family. Because of our location (Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris), I have always been attracted to rap for its strong message and mesmerizing melodies. Even though this type of music was not listened to much around me, I liked to move my head as soon as the rhythm reached my ears.
Being very involved in the local church, especially with the youth, as a teenager I was looking to please Yéhoshoua in all areas of my life without constantly looking for Him.
Listening to a lot of hip-hop music from around the world (Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Booba etc…), my father made me listen in 2005 to an American Christian rapper still unknown in France: Lecrae. His music proclaiming the Gospel (“Yehoshua Musik”), his very evocative music video (he walked the streets with his friends announcing the Good News) and the quality of his rap seduced me, and I thought it was a good way to communicate the Gospel. In addition, I was happy to finally have quality Christian music to put in my mp3.
Since then, I have not stopped buying all the albums of the artist as well as those of all the other well-known singers there (Trip Lee, KJ-52, Tedashii, Andy Mineo, Flame etc.) while removing all the pagan music.
I even looked for artists in France. The delay in this area was obvious but I had finally found
my niche because what mattered to me were the words (Ghetto Preachers, Vocal Leader, Meshak…). I was really happy to be able to walk around and listen to music that built me in the lyrics and gave me emotions that I wanted to find in rap.
I felt like I was one of the forerunners in France because churches did not easily open their doors to these kinds of music. Instead, there was traditional gospel music.
Then I opened a blog and a Facebook page to promote Christian rap. I wanted those who were like me (who listened to pagan music) to experience “sanctified” music. And indeed, many around me have stopped listening to rap and turned to music that honors Elohîm, at least in the lyrics.
In 2008, I was part of the organization of a great gospel event bringing together twenty artists from all sides (traditional gospel, RNB, Rap …) at the Baltard Pavilion in the Paris suburbs! More than 1000 people gathered to dance for Yéhoshoua to the rhythm of the various singers more or less known. It touched me and I wanted to contribute to Elohîm’s work through music. In addition, many artists marched through my church and I was happy to share their vision of evangelizing nations during moments of sharing. For me, it was preaching the gospel!
That’s how I started looking for an artist not far from home that I could help and pray for. I had at heart this verse: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Mashiah. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
So I had to find my place in the body of Christ and move the Kingdom forward at all costs. After several weeks of research, I came across the blog of a rap artist in the vein of what I was looking for: DRICK-C (20 years old at that time).
His strong way of laying down his rhymes, his quality instrumentals and his approach to evangelizing young people clearly touched me. After a first contact on Facebook and an interview in Créteil (94) with his cousin, also a Christian rapper, I felt that it was necessary to contribute to his ministry by helping him financially on his project at the time.
Very quickly, I became his producer, manager and graphic designer. We released 4 projects together from 2009 to 2017. Each project aimed to proclaim Christian values and to bring a quality of music that stands out from the others. Never has the goal been to make money or any worldly glory. I had made the resolution that if it became business, I would leave immediately because I wanted to remain in the posture of discipleship and not entrepreneur to serve Mammon.
At the first concerts, however, these questions arose in my mind and continued to mature in
me: Why were there only Christians at the concerts? Why make the attendees pay when it was certain that with this way of evangelizing, no pagan would come? Why is the artist put forward (stage name, image on the flyer…) when only the name of Yéhoshoua must be revered?
Over the years, we have traveled through France and Belgium through concerts or youth camps with the will to obey Elohîm. Above all, we wanted to bring at the end of the concert the striking testimony of the conversion of Cedric (the real name of DRICK-C), who had passed from darkness to Christ, in order to impact the public and thus deliver a powerful message for the salvation of anyone.
I really felt like I was serving Yéhoshoua and touching young people through sounds they knew well. Indeed, for me, rap was only a means of evangelizing like any other and if we could convey Grace through this fashion, the Lord could only approve. In fact, I was totally fully into this mission and we had many successes that made me think that the Lord was behind it all.
On the other hand, I felt that we didn’t really put Elohîm first. Prayer was not the priority, unlike marketing and other artistic research. As time went on, I wondered: Am I in truth?
During these 10 years, I met many people who were opposed to Christian rap and who, with verses in support, explained their views to me. For them, it came from Satan (see the origins of Hip hop and its purpose, the emphasis of the artist, the violence in the attitude of the rapper …).
Many pointed out to me that some artists were Illuminati trying to draw my attention to gestures and behaviors similar to those of the stars of worldly music.
But I was not persuaded; I have challenged many times with some, blaming them for seeing evil everywhere and highlighting our sincerity. For us, Satan could not be the creator of music. For me, these people wanted to destroy the mission because it is indeed easier to criticize than to advance the kingdom of Elohîm together.
Over time, I was still surprised to see many American or French Christian artists moving dangerously towards ever more rapprochement with the world. This was particularly obvious for the featurings with pagans, and all this in order to win souls of course…
I saw the label of Lecrae (Reach Records), the most popular Christian Hip Hop artist in the USA, change the presentation of its website. There was no mention of the Name of Yéhoshoua Ha Mashiah at all, but they were talking about “changing people’s mindset towards the world.” In addition, in 2017 he signed with one of the biggest worldly record companies that manage notably Adele, Beyonce, Pharell Williams… How can a Christian partner with people who will influence him in the darkness? Christ asks us to make disciples of all nations… but not just any way!
2 Corinthians 6:17 Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
This is one example among many, but how can the so-called defenders of the Word be so careless? Faced with a Holy and Almighty Elohîm, is this our offering? We must not play with the sanctity demanded by the Lord.
Leviticus 10:1-2 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before YHWH, which He commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from YHWH, and devoured them, and they died before YHWH.
Our last project with DRICK-C (started in 2016) led us to spend much more time in prayer meetings to praise Yéhoshoua and ask Him to reveal Himself more to our hearts. With Cedric, we felt that something was going on in the Spirit but we had no idea what was going to happen.
The Holy Spirit began to shake me:
Why do we sell Christian music when Yehoshua gave us everything for free?
Why are we Christians completely influenced by current marketing methods? (photo shooting, music video, socialized instrumentals, targeted advertisements…)
Is Yéhoshoua really at the center of our ministries or only in form?
What has been the real impact of our projects in the lives of those affected?
In the end, do we not reach these Christians by satisfying their flesh?
Christians are the first to say “Amen” to all that is labeled “Christian” without seeking good or evil in the Word. I don’t know why.
In addition, my wife, who had helped me initially in this work, had let go of all this along the way because she felt that there was a mixture. I had the same feeling… I knew she was right because it was based on the Word, while I mixed verses and human reasoning.
In August 2017, I felt that the Spirit was asking me to contact the cousin of DRICK-C to whom I had not spoken since 2010, when he had stopped Christian rap and had become closed off to this form of evangelization.
I asked him this simple question: “But there are people who have been touched by our music! So why be so resistant and not want to accept this method of evangelizing young people in particular?”
He told me that Christian rap had copied the ways of the world and that the very essence of the Gospel had evaporated because of compromise. It reproduced music originating from the world, highlighted the artist when Elohîm must be exalted alone, charges for concerts while Elohîm has given us eternal life for free… We thus create a mixture that satisfies our flesh without really verifying in the Word whether our ministry is truly biblical.
And he ended up with a simple question that had the effect of a bomb in my mind: “If Yehoshua asked you to give up rap or other pleasures, would you have a hard time doing it? If you say yes, it is because your heart is attached to these things.
I understood at that moment how much I idolized this music and put its place to a degree that did not glorify Yehoshua at all. I was like that religious man who wanted to look good and sincere, but who could not renounce all his desires and what attached him to this world.
Matthew 19:21-22 Yehoshua said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
To stop listening to this genre of music was difficult for me because it had been more than 20 years since I was attached to this spiritual idol and my blindness prevented me from experiencing true freedom in Christ.
I can even add many bad things done during those ten years of “ministry.” The first thing is that I was addicted to pornography and masturbation without ever finding a lasting solution to my evil. Yes, grace allowed me forgiveness for my sins, but my repeated faults plunged me into the misunderstanding of what Elohîm’s holiness was.
Indeed, I had known the ins and outs of spiritual struggle and how Satan worked in my flesh, especially through music. Because yes, music plays a role and has an influence on your life. If you listen to an artist with violent and degrading words, don’t be surprised that these things are reflected in your life or thoughts.
Indeed, I don’t think you’d be surprised if I told you that I kept listening to the music of the world next door. Besides, I was even an expert in listening to the latest hip-hop trends of the moment in France and the USA.
All the Christian artists I met obviously listened to this dirty music and this greatly influenced them in their strategy to “be up to date.” If a pagan comes out with a new style that works (flow, dance, instrumental…), the Christian hastens to copy it and put Christian words into it.
The Spirit is not at all in control. We think that people are impacted for God while we are only exacerbating their carnal desires.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I
will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to Me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your Elohim, I will also forget your children.
So I wanted to understand what the Bible really said about our music and the ministry of “artist.” In my humble searching for the Truth, she gradually revealed herself to me. I was surprised at how wrong I had gone. Serving the Lord Yes! But not just any way! He’s a jealous Elohîm!
And here’s what Elohim made me understand:
We must not copy the world or make partnerships with non-Christians:
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?
The public should not be sold or charged for Elohîm’s grace:
Matthew 10:8 Freely you have received, freely give.
John 2:13-17 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Yehoshoua went up to Jerusalem. 14 And
found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money
sitting: 15 And when He had made a whip of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and
the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said
to them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of
merchandise. 17 And His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of your house has
eaten Me up.
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that you did not receive? now if you did receive it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it?
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
One must seek to be a spiritual worshipper and not a carnal Christian:
John 4:23-24 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
“Man should not be seduced by his appearance because it is idolatry:
Romans 1:22-25 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. 24 Why God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
It was through this revelation of Yehoshua that the breaking of my flesh began to operate. I gradually realized the obvious need to delve more into the Word alone to know what the Lord desires of us. So I cut everything by removing all rap and replacing it with praise without artistic label. I began to give up the addictions (pornography, video games…) that chained me and did not allow me to go in intimacy with the Father.
Everything that defiled me was laid bare in my mind and I made strong decisions to obey Elohîm in order to advance from glory to glory.
If you have trouble letting go of things you know are bad, ask yourself whether you really accepted Yéhoshua as Savior but also as Lord! For our bodies and our intelligence are his(1 Corinthians 6:19) and we must strive for the perfection of Yehoshua. If not, ask Yeshua to reveal the state of your heart and renew all your thoughts in order to do His will and not yours! Elohîm asks us to renounce ourselves and to be a vase of honor, sanctified and useful to the Lord (2 Timothy 2:11).
My life of prayer has been completely turned upside down since that day when the Truth took hold of my heart. Yehoshua cut and anesthetized my flesh through His Holy Spirit which continues to remind me of order.
I thank Yéhoshoua Ha Mashiah for His forgiveness and grace because I do not deserve all this. I was blinded and hardened for a while. But the Almighty Lord brought me back to the shore and led me to the heights so that I might speak of His Good News in a different way and walk ever more in sanctification.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
I pray that the Lord will touch you as He touched me. The Lord wishes to use you more and for this we must renounce the world and all that comes from the spirit of this world. Attach yourself to Elohîm and not to your intelligence that takes you to another gospel, a gospel that strays you away from the Lord!
John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
If you have a gift to praise the Lord, Amen! Seek Elohîm alone and He will reveal to you how to contribute to the Kingdom through your spiritual hymns! Never let Satan compromise you again by wanting to do your own will. Give for free, don’t put yourself forward on the Internet, use just your voice to glorify Elohîm! Praise is an offering to Elohîm alone. If this is not what Elohîm wants, don’t worry, let Him guide you and take the time to seek His will!
I thank You YHWH because You are patient with Your children, You want none of them to perish. You saved me from blindness and now You want me to proclaim Your Word with power and not only in words.
Let our lives reflect You more and that we seek You more and more in secret!
In Elohîm is all the Glory, in the centuries of the centuries. Amen!
Revelation 3:20 “Here I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door for Me, I will enter his house, and I will have dinner with him, and him with Me.”.
[Source: Les Dokimos ]