I heard a song on the radio the other night and it bothered me to my core. Maybe you've seen it performed on Late Night with Jimmy Falon. Its the new song "B.M.F." (Blowing Money Fast) from Rick Ross aka Ricky Rozay (huh?). The song is from his new #1 selling album (180,000 sold in the first week) 'Teflon Don'. As soon as I heard the chorus I became enraged. It starts like this:
"I feel like Big Meech, Larry Hoover..."
Right there, in my car, in my own way - I lost it. Why? Because I saw what was happening. What was happening was a destructive idea moving from idealistic imagery, to becoming a living, flesh and blood folk hero. There are a few ways to promote & glorify a lifestyle and one of those ways is the celebration of its heroes. But on the surface, one would think all this song is promoting is a lifestyle of glamorous spending and luxurious living. After all, the song is called "Burning Money Fast" right? WRONG!
Allow me to clarify. First, there's Big Meech. He is the leader of a bloody, deadly criminal empire called Black Mafia Family. They traffic drugs, murder, pimp and every form of illegal action that could make money. They are considered to be one of the deadliest and biggest black crime organizations, and thanks to people like Rick Ross and Meech's own friend and protege, rapper Young Jeezy (who rhymes "I know Big Meech, the real Big Meech...") he has become a celebrated hero. And did you notice how the song's acronym is eerily similar to the name of the criminal organization? BMF = Black Mafia Family eh Burning Money Fast. Coincidence?
Then there's Larry Hoover. Who is that? Only the reputed leader of Black Gangster Disciple's gang and founder of the multi-gang consortium Folk Nation. I grew up in a Folk/GD neighborhood and saw the symbolic pitchforks and six point stars all over the place. I was often asked by a former friend of mine numerous times to join the gang.
Thanks to Mr. Rozay this type of lifestyle isn't just limited to being promoted via its songs and video imagery, but now the real life inspiration of these destructive lifestyles are being heralded as heros! And we wonder why this type of behavior is duplicated in people everywhere - hood, burbs, hills, sticks and trailer parks alike.
If we are to reverse this trend, we have to support the power of the message of the gospel and them some of our heroes. We have to tell stories of people who impacted the world, ignited a movement or lived noteworthy lives that were rooted in Christ. Paul would do it in his epistles' writing not just about Jesus but also about Abraham, Gideon, Samson and more. He even used himself as an example by telling the Corinthians to "follow me as I follow Christ."
But we need to know who these heroes could be. So, tell me (and anyone else who would read this entry) who are some heroes that lived noteworthy lives rooted in Christ?
And before you say it, yes Jesus is THE hero and is greater than anyone else you could list but we need to see the gospel fleshed out in the lives of others sometimes, too