While growing up, I have always hidden something from my parents; something that I fell in love with ever since my older brother introduced me to it when I was in grade school. Unlike some teens, which may hide dirty magazines, alcohol, or cigarettes, my vice was hip-hop music.
“Why hide music from your parents?” some may ask, well my family is deeply rooted in Christianity.
My father is a pastor of a church in Tallahassee named Jesus Apostolic, not to mention the slew of uncles and aunts who are pastors, deacons, or evangelist. So, while some other parents might not find problems with listening to secular music, I was told not to, or else. As a result hip-hop music became my alcohol.
I remember the first hip-hop song I heard that I couldn’t get enough of: Fabolous’s “Young’n (Holla Back)”. The single from his first album was back in 2001, so you know how sheltered I was.
I would jam out in my brother’s red Honda CR-X because that was the only place I could get my buzz without being caught. After that, I wanted more. I loved the beats, the rhymes, and the style. Everything about hip-hop I loved. But come Sunday morning, it was back to the choir and back to traditional praise and worship songs—nothing wrong with that—but I guess you could call my thoughts being more focused on hip-hop while in church, a “hangover.”
The first album I bought was 50 Cent’s The Massacre in 2005. After that, I bought Nas’ “Illmatic”. To this day I have 255 albums in my collection, with only 46 being Christian CDs. Do my parents know? Of course not. They have threatened to both my older siblings and I that if a secular album were found it would be thrown away.
The bible doesn’t say anything about what type of music we should listen to; however, my parents read to me a few scriptures that may pertain to secular music.
I Corinthians 10:31 reads: So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
I’m pretty sure plenty of hip-hop music isn’t encouraging me to glorify God. So what excuse could I give them after that? None. So when it came to me watching BET’s Rap City Program while I was home alone and I heard my parents walking through the door, I would turn away from it like it was Cinemax…after dark. And when it came to me having my enormous album book, I would hide it under my bed. What can I say, I do it for hip-hop.