Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Hindsight is 20/20. As I look back on the events of my life this scripture resounds with 100% accuracy. Everyone is born into sin and shaped in iniquity; and I was no different. Though at an early age my mother believed I might become a minister, it wasn’t long before I was completely indwelled by the “spiritus mundi” or the “spirit of the world.” My will, my dreams, my desires, my ambition all became motivated by my flesh. My ultimate goals in life were to have all the things the world was telling me I was supposed to have and to be the type man it told me I was supposed to be. I was shaped/conditioned in iniquity and headed for my destruction.
With an abundance of gifts and talents at my disposal I set out to make my mark on the world, or so I believed. Of these gifts, I had come to the conclusion that my knack for clever rhymes was the one that could best propel me toward my objectives. Before I caught the ‘rap bug’ though, I was penning romantic poetry; much of which my teachers believed to be plagiarized. Unfortunately, in my desire to conform to the ways of the world, the subject matter of my poetry did not transfer to my rap lyrics. Unconsciously I had made the decision to sacrifice the goodness of my gift for the promises of man: fame, fortune and fast women. I began recording and living the destructive lyrics of the lie I had come to believe - “thuggin’ pays, so thuggin’ is the way.” Everyone loves a hustler, right?
Another interesting gift bestowed upon me was the gift of creativity. God gave me the uncanny ability to conjure up the things I could conceive in my mind and reproduce certain ‘official instruments’ through the use of modern technology. Once again I was abusing my talents. At the time I was supporting a family, and doing music was extremely costly. I couldn’t bring myself to sacrifice one for the other; I had to do both. So, needless to say I was pulling out all the stops. I was hustling with no brakes. My life had become destructive wordplay, criminal activity, weed and alcohol, and adultery all balled up together. I was outwardly going against everything God was doing on the inside; thus, my identity conflict. I had no knowledge of who God designed me to be. All I knew was what I was trying to be for the world, and it wasn’t working in my favor. With more hustle than most and the intelligence of a college nerd, I couldn’t understand why I was not having the success I felt due me or the success I saw others having that didn’t have the skills I had. What was wrong with me? Short answer: God’s plans were not my plans. Then, just when I was at a point where I thought I had it all together he took it all away. I had shut him out for so long, but now he had my undivided attention. I was forced to stop running.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
God, I surrender. I have strived with reckless abandon to do my own will my own way and I have left a long trail of ruins behind me. I will strive no more in selfish ambition. This was the state of mind I was in. I had to renew my understanding of Jesus Christ and the true meaning of the Will of God. I had to allow the Word of God to speak into my soul and stop listening only for what I wanted to hear. I needed a complete spiritual restoration, so I sat still and let God work on me. He began to make it plainly clear that my purpose was to reach the world with the message he was pouring into me daily. The only problem was I had no clue how I was supposed to do this. Public speaking was a phobia, and aside from that I had never heard anyone saying what God was calling me to say in a traditional church setting. I concluded that pastoring (at least for now) was not the medium. Then I was reminded of the confidence, poise, and charisma I use to step on the stage with when I was rapping for the world. An immediate conviction came over my spirit. It was like God had given me another opportunity to use a gift I so badly abused in the past. Only this time it would be for his glory. In a short time I was writing rhymes and flowing over tracks with a passion and energy I thought was long gone. With a renewed spirit and a right mind I am blessed to present you “Warning Shot.”