You know how I feel about the devil by now. It's well documented in this blog, but that sneaky fucker keeps creeping back into my life and, apparently, into hip hop.
Below is a video put out by Tetragramation Films (read: crazy people) and it is apparently part of a 13-part SERIES of delusional exposes on the growing amount of satanists and devil worshippers who roc the mic.
This latest entry turned its focus on little-known rapper Kanye West and his performance at the 2010 BET Awards. This is remarkable as Kanye is one of the most vocal rapping christians I'm aware of ("Jesus Walks" is a classic as is the religious-tinged "Spaceship" -- my personal fave). NOTE: I did not call Kanye a "Christian Rapper." One, I'm sure Christian rappers would be offended since Kanye has such a potty mouth. But mostly because christian rappers categorically suck as does the music they produce. And before you ask, NO I have not listened to all Christian hip-hop and NO I will not "check out" this one group that's "really good and not as bad as the others." To quote the Karate Kid, "There is no Christian Rap in this dojo!"
Anywho, take a look at the video and enjoy, I'll be back with a few words after the insanity.
That's grade A crazy, right? I mean, it's heartfelt, technically proficient and sincere nuttery. That title card alone with its "encore edition" lets you know these people are certifiable.
Honestly, I could spend all day talking about this thing, but since you seem to think you have more important things to do, I'll just address a few of the Kanye warning signs.
1. Like any performer who is posing on top of a mountain, Kanye is back lit with his arms out to the side in what the film refers to as the Christ-pose. Apparently, Kanye is "making himself God." Man, if it were only that easy. Actually, I wouldn't argue with this "fact." Kanye's public persona is given to fits of ego and I have no doubt that Kanye may indeed see himself as a Christ figure but not literally. But there's one thing I do want to mention, Jesus didn't exactly INVENT that pose, you know. It's not like he walked around that way (well, except for that one time). He was sort of forced into that position -- as were untold thousands who were also crucified -- if you believe the story. All one has to do is watch someone sink three-pointer and you'll see that in moments of triumph everyone does the "ta-da bitches!" pose with the arms out as if to say -- "it's all right here baby."
2. They next take issue with his choice of red for his wardrobe, which clearly represents the devil. The film even refers to a passage from Isaiah to legitimize the claim. Well, I went looking and I didn't see anything about the devil being or wearing red. Still, modern American culture definitely sees red as the devil, but I've watched enough Discovery channel (which has a very atheistic streak lately) to know that the popular representation of the devil as red is a fairly recent phenomenon. So either the Devil's marketing team is doing a great job or this film's a little off the mark.
3. Actually, I'll get away from Kanye for a minute to focus on the other stars mentioned in the video. One is Alicia Keys whose reference to the phoenix gets in her in hot water because the phoenix is connected to some Egyptian God who used to roll with Satan or some shit. She also plugs a hotline for Gulf victims which contains four 9, which when turned upside are 6's. And you thought 666 was bad, wait till you see 666 . . .6. (BTW, listening to an excellent podcast called Radio Lab where they dug through garbage from ancient Egypt and found lost bible manuscripts that refer to the mark of the beast as 616 -- so take that dummies.)
Ok, so this is what I want to say to Tetragramation Films and all the loonies who follow them. You won! Christianity has become such a part of our daily lives, media, storytelling that it's very cornerstones of faith have become nationwide, ubiquitous cliches. Hell, I say "swear to God" or "God forbid" all the time and don't mean it.
You don't have to believe in the Bible to "get" the "Matrix" movies which are FILLED with Christian allegories. Nor do you have to believe in the devil to know that wearing a red suit and standing on top of a fake mountain will cause a stir. Like Lady Gaga (another accussed of Satanism), Kanye's is BRILLIANT at pushing buttons and I'm sure is very clear that his lyrics, outfit and performance would be cause for this type of religious knee-jerk reaction. At the end of the day, the Bible has a lot of great stories in it and Christians need to accept that they resonate with EVERYONE, believers and non-believers. Trouble is, they can't really claim ownership to the messiah story, pose or any other accessories anymore than Black folks can claim rock and roll. When you sell your car, you can't tell the new owner how to drive it.
Now, having said that. I'm not ruling out that Kanye might be a devil worshipper. He's a Catholic afterall and if there's anyone I know who believes in the devil more than Baptists, it's Catholics. The irony here is, the very same people who warn the world against Satanism are really the only ones who can actually practice it. You can't worship something you don't belive in. Were Kanye a heathen like me, you could rest assurred all the devil posturing would only be for show.