I Just Know Good Music
Artist: Snoop Dogg
Album Title: Bible of Love
Tracks: 32 (Yes, 32!)
On Repeat: New Wave (feat. Mali Music); You (feat. Tye Tribbett); Come As You Are (feat. Mary Mary & Marvin Sapp)
I wasn't expecting what I heard, but what I heard was unexpectedly refreshing. Bible of Love is just some straight up good music.
And I can hear the believers now, "How dare he, one who spits cuss words and lives a life that reflects anything but Christ!"
Why do we (Christians) do this?
Maybe others think like I think upon hearing that a secular artist has their hand in on gospel music. It's a shocker at first. And it's just as much a shocker when gospel artists have their hands in on secular music. We don't expect the worlds to collide, and because of this, I would normally not even bat an eye upon hearing that a secular artist is singing God's praises. It would seem like a publicity stunt or a desire for the artist to just make music because making music is what they do. I'd think it wouldn't mean anything to them because gospel music is so much more than just making music. Gospel music is all about sharing the message of Jesus Christ and His saving power, and it comes from a place of personal experience. Gospel music is made with hopes of causing others to know Jesus, and with hopes of encouraging those who are already in Christ to grow in their walk and be edified. You have to know Jesus and His word, personally, to really speak a message about Him. And Snoop obviously knows this too because his voice is heard on only a very small percentage of this project. And this isn't to say that Snoop doesn’t know (of) Jesus (none of us know that), but this is to say that he does know exactly what he's doing.
You see, Snoop is an artist with a history of making hits, so he knows good music, and he knows what it takes to make music that gives people what they want. Snoop knows a thing or two about what works and what doesn't, so he had sense enough to go and get the gospel music greats for this project, and they’re the ones doing the singing. He was responsible for pulling everyone together, but he, for the most part, is not delivering the message on this album. In fact, the majority of the artists featured on this album wrote the songs they're singing on the album, for the album.
After listening to Bible of Love in its entirety and enjoying it as much as I did, I had to "check myself before I wrecked myself". I seriously had to talk to the Lord about the question that was in my mind BEFORE I listened. I had to deal with why my heart was so unwilling to receive a message about Christ because of how it was packaged. #message
I kept thinking, "How does someone who doesn't even profess to be a Christian even make a gospel album?"
Well, why not?
What's wrong with pulling people together who know and love God, getting them in a room with others who may not know and love God, and allowing them to work together on music that is understood by both parties to be music that professes the name of Jesus? Why can't those people get together to make music with the sole purpose of uplifiting and encouraging those who listen? What else are believers here for if we can't even do projects that reflect Jesus Christ with those who may not believe, especially when all parties know it's a project that reflects, boasts in and uplifts Jesus Christ? How else are unbelievers supposed to learn of Him?
It would be a totally different story if a host of Christians got together and were featured on music that was clearly secular and had nothing to do with Christ because a Christian's job is to be the influence, not to be influenced.
Snoop used his God-given gifts with music and production and he used his platform and his reach to pull others together. Can you imagine how many people will listen to the message of Jesus Christ simply because they know and love Snoop and respect him as an artist?
Can you imagine the people who may be hanging on to a lifestyle that they hate who may hear Bible of Love and decide to finally make a change? Can you imagine how many other scenarios there are out there of people who may hear the message of Jesus Christ and His saving power from an artist like Snoop who wouldn't dare even try to hear it from Marvin Sapp or Kirk Franklin?
There are so many RIGHTS here. I'm struggling to find even one WRONG.
And the music is on point! When I heard Marvin Sapp and Mary Mary on the same track, killin' on vocals, and when Kim Burrell came out on a couple songs being the Kim Burrell that she is, I was home! Snoop included an old, CLASSIC Clark Sisters track (Pure Gold), and I about lost it! John P. Kee, Rance Allen, Fred...all the greats--the pillars of gospel music! My first listen through, the last thing I was thinking about was whose album it was. I was too focused on the message. And isn't that the point?
The production is stellar, and certainly, with Snoop being the one to spearhead it, it should be.
I know nothing of Snoop's life. Even when I was in the world, I wasn't a fan, so he wasn't on my radar. Apart from his hits that played over and over on the radio back in my day, I know nothing of him. I don't see him on social media, and I don't know any of his latest work on screen or in the studio. All I know is "You" featuring my favorite gospel artist, Tye Tribbett, caught my ear on Spotify and I knew then that I had to hear all of Bible of Love. I know my Tye, and when I saw that he'd written the song he's featured on (I knew it), I knew there had to be more to this album than what "I thought".
Every track boasts of Jesus. Every track speaks His truth. The album is really good! For those of us who love God and enjoy good music, this project is one for us. And if we're “too spiritual” to be able to look past who pulled the people together to sing the songs, then we aren't really interested in the message. I'm thankful that Bible of Love gave me a heart check and helped me to see beyond the surface.
We should rejoice that Snoop had sense enough to even honor God with his gifts, even if it is for but this time. We should rejoice that the Lord (because the enemy surely didn't do it) laid it on his heart to do this project and he obeyed. We can learn a lesson from him in this because I know there are things the Lord has told all of us to do, at some point or another, that we just haven't (I was supposed to finish writing this blog and post it last week). We can rejoice that he wasn't afraid to go to those who aren't "like him" to do something that would glorify God. We can learn to go to others who have skill sets that could help us to build God's kingdom and stop casting them away because they aren't Christians. How will they know who a Christian is or what it means to walk in Christ if you're not there to show them?
I haven't paid $16.99 for music in a loooong time, but I gladly paid for this after hearing only about 5 or 6 tracks on Spotify. It's just good and I can't wait to introduce a few tracks to my Praise Movement dancers! Don't let "foolishness" keep you from experiencing what's happening in Bible of Love.