Becoming A Renaissance Man – Episode 1: Needle In A Haystack
On ReverbNation alone, there are 17,526 self-proclaimed hip-hop and/or Christian/rap artists. I am one of them. I have over 2900 “fans” on my global mailing list. Of those fans, I consider 371 to be active followers. And of those active followers, I consider 126 as loyal supporters. So what’s my point? If every other hip-hop/Christian rapper/rapper had similar numbers as me, it would mean that there are over 50 million potential listeners, just on ReverbNation, of which my loyal supporters only make up 0.000002%. The reality is that, as an artist, I am a relatively tiny needle in a rather huge haystack . . . .
So with such daunting numbers and the odds seemingly against me, why do I invest so much time, effort and money into my artistry? Simple: because God has given me a voice and a venue and I need to use them for His glory. Even if I only reach one (Luke 15:1-7), I can rest assured that I did not waste my gifts.
So again, if I am only anticipating reaching around a hundred people, why so much effort with this latest project, “Renaissance Man”? A scene from the movie, “Facing The Giants” gives the best parallel as to why:
Mr. Bridges shares the story: “There were two farmers who desperately needed rain, and both of them prayed for rain. But only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it.
Mr. Bridges: Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?
Coach Taylor: The one who prepared his fields for it?”
Mr. Bridges: Which one are you? God will send the rain when He is ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.
God will place my music where it needs to placed in order to be most effective for His glory – whether that means I reach just one; or, whether it means I reach a thousand. But having this kind of blind faith does not mean that I should be irresponsible in my preparation. Just like the farmer who was prepared to receive the rain, I need to be prepared to make the biggest impact that I can with the tools and gifts that God has given to me.
My goals with “Renaissance Man” are to spark a restoration, through music, of Christ-centered faith, to dispel the notion that Christian music – hip-hop in particular – has to be cheesy or sub par and to revive the energy and emotion of classic hip-hop through raw and gritty beats, skillful wordplay and substantive content. Anybody with a laptop and a $5 mic can make music these days; and, there’s nothing wrong with that. But because so many people are doing just that, good quality music is becoming more difficult to find. And good quality Christian hip-hop is somewhat of an anomaly. Even with the very real possibility that I may lose money on “Renaissance Man”, I want to present to the listening masses a high quality, entertaining and God-glorifying project that could be played alongside the best in hip-hop – past and present – with very little variance.
Over the next several weeks and months, as I pour out my heart into my craft, I will also open up to you through written, audible and visual journalism so that I may include you in this experience. Good quality music is one thing. Exceptional artistry is one thing. But I truly believe that music is something to be experienced; and, to really experience music you need to be a part of what the artist is feeling and experiencing. So I thank you in advance for walking this path with me and sharing in my experiences as we lead up to “Renaissance Man”. I pray that this be a truly interactive experience and that we may grow in our fellowship.