I'm a sucker for a orchestral, scantily worded worship ballad. For me, they tend to lead to the type of response that culminates with an ugly cry. Today, I was listening to one of my all-time favorite songs, "More Than a Friend" by Jeremy Riddle and I got that upper chest feeling that usually leads to a lump in my throat. The synchronization of melody, progression, and a steady, slow tempo helps puts me in the perfect contemplative place to be fully taken in by simple lyrics such as "...Jesus you're more than a friend..." and "...You bring joy to my soul..." I know, I know---that's too sensitive for some of these Old Spice Christian men of 2014. I should really envy your dry eyed, stoic, hands-in-pocket "expression." I get that, I do.
In light of traditional hip hop machismo, I sometimes wonder if we've disallowed a moment like that in rap music. Sure, there are songs I listen to that capture emotion and a sense of serious reflection, but the best ones seemed to leave no true resolution. I know it's not for everyone, but I tend`like a song to give a sense of something being resolved by its end. I don't hate the emotional cliff hanger songs, but its like movies for me---happy endings are what I hope for.
Thing about a worshipful rap song, you can create the feeling, and its about more than just delivering the information. Years ago as I began writing rhymes at the same time I was growing in my faith. As a result, much of the songs provided an outlet in definitive moments of seeking God and pouring out my heart. Chris and I would craft music that attempted to deliver the most authentic depiction of brokenness, exuberance, and fullness of joy a person could express. And in light of happy endings, any somber emotion is contrasted with the celebration of Jesus' triumph over sin and death. Weakness counteracted by perfect grace turns to passion-fueled, tear-jerking artwork.
Let's go for that ugly cry.