Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This is not a popularity contest. We are here to convict."
Every so often, amid the sinners and swindlers and thieves, we like to plug a churchly musician into the Artist of the Week slot. Also, we don't want to be entirely without ammunition when being judged in the afterlife.
We've featured Breyland, Soulbrotha, Sam Sneed and more. The angelic Liz Dannemiller isn't necessarily a church-based artist, but if knowing her doesn't help get you into Heaven, nothing will.
This week, the gruff Christian rapper Advice sits in the spotlight. Keep it moving to read his argument why his song "Christian Wife" is radio ready, how he seamlessly sidestepped a hypothetical and his own (rap-related) blasphemous admission.
Rocks Off: Standard Artist of the Week opener: Tell everyone everything they need to know about you in exactly six words.
Advice: Student, Father, Husband, Artist, Writer, and Soldier.
RO: So we got to listen through your album, Mechanism 48. It's obviously message-driven, but there seemed to be one clear omission: the radio-ready dance track. When can we see something like that from you? Maybe something like "Dropping It Low for the Lord."
A: I disagree. "Christian Wife" is definitely "radio ready." One can dance to any kind of music. The people choose what they want to dance to. There will never be a "Drop it Low for the Lord" song coming from me.
RO: Have you ever given any thought to doing some collaborative work with K-Rino? He's done some especially poignant work within some of the parameters that you work in - "Deception" immediately comes to mind. You two together could be monstrous.
A: I am not familiar with K-Rino or his music.
RO: This sentence from your press release was particularly intriguing: "After some bad choices in college, Advice lost a scholarship and was incarcerated." Can you expand on that some, please?
A: The song entitled "My Story" explains that chapter of my life.
RO: Here's a hypothetical for you: Let's say you've lived a long, happy, healthy, productive life. Your children are grown and have children of their own and all have followed in your churchly steps. Shortly after you did an Artist of the Week interview in 2011, your popularity exploded, culminating several years later in your music reaching Yolanda Adams status in success.
When people talk about you now, the first thing they mention is how you are generally recognized as one of the great Christian rappers, that your music helped spread The Word to millions of people. At 83, you have a peaceful, respectable passing. But when you die, you find out that there is nothing there. No heaven, no hell, no Jesus, no God. It's just emptiness. Are you completely devastated, or are you okay with that?
A: The more serious question is, "What if you deny God, Christ and the existence of Heaven before you die, then when you pass away, "respectfully and peacefully" of course, they do exist? "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." - Corinthians 1:18.
RO: Is there anything you want to make sure gets mentioned? Now's the time to do it.
A: People should understand a few things about what Mechanism 48 stands for and who Advice is. This is not a popularity contest. We are here to convict. The music we are doing is indeed conviction music.
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We are not some gimmick that Christians can cling to because it satisfies their social insecurities. Advice is an artist for the people. Advice is not a misogynist or one who placates to the status quo. Bringing awareness of Scripture to the generations who are being systematically brainwashed is the purpose.
We are the part of God's machine that has been designed to perform a specific task. We are "The Mechanism." The book of Isaiah, Chapter 48, exemplifies our perceptual framework. We love all of God's people and will fight for the integrity and morality to be restored in music.