My Journey From Religion To Spirituality In Its Entirety
When I was 17, I met this beautiful young lady I was attracted to. After getting to know her, I found out her dad was a Bishop and Pastor of a church that her and her family attended.
She invited me to church which I accepted and after a few visits I joined the church myself.
I learned a lot. A couple of things I learned really curved my ambitions and goals I had for my life.
I wanted to rap and box but after I joined the church, I was told I had to make a decision.
I was told that in order to be what God wanted me to be, I’d have to give up my worldly activities and live a holy life.
I was told that Jesus was coming back soon, and I had to be ready for his return or my soul would be lost, and I would be sent to hell.
I was scared shitless. I didn’t want to burn in hell forever, so my dream of being a rapper and world championship boxer was shunned and replaced with participating in church activities and preaching.
Now, I wasn’t just told Jesus didn’t want me rapping so I quit. I was taught that the Bible was the word of God and then shown verses in the Bible that led me to believe that rapping and boxing was not in God’s will for me.
James 4:4 says a friend of the world is an enemy of God. That was a big one.
Matthew 16:26 says what should it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul.
These verses scared me. I didn’t want to be an enemy to God and because part of my ambitions to box and rap was the money that came with the professions, being rich and famous seemed like something I shouldn’t pursue.
I was 17 years old when I first heard these things.
At the time, I had a lifelong belief that the Bible was true but it was somewhat of a mystery to me. Before my experience in the church, I was afraid to even read it.
My teachers, the ones who taught me the Bible, were my Bishop and his son, who at the time I believe he (the Bishop) was grooming to be the assistant pastor that would later take over the church.
I had a cousin who married into their family. In fact, a couple of my cousins married into their family, so I definitely trusted them and definitely considered them friends of the family.
The more I went to church and got to know them individually, I considered them family. I looked at my Bishop as a father figure and his son, who was quite a bit older than me, a big brother.
They were sharing with me what they knew to be true. They had a deep concern for me and just wanted my soul saved.
As for me, if giving up my goals was something God wanted me to do, I figured he probably had another plan for me that was better. Plus, burning in hell forever made my decision to quit my worldly passions seem more than reasonable.
Part 2: Confusionment
My decision to join church was met with mixed reactions. Some shocking. Some hurtful. Some good and some downright confusing.
Me being the creative guy that I am, I sometimes invent words that come from a weird sense of humor that I display at times. The word confusionment is a word I came up with when I would hear certain preachers speak on things that I know the audience either openly don’t understand or so farfetched that it’s almost comical.
I not only use confusionment in the context of church I can apply it to any other part of life. For instance, before my wife and I got separated our arguments could be about things that I thought were so petty I would complain about the utter confusionment I had to deal with.
The issue can be about the kids but somehow it would detour to a subject of me questioning her decision making as a parent.
Example: If we have a child that got disrespectful to a teacher at school and was suspended, I want to deal with the child being disrespectful while she’s angry with the teacher for sending the child home.
Both can be valid arguments. However, things work better when one issue is tackled at a time. I know you’re upset at the teacher for sending the child home, but don’t you think we should deal with the child calling her a bitch first?
This is confusionment… And no. I never questioned my wife’s ability to deal with our children. I think she’s a great mom, but signals can definitely be crossed at times.
Back to the subject at hand.
I was invited to participate in a cousin’s wedding ceremony. Her soon to be husband had a younger sister that from what I was told wouldn’t be a part of the wedding unless I was her partner.
When I heard this, it was very flattering, and it came as a surprise. I had never met this young lady to my knowledge and wondered where and how she knew me.
From what I was told, she saw me when I attended another wedding reception and wanted to meet me then, but our paths never crossed. Anyway, I agreed to participate.
The wedding rehearsal is where me and this young lady first met. She was definitely attractive. Actually, beautiful beyond belief!!!
We were both very young. She was a little younger than I which may have explained our initial shyness towards each other at the rehearsal but at the wedding reception the next day, when there were no pressures of the wedding, we opened up to each other.
We exchanged phone numbers and spent hours on the phone in the weeks after and then her invitation to church came.
After a few weeks of going to this church, I felt love and closeness from people I never felt before. The people were nice and welcoming, and I felt comfortable and enjoyed the services.
I liked the praise and testimony part of the service where songs were sung and after the songs, people would share their testimonies and give thanks to God.
I loved it. It seemed only natural for me that after a month or so to join. The Pastor “Opened the doors of the church” which was a small ceremony at the end of the service and invited me to join.
It was an open invitation to anyone, but I was the only person who came forward and took a seat. Taking a seat in front of the church when the pastor “Opens the doors to the church”, seemed like a ritual that symbolized coming into a new family so to speak.
After it was over, most of the members hugged and congratulated me. I felt so good about what I had done but my positive vibe and good feelings were kind a short lived.
Shortly after service, in the midst of people celebrating with me for joining, my cousin, the one who invited me in to participate in her wedding, approached me with a not so happy look on her face.
Apparently, she felt me joining the church was more of an act to impress the girl who invited me to the church rather than taking steps to save my soul.
I was definitely offended. It felt like I had to defend a decision that was no business of hers in the first place. Secondly, if she had a problem with my intentions of joining the church, why not just ask me privately after the service was over.
I Kinda felt ambushed. To me, it wasn’t that big of a deal and completely spontaneous. I didn’t see anything wrong with what I was doing.
Before that day, I had not thought about joining the church. I thought that because I had already been coming every week that heck, I was a member already. I didn’t think there had to be anything “official” about me joining but apparently there are small technicalities that had to be adhered to.
If I had a guess as to why, it would be for some type of tax purposes. Who knows?
In the back of my mind I’m thinking to myself, if she feels that this is the right path to God and the true way, why would she oppose me joining. It didn’t make sense to me. This was a high level of confusionment.
When I got home after church, I told my mom about me joining. At the time, her response was one of not that much concern. She didn’t have much to say on it one way or the other but as the days went by, conversations I didn’t know about began to take place between my mom and my cousin.
Maybe my cousin felt she had some type of responsibility to tell my mom about what was going on. Had something happened or went wrong at church, or between me and the girl I liked, her being my initial connection to the church may somehow fall back on her in a negative way.
I definitely get that, but I also feel there is a way to deal with certain situations and this was very questionable in my opinion. I do recognize that getting cozy with the pastor’s daughter could come with an array of misunderstandings, but this was totally innocent.
My mom finally confronted me about joining church and that initial confrontation was definitely difficult. Once again, I’m feeling ambushed and getting pissed.
I could be on a corner hustling dope, or out robbing and stealing but here I am defending myself on why I joined a church of all things.
Even if my attempt to join a church was to impress a girl, really is that the worst thing a 17-year-old kid can do? But for all parties involved that have intentionally been nameless, once and for all, my intent was to save my soul.
Although these events happened decades ago, for getting in my business and helping to create a rift between my mom and I that wasn’t there initially…………..I’ll give you one last gesture of kissing my ass. Lol The lol is because it was so many years ago and all those rifts have been mended through time and my mother, which I had epic encounters with on this subject is no longer with us. The kiss my ass thing is just a joke. 😂😂😂😂😂
Part 3: My Mom, I, and Religion
I started going to a therapist at the end of 2018. At one of our sessions, my therapist made an observation of me that up until then, I never really thought about or even considered but when he said it, it made all the sense in the world.
He said it seems you love your mother but don’t really like her.
When I thought about it, something clicked, and it was like a light bulb going off.
I’ve had such a rollercoaster type relationship with her. I love my mom dearly, but at times we would get into these confrontations that just seems like F&@K!!! Why can’t we get on the same page about certain things.
She had her outlook on life and the way it should be lived.
Find a career, get benefits, and be self-sufficient. Have a backup plan just in case something goes wrong.
Me on the other hand, I’m more of a free spirit. I want to pursue goals and dreams. Living a 9 to 5 life has always been a challenge for me.
Like I previously said, I wanted to be a rapper and box.
My mom always reminded me of ending up like Muhammad Ali if I was a boxer and back then, rap music wasn’t as big as it is now.
A career in the music industry, especially rap music, was an unrealistic goal according to my mom.
It was definitely hurtful to me. I didn’t see a person who had a conservative outlook on life and just wanted the best for me. I saw it as my mother not having faith in me being able to make it in this world doing something that she felt was unimportant or unrealistic.
I think she just wanted me to be prepared for life because goals like mine don’t have a lot of success stories and the chances of making it regardless of my talent was slim.
To a degree, I get it.
Anyone could be teachers or work in a post office but the odds of making a career in something as unpredictable as the music business isn’t that easy and boxing is a whole other animal.
My carefree, optimistic ass thought I could do both.
I still make music. I’m dope. Hopefully at some point I can come up with a way to get my music to the masses.
However, boxing like I said is different.
I loved to train, hit the heavy bag, and still good on the speed bag once the rust comes off, but getting hit in the face…….. Hard…… Makes you deeply appreciate the ones who participate in the sweet science for a living.
I’ve seen loving relationships between mother’s and sons. Unfortunately, my mom and I wasn’t really that. There were definitely good times, but my mom was never the most affectionate person towards me.
Maybe it was a life thing.
A person can start off optimistic and positive but when life happens, plans, goals, aspirations, and dreams can be put to the side which can cause a bitterness to arise in a person.
I once heard a speech from Les Brown. In the speech he said the greatest talent and potential in the world can be found in the graveyards.
People who were blessed with gifts and talents often took them to the grave because they were too afraid to live life on their own terms.
I’m definitely not quoting this great analogy word for word but hopefully you get my point.
People are unhappy and unfulfilled.
They’re stuck in jobs or careers that they can make money in, and relationships where they can have company and sex, but are not fulfilling their potentials or seeking they’re main purposes in life.
This scares me. It’s always scared me. I never had the depth in my past to articulate it in this manner but looking back on my life, I started to realize how unhappy and unfulfilled I became and maybe because of particular circumstances that surrounded my entry into this world.
The fact that my mom was forced to be a single mother and had to put away her dreams and goals aside to raise me, that feeling of being unhappy and unfulfilled could have been a part of her as well.
Her reality was evidence that dreams and goals don’t matter if you have a child that needs to be raised.
Although I don’t believe my mom ever regretted having me, I do believe that at some point she had dreams and goals and aspirations that had to be shelved because of a child she had to raise.
It wasn’t until the last 2 or 3 years or so that I began to search within myself and really discover why I’m here and what I’m supposed to do about it.
I’ve had a rough time in the past few years, but I could probably go back as far as May 2, 2008.
That was the day my mother passed away.
It was a complete shock and came out of nowhere. She had a few health issues but apparently more severe than I knew. That being said, still, 58 was too young for me.
I was struggling financially before then but slowly starting to put things together with my life.
I met the woman who is now my wife and after a somewhat on and off again relationship for a year or two, we decided to move in together.
She had children already, but I loved her and welcomed the task of being a stepdad.
My mom began to look at me in a different light. In fact, not long before she passed, she told me that I’ve turned into a good man.
That was the most beautiful and relieving thing I had ever heard from my mother about me.
Our relationship seemed to be moving in a great direction. Her and my wife had begun to develop a great friendship. We’d invite her to our place, and we’d take the kids to visit her.
The day we found out my then girlfriend was pregnant, I called my mom. I was so happy. It was the first time I was able to call her granny.
I’m my mother’s only child and my son would’ve been her first grandchild.
For the period of time between the end of March when the pregnancy was confirmed and May the first, my mom and I finally got on the same page. Then May 2 my heart was completely broken.
What made that time between March and May so special to me was I knew how far my mom and I came as a mother and son.
Our first major fallout came back when I was 17 and joined the church.
My mom was never a major church goer. I can’t answer to whether she was a Christian or an atheist. She never really did any spiritual practices in front of me.
I’d never seen her pray before, but she’d tell me from time to time that she was always praying for me.
Her seeing how serious I was about church, looking back now, had to be a puzzling thing to her. Might I even say a high level of confusionment.
First shes raising this outgoing son with a lot of friends who is engulfed in music, boxing, and girls.
Now suddenly, I’m not hanging out with my friends as much, I’ve almost completely stopped watching TV and especially boxing.
Instead of being annoyed with Run-D.M.C, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy blaring out of my room, Gospel music and religious sermons were heard.
I’m not sure but she could have felt she was losing her son to a degree or something more sinister could be taking place.
She told me that she thought I’d been brainwashed. I can’t remember my response, but I definitely didn’t like hearing that from her.
It seemed like this was yet another thing that she didn’t believe I could do.
At this point, I’d been learning the Bible at a pretty fast pace.
I would often stay after church service and spend an hour or so doing Bible study with the pastor’s son.
(The only reason I won’t say his name here is because since I’ve made the decision to leave religion, we haven’t had a conversation since. I, to this day hold him in the highest of regards and although we have definitely come to a fork in the road, at some point in the future, I would love to have a conversation to clear the air. I still love him as a big brother. However sometimes the little brother must make a path for himself).
Anyway, between the private Bible studies, listening to the pastor’s sermons and doing my own studying I began to really feel a confidence in myself I never felt before.
Because I was a rapper, I had no problem with public speaking. Sometimes during testimony service when I would want to speak for 2 to 3 minutes to thank God, it became a 10 to 15-minute sermon.
I loved sharing what I learned.
My mom who rarely came to my church to witness all this, one evening sat me down to figure out “what was wrong with me”.
She asked why I stopped rapping. I told her that it was worldly, and God didn’t want me rapping anymore. I offered to show her scriptures in the Bible, but she seemed dismissive.
She couldn’t accept her teenage son speaking to her in this grown religious way.
It was hard for her to wrap her mind around the son she raised compared to the one who was now quoting scriptures.
The discussion began to escalate into an argument. I really hoped to explain things in the Bible, then invite her to church.
I wasn’t officially a minister at the time, but it was definitely a goal of mine. My pastor was a Bishop and he had already told me that in due time as I proved myself, he would be the one who could issue me a Minister’s License.
At the height of the argument I told her that God wants us to live Holy and if we’re not living holy, were going to hell. She took that as me literally telling her that she’s going to hell.
It was a conversation that I don’t necessarily regret, but I wish I were more equipped to answer her questions and secondly just been calmer and more collected under that severe pressure.
I felt so pushed in a corner and not getting the same respect I was giving.
She agreed to meet privately with my pastor. To this day I don’t know the full details of their discussion but I know she told him exactly how she felt about me participating in church and my pastor at least let me know that he told her that I would be taken care of and if at any point she wanted to come to a service or their home, she was more than welcome. My pastor built his church next door to his home.
I did reach my goal of being a Minister. My mom did come to hear me preach a sermon once.
I learned how to play the drums while I attended church and along with preaching, I wanted her to feel good about what I was doing.
After that whole scenario, the argument, and my mom having a discussion with my pastor, as far as me going to church, my mom and I had a silent agreement so to speak.
Since she knew I was somewhere she could always find me, as long as I respected the rules of the house, she left me alone about it.
I mean hell, an 18-year-old church boy really has only four places he usually goes. Church, work, out to eat sometimes and home. For a span of about 2 in a half years I didn’t even say a curse word. But after those two in a half years, saying the word F&#K for the first time felt so good it was almost orgasmic. 😂😂😂😂
Back to my mom, it took quite a few years for us to fix the whole church altercation. She said things I felt were hurtful and I said things that I’m definitely not proud of. Even after I had gone to the military, been on my own and done things for myself, that scar was still there.
Through the years, we’d have minor conversations about it, but it was more along the lines of just remembering that period of time.
I think after my mom thought about it, although she’d probably be reluctant to admit it to me, I did earn a measure of her respect from her for standing up for myself and something I believed in.
That short period of time between March and May of 2008 allowed us to be that loving mother and son I had always wanted us to be.
At that point, I had been far removed from preaching. Because I moved around quite a bit in life as an adult and many times out of the state, my visits to church were sporadic at best.
I continued a relationship with certain members of the church. Some were bloodline family members.
I had never gotten myself back to the point of preaching again but during certain phases in my life, especially in times of trouble, I held the word of God dear and near to me.
Eventually I began to make music again. I began to get back in the gym. While I was in the navy, I was able to really get in the best condition of my life. I was able to spar for a good 6 to 8 rounds.
I had a good buddy that made it to the all navy boxing team that I helped prepare.
When I left the navy, I kept pursuing it until I had the experience that most people have when trying to box.
They say the boxing ring is a truth finder and at some point, you’re going to be faced with the harsh reality of can or can’t you do it. Are you willing to pay the price and make the sacrifices that you need to be a success in the squared circle?
I failed. But I at least tried. I got my ass whooped in a sparring session and the next day when I was supposed to go back to the gym, I found an excuse not to. Then the day after that and after that and so on.lol
You get my point.
As far as my music, like I said, I’m dope, and I will continue to make music probably as long as I live in some capacity or another. If I never make it to the big stage, I’ll always create. I’ll always produce and who knows, maybe I’ll get a break at some point.
As far as my last words about my mom in this chapter and on that chapter in my life, we found ourselves together again after individually going through this maze called life.
The universe has its way of aligning things to keep the proper order.
I will never understand why she wasn’t allowed to meet her first grandchild. For years I carried a bitterness about it.
We had our odds and got back together like most people do when they love each other. Then just like that, she’s gone.
Kinda makes this whole religious thing seem so petty when you look at it.
Part 4: Back-Slider
To put a bow on things, or at least my conclusion as a regular member of my church.
I was sincere during my time as a Christian.
I went hard for Jesus. I argued and defended the word even against my own mother.
But to be honest, I was a backslider.
Right before I joined the navy I began to slip. I’m not sure who could be reading this who can relate to what I’m about to say but the pressures of being a minister, especially a young minister can be a hard road to navigate.
For a 17-year-old kid with a lot of ambition and yearning for acceptance and attention, as I look back, I took on more than I could handle.
Being a minister comes with an element of power that’s a gift and a curse.
It takes a high maturity level to handle the position. People look to you for hope and spiritual guidance. Their respect for the position comes with a constant magnifying glass if you will.
There looking to feel you. There looking for your sincerity. Because you’re a minister, there looking up to you and believe that because you are a minister your relationship with God is more insightful than there’s.
As a minister, they see you as a direct line to God that they don’t have for themselves.
This is why the position, as gratifying as it can be, can be extremely delicate.
I preached my first sermon at 17. I got my Minister’s License at 18. I was ordained at 19.
By nature, I’m a performer. I love being the center of attention. I was invited to preach at a couple of churches during my time.
It seemed like people were enamored at witnessing such a young person speak on the word of God so boldly. I studied. I had confidence. I was taught well and could be charismatic.
I vividly remember a time my church received an invitation from another local church. They had what was called a “Word of God Night”. They invited certain preachers from other churches to all preach on the same night.
At that time, my pastor’s son, who was promoted to assistant pastor had received an invitation to preach and wanted to bring me along and give me a space on the program with all the other preachers.
When it was my time to preach, I stood in the pulpit and began to speak. I can’t remember all that I said but what I do remember was how the audience was looking and responding to me.
Some looked as though they saw something they had never seen before. Who is this kid coming out of nowhere speaking bold with confidence and preaching as though he had been doing this for years?
I’m in no way trying to toot my own horn but I felt that people were shocked and surprised of what they were witnessing.
I got so wrapped up in the moment that I had to be reminded that I went over the allotted time but I felt that had the people really demanded for me to continue no one would have had a complaint.
It was a high and I was feeling myself.
If being a minister only entailed that element and I wanted to continue in that line of work, I could have reached incredible levels.
However, a great performance has nothing to do with God if you’re in the service of helping individuals save their souls.
People have real life problems and want guidance. It’s great to be able to put words together and connect with people emotionally but when folks have issues in their marriage and come to a minister for counseling, feel good words and charisma won’t cut it.
If your sincere in your walk with God and happen to be a preacher, your number one objective should be a person’s soul and bringing them to Christ.
I was sincere and took it very seriously. However, I was still an 18, 19-year-old kid.
I had a car and because I was working a steady job it put a few dollars in my pocket. I’m not Denzel but I’ve been told that I’m not that hard of a guy to look at.
Here I am. An 18, 19-year-old kid. Single. Hormones out of control. I’m supposed to be a holiness preacher. I’m supposed to be an example. I’m not supposed to do what everyone else is doing. I’m supposed to be saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost. But I’m also human.
That’s where my slip began.
Question? If you continue to tell your child to not touch the stove when your cooking, how long do you think it will take before the child reaches to touch the stove?
If your constantly telling a bunch of young individuals, who happen to be in church every week, that it’s better to marry then to burn, who are humans, that have the same bodily functions as people outside of the church, and have no other outlets to help them sustain…… What do you think will happen after a period of time?
You see these same people every week. Sometimes 2 to 5 times a week.
People get attracted to one another. For lack of a better word they get horny.
They’re constantly told so much of what they shouldn’t do, 9 times out of 10, they do it anyway. It’s human nature.
I loved God, wanted to do the right thing, but I was still a man.
I went out on dates telling myself I was looking for a wife but honestly wanted sex. Trying to suppress those human desires was a challenge that no, I couldn’t overcome, and I’ll just leave it at that.
The guilt of that, and the pressures of trying to be this holy preacher who everyone was looking at, whether they were looking to see me succeed or fail was too much for a young man in my position to handle.
With the conviction in my heart I was feeling, and missing several weeks at a time, I stopped going to church. I felt two different ways.
One, I felt guilty for not going to church but two, I kind of felt a relief from not going. I didn’t have to answer to anyone. I didn’t have to be so holy. I started listening to rap music and watching boxing again. I saw old friends that I missed.
I felt at home and back to myself if you will. There was a period of time between me not going to church and my entry to the navy that I did go back to visit.
I went back to make the announcement that I joined the navy. I had been through a lot and dealing with things between my mom and dealing with other aspects of the church, it was overwhelming.
I wanted to say my peace and hopefully things could be brought to a positive closure in a way. Now when I say closure, I don’t mean that I had the intention of never going to church again. But I did need a break.
I started to get excited about going into the navy and the possibilities of what was going to happen and hell, I just wanted guilt free sex. Lol.
I wanted more money than I was making. After talking to a recruiter, it peaked my interest to travel the world while doing it for free.
I couldn’t deal with being minister anymore and constantly having this pressure of not being able to enjoy certain things that in my heart I couldn’t see anything wrong with and if I was seen participating in whatever it may be, getting criticized or having some weird comment thrown my way was becoming more of an annoyance.
If I were to be technical about it, the only real difference between myself as a minister and the members of the church was me preaching on Sundays and them not.
The actual lifestyle aspect of it, not participating in various worldly activities like sports and circular music, and sex before marriage are rules that everyone should abide by whether there in the pulpit or not.
Apparently other members felt that because I was a preacher, I had less room for error. A bit unfair but I guess that’s just part of the hypocrisy and holier than thou culture of what we call church.
Forgive me for that last comment but living holy is supposed to apply to everyone across the board regardless of position.
Sorry for the digression.
Anyway, the thought of facing my church to let them know that I had joined the military was difficult to say the least.
My pastor and assistant pastor invested lots of time and even money on certain occasions.
They were proud of me and looked at me as a great example and person to reach the younger members of the church.
Almost every week my pastor would brag about me openly during services speaking on my dedication and love for God. For me to stop suddenly and not have a real conversation with him or at least express my intentions to the church just wouldn’t be right. I felt I owed him at least that.
My plan was to tell the church and then have the conversation with him. What I should have done was have the conversation with him first then tell the church but like I said, I missed quite a few weeks and got to a point where I was a bit ashamed to reach out to him.
I felt alone and didn’t want to reveal this sinful life I’d been living. I didn’t know who I could have confided in.
Having a talk with my pastor about sex seemed completely off the table and you know what, I didn’t think I was all that wrong nor was it any of his business in the first place.
I was the embodiment of good and bad at the same time. Or maybe that’s a bit harsh of an analogy but being human does bring that element into play whether you’re a person who chooses a religious lifestyle or not.
That chapter of me going to church was over, however never going back wasn’t an option either. I felt at some point, I’d return. When I was more mature, possibly when I had settled down and found a wife.
If I were to preach again, I’d want to be a more disciplined, responsible person. Like I said, the position is one I take very seriously.
Part 5: Kevin Wesley. Now I See
From time to time over the years a small question would whisper into my mind. Very subtle. I think it was something that would make its way to me during my time in church then poof. Be gone.
Who were black folks praying to before slavery?
While I was a member of church preaching, the incident with Rodney King took place. When the verdict came down and the police officers were acquitted, I remember how angry I was. I was shocked.
I was also shocked that my pastor condemned the people who were looting.
On one hand, I do understand to a degree his not approving of the looters. I wasn’t in agreeance either, but I understood the anger.
My thought process was instead of destroying your own neighborhoods, go to the neighborhoods and people who produced such a heinous outcome in the verdict. Simi Valley. Maybe Beverly Hills or Hollywood. Why South-Central L.A?
I remember when Rodney King spoke his now famous words “Can we all just get along,” I felt a certain way about it. I felt like he may have been coaxed into saying that to stop the riots. It almost felt like he was some sort of pawn. He was the victim and somehow being the front man to stop the riots, felt like a slap in the face.
Another thing that bothered me was my pastor being behind that comment.
For some reason it just rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t expect him to say fuck the police, but he and I understood that racism and police brutality has always been a part of the treatment of black people in this country.
Him being a black minister and seeming to side against those who were not only victimized by this isolated event but victimized for hundreds of years in this country by police brutality was kind of weak to me. The turn the other cheek approach seemed weak to me.
Preachers can be very outspoken and can often say things that are against the pulse of the congregation, but I think that in certain situations, they should gauge that pulse somehow before they speak publicly on certain sensitive issues.
I never confronted my pastor about it.
He was a Bishop and I was a beginning minister. Most of everything I had learned about Christianity and specifically Holiness had been either directly or indirectly taught by him.
I was a kid and it seemed out of place to openly oppose my pastor on a subject as sticky as this one.
I kind of felt weak for it myself. Maybe I could have been creative and said something that the younger folks could have related to while at the same time not overstepping my boundaries and seeming disrespectful towards my Bishop.
My pastor often spoke of “the spirit of God” giving him messages and if the message in this scenario was to be in agreeance with Rodney King’s statement and condemning the looters, I wasn’t going to challenge him in anyway. It just wasn’t my place.
I think that period of time may have been the genesis of the question at hand.
Who were black folks praying to before slavery? Somehow, I knew we weren’t worshipping or praying to Jesus. I was clear on that but not having the answer began to prick at me.
I remember making a horribly ignorant statement at one point that to this day I regret even thinking of.
At one point I thanked God for slavery because had it not been for slavery I or black folks in general would have never known who Jesus is.
I’m even ashamed to even write such nonsense but for the sake of explaining my journey it’s necessary.
Even today, I hear that same thing coming from black folks. I began to ask myself, why would God see fit to subject black people to slavery just so they could be introduced to him?
Why wouldn’t Jesus reveal himself to people in Africa before the Trans-Atlantic slave trade?
In church there is an unwritten rule to never QUESTION GOD! His ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts.
There are stories throughout the Bible that explicitly show the wrath of God and what happens to those who disobey or oppose him.
People seem to accept these stories and events without questioning why such harsh punishments or alternatives are even necessary.
My biggest example is the flood. As the story goes, God was unhappy he made man because of man’s sinful ways and wanted to wipe this sinful being away by flooding the whole world and killing almost everyone in it.
A weird choice for the sake of cleaning the slate and starting over from scratch.
My question to God is, why not just show man in the very beginning the difference between wrong and right or even if there is wrong or right in the first place.
It seems like he just murdered the world as a show of power just because he could.
Kind of ruthless if you ask me.
Anyway, bringing this up to present times, or when I began to really question things around 2017, I would never dream to utter these thoughts openly until 2017.
However, I began to use my thoughts to separate the God of the Bible and feel as though these stories, this God, Jesus were possibly just that. Stories.
I began to think, if we’re made in God’s image and he loves us as his creation and we’re his children, why would he want us ignorant? What would be so wrong to question him about life or anything pertaining to it?
Why would he be so opposed to us learning? Why didn’t he just explain to Adam and Eve what and who the serpent was in the beginning and most importantly why am I and everyone else paying for a sin that we weren’t here to commit?
The more I thought about it, the less it made sense to me.
Enter Kevin Wesley.
I’m sitting at home one Sunday night if I remember correctly. As I’m scrolling through Facebook, I run across a video that literally changed my life.
The title had something to do with an ex-pastor leaving church.
He spoke passionately. He had found information and could no longer keep it to himself and chose to make a video to share his thoughts and let people know that he was making a drastic change in his life.
I remember him saying that if you did the same research he did, you’d come to the same conclusions that he came to.
Those words stuck in my mind for some period of time. I didn’t immediately take action nor at that point did I consider leaving religion, but the seed had been planted.
Weeks went by. At that time, I was in the process of trying to find a new church home for my family. My difficulty came when I tried to find a place of worship like what I came up in as a youngster.
I currently live in Kansas. I came up in the Pentecostal sect of Christianity.
I looked for a pastor who was a holiness preacher and followed the doctrine of the apostles in the book of Acts. Acts 2:38 says to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus.
A lot of churches baptize using the name of the father, son, and the holy ghost. These are mere technicalities that I won’t go deep into now, but it was important that I remained in the apostle’s doctrine.
I taught this to my wife and was raising my kids to learn this as well.
Although my search for a home church didn’t produce the outcome I wanted, my church from back home in California began to have Bible studies on conference calls that could be joined throughout the country.
I was happy about this. I, along with my wife could get the teaching and preaching that I felt most comfortable with.
By this time, my Bishop passed away. My assistant pastor back then, was now the head of the church.
Being able to join the conference calls on a weekly basis with my church from home was a pleasure and it allowed my wife to really understand the holiness preaching I was brought up on.
The pastor had always been a brilliant teacher and could easily break things down in the bible that were difficult to understand.
At this point, I was still studying from time to time, but I wasn’t living a holy life. Through the years away from church I picked up a nasty smoking habit, drank alcohol, sometimes way too much, smoked weed, cursed, and pretty much indulged in all worldly activities and living that sinful life if you will.
However, I did want to make a change. I watched preachers on TV.
I was listening to the audiobook version of the Bible at work and the itch of possibly preaching began to come back.
I got back into rapping and still loved boxing but felt maybe there could be a way to integrate those lifelong loves in a Christian Life without feeling so conflicted or convicted for that matter.
I just wanted to live a righteous life and enjoy certain things in it.
However, this Kevin Wesley thing just wouldn’t go away. What did he find out that ignited him to make such a firm stance as to go against the word of God?
I went into his group page on Facebook. I asked a question to the group. I wondered if they were atheists.
To me, atheists was such a taboo thing, that I grouped people who were openly atheist with people who worshipped the devil. I just didn’t know what an atheist was.
For whatever reason no one responded to my question. I thought it was rather odd that no one replied but I let it go.
A couple of weeks went by and I decided to search Kevin Wesley again through Facebook and found videos he was making. He had podcasts and was teaching lessons from things he had learned.
These were eye opening things to me that at that time, I chose to keep to myself.
He mentioned a name that up until then I had never heard of before. The subject was on ancient Egypt. There was a figure from that time named Horus Osiris. Wesley spoke on the similarities of Horus and Jesus.
Horus was another seed that was planted that I didn’t do anything immediately to research, but it was something that once you hear it, you can’t un-hear it.
I began to be consumed with learning this new information. I found Wesley’s YouTube page and found all his videos and podcasts. One after the other I watched and learned more and more things I had previously not known.
I saw a video of Wesley where he was in a congregation speaking. At the end of the video I found out that he was invited to speak at a church that was pastored by Ray Hagins.
I had never heard of Hagins before. It seemed like the more I watched these videos and slowly got into my own studying, these different pieces of information found its way in my path.
It was so fresh and intriguing to me and I began to get the answer to the question I wanted. Who were black folks praying to before slavery?
Ray Hagins was once a Christian minister as well. He did a lecture/sermon about the first time he had heard of Horus Osiris.
The video above is an in-depth lesson on how Hagins was introduced to one of the primary figures of Ancient Egypt. Horus Osiris.
Although it was new to me, something in my spirit felt connected to the information. It made me feel empowered. It was like the first time a teenager receives a much-coveted driver’s license.
One thing Ray Hagins makes a point in doing throughout this lecture and other lectures I noticed was his willingness to say don’t believe my words but do the research for yourself as well.
You don’t hear this type of talk during sermons in church. The closest I’ve heard is for the congregation to follow along and read the scriptures with the pastor or whoever is designated to do the readings.
Hagins also uses scriptures from The Bible and compares the texts to factual evidence outside of The Bible while he’s teaching his lectures.
What I’ve learned about individuals who say they do research when it pertains to the Bible, its often other Christian related sources outside of the Bible that may be accurate but not totally objective.
In my opinion, history and facts can’t be changed. If the Bible is based on events and people who lived on earth, I should be able to find those same stories and events outside of The Bible that has no Christian or religious influence whatsoever. So, it’s not much of an opinion at all. It is what it is.
I’ve never heard a pastor, minister, Bishop, or even the Pope read from a text in the Bible and provide evidence outside of it to prove their point within it.
The story is one thing, but historical evidence stands alone.
If the story of the Flood in the Bible was based on a true event, I should be able to find that event outside of the Bible.
I could watch a lecture of Ray Hagins and go behind him and fact check what he’s talking about.
There are many points of references that can be used when a person is speaking on true events, people, and places. Books, libraries, the internet, videos and if your old school, blow the dust off your encyclopedias.
Ray Hagins teaches from an African Spirituality based premise. Before then, I’m not sure if I’d ever heard the term African Spirituality.
For the first time in my life, I felt like I was understanding my own culture and history.
It was empowering to know that my ancestors were Kings and Queens and contributed to the very civilization we live in today. Math, Science, Music, and how our connection to nature, and our environment works hand in hand.
The way we should be eating, how we should be treating one another. Uplifting one another. Self-pride. All this is African Spirituality.
All this knowledge and wisdom was taking from us and we were given whips, chains, heinous treatment, a Bible and Jesus.
The reason I separate Jesus from the Bible in this instance is that when blacks were slaves we were not allowed to read.
The slave masters taught certain slaves certain scriptures in the Bible more so to control them rather than empower them.
Slaves were forced to obey the slave masters and the God of the slave master.
Most every group of people had a choice of who they would see as God.
Blacks in America weren’t given that choice let alone the freedom to worship as they saw fit. Through time, the original traditions and spiritual practices that once brought strength, hope and love to our ancestors were forgotten.
This is why many black folks in America are in the weak spiritual conditions they’re in today.
In my opinion, pride in our own selves, and the understanding of the resourcefulness that we inherently have was replaced with Christianity and a dependency on a God that has never revealed himself to the very people who have longed for him the most.
In simple terms we were put on earth with everything that we will ever need. God is not outside of us but within.
To be more direct in answering the question of who blacks were praying to before slavery, the answer was nothing. Our ancestors had a reverence for nature and the sun. The sun is the light. A life giver and sustainer. Nature is our base. The oxygen that’s provided by the trees, the water we get from the oceans, rivers, and lakes, the food is provided by plants, fruits, vegetables and herbs provide nutrients, medicines, and other elements to sustain our physical growth and well-being.
The animals and insects on land, fish in the waters, and birds in the air, all contribute to our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well beings. However, without the sun none of this is possible.
Horus, as well as being a mythical figure is also referred to as a sun God. He’s the way, the truth, and the light. He can walk on water.
Does all this sound familiar to you?
Horus is a metaphor for the sun. Or some would call him the sUn of God. Are you picking up what I’m dropping? Are you following me? Are you understanding the words that are written in this chapter?
Black folks before slavery never acknowledged a son of god. Our souls were not lost. We weren’t sinners that needed to be saved from anything.
We weren’t wretched individuals. Women weren’t created from man’s rib, men, and all humans for that matter, came to this earthly existence through the portal of the woman’s vagina.
This stuff, this knowledge and wisdom is powerful to me. Life changing. Now I see what Kevin Wesley was talking about when I initially saw his first video. I felt him but didn’t know how or why. It just connected with me. Now I’m fully aware of why I felt him. I did the same research and digging as he did and came to the same conclusion he came to.
Part 6: I Used To Believe, Now I Know
I want to tie the past to the present and bridge the gap between Torrey Jones the believer in contrast to Wet.Dirt, the one who now knows. How the infant MC broke the cocoon of religion and matured into the spiritual yet physical form as I present myself today.
Now, a tooting of the horn is in order. Those my friends, are Bars. (Laugh)
Kevin Wesley and Ray Hagins were the beginning of my life changing experience. I began to post certain questions on my Facebook page. I was slipping information into my post trying to get a certain type of response.
I wondered if I was the only one who felt this yearning to learn more. Am I the only one who feels that certain things in the Bible are at least questionable? I wanted to know if there was anyone willing to do a little research with me to see what we could find.
Most of the members from my church back home, are friends on my Facebook page. What I noticed is that everyone reads everyone else’s post but don’t always respond by liking or commenting on Facebook.
However, they may be inclined to directly or indirectly give commentary of what my post could be leading to as far as why is he questioning the Bible? Is his faith wavering? Has Satan found a way to deceive him? Is he mad at God? Does he no longer believe in Jesus and why?
Answers to above questions without drawing out the suspense, 1. Because I can. 2. I learned it’s better to know than to have faith in some instances. 3. No, I cannot be deceived by a fictitious character. 4. No, I can’t be mad at God. He’s not the one who wrote, nor forced the Bible upon us as a fear tactic. And finally, 5. I don’t believe in the son of god because I know the sUn of God’s creation.
I had an array of questions that every few days I would post to see if anyone would respond.
The flood. The Ark and whether it could have been preserved in anyway? How was Jonah able to survive in a fish out at sea for 3 days? Does Jesus have anyone from his blood line that could be on earth today? Although 2,000 years is a long time, I’d assume that depending on the situation there could be some trace of his bloodline somewhere.
Questions that didn’t necessarily give indication I was second guessing religion, but I wanted to make people think.
At this point, I was getting a lot of information as well as inspiration from various spiritual teachers and speakers by way of YouTube.
I also came across another game changer. The Kybalion. I cannot remember how I came across this book initially, but I do remember hearing teachers who taught on African Spirituality speak of this book.
For whatever reason I was drawn to it. I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a copy.
At the time I found a place very secluded. It was a small playground across the street from this huge apartment complex that had a few parking slots. During the day, especially during common business hours, it was empty.
I would go there just to chill. I had been learning about meditation and just started to practice it for myself.
When I bought the Kybalion, I had some time to myself and went to my chill spot.
(Short detour) I am not an avid reader. Before I really started to question religion, I could count on one, maybe two hands all the books I had read in their entirety throughout my life.
While I was in the navy, I came across a series of books by Donald Goins that I read to pass time while we were out at sea.
The Bible was definitely another book I consumed. Between listening to the audio book version of the King James Edition and physically reading it myself, I’d imagine that I’d been through the Bible in its entirety more than once.
What’s interesting is, I came nowhere reading it in its entirety as an active preacher, but I did do a lot of studying in various sections. Especially the New Testament, Proverbs, and Psalms.
My Bishop and assistant pastor were always there to help with any questions I may have had and studied with me.
(Back to my chill spot.)
Over a few days, I completed reading the Kybalion. What made it so powerful to me, was how the book could be related to life. Life minus the embellished stories and questionable miracles that we have come familiar with in religious texts.
The principles of Mentalism, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Cause and Effect, and Gender. If you take time to read the book, The Kybalion breaks down each of those principles in a simple form that can be related to your life. Then it’s up to you to apply those principles to your life.
At points it can be a tough read with certain terminology but if you can deal with the Thees, Thous, Verily, and Thines, word concepts of the bible, the Kybalion should not be that difficult.
I started to understand my life in its spiritual yet physical form. I started learning about the energy of my attitude and how it attracts similar situations that produced the realities I live or lived in.
The Kybalion along with Napoleon Hill books, “Think and Grow Rich” and “Outwitting the Devil” added insight to my life that up until then I lacked.
I began to see why my life has worked out the way it’s worked out. How certain people and events made their way into my life. I started seeing and understanding that I was a spiritual being having an earthly experience. I don’t want to sound spooky but it’s what I’ve learned and most importantly how I feel.
I started understanding the powerful being that I could be. The Kybalion says “when the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with wisdom”.
For 44 years of my life (Get it. 444) I wasn’t ready.
However, the foundation had long been laid. My time preaching in church set in motion the chain of events that led me to the very path that I’m on today.
It opened my mind to the concept of a higher power and the discipline it takes to elevate yourself to your best version.
Religiously, your best version is to be in total submission to the power of God or Jesus or if you happen to be Muslim, Allah or Muhammad.
Spiritually, your best version is to be in alignment with your higher self. Learn about the connection you have with this universe and your role in it from a personal standpoint.
Once you understand your role, then do what you can to bring value to this existence that can be a contribution to the universe. This is where sharing whatever gift you may have comes into play.
This to me, was liberating when I was able to understand the difference between the two.
With Spirituality, I chose my own path. I chose to be responsible for my own reality and not put that on some entity or man-made concept outside of myself.
Following a religion, more specifically, my experience as a Christian, rules had to be followed, traditions and customs had to be adhered too and at the end of my life, God had the power to say Yay or Nay to my eternal destination.
I believe we as people can create our own heaven or hell so to speak with the choices we make. Worrying about where I go when I die seems so small when the present moment is to be lived to the fullest. That’s Spirituality in my opinion.
Although I’ve distanced myself from religion, I won’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Parts of the book, The Bible, I still hold with a great deal of value. The book of Psalms and Proverbs have a host of wisdom that can be applied to many aspects of life.
Plenty of the words in red in the New Testament have wisdom and life changing inspiration when there read from the proper perspective.
The reason I intentionally refer to them as the words in red rather than the words of Jesus is because I cannot say Jesus was the author of those words nor can I definitively say he existed.
We don’t have his birthday and every year he dies and raises from the dead in different months.
Google or YouTube the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and see if you can find the connections to those yearly occurrences and how they can be attached to the birth of Jesus, his death and resurrection. The son of god or the creator of the universe who gave us the sUn.
I’d give my own elementary explanation here, but I think it would be more powerful to consume that information without my influence.
Anyway, as I move along, Torrey Jones as a believer, was a follower. I was told what to do, what to believe, how to believe and not to rock the boat.
God is too good and far above me as a wretched sinner to ask him a question. All I will ever need is in the confines of those 66 books and just have faith.
Wet.Dirt on the other hand, cut out the middleman, began to think for himself, and simply asked God a few questions. Not only did he supply answers with explanations, I was also awarded freedom from a bondage that I was never supposed to be tied to in the first place. None of us for that matter.
To make you think about it in its simplest context, babies are not born Christian, Jew, Muslim or members of any of the other thousands of religions. Babies are just brand-new souls in the beginning of a journey called life. There born free.
Part 7: Wet.Dirt
Somewhere in 2018 after digging and researching and learning, my journey came to a soft completion. Soft because although I made the decision to leave religion it wasn’t the end of my studies or learning.
I finally had the courage to put my flag up and let it be known that the God of the bible was an asshole. Now that shit definitely got responses. (Laughter)
I began to clearly see the difference between this biblical character that flooded the world, that sent his people to murder and slaughter men, women, and children for pieces of land, and how he influenced this chauvinistic mindset towards women.
Job was a perfect and upright man. God made a “bet” with the devil if you will that costed him his children, health and all he owned.
As I was able to sit and think about this literature, this biblical figure we call God, at the very least he is excessively cruel. Furthermore, it seemed extremely petty and might I even say human to insert himself in certain manly affairs.
Bringing things to a real-life scenario, I can only speak for myself when I say I do believe in a higher power. The sun, moon, weather changes and other things that no man can control, at least, makes you see it didn’t happen under the power or intellect of humans.
Depending on the day, I call it God, The Universe, Source, The All or maybe Energy. However, I’m wise enough to separate it from man’s concept which is supposed to be this all powerful, all knowing being that’s everywhere at the same time, but has human traits such as jealousy, wrath, anger, in constant need of praise and worship and sending goons to take money from people on his behalf.
The religiously bond Torrey Jones is now the spiritually free
Now. The title of this chapter.
My beloved Hip-Hop. I was 7 years old the first time I heard the “Rappers Delight”.
I did not know where it came from, or barely even what it was but I was hooked.
It seems like I was a victim to a beautiful addiction. I hadn’t heard of Rap or Hip-Hop before, but I knew this would be a part of my life forever.
Even when I dissed my beloved for religion, it was still very much a part of me.
I was not rapping to music, but I was still writing poetry.
In its purest form, rapping is just poetry on steroids. Words that are set to the rhythm of a musical backdrop.
A gift was given to each one of us upon our arrivals to this plane (a level of existence, thought, or development) or dimension if you will.
A gift is something that comes easy for you to do that you get joy or passion from. As I alluded to earlier, our gifts are given to us to express and share with this world we live in.
Some people have worked themselves into being doctors and lawyers, but they may be gifted with painting and cooking.
I know you’ve probably heard something to this effect before, something like, whatever it is you love to do whether your paid for it or not, if your good at it, that is your gift.
I was blessed to be able to write, make music, speak in front of large groups of people, and rap.
These things come easy to me and I enjoy doing them even if no money was involved.
I feel as though my gifts and talents are to be shared with people to help, think, and inspire. I want to add value to someone’s life.
At the end of last year, I produced an EP (Short Album). It was released on January 10th of this year. My goal was to give people hope that regardless of the trials and tribulations they’re going through in life, if they continue to press forward, there is joy, prosperity, and love on THE OTHER SIDE of your pains.
This was the very first project I had made that I was completely in love with and proud of. My music was produced well, my topics related to the times and what I was going through, and I was able to translate all that into my lyrics.
Throughout my life, I’ve had plenty of names and identities when it came to me being an artist. Torrey T, MC Fresh T, Grandmaster Torrey T, Mr. Letho (pronounced Lethal), Jesse Mudde, Jesse Mudde Letho and finally, the handle I hold today that I will ride out with, Wet.Dirt.
Plenty of names that chronicled different phases of my life. I was a metaphor type rapper, a pro black conscious rapper, a political rapper, someone who just wanted to make you dance rapper, and the type of rapper that would say damn near anything to get any type of rise out of people type rapper.(Did that last one make sense. Laughter)
Many MC’s go through phases when there trying to find themselves. The importance of understanding who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to say to be of service to the masses is what it’s all about in my humble opinion.
Being grounded and finding your true voice as an artist, is essential and what makes an MC, the one who moves the crowds, what they are.
MCs are timeless. They make music and create ideas that can last well beyond whatever time period it was created in.
The MC, in my opinion is far more important to our culture and times than preachers and politicians.
True MC’s can bring life right to your front door in its most beautifully ugly fashion at times.
MCs have the power to make you lose your entire shit in an emotional break down or give you the words and lessons to build businesses and wealth.
They encourage you to celebrate every great blessing in your life while at the same time, knowing that things can be tragic at the next turn. They can also move you to sit down, shut the fuck up and just BE for a minute.
Over the past 8 to 10 years or so, I’d been in and out with my music. I was discouraged that I had never made it as a rapper. I felt guilty of not fully using my potential to get the results I wanted.
I felt like maybe it just wasn’t meant for me to be the artist on that big stage I once coveted. Maybe I’m not good enough to make a living off my music.
I was depressed about it and ultimately, I quit. I figured it just wasn’t meant to be.
I felt like I had gotten too old to pursue this dream I’ve had since I was 11 or 12 when I wrote my first rhyme.
I would hear comedians and radio personalities bashing older folks like myself trying to rap and I didn’t want to be looked at as some 40-year-old nigga trying to chase a ghost.
Then June 30, 2017 came, and Jay-z dropped his 4:44 album.
Wonderful piece of work by the way.
What was significant to me was the things he was rapping about. Jay-Z is just a couple of years older than me. Our love and admiration for this artform is the same. He came up in the same era I came up in, so we probably fell in love with hip-hop around the same time.
I do agree that in its essence, rap music is for the young people but the artform is not exclusive to young people. If you have the skill and passion to create and that’s what your gifted to do, rap, age means nothing.
Jay-Z wasn’t rapping about money, cars, and getting girls, he was rapping about his current realities of life. The trials and issues within his marriage.
I’m definitely not quoting him. But he seemed to be expressing that one could reach a point in life that having all the money to spend and luxuries that come with it, can mean nothing without a strong foundation that includes love, family and friends.
He spoke about being a better husband for his wife and a better father to his children.
Here I am sitting at the bottom of this pit. Depressed and all but giving up on my gift and dream to really do something for Hip-hop, my family, and most importantly for myself. God gave the gift to me and I felt like I failed in using it. Then this nigga Hov threw me a rope and a light.
I don’t have to be these other rappers and pursue what they’ve accomplished. I just need to be me and accomplish what it is for me to accomplish without the influence of anything else. Long story short, tell my story.
I came across some YouTube videos of the great KRS-1 lecturing and giving interviews on Hip-hop and its origins.
One of the videos wasn’t a lecture. It was an interview where he was expressing the importance of MCs finding their own identities and creating a true name for themselves.
The name you give yourself as an MC should be a direct reflection of who you are and what you bring to the culture.
I was in the studio one-night recording in Oakland. At the time, my rap name was Jesse Mudde Letho. I pronounced Mudde as mud.
A friend of mine said wet dirt in a hook on a song we were creating.
Somehow it never occurred to me that mud is just water and soil. When the soil gets wet, it turns to mud. Duuuhh
After I watch this video with KRS-1, I started to really think about who I am and what I am as an artist. I started understanding that my name was no accident.
It was more than something that I thought sounded dope. It actually had a meaning that quite possibly, had I not taken my spiritual journey and asked questions, may not have ever known.
My name is what I am. Life. We all come from the earth. Dirt. Soil.
The earths physical contents include water.
Even us human beings consists of 70 to 75 percent water and the air, breath, brings the water and earth to life. Breath is spirit.
Wet.Dirt is far more than something created or giving too me. Its who and what I am physically and spiritually. Now that’s dope!!!
I’m a God MC. I am life at its lowest existence and as high as sitting next to the sun without getting burnt. I am what God sent to the world to be an inspiration to the voiceless. Hope for the hopeless and to tell the strong what the weak are not able to say.
It was the last leg of the course on my journey from Religion to Spirituality. Self-discovery was complete. Now the real growth and fun begins.
I am life. I love to learn. I love to love. I love to share what I have learned especially if it can be of value to someone else. I love Hip-hop. There’s no way I could have made it through life without it.
My beautiful addiction is far more than a beautiful addiction. Hip-Hop is my being. My existence.
I love that I have found out who I really am and what I’m sent here to do while having the freedom to pursue it.
I fully believe with everything in me that Hip-Hop was sent here by that same higher power that hangs the sun in the air, rolls the tide of the ocean in and out and blows a wind we can’t see but definitely feel.
It is spirit. The MC’s, DJ’s, Graffiti artist, Break Dancers and activist that choose to express themselves while speaking and writing thought provoking literature outside of a poetic form are all the human expressions of that spirit.
To understand what it is, I can now be a true MC and express why I feel it’s here.
Black folks on this earth, in this country we call America have suffered far beyond what we could physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally imagine.
Before Hip-Hop, Black folks who stood up on our behalf to bring awareness, inspiration and hope, were silenced in dismissive fashions or murdered, so God sent something that can never be killed and will live forever. Hip-Hop!
Our true African identities and spiritual natures were stripped away in the skullduggery of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
A slave is nothing. Or even less, property. Slaves are involuntary workers with no say.
They can be treated however those that have rule over them see fit because there simply property. People were treated this way! Like property. Black folks.
When I think about the fact that we were actually stolen from Africa or worse, business was conducted and we were allowed to be taken, I get pissed.
I really get pissed when I think about them motherfuckers never coming back to reclaim us. However, I do love my brothers and sisters over there and one day hope to visit and see where all this came from.
While we were basically here to fend for ourselves and struggled mightily, eventually, our cries for help and prayers were answered.
We were given a tool that provided us the platform to scream loud enough so the world could finally hear while at the same time giving us something that can be completely ours as American black people.
Just think, beats, a microphone, and this spirit moving through the descendants of ancestors who unjustly perished.
Us. Black Americans. This is OURS. Hip-Hop. Hopefully, my journey can be a manual to help free others.
Part 8: The Grand Finale, Suggestions For Sharing The New
As I wrap this whole journey up, I’d like to give suggestions for those who question religion and whether its right for them.
I’m not here to convert or convince anyone to do as I did or in the future do. I Don’t want any back and forth debates about scriptures or religion or spirituality.
My book is about awareness and encouraging one to think for themselves and just being free. With that being said.
1. It’s natural to be curious. I’m definitely a believer in the Law of Attraction. Once I had clear questions and decided to learn something other than I already knew, things fell into place.
From Kevin Wesley, to Ray Hagins, to Ancient Egypt (Kemet), African Spirituality, and Horus Osiris, it was a flood gate opening up and knowledge, wisdom and seemed to come very easily.
All from a small question that I documented in this piece earlier. Use your curiosity. It’s your friend.
2. Have an open mind. It’s totally ok and God will reward you for it. With the internet, books and many, many teachers who take their time to share what they know, it’s more than ok for you to learn as much as you’d like.
As the saying goes, a closed mouth don’t get fed and to take it further, a closed brain can’t learn. We’re only here for a limited amount of time. Use it to learn and love. That’s what it’s all about.
3. It’s Not your job to wake anyone up. In fact, I hate the term “Woke”.
(Peace to SnowThaProduct)
It’s so……… I don’t know, wack. You mean to tell me, that just because you learned something you didn’t know before, your up from a slumber?
I definitely get the meaning. That’s why I shouted out SnowThaProduct because from what I understand, she coined the phrase. However, many of us use something new we’ve learned to put down others.
I’ve been guilty of this as well. Especially when I felt that me wanting to learn something new, was looked at as something I was doing wrong. But as I’ve acquired a little wisdom and patience, I felt it was better to use my energies for something more productive. Me.
Learning new things is empowering. It’s fun. It can give you a certain confidence that naturally, you’ll want to share. I wanted to show what I was learning and share with people I cared about. However, some people don’t feel they need your assistance so don’t bother them.
If you use social media and share certain things about spirituality or religion, keep it general. Don’t single anyone out. If people have questions do your best to privately answer.
Let them find their own way. If you can be of assistance great. But take no credit for there learning process. Always remember, your only a vessel.
From my own experience, people took offense to the information that I shared because they felt like there God was being attacked and when they commented on those things I posted, I wasn’t shy about giving not only the plain information but adding my own commentary.
My own commentary sounded crazy. People who knew me before my transition and saw me praising the lord couldn’t wrap there mind around a familiar face with a new point of view.
It was hard to be accepted.
Let people come to you and just be neutral about it. Come from a place of love and sharing because ultimately, everyone is on their own journey.
4. Be grateful that you have the ability to choose. You can learn all this new information and still be a Christian. That’s ok. You can also use the new information to begin a new life and start a new chapter.
The only thing that matters is how you feel and how you apply things you’ve learned moving forward. It’s your road to travel however you choose. There is no wrong answer or route for that matter.
5. Lastly. Be prepared for losing close people to you. As I’ve said, people take God and religion very seriously and if you’re walking out of the program that everyone is staying in, you’re going to be challenged.
Lifelong friends and family can potentially turn their backs on you. You’ll be labeled a blasphemer. A reprobate. They’ll say you’ve been deceived.
These are hurtful things to endure. Especially when you are well aware that there speaking from a place of ignorance. They just don’t know.
It’s frustrating when there making attempts to bring you back to repentance and not even willing to look at things outside of the Bible or Quran, or the Torah.
This is actually an advantage for you, but I’d definitely not use it. The odds of someone actually sitting down with you and allowing you to freely share your new learnings in comparison to the bible or whatever religious book they subscribe too, is slim.
I think the reason is, their afraid of what they may find out and are not ready to deal with it.
This is totally ok. Leave your pride out of it. Its better to try and save a great relationship at a later time then to lose someone over something as small as religion.
The experience I shared with you about my mom, should let you understand that more clearly.
Understand that your truth is now different from theirs. Share lovingly with those willing to learn but don’t bring your vibe down communicating with individuals who only see their side.
Me personally, when I felt good with things that I learned, and were beneficial to me, I took breaks. I had no intention of being a scholar, I just wanted to be free.
In a nutshell, I feel that’s a desire for us all. Freedom.
In closing. I so appreciate those who took the time to read and learn a little bit about me.
All this came out of nowhere. I was bored in the house, in the house bored and started using my mind and reflecting on this crazy life I lived.
It’s been a beautifully eye-opening experience.
My next 48 years will be such a liberating experience that when it’s time to go back from where I came, I’ll be ready. However, before then, I’d like to make a bunch of money, rock more stages, write books, make inspirational videos and if God so chooses for me to meet some grand babies in 10 or 15 years I’d be honored.
I want my work to help bring freedom and liberation to people in need. That’s what It’s all about.
Thank you for your time.