Are Gangsta Rappers Going Gospel?
by Carol Sherrod
A recent phenomenon has taken place in recent years where several hard-core gangsta rappers have exchanged the sexually explicit lyrics for Godly lyrics that uplift Christ. It is no wonder that many of them are turning to gospel, one can only go just so far in the gutter before they realize that there is no peace or satisfaction in their life style; before they finally look up and find all that they have been searching for - Christ.
One example of the phenomenon is with 23-year old Delmar Lawrence a.k.a. Mr. Del former member of Three 6 Mafia. This is a platinum selling gangsta rap group, which equates to millions of dollars, in fact they are one of the top groups in the Gangsta Rap industry; and they show no signs of slowing down.
However this is what Mr. Del gave up when he accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and Savior in the Fall of 1998. Del is still rapping and bouncing but he has changed partners. His debut hip-hop gospel release "Enter the Light" is ministering to the hearts and souls of teens and young adults across the country. Mr. Del also recently opened "The Refuge," a Christian youth nightclub on the U of M campus designed to win young people to Christ. The name was inspired by a scripture in Proverbs 14:26: "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall find refuge."
He holds workshops and teen summits there as well.
He will soon release his sophomore project called "The Movement" with his backup crew, The holy South that consist of teens and young adults who are warriors winning souls for the kingdom through their music and testimonies.
Mr. Del admits life-changing experiences are not always easy or popular, as he states- "I lost a lot of friends when I made my transition? You figure out who your real friends are when you try to do something that's right. The moment you try to do something right it seems like everybody wants to be against you."
However, one person isn't against him and that is his former band mate Gangsta Boo (Lola Mitchell). She came to one of Mr. Del's concerts to announce that she too has been saved. She states, "I'm not necessarily going to be a Gospel rapper, but I'm cleaning up my image a lot." Mr. Del has also done some tours with born-again gangsta rapper Mase. While he continues to pray for his former band mates in Three 6 Mafia and his friends that do gangsta rap, Mr. Del has realized that it is his mission to minister the gospel, and that the mission has only begun.
Reprinted by permission Mid-South Christian Banner, Memphis Tn.