Posts Tagged With: rap

DOVE NOTE #87 – The Letterman Jacket


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

When I was in high school, if a girl was dating one of the guys on the football, basketball or baseball team, you’d often see her wearing his Letterman Jacket.  It’s what I called an LJ Moment. It was a clear way to indicate that she was taken and it identified exactly by whom.  It let every other guy know they should stay away from her. She wasn’t interested in anyone trying to flirt with her because she was happy with her Letterman Jacket guy. Or something like that.

What I always found interesting is that the guy didn’t necessarily have to be around.  All of these things were still communicated simply by the fact that she was wearing his Letterman Jacket.  He could relish in the fact that she kept the jacket with her and wore it as a symbol of her pride in being with him.  Wow… I’m sure that must have felt great.

Thing is… I never played any sports in high school.  Not that I wasn’t athletic, mind you. I’ve just never been much into sports.  But I was always in the music room playing the piano, singing or having rap battles behind the stone bleachers.  Still, I would always see the girls with the Letterman Jackets and feel a little twang of envy.  I guess back then I wished I’d had a girl who wanted to wear something of mine, ya know?

I mean, I don’t know… maybe it’s just me.  But for a girl to voluntarily wear anything of mine would be the ultimate in ego stroking… but more specifically, it would’ve given me a sense of being wanted and valued.  It would’ve made me feel a little less self-conscious. And certainly would’ve helped to raise my teetering self-esteem.  Especially considering that I had some real issues about how I looked and if I fit in, etc… the usual high-school angst.

So here I am many years later married to an incredible woman and I’m realizing that I’m living the Letterman Jacket dream. I’m experiencing an LJ Moment every single day that she wears her wedding ring. It’s like the ultimate Letterman Jacket! But we don’t stop there… I get that same feeling of happiness every time she wears my shirts, my coats, my socks, my robe, my hats, my sunglasses and even when she drives my car.  And yes… I’m loving every minute of it.

So women, every now and then, pick up one of your husband’s hats or his jacket. If you really want to get into it, wear one of his dress shirts to bed. 😉 And men, if you catch your wife reaching for YOUR coat before she leaves the house, take it as a compliment. Remember that you’re the star player on her favorite team. 😉

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I Hate Categories


Society has an obsession with categorizing the world. We categorize people: you’re an asian, tall, old, gay, rich, southern, democrat and a nerd. We categorize film: it’s a drama, comedy, film noir, oldies, classic, talkie, sci-fi, animated blockbuster. And we categorize music: she’s a singer/songwriter, alt-rock, pop, death-metal, conscious hip-hop, trance, dancehall queen. I hate categories. Especially when it comes to music…

I find it interesting that rappers like Q-Tip, Rakim, Common and KRS-One, who are all admittedly Muslim or simply followers of Islam, are considered mainstream, not categorized as religious artists and therefore pigeon-holed into a niche market. Whereas you have people like KJ-52, FLAME, and BB Jay who, because they are “Christian” rappers (as opposed to rappers who are Christian), get lumped into the “also ran” hip hop bin at the record store. I’m not sure what it is that distinguishes the two (other than the obvious underlying beliefs) from being considered part of the same industry. But apparently, not all Hip Hop is Hip Hop.

One of the illest rappers I’ve ever heard is this dude named shai linne (spelled with lowercase purposely). His skill surpasses most rappers out today. The key difference? His music is Christian Hip Hop. Now before you go all, “uh oh, more religious talk” on me, just hear me out. I’m setting the foundation to make a point that’s universal.

Christian Hip Hop has been plagued like most other Christian music as being woefully behind the times. Quality production usually lagged by a decade or more. These artists were barely escaping the late 80’s when 2000 came and went. It was even worse for Christian Hip Hop. Some of these folks were laughable at best. If their lyrics weren’t completely cheesy and devoid of real theology, their music sounded like it was played with a wooden spoon and a sauce pan.

Fast forward to the late 00’s and music production took a giant leap forward as far as the creative process for the general consumer. This caused ProTools and Logic Pro to effectively move out of the confines of a conventional studio and into the garage (or even the bedroom). This meant that up-and-coming singer/songwriters and producers could hone their skills without paying high fees for studio time or needing to commute to professional locations. This had a significant impact on both the secular and religious music industries. More time for getting over the learning curve. More time from experimentation. More time for musical expansion and genre expression.

See, I’m not a Christian singer/rapper/other label. I consider myself an artist who’s also Christian. It should be obvious to anyone who encounters me what I believe simply by the way I choose to live my life. But when it comes to music, I’m being forced into a box. One side says, “if you’re a Christian then you can’t sing/rap about love and relationships!” The other side says, “if you want to be considered a mainstream artist, you can’t include any religious references!” The absurdity of it all is frustrating. My goal with my music is to simply offer the world something I created in hopes that it will be either something you relate to, something that encourages you, or simply something that entertains you. It’s unfortunate that there exists an unspoken rule among some that my life as a Christian can not publicly include practical expressions of love, disappointment, struggle and fun.

It’s almost as if releasing a song commercially ties you to that genre for the duration of your career. Anything outside of that is considered “getting away from your roots”.  That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m simply an artist and my creations may change as often as my moods depending on what I’m going through at the moment. Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Country… if I write a song and that’s the feel of it, then so be it.

I just want to live my life outside of catergorization.

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