Actually we had quite a few raps at our Phantom Limb rap event last Saturday!
After attending three after school rap workshops, a small group of Christian and Muslim lads gathered at The Springfield Centre to put their new found skills into practice. They worked on writing a rap together as they explored their views of the world they live in. Joel the Custodian – a professional rapper and friend of The Feast – hosted the event, guiding them through this creative process and encouraging each of them to get involved with their final master piece, which was a tribute to good old Birmingham! We were also fortunate to enjoy a selection of some of his own music as he was joined by Eli Immortal and Sensei C to perform live and give an inside scoop on the trade.
We spent some time in dialogue around the topic of ‘What’s wrong with the World?’ We spoke about what sin is, how we could all positively influence our world, if God forgives all sins, what we would do if we became professional rappers (and just for the record, I’ve been told by Joel himself that I’ve got potential) and so many other thought-provoking issues! It was so refreshing to see and hear these young teenage guys thinking through and sharing about topics so relevant for young people of faith today, yet so often unspoken. One even shared quite openly about his behaviour and his desire to change it for the better so he could represent his religion better!
It was also brilliant to see how one youngster in particular had developed so much in confidence over the weeks. At our first after-school workshop, he hardly spoke. By the time the event came round he was comfortably ‘spitting bars’ with everyone else! Fantastic!
This event was testament to the fact that rap music and rappers don’t always have to be viewed negatively. In fact, here’s a challenge – why not write a few lines from one of your favourite rap songs and tell us how it positively influences you?