Even as Hip hop culture, based on its history, is no stranger to rejection, marginalization, and the pursuit of “mainstream” acceptance, the hip hop artist that seeks to rep Jesus Christ often goes through the same trek. Jesus said that “a city on a hill cant be hid,” which means that the light of His representers should be seen, and their presence be felt—even in a culture that can sometimes be unwelcoming to anything perceived as “too preachy.” The song “YAH! You See Me” declares that Ambassador, and people of like passions, are in the mix and are committed to represent Him boldly. They can not and will not be muted or deterred from hustlin’ for the real Jesus “cause He’s a beast!” So to wake up all of those who may be sleeping, we say—“YAH! You See Me!”
Oh man! I guess I should just go right in. Yeah…
Really this is not a new assignment/
Really this is just a newer climate/
God gives a blank check expecting you to sign it/
Lose your life—yep—but I bet you truly find it/
I’m tryin’ to maneuver like a Heimlich/
I don’t wanna trip on a God that’s known to split us and remove us like a minus/
I gotta time this perfectly/
Got divine lines and I’m trying to spit with kindness—Work with me/
You hustle with a rock/we hustle for the Rock/
You hustle for a knot/ we hustle for eternal guap/
I know some real hustlers—real ambassadors/
Matter of fact you’ll laugh but some are old ladies in Africa/
You shouldn’t laugh because they’re lapping us/
They stay on track they’re looking back like/ “you can’t run half a lap with us”
They’re like the Master was/ doing like their Master does/
Makes me wanna play my role like an actor does/
Hook You see me—YAH! (3x) / You see me!
There’s a mark, ain’t nobody hittin’ it/
I know today you’re young so you’re gettin’ it/
Of course they pour more and more so you’re sippin’ it/
The Maybach’s like a slave back, your whippin’ it/
I’ve witnessed it, most of this is just appearance/
Most of y’all are still living with your parents/
God made man so man’ll shine for certain/
But made him for Himself/ but man don’t mind desertin’/
That’s why you get fly/ then we find you hurtin’
Not what it seems/ that’s a man behind the curtain/
You say I’m preachy… that’s my M.O./
I heard you sayin’ “amen”/ I thought “okay then that’s my in-road”/
Jesus wept… How bout that?/ Not too much…short and sweet/
But He wept for sin and death/ now He asks for your belief/
Whether you are out the womb, out the church, out the penn/
You’re a soul, for a soul/ you know we are out to win/[/note]
I hustle for the real Jesus ‘cause He’s a beast/
Not that dude that you use up in your “Jesus piece”/
All that God talk today…ya got me so confused/
I thought “god” was the diamonds or the gold y’all use/
Jesus teaches how to hustle/ we listenin’ too/
He knows “street”/ His feet had a blister or two/
He knows sleep/ how sleep can be far and few/
How to beat the body down for crowns He’s called us to/
Now take that—try that/ take it back—apply that/
Put that in your real life like they put that in their Pyrex/
Let that rock of truth do to you what it do ‘cause/
To win, when it comes to sin/ you must be biggest losers/
Drop the weight, watch your plate/ watch what you take on/
Even if it ain’t wrong/ don’t run with them weights on/
Show off all that great form/ lookin’ all like you ate Psalms/
Hope to see you at the finish line with them raised arms/
Just in case there was some confusion…we here.
You say, “I ain’t know y’all exist.” Yo you see me.
I see you…you see me. You ain’t know! Jesus representers! Chea!
YAH! You See Me Devotional Thought
Let All God’s People Say—You See Me![/note]
Hidden Christianity, private Christianity and “tucked Christianity” are all oxymorons because Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16).
Firstly, He wasn’t just talking about individuals, but believing communities of His who gather in His name, for His glory, to fulfill His mission. Secondly, He wasn’t merely saying that you shouldn’t be hidden, but that authentic, believing communities of His couldn’t be hidden from the surrounding culture if they were truly engaged in fulfilling His mission. Simply put, Jesus has a vision that there would be a visible people, belonging to God, whose light shines before men in a way that would be noticeable and glorifying to God.
There are many platforms that can be seized for the glory of God, from small to great. One person brings God glory as they faithfully carry out duties at home, school or work. Another person brings God glory by leveraging for Jesus Christ, positions and opportunities of influence that provide great levels of wide spread visibility. All in all, to shine light before men is to humbly but boldly display God honoring deeds with the intent that on lookers will see God’s character and His weightiness. Private meetings, private beliefs, inner feelings, all have a place, but they really are not the way that our light shines before men. It’s when those hidden convictions reveal themselves in full view of the surrounding culture that God is glorified by that culture. What good is salt-less salt? Good for nothing, Jesus would say. What good is “covered light? In like manner, good for nothing. Well what good is it if the Lord’s people are not visible or not making any impact? Jesus says, this can not be. When the “bottom drops out,” and “all hell breaks loose,” the world should at least know where to find the people of God. They shouldn’t have to look far, but we should be there to say, “you see me!”
There have been times when I have intentionally hid myself in order to jump out and surprise someone. When I emerged from my hiding place I say, “Yah!” The intent was to make my previously hidden presence known in a way that couldn’t be missed. That is what the song YAH is about. YAH is about being present, visibly in the mix, almost impossible to miss. Believers in Jesus should be marked and known by a love, faith, discernment, Christ-likeness and commitment that is impossible to miss. Now, certainly the world can overlook, mistake, or misinterpret the deeds of believers. 1Pt 1:4:4 speaks of the countercultural lifestyle of believers as being shocking and even offensive to the surrounding culture. Peter says, “With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you…” Paul indicates something similar when he states that even when the glory of the light of the gospel radiates, a blindness—which keeps that shiny gospel veiled—exists among those who are not alive in Christ (2 Cor 4:3-4). So, a measure of blindness and ignorance to our presence can be expected, but there can still be an intentional effort on our part to broadcast the gospel and display our witness of that gospel publicly. God will be glorified by our imitating His ways in His world. We have been designed by God to be seen even as lights in the darkness are. Let us be able to say, “you see!”
We live in an increasingly secular society. By “secular” I mean that basically our society prefers that God be pushed to the margins of public life—or in extreme cases, pushed out of the picture entirely. I like scholar D.A. Carson on this matter of “secularism” when he notes, that secularism has to do with “The squeezing of religion to the periphery of life…More precisely, secularization is the process that progressively removes religion from the public arena and reduces it to the private realm… (Carson, Christ and Culture Revisited).” I don’t think we can comply with that secularist principle. We are Christ’s means of being proclaimed and celebrated among society.
Even if they do not, at least in the church (universal, and hopefully local), Jesus has supremacy in everything. He’s not only welcomed to be “somewhere” in our lives, but to be central in our lives.
Perhaps someone may perceive me to be overstating the case about obstacles to representing Jesus Christ fervently in the public arena. I know, as many can attest, there are still segments of society that permit a tinge of religious (in a good sense of the term) zeal. The same is even true for the Hip-hop culture, which, historically has been favorable to religious consciousness. They call it personal “faith,” and/or “spirituality,” but if done with skill, and of course restraint, it has been received fairly well. But that’s kind of my point–“personal faith” is welcomed, because that usually means “private faith.” What I’m longing for, and what Jesus was referring to, is a faithful life that shines publicly. Not long ago the Hip-hop magazine XXL served notice that Christian hip-hop would not “work,” especially since it was too preachy and prone to impose their beliefs on others. Bold, robust, aromatic faith in Jesus Christ seems always to be relegated to the category of “overdoing it,” while passionate, blatant, overt praise of anything else (even wrongdoing) is welcomed.
My prayer is that God would protect and uphold our commitment to be His city on a hill. The Lord has informed us that “whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mk 8:38). We exist for His glory, and the world can and should encounter who we are, whose we are, and what we stand for. Let’s use every platform and every opportunity wisely in light of the times we are in. In the words of Paul in Colossians 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” Turn to your neighbors and say, “YAH—you see me!”