I remember the first time I heard rap. It reminded me of story-telling that made my feet move. Even my country-twang loving father had to admit that Run-D.M.C. was entertaining during the awards show. Still I was forbidden from listening to that “rap crap” as he fondly called it. Later I was re-introduced to rap when my teenage sister moved in with us. I loved the rhythm, but now the songs were more about women and sex and drugs and those horrible police. I just couldn’t get into the new rap. Until Eminem.
Eminem’s music is edgy. Raw. Brutal. And quite vulgar. But there’s a depth that goes beyond the shallowness of today’s trendy hip-hop music. His words move me simply because they come from the depths of a soul that has lived through a hell that most of us don’t experience. And the sound just draws me in. But there’s a part of Eminem I don’t like. I’m not comfortable listening to a man who raps about domestically abusing his girlfriend. Someone suggested I try “Christian Rap.” Oh my goodness, I just can’t take the sounds of rap and sing hallelujah at the same time. And honestly, most Christian rap is just not that good. And nothing has come close to Eminem for me. Until now…
Last year while listening to Toby Mac (Love T-Mac!) a suggestion for NF Mansion popped on my music feed. I didn’t know what to expect but the instant the song started I was hooked. Here was a rapper with the edginess of Eminem without the expletives and domestic abuse. Here was raw rap that I wasn’t afraid of my children hearing. NF became one of my favorite Christian artists.
I’m not a rap-girl fan. Most of the time I listen to worship music or indie music. But when I have pent-up feelings and I can’t get my brain and my fingers to connect I turn to rap. Some of my rawest posts have been written with Eminem pounding in the background. Sometimes I have to take myself to the very edge to get myself unstuck.
Today was one of those days. I could feel the frustration growing. The anxiety threatening. The agitation expanding. When I get to this point, music is what soothes my raging beast. I had no idea that NF had released a new album. It’s called Therapy Session. And it’s some of the most honest, raw and heartbreaking music I’ve heard in a long time. I was mesmerized.
I mean, I think sometimes people they confuse what I’m doing
I write about life, I write about things that I’m actually dealing with
Something that I’m actually experiencing, this is real for me
Like this is something that personally helps me as well
I’m not confused about who gave me the gift
God gave me the gift and he gave me the ability to do this
And he also gave me this as an outlet
And that’s what music is for me
When I feel something, whether it’s anger
Um, it’s a passion about something, or frustration
Like this is where I go, this is, that’s the whole nfrealmusic thing man
This is real for me, I need this, this is a therapy for me
”Therapy Session” Written By NF & Tommee Profitt
I had to listen to it again and again. NF explains in one short paragraph what compels me to sit at my dining room table and bare my heart to strangers. This helped…helps me. This is my therapy. This is my way of making sense of the world inside and outside. It gives me a place to process emotions and fears and anxieties. And sometimes I never post what I write. And sometimes I post what I write. And I still have people who ask me WHY I keep blogging. And today, I found the answer.
I blog because it is a gift from my Abba. A way to express the depths of my soul. And sometimes it’s raw and uncomfortable and edgy. I struggle with that a lot. So Abba asked me today why I don’t like the gift he gave me. I can’t answer the question. I don’t know why I make my own self uncomfortable. Why I feel weird telling people that I blog and then resist telling them the address. I don’t know why, because when I sit down he unlocks the deep parts of my soul, setting me free from the chains that have bound me for so long. Blogging is my therapy.
Abba then reminded me of David. David had a deep soul that he couldn’t fill. He couldn’t fill it despite being a king and slaying giants and having the women of his choice. King David…the giant killer…the man after God’s own heart…he was raw and edgy. Have you REALLY read Psalms?
Psalm after Psalm David proclaims the goodness of God. But he’s honest. He’s honest about feeling like God has abandoned him. He’s honest about feeling like the whole world hates him. He’s honest about his sin and the consequences of his sin. He’s honest about being the messed up King of Israel. And he’s oh-so-honest about his need for God. And through King David, his line brought into the world the Son of God. I had to think about that for a bit…
Abba told me that when I sit down and let my soul speak, I’m living. I’m being real. I tell anyone who will read that life is messy and painful and sometimes it sucks. It’s raw and edgy and sometimes dark. I tell of my need for Abba to be with me every moment of every day. I tell of the beautiful truth of this life I live. And although it’s for me, for my healing…my sanity…he uses it to help others.
I told myself I would stop writing. I didn’t need to share so much. I could just keep a private journal. And then Abba reminds me why he asked me to do this. And now I know that it is his gift. This is my therapy.