Tribune Features Writer
BAHAMIANS have weighed in on the controversy surrounding rapper Meek Mills and his new release ‘Amen’, calling the song ‘a mockery’ and blatant disregard for their faith.
While some of them admitted to being fans of Meek Mill’s music, they disagreed with the way “Amen” was presented.
The controversy surrounding “Amen” first unfolded when a Philadelphia pastor Jomo Johnson encouraged people to boycott the record.
He said: “As a hip hop fan and pastor in North Philadelphia, I am saddened to have heard Meek Mill’s new song “Amen” off his Dream Chaser’s 2 mix-tape. My church is a just a few blocks away from where Meek aka Robert Williams grew up at, and he is widely respected as a great rapper and hometown native. But with this latest song Mr Williams has displayed a great disrespect for Philadelphia’s Christian community.”
When the pastor was invited on a local radio station in Philadelphia to discuss his stance, Meek Mills called the station to defend himself and the record. A heated exchanged took place.
Not so much the video, but the lyrics of the record were offensive, Quetell Miller, Bahamian hip hop lover said. In the song Meek Mills rapped:
“Now it’s a lot of bad b*s in the building (Ooh, Amen)
A couple real niggas in the building (Amen)
I’m finna kill niggas in the building (Amen)
I tell the waiter fifty bottles and she tell me say when
And I say church (Preach)
We make it light up like a church (Preach)”
Bahamian hip hop music lover Qutell Miller said: “As an artist your words are infinite and it will be around forever. That song is very disturbing. I hate how he uses those words so loosely. And he had the nerve to try and defend that song. What is there to defend? “Amen” is so blasphemous and it is a mockery to Christians. Why in the world are you talking about thanking God for women and luxuries, and that is not in a good way,” she said.
Although Meek Mills is not the first hip hop artist to make religious references in their music, Ramon told In Ya Ear it is important to stand for something.
“I applaud the pastor for speaking out. People may be saying if one song threatens your faith then maybe it was not that strong in the first place, but it is not even about that. It is about standing up for what you believe in. When someone offends the homosexual community, don’t they speak against it? I do not care how many times it has be done in hip hop for every time I will speak against people and try to educate them,” she said.
Music lover Stanley said: “I understand he may not be a religious person but you should not disrespect the sacredness of someone’s faith. First of all this song is not even that great. And he is being blasphemous too. He probably would not have not mocked the Muslim faith. I do not see anything wrong with that pastor speaking out, he has a right to do so. But if you call yourself a Christian and that song does not disturb you then something is definitely wrong,” he said.
While Kayla agrees that “Amen” comes across as disrespectful, she believes the artist did not intend for it to be that way.
“I think preach was used as a form of encouragement to what he was saying. Like for instance when Christians hear a pastor saying something they agree with they would say preach or Amen. I do not think he intended to be disrespectful.”
“I heard the song and several times and I caught myself singing it but I did not know what he was actually saying until now. I am the kind of person who hears rap songs in particular but do not understand what the words are saying unless I see the lyrics. But now that I know I think it is sickening how some rappers today just do not care,” Kayla said.
Marco told In Ya Ear that everyone has the freedom to do and say what they want, and Meek Mills is not excluded.
“You can expect someone with a worldly mindset to say something like that. But at the end of the day we all have a free will to do and say whatever we want to say. I am not offended by what he spoke about. He is not a religious person so you cannot expect him to bow down or respect the beliefs of others,” he said.