Friday, March 25, 2011

Hip-Hop, Idolatry, & The Church Pt. 14 ~ An Ode To The "king"

This post was kind of difficult for me to categorize. It was a cross between the current title and my Nephilim series. I'm sure you'll understand why as we continue. The Radio Podcast related to this post can be found HERE and HERE
Singer/ Actress Lauryn Hill (aka  L. Boogie now Ms. Lauryn Hill) has been one of the music industry's most prolific stars. Beginning with the hit group called the Fugees, Lauryn has not only made music but also had starring roles in films such as Sister Act II, Hav Plenty & King of the Hill. She was formerly married to the son of music icon Bob Marley, Rohan Marley.  She is said to have a net worth exceeding $10 Million just from record sales and other closely held investments.  

What is strangely unique about Lauryn is her disappearance and absence from fame and industry, and a temporary and planned future reemergence with what seems to be a spiritually centered and focused message. After winning over 4 Grammys in 1998 for her release, "The Miseducation Of Laury Hill" she disappeared for 4 years. She has threatened to reappear with a new spiritual dimension and offering better than ever. Some say that her disappearance was due to a settled lawsuit ( $5 Million) involving the claim of  New Ark (Vada Nobles, Rasheem Pugh, Tejumold and Johari Newton), who held that Lauryn had tried to stiff them of credit for their work in writing and assisting on many of the albums songs. Prior to the suit, when asked about a written contractual agreement between her and the production company, Ms. Hill stated:  
The Fugees
"We all love each other. This ain't about documents. This is blessed."
Lauryn then reemerged in 2001 with a MTV 2.0 release in 2002 in which she introduced some spiritual/revolutionary type songs such as "The Conquering Lion" and "Everything Is Everything", "The Mystery Of Iniquity"  and "Oh Jerusalem". What many still don't know is that all of these songs were dedicated to and based upon the actions of a man that she considers to be Christ on earth. His name was Haile Selassie.

The Conquering Lion

Haile Selassie (aka: Tafari Makonnen) (7/1892 - 8/1975), Ethiopia's former Regent (1916-1930) and Emperor (1930- 1975), was an influential world leader, and one that set the standard for NATO and other world organizations as it pertains to peacekeeping and nation building. He was not fond of any official political or economic system and was deposed by communism towards the end of his reign. He claimed to be the distant grandson of direct relation of King Solomon and the Queen Of Sheba (1 Kings 10:13). According to legend, Solomon not only gave the Queen material items, but also impregnated her before she left upon her visit to Jerusalem to speak to teh wise King. As a result this union produced another royal line and offspring of David and another branch of the Jewish nation. 

Haile Selassie's name means "Power of the Trinity" or "Might of the Trinity". Haile is said to have been a member of the  Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church until his death. However, seemingly, beginning in Jamaica in and around 1930, he was hailed by his loyal followers as God incarnate, and Jesus reincarnated. Therefore, he was said by his devotees to have been God in the flesh.

There were also many titles given to him and many names by which he was known to his faithful.  Wikipedia records the following regarding him: 
"During his coronation, Selassie was given many of the same titles used in the Bible: "King of Kings," "Elect of God," and "Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah the Author of Mankind," "the Power of Authority," etc, are just some of more than 38 titles and anointments placed on Selassie. He also received acclaim from various Christain and Muslim leaders and clergy for the work he performed towards establishing world peace and the brotherhood of mankind. This is one of the primary reasons he is held to be God incarnate. Rastas also refer to Selassie as "His Imperial Majesty" (or the acronym thereof, HIM) and "Jah Rastafari"."
A whole religious movement developed around Selassie, with a proclaimed love for "Zion" ( the place where Haile would rule and lead his people ie: the promised land of peace and tranquility) and a complete disdain for "Babylon" (primarily Western culture and society and the governmental structures and institutions that came along with them) Included in this was also a disdain for the organized church and religion. In fact one of Lauryn Hills famous quotes regarding religion is:
 "Real religion is no religion at all. Truth is the true covering,..."  Lauryn Hill Fox News 6/2002
The church was looked at as being the educated, exalted, and  deceived ones. Under Rastafarian doctrine, the unofficial location of the "church" was "within" the individual, therefore everything that was necessary for success is contained within being or becoming an adherent to Selassie and looking within one's self for an answer. Although not crediting with starting his own movement, Selassie certainly received worship and adored such honor as God. It was said that Haile Selassie, Prince Emmanuel of the Bobo Shanti (aka: Ashanti) tribe of Kumasi, Ghana Africa and famed Afro-American writer Marcus Garvey, are said to be the Holy Trinity or "səllasé, Ge'ez" as both Bobo and Haile were proclaimed as God with Selassie retaining a little more power and authority, and Marcus Garvey as their prophet laying out a prophetic vision for the restoration of Zion.

The Evangelist Of The Music

Legendary singer Bob Marley (6/1945 ~ 5/1981) (Lauryn Hill's former Father In Law) became one of Rastafarian-ism's greatest evangelists mesmerizing stages and huge audiences, (over 100,000 people in Milan shortly before his death due to cancer) with his guitar playing styles. It was said that he was able to sometimes reach notes and rifts that modern guitarists claim that are almost impossible to reach under normal influences. Reggae music and dreadlocks were made a standard of Rastafarian-ism primarily due to Marley's influence. Marley promoted the already developed doctrine of Black Nationalism and Pan-African restorationism. Freedom and liberation of all men was the underpinning of Selassie's message. When asked in an interview about what it meant to be a Rastafarian, Marley responded:
"I would say to the people, Be still, and know that His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is the Almighty. Now, the Bible seh so, Babylon newspaper seh so, and I and I the children seh so. Yunno? So I don't see how much more reveal our people want. Wha' dem want? a white God, well God come black. True true."
Rastas, who do not like their religion called Rastafarian-ism (because they don't believe in isms and skisms), claim, among other things, that Cannabis (marijuana) is a holy weed as it was the first thing to bud on Moses Rod when it was carried in the Ark Of The Covenant. Because of this feel that the use of cannabis is a religious and sacred rite. The practice of Rastafarian-ism is also known as Dread. Those who practice it dressed or resembling the Lion are said to be closest to the true representation of Rastafari when they wear dreadlocks. Wearing dreadlocks however is not required to be a worshipper of Hailie Selassie.  

The Odes

One of the most notable things about Lauryn's presentation is here lyrics. The Conquering Lion is a rewrite of a tribute that Haile Selassie received for many years. In fact the video is full of Pan-African Nationalistic imagery of the Lion wearing a crown, holding a flag with the colors green, red, yellow and brown which indicate the colors of the motherland.
Here are the basic lyrics of the Conquering Lion:

The conquering lion shall break every chain
The conquering lion shall break every chain
Give him the victory again and again and again and again
Give him the victory
The conquering lion shall break every chain
The conquering lion shall break every chain
Give him victory again and again and again and again and again and again
Give us some victory ya, oh, ya
The Conquering Lion shall break every chain, every chain, every chain
Conquering Lion shall break every chain
Give us some victory we need some victory, we need some victory
Again and Again and Again and Again, give give give some victory
Oh, Oh,the conquering lion he'll break every chain, everyone of your chains,
everyone of your chains
The conquering lion he's gonna break all of those chains if you just let him
Give Give him the victory again and again and again and again
Oh, give him the victory

Remember no matter how convincing this may sound, it is not Gospel and it is not worshipping the Jesus of the bible. Lauryn is singing this song to a dead man claimed to be Christ named Haile Selassie.

Here's another, called "Everything Is Everything". In this video, the world, New Your City appears to be a big record being spun and being played by a DJ in the sky. In this case the DJ would be Haile Selassie and the image of the Lion appears to signify that he has control over all of the people. In this song Lauryn references her rap name as "L Boogie", the Abyssinian Baptist Church which not only represents freedom and civil rights born in Harlem New York, but the word Abyssinian means Ethiopia. She mentions other figures such as the late spouse of the late Malcom X, Betty Shabazz, who were also Black Nationalists who at one time believed and taught along with Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Dubois that Blacks should either return to Ethiopia (Africa) or maintain their own seperate state within the continental United States.

NYC Being Spun By The Grand DJ
Key to understanding the lyrics: One thing to keep in mind is that the "I" in Rastafarian thought represents the God nature that the individual possesses. Speaking of one's self in in terms of "I" drives home the point. ie: We shouldn't say, "Me and you" we should say "I and I". Keep that in mind as you read the following lyrics and come to understand their real meaning:

Everything (Everything)
Is Everything(Is Everything)
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually

I wrote these words for everyone
Who struggles in their youth
Who won't accept deception
Instead of what is truth
It seems we lose the game,
Before we even start to play
Who made these rules? We're so confused
Easily led astray
Let me tell ya that

Everything is everything
(Everything is everything)
Everything is everything
After winter, must come spring
Everything is everything

I philosophy
Possibly speak tongues
Beat drum, Abyssinian, street Baptist
Rap this in fine linen
From the beginning
My practice extending across the atlas
I begat this
Flippin' in the ghetto on a dirty mattress
You can't match this rapper / actress
More powerful than two Cleopatras
Bomb graffiti on the tomb of Nefertiti
MCs ain't ready to take it to the Serengeti
My rhymes is heavy like the mind of Sister Betty
L. Boogie spars with stars and constellations
Then came down for a little conversation
Adjacent to the king, fear no human being
Roll with cherubims to Nassau Coliseum
Now hear this mixture
Where hip hop meets scripture
Develop a negative into a positive picture

Now everything, is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually
Sometimes it seems
We'll touch that dream
But things come slow or not at all
And the ones on top, won't make it stop
So convinced that they might fall
Let's love ourselves then we can't fail
To make a better situation
Tomorrow, our seeds will grow
All we need is dedication
Let me tell ya that,

Everything is everything
(Everything is everything)
Everything is everything
After winter, must come spring
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually
La la la la la la la la (until song fades

Claiming that what she is was born on a "dirty mattress" and that she is now more powerful than 2 Cleopatras is quite a contrasting claim. In here vision she is with the "king". Then her mission is to meld hip-hop with scripture to turn a negative into a positive. Once again, she uses what appears to be a positive message to at a minimum divert the attention of the listener from what she is really saying.  


What makes all of this especially interesting is how many Christian treat this subject in modern times. It is clear that Lauryn Hill is not worshipping the God of the bible nor the Jesus of scripture who is the ONLY way of salvation. She is worshipping and honoring a man, a false prophet, who proclaimed to be Christ but is not. Yet she is doing it with words and terms that the church is familiar with. Many church folk are ascribing their meaning to her singing and claiming that she is speaking and teaching about the God of the bible even if referencing something or someone else. This is akin to being thirsty and drinking muddy water. There may be something that temporarily satisfies, but this will make one sick.

Can the Christian ascribe their own meaning to these things and not be damaged by them? Can the the ascription of Haile Selassie as the the "Lion Of Judah" by Lauryn Hill be deemphasized by the meaning that the listener ascribes? However, if something means something, or as Lauryn says, "Everything is Everything", then how can we make it something else other than what it is? Can God and will God use that which is currently being used to serve false God's and idols as an instrument of praise to him? My conclusion is no, but many may have alternate views.

We know who the TRUE LION OF JUDAH IS AND HIS NAME IS JESUS, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Selassie cannot hold a candle to him. Selassie is in the grave Jesus is not and never will he be. Don't give your mind to Lauryn Hill's version of a God made after men. Give it to the real, one and only true God and savior. He is the only one that can heal. Lord help the church and the true believers.



  1. Learn something new everyday. Dreadlocks purpose to look like a lion bet a lot of people dont know that. Also pastor Harvey. I dont think she was ever married to her babies daddy, I believe he was already married hence a lot of her mental challenges. Also I think you meant to put WeB Duboise as the black nationalist versus Booker T Washington. Good post

  2. Absolutely right sistah. I'll get that changed as soon as I can find it.

    So far as being married, that may well be true. I've given her circumstance the benefit of the doubt since I can't point to anything specific at the moment. I'll do a search and when i do I'll change it.

    Thanks again.

  3. Wow awesome article Pastor Burnett! I was just thinking about getting some dreads lol. Thank God my wife wasn't having it. Keep on speaking the truth! Blessings!

  4. I read her interview in Essence--talking about depspite her having five babies by that man, she is not getting married, because she doesn't believe in the institution of marriage, which sounded nonsensical to me...but now that comment makes sense given what you've described as the basic tenets of Rastafariani beliefs.

    Yep, she is a Rasta, and yet CeCe Winans and other gospel folks had her on their CDs just becasue she kept talking about God in that last CD...thanks for informing the saints, that Lauryn and Church folk are not on the same team!

  5. Excellent piece!

    Being of Jamiacan descent, I know all too much about the false doctrine of Rastafarianism. Its is idolatry and one of the biggest problems in Jamiaca.

    This belief has a very attractive appeal about it for youth who are looking for spirituality, somewhat like the black muslims. As you say, the appeal is it seems to be going against the (babylon)system.

    The thing about this is the cultural pull it has on many Jamaican believers. Its as if they believe they are indepted to revere Bob Marley, I tell them straight he was an anti Christ. It seems he was baptised before his death, maybe he repented, I sure hope so.

    As far as Selassie. This is a part of an interview in which he was asked about his feelings on Jamaicans calling him God. It seems he told them to stop it.

    I listened to the entire interview but cannot find it. One thing for sure is that he felt that Jesus was to be glorified.

  6. Paul,

    This is interesting and I've learned to hear what people are saying and make a distinction in what they do not say...Now, the link says:

    Questioned by Bill McNeil: "there are millions of Christians throughout the world, your Imperial Majesty, who regard you as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ."

    Selassie's answer: "I have heard of that idea. I also met certain Rastafarians. I told them clearly that I am a man, that I am mortal, and that I will be replaced by the oncoming generation, and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that a human being is emanated from a deity."

    Narrator: But, despite this clear declaration, millions of Ethiopians still believe that he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ

    There are a couple of things here. This interview was done in 67. Selassie died in 74. The movement is said to have begun when he took office in sometime between 1930 and 1935.

    If Selassie wanted to put this thought down, he could have easily spoken out against it and refused and denied worship from the beginning. He did no such thing and I can't find a speech where he addresses such and he delivered many speeches.

    Then again, here we have a understanding regarding Messiah also. Was the Messiah deity in prevailing thought? The answer is no. That concept was a concept born out of the New Testament. the Jews didn't expect the messiah to be deity. They expected him to be a liberator. This is partially how they missed Jesus. I don't know his church's doctrine regarding this, but could this be a description of his understanding of Messiah...not deity, but messiah? Of course he wouldn't say under that circumstance that he was Jesus that interview and the timing of it is problematic because it is not as clear as the interviewer makes it seem or leads us to believe.

    On that same link a person chimes in on the issue last year and says this:

    Haile silassie is not God he's the elect of God he's the messiah and not jesus he decended from david through solomon jesus is greco roman mythology the coming of silassie was a blessing long a go from God to king David the lord sworn in truth unto David of the fruit of his body he will set upon his throne jesus did not fulfil this covenant jesus genology is a contradiction with the decendants to David silassie is the messiah propheciesed in the so call old testament the new testament r full of cotradictions all done by romes authourity to subue the truth and the pope is impersonating His majesty do the research ~Zavea 9/23/10, 15:50PM

    Now this I understand. The understanding of Halie Selassie's Lordship was a progressive type revelation. He could have stopped all of this by meeting the heresy head on from the beginning instead of claiming shortly before his death that he "heard that idea" and that he met "certain Rastafarians".

    Both he and that interview are highly suspect.

    We'll keep looking and thanks for the info. That is enlightening.

  7. In Christ,

    It seems that Lauryn has no respect for contracts at all. That's why she got sued by the music production company. Now it seems that when she experiences this sort of thing that she claims it's persecution or some form of ungodliness of the system to take from the "righteous".

    I believe that's part of the reason why the Rastas believe that the West is Babylon...It's called a nation of laws where laws and agreements are enforced. They have no need of that and don't want to come under that sort of rule or say that, we don't need a contract, "this is about love" that is a bunch of mess.

    Marriage is the same suit. She didn't want to come under the commitment or contract of marriage. That's why she could lay up and have all them kids probably by someone else's husband and claim that those who confront her with truth are the ones wrong. This is ungodliness and a perversion.

    I don't know but I wonder is avoiding contracts a prevalent teaching within Rastafarianism? I don't know but we'll see.

  8. Understood Pastor. My understanding is that the interview is authentic.

    I have to agree that he couldve stopped the madness, however I am not aware if he knew to what extent this was happening util he got to Jamaica in 65. The truth is, no other country has embraced rastafarianism in this manner and Jamiacans through reggae music are the main influence where you do see it in other countries.

  9. You know I really didnt realise that Ms. Hill was spreading this false teaching. I just didnt pay it any mind.

    I do see that many people seem to be enamored with Rastfarianism, the looks of it atleast but they dont know what it really entails.

    I have heard Christians (caucasian) tell me how much they love Bob Marley. People have no clue that he opposed the teachings of Christ.

    Get up stand up

    "Preacher man don't tell me
    Heaven is under the earth
    I know you don't know
    What life is really worth
    It's not all that glitters is gold
    Half the story has never been told
    So now you see the light
    Stand up for your rights"

    "Most people think
    Great good will come from the skies
    Take away everything
    And make everybody feel high
    But if you know what life is worth
    You would look for yours on earth
    And now you've seen the light
    You stand up for your rights"

    "We're sick and tired of your ism-schism game
    To die and go to heaven in Jesus' name
    We know and understand
    Almighty God is a living man
    You can fool some people sometimes
    But you can't fool all the people all the time
    And now we've seen the light (What you gonna do)
    We gonna stand up for our rights"

  10. Now Lauryn, who IS NOT married to Rohan is having her 6th child by another man...What confusion is in this young lady's life? Really sad.

  11. Prophecy cannot change to suit mans selfish egoistic motives. Revelations 12:3 will teach us that he that overcometh, Jesus shall write upon him his new name. Revelations 5:5 'Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and loose the seven seals thereof.' Revelations 19 acknowledges our lord and saviour to have the title King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. In Psalm 87, 'behold Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.
    And of Zion it shall be said'
    Ethiopia has a Christian tradition second to none, its Emperors are in a lineage which dates back to the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, hence the Root of David hath prevailed. Our fathers left us ancient books of the Kebra Negast (Glory of Kings), In it states that the King of Ethiopia is honourable and He is the king of Zion, and the second coming of Christ -He delivered the Church and the assembly of nations.
    In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1930 Rastafari was crowned Negus Haile Selassie I which interpreted in english means the 'Power of the Trinity'. In 1936 the Italian fascist invasion of the beast made war with the lamb, but the lamb overcome for He is King of Kings Lord of Lords. Haile Selassie made an appeal in Geneva to the then governing world body of the League of Nations which had the responsibility to act against the fascist invasion, it failed to stop the aggressor, and by that ignorance tore up the covenant of its existence. So said the Emperor 'It is us today it will be you tomorrow' inevitably Europe received the chaos and destruction of World War II. In 1945 in San Francisco, Emperor Haile Selassie I and other leaders formed the newly invigorated United Nations which has stood the test of time. In 1948 he brought together the World Council of Churches and also brought independence to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which gives the Ethiopian Archbishop the right to consecrate Ethiopian bishops, thus securing an autonomous religious administration. Hence the fulfillment of Prophecy yet again He delivered the Church and the assembly of Nations.
    Harvey Burnett you qouted an English translation of an interview in Canada with HIM. The answer from the Emperor does not mention the denial that he is Christ, but that he shall be replaced by the oncoming generation, hence the power of the trinity is stronger than the flesh. Neither did the Emperor proclaim to the world that he is Christ, for the prophecy of the new testament lets us know not to believe them that proclaim to be Christ. It is through the Power of the Trinity that reveals to I and I that Haile Selassie is Christ and the Rastaman would never make a mistake in assuming HIM to be just an ordinary human being, when prophecy and history reveals to I and I that Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ came as a man in flesh born from woman.
    "Each one of us here will one day face his maker and answer for his actions." Negus Haile Selassie I
    Message from dedicated Imperial Body Guard

  12. Anon 7/27,

    You site quite a few misinterpretations and incorrect biblical facts, but one of the most glaring to me is this; in one sentence you said this:

    Our fathers left us ancient books of the Kebra Negast (Glory of Kings), In it states that the King of Ethiopia is honourable and He is the king of Zion, and the second coming of Christ -He delivered the Church and the assembly of nations.

    Then in another you said this:

    The answer from the Emperor does not mention the denial that he is Christ,but that he shall be replaced by the oncoming generation, hence the power of the trinity is stronger than the flesh. Neither did the Emperor proclaim to the world that he is Christ,for the prophecy of the new testament lets us know not to believe them that proclaim to be Christ

    Do you SEE how confusing that even your presentation and understanding is regarding this? One of these statements can be right, but NOT both of them.

    So which one is it? Either Selassie WAS Christ, or he WASN'T Christ. If he was NOT, then he is not a savior/king/Lion of Judah in any fashion, becauye he is merely a man.

    Jesus was not merely a man, he IS God! He demonstrated that by miracles, the power over life and death and fact of the resurrection.

    Anyone ascribing to this religion is not only lost and still in their sins, they are yet in spiritual bondage of flesh and self.


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