The Lupe Lyrics A Christian Could Have Written
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As rumors of an $800 iPhone 5 and $315 LeBron James sneakers have hit the news recently I’ve been reminded of one of my favorite hip hop songs (which just so happens to have been authored by a Muslim.)

Released on Lupe Fiasco‘s free Friend of the People: I Fight Evilmixtape last November, “WWJD He’d Prolly LOL Like WTF!!!” hits on America’s culture of uber-consumerism and positions it in a way I believe Jesus (whose name adorns the albums cover art) would endorse.

 

Music by Justice. Lyrics by Lupe Fiasco:

[Intro]
Really? This is what you guys been doing?
Searching

 

[Hook 1: Justice]
Before daybreak there were none
And as it broke there was one
From moon to sun, it goes on and on
The winter battle was won
The summer children were born
And so the story goes on and on
Come on woman in your life beats
Those we buried with the house keys
Smoke and feather where the fields are green
From here to eternity
Become a woman in your own time
Far, far, far from the virgin vine
Rise on out from the dead leaves
Come back to me
Oh, she sings her favorite song
Left with tears and dreams, it goes and then on

 

[Verse 1: Lupe Fiasco]
Standing in line for the new one
Not the black, but the blue one
And I don’t even know what it do, son
But Steve Jobs said that it’s too fun
Fun in abundance is what I need
It’s cold out here, put my arms in the sleeves
I’ll probably lose my place if I leave
But I really need to pee
If I do it right here they’ll see
Makes you wonder, how do snipers
Marathon bikers
Next time: diapers
They say it has all new features
Faster processors and much better speakers
Great for kids, a necessity for teachers
For work or home, a revolutionary way of being alone
I mean, should we really get a loan?
Hey what’s the matter, just tell it to your phone
Cupertino heart with Chinese parts
Built by the poor, but designed by the smart
They opening the door so you go
On your mark, get ready, set, buy
Imagine a world where everything starts with an ‘i’
But it still ends with a die
Probably got an app for that, you could try
From the iClouds, right into the great Wi-Fi
Siri, can iGod really hear me?
“Does not compute – can you repeat more clearly?”
“Woaaah”

 

[Hook 2: Justice]
A vessel in the bloodline
A thirteenth Zodiac sign
A stitch in time, it goes on and on
Become a woman on your own time
Far, far, far from the virgin vine
Rise on out from the dead leaves
Come back to me
Oh, she sings her favorite song
Left with tears and dreams, it goes and then on

 

[Verse 2: Lupe Fiasco]
Standing in line for some new ones
Had a bunch of blessings but I blew them
Asked Google how to use them
They sent me to a section ’bout used guns
New runs, nuns’ll scream, moms with jeans
Match their teens’ jeans and genies who try to chew gum
Aw man, it’s so confusin’
Confusion in abundance is what I have
Good thing that God accept cash
Maybe buy my way up out His wrath
Skeptically, why am I way up off this path?
Atheism’s cheaper, and accepts Visa
My thoughts as I’m queuing up for sneakers
Won’t discriminate — I’m getting all eight
In every color that they make
Beaverton hearts with Chinese parts
Built by the poor and designed by the smart
On your mark, get set, cop ‘em!
Imagine a life that revolves around shoppin’
Conspicuous consumption
That means it serves no other function
But to show off to someone, or others
Who only try to show off to you — look at your fellow loyal customers
Isn’t harmony great?
Look at all these friends that marketing makes
How many fries can these arteries take?
I’ll give McDonald’s a little help here
I think they should expand into healthcare
And then you’ll have all ends covered
Even make caskets, have it all umbrella’d
Can you make the corporation fear me?
“Couldn’t hear your order, can you speak less clearly?”

 

[Hook 3: Justice]
That witch was burning the ground
Will someday come back around
From dust to dust it goes on and on
Before daybreak there were none
And as it broke there was one
And still the story goes on and on

Why didn’t we write “WWJD He’d Prolly LOL Like WTF!!!” first?

Now I’ve been listening to Christian hip hop since 1986 and know we have our fair share of rappers who, like Lupe, could be considered “conscious MCs” or who write about similar social issues. (See: Sho Baraka, Mr. J. Medeiros, Swoope, JustMe, etc.) But we need more songs and artists like this.

Theology-rap is a great addition to our faith, but we also need lyrics that non-believers can relate to and that spread the Good News in practical ways that meet them where they’re at. Lupe’s “WWJD He’d Prolly LOL Like WTF!!!” does just that – particularly in light of the recent headlines I mentioned before.

Rhymefest is another mainstream rapper who claims to follow Islam and has penned attention-grabbing and thought-provoking tracks I think a Christian should could have written. His “Jesus Walks” won a Grammy with Kanye West and at least brought a discussion of our Savior to mainstream radio. And on his last album, Fest’s “Prosperity” tackled Christian pulpit pimps with the passion and aggressiveness of someone defending his own faith from predatory misrepresentation (a topic Lecrae also weighs in on via “Church Clothes.”)

Sometimes I just wonder if Muslims are beating us to the punch when it comes to crafting great hip hop songs about real-life social issues. As followers of Jesus, we should be in that midst (if not leading the charge) so that we may speak to our world in ways they understand and earn an ear to present Christ as the ultimate solution.

NOTE:  I’m not trying to imply Christians have an exclusive claim to the moral truth expressed in this song that “conspicuous conception” is harmful to our spirit and culture. Plenty of other faiths and even non-believers will agree on that point. I’m simply venting a little artistic jealously that a member of my faith didn’t write it first.

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