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How Trayvon Martin Inspired Thi’sl’s ‘Fallen King’

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A baffled Thi’sl stewed as he listened to his Caucasian fellow Christians respond to the Trayvon Martin case and George Zimmerman trial with the “ignorantest” comments, motivating him to pen his latest project, Fallen King.

“After the George Zimmerman verdict came in, and even when the trial was going on after Trayvon Martin was killed,” Thi’sl told Wade-O Radio, “one of the things that I started seeing in our [Christian] community among different races was we didn’t know how to communicate about hard issues like that.”

Thi’sl is sick of hearing the unsympathetic say, “We’re Christians, why should we even talk about race? Let it go.” Especially when he’s been questioned by cops for sitting in his car in front of his own house texting and told “know your place ni**er” on Facebook.

“Race has always been one of those things that we sweep under the rug so far that we’ve never talked through it to help people understand it,” said Thi’sl.

Thi’sl used the views of reformed theologian Doug Wilson, author of the book “Black & Tan,” as an example of a lack of understanding. Wilson has repeatedly declared that he would’ve fought for the south in the Civil War. He believes that the northern victory led to more harm—abortion, for instance—than good, the abolishment of the south’s corrupt slavery.

Wilson, and other theologians who share his beliefs, stress that God sanctioned slavery in the Bible. But Thi’sl countered, saying that God sanctioned slavery in times of war—not to enslave free people from other countries, drag them on a boat and ship them away against their will.

“If my Christian brothers and sisters don’t know how to process this, then the people who don’t know Christ don’t have a chance,” said Thi’sl.

As the hip-hop artist digested what he considers incompetent communication ability plaguing Christendom, a pair of tweets by TV One’s Roland Martin on the day that a Florida jury found Zimmerman innocent inspired Thi’sl to put in studio hours.

Marvin Gaye’s album, What’s Going On, touched on socially conscious topics of the Vietnam War, drug abuse and poverty.

“It made me think about why I do music,” said Thi’sl. “God has given me this unique space that I’m in to be indie, to have people listening and even outside of music, to be able to help my brothers and sisters see stuff from a Biblical point of view.”

An emotional Thi’sl reined in his passion to eradicate racial ignorance and poured it into Fallen King.

The project started as an EP. Thi’sl even debated offering it to fans for free. But the four songs that he churned out in two four-hour studio sessions over two days—and fifth track featuring Scarface that he already had in his arsenal—were “too big for an EP,” according to those who Thi’sl played the project for.

Fallen King is now an album with an estimated release date between January and March of 2014.

“When it went from [EP] to [album], it brought a different side of creativity out of me,” said Thi’sl. “It allowed me to go into the album concept and pull different stuff out. The album is definitely not militant, radical or afro centric—none of that. It’s cinematic.”

Thi’sl believes that it’s his best work to date by far. Partially because it’s the most he’s ever fostered an album conceptually. The goal of this concept is to socially inform the church and the street, said Thi’sl—an effort he doesn’t see often in the “strange world inside of the Christian bubble.”

“A lot of people can’t get with Christian music because of the lack of social content,” said Thi’sl. “We should be leading the forefront when it comes to teaching people how to live. Because [non-Christians] are going to either hear about it from us, or they’re going to hear about it from somebody with their same worldview.”

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David Daniels is a Wade-O Radio news editor, Bleacher Report breaking news writer, The Geneva Cabinet campus editor and God Hop founder. He’s currently a Communication major at Geneva College and lives in Pittsburgh. Follow him on Twitter @TheRealDDaniels.

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