Dallas minister tells Pacific bases hip-hop is Satanic
Preacher sees the devil behind success of 50 Cent, Jay-Z
By ALLISON BATDORFF | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 12, 2006
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Calling hip-hop culture “the greatest attack on the youth of the world,” EX Ministries founder Elder G. Craige Lewis charges rap stars like 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and the Three 6 Mafia with hiding Satanic images in their music.
Hip-hop music has devilish intent, he told audiences at Yokosuka Naval Base and Yokota Air Base last weekend.
“The devil has a plan to deceive this country through music,” Lewis told the 60 people at Yokosuka’s Little Theater on Sunday. “It started with heavy metal, but that only attracted a demographic of white, suburban kids. Hip-hop has global appeal. It’s an entire culture of clothes, music and lifestyle. You listen to the music while the lyrics promote killing, drugs, sex, crime, idolatry and violence.”
However, some, like Airmen Recruits Lisa Solan and Marissa Shafer-Barnes, don’t think there’s anything wrong with hip-hop.
“I don’t believe music, or hip-hop, is the devil,” Solan said. “Music is music. Some songs have negative messages, some don’t. Not all hip-hop is bad.”
People need to be responsible and shouldn’t blame music for their actions, Shafer-Barnes said.
“Only somebody really weak would listen to this music and say ‘that’s the thing to do,’” Shafer-Barnes said. “Most people aren’t like that.”
The Dallas-based Lewis started preaching his anti-hip-hop message after what he said was a vision from God in 1990. His Web site boasts 1 million hip-hop CDs destroyed worldwide.
On its Web site, the Holy Hip Hop Church calls Lewis’ position “a dangerous lie” that drives youth away from the church rather than toward it. The church needs to speak the language of the people, the Web site says. “Holy” hip-hop can re-connect the church with the youth and community, it adds.
“The purpose of Lewis’ visit is get the community talking,” said EX Ministries member Tetuan Moffett. “We’re trying to educate and inform people about what they’re listening to, and I think we were successful. I think it really opened the eyes of some of those kids and parents.”
Lewis played a song off Jay-Z’s “Black Album” backward for the audience to hear the “Six, six, six … murder, murder Jesus” within the song. The Oscar-award winning group Three 6 Mafia incorporates Satan’s calling card — the three sixes — into its name, Lewis said. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony used a Satanic document as cover art and the lyrics of Ja Rule, Jay-Z and 50 Cent equate the singers to God, which is a Luciferian concept, he said.
“Lucifer was the chief musician in heaven before he fell to Earth and became Satan,” Lewis said. “It’s ridiculous to see these people thanking God for selling so many records or winning awards. You can’t serve two masters. You can’t dance with the devil and praise the Lord.”
He called on parents to destroy their hip-hop CDs and posters and to “tighten things up” for their kids.
“These are messages families should know,” said Valerie Williams, whose husband works on the USS Stethem and who brought her two young children. “We don’t listen to hip-hop in our house and our children know right from wrong.”
Christian Fountain used to listen to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Now, he’s changed his tune, said the 19-year-old USS Kitty Hawk sailor.
“I got rid of my CDs,” Fountain said. “It changed my whole perspective.”
Brandon Lightburn, 14, heard Lewis at Yokota and also “took the message to heart,” he said.
“All he spoke was the truth,” Lightburn said.