What does it mean to hold someone accountable? Is there a qualifier that makes you a good candidate to be an accountability partner? I was unfamiliar with the concept of accountability before I started to listen to Christian Hip Hop but now I believe I grasp the concept. Being accountable to another person from what I infer means to confess your sins, and be vulnerable in order to grow as a believer and follower in Christ. As an artist spreading the message of Christ with a platform capable of reaching and impacting thousands, accountability is crucial to keep someone grounded. However here is the million dollar question: who are the artists accountable to and why?
An interesting thing about the internet is that everyone has an opinion, and more often than not that opinion makes its voice known. Let’s get one thing clear CHH fans: CHH artists are not accountable to you at all. One of the things that makes CHH unique is the marriage of the Church with the art form. Most CHH is made from a worldview that is informed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so there is an order that these artists follow. The problem with the Church is that well meaning saints put their nose and opinion in places it doesn’t belong. We may all be believers and members of the Body of Christ but that doesn’t make you my brother or sister, at least not in the way we use those words.
My brother can call me what he wants, we can disagree, and we can even fight, but at the end of the day we know we have each other’s backs. That didn’t happen because we share the same interests, it’s because we have a bond that has been developed over time. If you and I can’t do that (and we probably can’t) then in my mind you don’t qualify as family. We don’t have to be related to be family but a bond must be there. The fact is there is no bond between fan and artist. They connect on the same plane and that is on the music. The fact that you are both Christians does not give you the right to speak on that person’s art and personal life, expecting them to change because you said so. That last sentence sounds like some supreme arrogance, but yet we see this type of behavior demonstrated almost daily and it should not be so.
Fellow Christians, people only listen to those who are vested in their real lives, and I’m afraid that as consumers we don’t qualify. Yes, their music may be ministering to our souls and encouraging us but our comments and suggestions have no bearing on that artists’ personal life. The most vested person I can think of other than Jesus was the Apostle Paul. Paul wrote numerous letters to churches that he had help plant or sent some of his followers to act on his behalf. If you read the letters Paul gets in these Christian’s personal lives in a way that is so personal it would qualify as gossip if it weren’t true. From the sexually immoral in the church at Corinth to the many other church issues, Paul held nothing back. He was able to have a say in these people’s lives because he was involved in their lives. The people involved in our favorite CHH artists’ lives are their families and church members, not the fans who buy their music.
Some of the scenes most popular artist have accountability installed in their lives, even if it doesn’t look like it. In a video a couple of years ago, Andy Mineo stated that his pastor looks over all his raps, he is in a leadership role at the church and tries not to miss more than one or two Sunday services. Mineo comes under fire a lot and I believe people have short memories and fail to remember how accountable he is to his church, friends, and fellow artists. The same can be said of a lot of artists because many have to go through quite a few steps before the product reaches the public. If fans have any problems with music, don’t forget about the A&R, label personnel, and the other ears that hear the record before it ever reaches the public. I assume that if the music is dropped then the label and others involved in the production of said music had no issue with the product. Some artists you can tell they didn’t think it through but our more notable artists have a track record and I believe we should trust them.
I understand the concern and passion in which fans exhibit about music and favorite artists but it is like roaring in the wind. There is no impact from trying to tell artists what and how to do their craft if they don’t personally know you. You can be a Brother or Sister in Christ but that doesn’t give you any special rights or rank with total strangers. Just ask God to use the people closest to them to make a change if it is indeed necessary. A veteran in CHH, DJ Official, had this much to say via twitter:
Well said DJ Official. Well said indeed, let’s all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19).