My neighbour has got a new buzz word, STU, shake things up. I was immediately sold on the idea when he told me THINGS are being constantly SU (Shaken Up) whether we like it or not. And whether by us or through us, or through others. Things are being shaken up. We are not in charge anyway. Have you driven around Lagos in the last couple of days? You may be in charge of your car and the seat on which you sit but that is almost as far as you can go. You may be in charge of what time you get into your car but are you in charge of when you arrive the office or when you get home? STU’s in the air. Of course, this STU business is not limited to the traffic situation in Lagos. It’s right there in the Hong Kong riots. Catalonia protests and others. How many have noticed? Who knows where specifically the protests are headed?
Works and Housing Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN just recently warned those clamouring for restructuring in Nigeria to be clear and specific about what they want and properly educate the younger adults so that Nigeria is not soon called upon to deliver a ‘Brexit Baby’ the way the British and EU are teaching the rest of the world not to have a baby of the sort? He’s right, for STU will soon take over matters from our hands if we fail to heed his advice. What’s STU again? That intangible element put in the air to reminder all of us about our place. But I digress.
STU came into my consciousness again this week as I drove on Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos and I saw the usual lamppost advertorial announcing guest artists at the Experience 14, the biggest gospel music concert in Africa, organized by Pastor Paul Adefarasin-led House on the Rock Church. Then thought of the current Kanye West slid into my mind. And immediately after came the idea of a Kanye cameo at the Lagos event.
Kanye West’ ninth studio album titled Jesus is King is audacious! More specifically because of the title than anything else about the music tucked in its belly. Expectedly. Reactions to the work have come aplenty. A development that is becoming almost synonymous with reactions whenever he makes a new offering in the evolution of his craft and story
A Kanye’s Cameo at the Experience 14, will certainly STU but the five following reasons provide some kind of justification for a Kanye Cameo.
Jesus our peace and Jesus is King!
The theme for the Experience 2018 was Jesus our Peace. The title of Kanye’s latest album is Jesus is King. If The Experience Concert is perceived as a living and growing organism with themes hovering around Jesus since the time of the first edition, then the affinity of these two can easily be established.
Musical ministry the common denominator
All the artists at The Experience are said to be engaged in ‘musical ministry.’ Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian, in describing his invitation-only Sunday services, recently described him as being involved in ‘musical ministry.’
Black Excellence in bloom
The Experience is one of the best organized musical events in Africa. Excellence drips around the entire package. It is a standout showpiece and significant tool of reference when it comes to first class events. Kanye’s story of promoting black excellence over the years has an easy tie-in here.
Better deal for every player
Over the years, The Experience stage has arguably, become the biggest stage for gospel musical artists in Nigeria. Many have seen their careers bloom and taken flight from there. Pastor Paul Adefarasin, a strong advocate of better deals for gospel music artists, has shown the way in this regard. Similarly, Kanye has been known as a strong advocate of better life for black people.
What is Kanye’s motive for producing the Jesus is King album? The arguments have been fierce. Many people suspect his motives. They are quick to judge and condemn him for commercialising the gospel and using the name of Jesus to make more money. These persons do not know that Kanye makes more money from other sources apart from his music. Those who plead for him to be given the benefit of the doubt point to the fact that his lyrics are profanity-free unlike what they used to be. Among them I heard some say Apostle Paul might have supported Kanye. For in his letter to the church at Philippi he remarked that many people preached Jesus for many reasons, some for good reasons, others for bad reasons. He was not disturbed by the fact that some preached Jesus for bad reasons. As far as he was concerned, they could not commoditize Jesus, even if they thought they were doing just that. He was happy that Jesus was being preached regardless of the motive of the preachers.
Would there be a Kanye cameo in Lagos this December? Will participants walk out of the venue just like some church goers walked out of a service when Kanye climbed the pulpit recently? And will any of those who might want to walk out show him the best way to embrace discipleship before they walk out?