Listening to: Into Jesus [dc Talk]
So I decided to start a blog; years after blog fever swept everyone I knew, it finally decided to come for me. LOL leave it to me to operate at a completely different timing from everyone else. I knew for sure what I wanted it to be about though…music (duh~).
For however long I manage to keep this up, I thought I’d document what song I was listening to at the moment I share these musings, along with what that song means to me at said moment; HENCE *trumpet fanfare* “MomentMusic.“ After deciding to do this, opening a (free) WordPress account and throwing together a basic, but delightfully elegant theme, the thought process started – which song? Which song to start off this interwebz journey of music analysis and netizens reading my thoughts (or ignoring them)?
Timewarp with me for a bit (not the Rocky Horror Picture Show kind) to Summer ’99. I was an 8 year old Jamaican Christian girl who not only loved the Urban Gospel/Traditional Gospel music I grew up hearing on local radio, but also Contemporary Christian Music (CCM…”white people music” as some people around me call it) that I’d hear on the radio, whenever my mom and I visited my dad in the Cayman Islands. DC Talk, who I was already d-d-down with, had a new song (or at least new to 8 yr old me) sailing on the Christian radio waves with a message SO BOLD, little me had to sit up and take notes about what completely unashamed sounded like, each and every time it was played. I don’t think I fully appreciated the verses until I got older, but the chorus…MY LAWD, that chorus was so simple a toddler could understand and so in your face that it actually made some people uncomfortable. “Hey you. I’m into Jesus.” TobyMac whisper-sings this line 3 times before going on to whisper-sing, “Hey you, I’ve seen the truth and I believe” and that’s our chorus. Of course there is vocal embellishment courtesy of Michael Tait and Kevin Max (~*~*~KEVIN MAX~*~*~) throughout, all set to perfectly arranged 90s pop rock splendor, making this whole song even more awesome and TRUST ME, even as a kid I sat down and soaked up every bit of the arrangement- I knew every ad lib Michael and Kevin did, I vocalized the intro acoustic guitar line…yup. I loved the music as much as I was affected by the boldness of the chorus lyrics.
Despite all the Gospel/Christian songs I had heard in my lifetime, this was the first time I heard a song declare bold faith in such simple language and that meant a lot to 8 yr old me. At that early an age I already knew that if I was serious about this Christianity I had accepted freely, I needed to be able to turn to anyone at any time and tell them that very thing. I know dc Talk’s Jesus Freak made waves years earlier for that same kind of boldness, but I was FIVE when that came out and 1) musically, it was a bit heavy for me…5 yr old me preferred the more melodic Between You and Me, Colored People and the upbeat In the Light from that album and 2) lyrically, I didn’t process all the imagery and I didn’t know about the cultural references yet. This track, was right up my 8 yr old alley and I got it. It had such an impact on me that I can clearly remember specific times and places I had heard the song that summer.
Fast-forward about 16 years later. Dc Talk is no longer active as a group (I cry about this from time to time because as you will come to find out, they are my favorite group of all time ever in the entire universe T^T), but here is Into Jesus off the Supernatural album, still ministering to me and blessing my heart and eardrums simultaneously (I love when music does that). To 26 yr old me, the verses mean just as much to me as the chorus does, probably now more than ever as I can cognitively and spiritually relate to it.
“I know You’re there, I feel Your love through my despair. You speak the words that ease away the pain. My heart is free, my eyes are clear, my soul is healed, now that You have got a hold on me.”
The second verse as sung by Kevin Max (~*~*~*KEVIN MAX*~*~*~) is as potent and beautiful as the voice that sings it; it is as true to my life, as the Jesus it is about.
So ends my lengthy first post. Here’s to hoping you lovely netizens, stick with me and my almost obsessive (but insightful…admit it!) flailings about whatever song I happen to be listening to at the moment.
TL;DR – I’m listening to dc Talk’s Into Jesus. It’s a great song; listen to it. I strive to be as bold about my faith as the song is (Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…”). Dc Talk is awesome and needs to reunite to stop the tears of me and people like me. Kevin Max’s beautiful voice and awesome vibrato are beautiful and awesome.