http://www.jesusfreakhideout.comOne of the strongest impressions I have of Souljahz happened when I was driving down the road with my children in the car, singing along to a called Reflection. The roads were newly plowed yet still slick with ice. As I crossed an intersection, a truck sped down the road, hurling towards my car, towards the very back door where my child sat in a car seat. The driver slammed on the brakes but continued to slide. I watched in slow horror as the car continued to careen towards me, as if in a trance I sang along  “..Want you to see your refelction in my face..”  Suddenly, as if held back by an invisible hand, the car skidded sideways, though not stopping, and barely missed hitting the side of my car. I said a prayer of thanks, even more I wondered the power of God’s spken word brought into my life through song.

Souljahz is one of my favorite CDs, the best of the music of three siblings Rachael, Joshua and Je’Kob Washington who came together, for a time, to produce a moving testimony of song, dance, and poetry. I found my copy of The Fault is History by Souljahz in a discount CD store. At the time, all I knew of Souljahz is a song called The Color Hate, which is a song about stopping racial hatred and having love for each other. I came across The Color Hate, by chance, during a web search. I was always interested in hearing the actual sound of Souljahz, and was thrilled to find the CD in a discount music store. I was instantly entraced by the unique blend of R&B, rap, Latino music and beat poetry infused in Christian messages. The name of their group, Souljahz, means “soldier for God”.

I I highly recommend the Fault is History. Souljahz offers a compelling message combined with energetic dance beats. I also thought Souljahz offers a positive alternative by combining urban music with Christian testimonials. Many of the songs address issues faced today such as pressures to have sex, homelessness and child abuse and confront these tough issues with lyrics of hope, inner strength and answered prayers. Souljahz is just as surprising in its unique sound that will sure to have you dancing and singing along.

The song Beneath the Surface is about child abuse, and I thought I would include some of the lyrics here since my page deals with child abuse. In an interview with Christianity Today, Je’Kob says the song is inspired by a friend who survived child abuse, “So to any kids going through that, this song serves as a message to them that there is a Father out there who loves them and will show them a real Father’s love.” For anyone having survived the horrors of child abuse, or have raised a child who was traumatized by abuse, my prayers are with you. Know that despite anything you have faced, you are loved. You did not deserve what happened to you, and it is not your fault. A compelling verse of Beneath the Surface cries out:

Why do you hit me?
You know I ain’t your punchin’ bag
Since when do thorns try to hurt the roses?
And why are you always mad?
I’m so innocent, and you’re so ignorant
Raise your fist hit or miss
Try to take my happiness
Well that ain’t happenin’ to me no more…”

Beneath the Surface offers comfort and inspiration to survivors of abuse but it also encourages families with problems to get help, and for those who witness abuse to speak on behalf of the victim.  

On personal note, I want to add that God will stand by your side, this is affirmed in Scripture, Deuteronomy 7:6, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” What I like most about Souljahz is the affirmation of Scripture, whose promises of love and redemption are, the true essence of music as a form of celebration and praise.

Joshua later left Souljahz in 2006. The group renamed their band The Washington Project and released a new album Commanders of The Resistance in November 2007.

 

“You need to stop beating us and start beating
your problems
So today is when we stop the hurt
Get up its 10 o’ clock yo we’re goin’ to church..”

from Beneath the Surface by Souljahz

Review by EJ ⓒ 2008

Online:

The Washington Projects

http://www.washingtonprojects.com/twpentrance.html

Christianity Today, Souljahz

http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/artists/souljahz.html

The Fault is History review by Kevin Chamberlin with audio samples at:

http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/TheFaultIsHistory.asp

 

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