FEATURED ARTICLE "J.Locke: The Most Important Artist of the Year."
Photos & Article written by Arrion S. Abernathy
National “HipGosp” Gospel rap artist and activist J. Locke has a gift beyond many others. Besides his rich and prevailing music, he owns a virile luminosity and a love of God that can be sensed by others around him. While growing up with a strong Christian foundation, J. Locke was surrounded by many musical influences as a youth. He has advanced into a powerhouse of talent, using his genius to spread the Gospel and robust messages to his community.
The recent release of the video of Chicago teen, LaQuan McDonald, being brutally gunned down by a white Chicago police officer in 2014 has sparked outrage in the Chicago community and nationwide. An interview with J. Locke has revealed his insights on this concern and others of its kind.
“I was travelling from Kansas City, MO when our route took us through Ferguson, MO at the time they were dealing with the killing of yet another young black man. You could feel the emotion in the air. It was thick, the frustration, the pain, and the fear. I refuse to live in fear. Injustices, like anyone else, can anger Christians as well. I wanted to create something that would empower us to be present in the process of change and a way that was Godly.”
This lead J. Locke to write Kanye, a controversial, yet powerful record touching on the issues of the injustices facing our community today. A song entitled New Slaves written by artist Kanye West inspired its title, taken from the artist’s name and the subject matter of the song.
“There was a portion of the song where Kanye West stated, ‘They throwing hate at me. Want me to stay at ease. F--- you and your corporation. Y'all n----- can't control me’ I procured that portion of his song to voice what young African Americans were feeling at that time.”
When asked what message he wanted to convey from Kanye he explained, “I want people to be empowered to clean up their life. The ultimate ‘protest’ is not marching up and down the streets holding signs. It is staying out of their prisons, staying out of their courts, staying off of their radio stations that promote death to our community, and not visiting their websites that push black on black crimes such as World Star Hip Hop, and other websites of its kind.” J. Locke said.
J. Locke feels the approach reestablishing the structure of our communities and deeply examining the apprehensions killing them is what is necessary and more effective than idle chatter and “walking up and down streets.” J. Locke said.
“You look in our communities and all you see are ‘outsiders’ getting rich with our money. Our current community consists of cheap clothing stores and corner convenience and liquor stores that treat us like criminals while we are patronizing and supporting them. They act as if we are not valued customers. We must demand our respect and protect our communities and our children.”