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Kendrick Lamar: "It's My Calling To Share The Joy Of God, But More So The Fear Of God"

For Kendrick, life is all about balance, which is why he chooses to share the darker side of Christianity that people conveniently sweep under the rug.

Religion can be a conflicting thing for those who believe. The logic of living on Earth with things of the flesh often combats the duty to keep the heart with someone high above. This battle between faith and flesh is at the core of Kendrick Lamar's new album DAMN., a conversation piece if there ever was one.

In the flurry of DAMN.-related thinkpieces, DJ Booth published a piece drawing comparisons between how God is approached by Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. "It’s no secret that Chance attributes his success to God. He 'gets his word from the sermon,' claims God’s protective beings surround him and expresses a desire to praise the divine until his dying breath," the piece read. "Kendrick, flipping the coin, doesn’t shy away from asking God the tough questions and plays the role of hip hop’s resident existentialist."

Not only did the piece catch his eye, after reading it, he felt compelled to write back to the publication with a deeper analysis of their points of reference. He started off by talking about how his experiences as a youth in the pews translated to how he viewed God's mercies:

I went to a local church some time ago, and it appalled me that the same program was in practice. A program that I seen as a kid the few times I was in service. Praise, dance. Worship. (Which is beautiful.) Pastor spewing the idea of someone's season is approaching. The idea of hope. So on and so forth.

As a child, I always felt this Sermon had an emptiness about it. Kinda one sided, in what I felt in my heart. Fast forward. After being heavily in my studies these past few years, I've finally figured out why I left those services feeling spiritually unsatisfied as a child. I discovered more truth. But simple truth. Our God is a loving God. Yes. He's a merciful God. Yes. But he's even more so a God of DISCIPLE. OBEDIENCE. A JEALOUS God. And for every conscious choice of sin, will be corrected through his discipline. Whether physical or mental. Direct or indirect. Through your sufferings, or someone that's close to [sic] ken. It will be corrected.

For Kendrick, life is all about balance, which is why he chooses to share the darker side of Christianity that people conveniently sweep under the rug:

I feel it's my calling to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD. The balance. Knowing the power in what he can build, and also what he can destroy. At any giving moment.

I love when artists sing about what makes Him happy. My balance is to tell you what will make Him extinguish you. Personally, once that idea of real fear registered in my mind, it made me try harder at choosing my battles wisely. Which will forever be tough, because I'm still of flesh. I wanna spread this truth to my listeners. It's a journey, but it will be my key to the Kingdom.

Poignant points, Kenny. Read his full train of thought on DJBooth.

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Stevie Wonder Leaves Motown Records, Drops 2 New Songs

2020 has been a year of change for a lot of people, including Stevie Wonder. The music legend announced that his time with Motown Records has come to an end after spending his entire career on the record label.

Wonder, 70, held a virtual press conference on Tuesday (Oct. 13) where he revealed that he left the label and is releasing music under his own imprint, What the Fuss Records, named after his 2005 single, “So What the Fuss.” Wonder’s record label inked a distribution deal with Republic Records, meaning he will stay in the Universal Music Group family, per The Hollywood Reporter.

In addition to the label reveal, Wonder debuted two new songs: “Can’t Put it in the Hands of Fate,” featuring Rapsody, Cordae, Chika and Busta Rhymes, and the Gary Clark Jr.-assisted track, “Where Is Our Love Song.” Proceeds from the latter song will go to the non-profit Feeding America.

“Can't Put It In The Hands of Fate” – Out Now.https://t.co/TSbAuGiXc9 pic.twitter.com/hDlnfh7aS7

— Stevie Wonder (@StevieWonder) October 13, 2020

“Where Is Our Love Song” – Out Now.https://t.co/6rO9gVRhJq pic.twitter.com/0BTkFVIojr

— Stevie Wonder (@StevieWonder) October 13, 2020

Wonder was just 11 years old when music veteran, Berry Gordy, signed him to Motown in 1961. Over the last 60 years, Wonder has released more than 40 albums, which includes his 23 solo studio albums, several live albums, collaborative projects, and soundtrack albums. The Michigan native and 25-time Grammy winner has sold over 100 million records (making him one of the best-selling recording artists in history).

Last year, Wonder stepped back from the stage to undergo kidney transplant surgery. “I was blessed with a new kidney and that happened on Dec. 6, 2019,” he said during the press conference. “Since I have been released from the hospital, I've had nurses that have made sure I have my medicine on time and I'm going to take it for as long as I have to — even if it's for the rest of my life.”

“I feel great. My voice feels great,”continued Wonder. “I told my daughter, Aisha, I'm going to be like five years younger than you now.' I said, 'I'm gonna go from being 70 to like 40.’ I feel like I'm about 40 right now and I just thank everyone for their prayers and love. I'm feeling great.”

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Billboard Music Awards 2020: Watch Performances From Brandy, Ty Dolla $ign, Doja Cat And More

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards went off without a hitch. Hosted by Kelly Clarkson, Wednesday's (Oct. 14) show opened with the multi-platinum selling singer performing “Higher Love” alongside Sheila E. on the drums.

The big night included performances from Brandy and Ty Dolla $ign, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Doja Cat, Sia, En Vogue, Demi Lovato, Bad Bunny, and more. Khaled, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Billy Eilish, Post Malone ( who took home nine awards), and BTS were among the night’s big winners, along with Killer Mike, who received the first ever Billboard Change Maker Award.

Lizzo gave a powerful speech after accepting her award for Top Song Sales Artist. “I just want to say I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refuse to be suppressed and I wonder would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to have their voice suppressed,” she said.

“If you’re at home right now and you’re thinking about changing yourself, this is your sign to remain who you are. When people try to suppress something, it’s because they’re afraid of your power. So whether it’s through music, protests, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed.”

The socially-distanced award show, which was broadcast from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, featured a virtual audience.

Watch some of the performances below.

Brandy and Ty Dolla $ign Perform a Medley Including "Borderline" Doja Cat Performs "Juicy," "Say So" and "Like That" Alicia Keys Performs "Love Looks Better" John Legend Performs "Never Break"  EnVogue Performs "Free Your Mind"

 

 

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Bryson Tiller Announces Deluxe Edition Of ‘Trapsoul’ Debut

Update: 12:42 AM EST (Sept. 26, 2020) — Stream the deluxe installment of Trapsoul below.

Original story below...

Ahead of the release of his highly anticipated new album, Bryson Tiller is giving fans another chance to fall deeper in love with Trapsoul. The Grammy-nominated singer announced that he will be releasing a deluxe version of his debut album to streaming service this Friday (Sept. 25).

The deluxe edition will feature fan favorites “Just Another Interlude” and “Self Righteous,” Tiller tweeted on Tuesday (Sept. 22). “Before we get into my new album, I wanna celebrate with this special edition of my debut album, 'Trapsoul.' Featuring a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut.”

before we get into my new album, I wanna celebrate with this special edition of my debut album, Trapsoul. Featuring a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut. Y’all asked for these on All Platforms and they’ll finally be yours this Friday. thank you! pic.twitter.com/8MJ5rC5jYB

— tiller (@brysontiller) September 23, 2020

Released in 2015, Tiller’s debut album put him on the map, and earned a Billboard Music Awards nomination for Top R&B Album. The triple platinum release, lead single “Don’t” cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard singles charts becoming his highest charting solo effort to date.

Earlier in the month, Tiller released the music video for his song “Inhale” which samples Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon' Cry.” The end of the video reveals that Tiller’s new album will drop sometime this fall.

Watch “Inhale” below.

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