What Would Jesus Rap?

WWJR: We've never had any beef with church or church-goers—it's just that Sunday mornings are mostly good for sleeping, and those pews are even less accommodating than the kitchen floor, which is usually where we find ourselves, frequently facedown, on a Sunday morning. But if controversial gospel rapper Tonex continues to bring sexy—and profanity—back to the Jesus set, well, that might be something we'd consider putting on our best khakis for.

Tonex (toe-NAY), who's performing at a Fort Worth church this Saturday evening, brags in a song titled "The Naked Truth" that he "got [his] cock back" and has "peeled off layers of bullshit." One can only hope that those layers weren't coming off his...never mind. Anyway, he complete one-ups that wuss David and his lame-ass Psalms, and gives horny Solomon and his songs some stiff (rim shot) competition. If only such finely crafted verse could be found in the Word, right? Right. But anti-hip-hop preacher G. Craige Lewis of Arlington isn't so thrilled.

When Bishop Richard E. Young, the senior pastor at The Chosen Vessel church in Fort Worth, went on a local radio station to talk about Tonex, Lewis heard the interview and went straight to his blog to let off some steam.

"May swift judgment come to the pastor of The Chosen Vessel in Fort Worth," Lewis wrote, "that no youth would be lost but he will receive the just punishment for this selfish and spiritually senseless deed he has done." Lewis' Ex-Ministries centers on spreading the anti-hip-hop word as well as the good word via DVDs and speaking engagements across the country. Lewis was none too happy to find Tonex in his own backyard.

"I hope people in the church are never ready to accept this kind of behavior," Lewis told Buzz. YouTube video diaries from Tonex himself feature colorful language, "bullshit" being a favorite term, along with the n-word and the occasional "ass." But other videos of more dubious origin that don't feature Tonex live, just music set over pictures, even make it sound like Tonex is dropping some very un-gospel f-bombs. On his MySpace blog, Tonex, who couldn't be reached for this story, has accused Lewis of altering his songs to make them contain such profanity, something Lewis denies.

But Bishop Young says he doesn't care about the controversy or believe the online hype. Tonex is a saved soul, welcome in his church. "He tells me that he's a godly man." Buzz guesses only Jesus knows if that's just BS.

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Andrea Grimes
Contact: Andrea Grimes

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