Before I start this post, I need to give you a 3 part backstory. I’ll keep it short, sweet, and to the point, but just know that it is relevant.
BACKSTORY [Part 1/3] – As I was preparing for work this morning, I heard a song on the GOSPEL MUSIC* channel that I know as “Big Poppa” by the Notorious B.I.G. I don’t remember the artist that was singing it, but the lyrics were changed.
BACKSTORY [Part 2/3] – I attended a Men’s Conference some years back at my old church and during a Q&A session, the question was asked, “Is it right to sample other peoples music to turn into a gospel song?” One of the panelists gave an answer that resonates in my mind til this day. He said (paraphrasing):
“God is a God of creativity. You don’t need to borrow anybody’s music. Just pray for creativity and He will give you music you never imagined.”
BACKSTORY [Part 3/3] – Back in February 2013, I wrote a blog about how my mother recognized a Lauryn Hill song (“Killing Me Softly”) as Roberta Flack. Both of which were true. To read THAT post, go to:
Those three back stories may seem unrelated, but it brings me to my point. For as much as a musician may lean towards (fill in the blank) for musical inspiration, I would like to suggest that you lean to God for musical inspiration and I have three pretty good reasons why:
1. IT’S STILL NOT YOURS. If you sample someone elses music and add to it, then that is the limit of what you are doing. For as great as technology is and for as much as you can do with older musical material, a song still belongs to the original artist and you can’t change the history on that. Think about how many times Stevie Wonder or Parliament Funk has been sampled. Now think about whether you can identify the original artist quicker than you can identify the artist who sampled it (a challenge more suited to my veteran music heads out there).
2. YOU GOTTA PAY TO PLAY. Pay what? Royalties. So not only is it still not your music, but you must (by law) pay royalties to use a sample of music that doesn’t belong to you. And if you don’t… that leads to the concept of PAY NOW OR PAY LATER. Simply put, pay royalites now, or pay court fees later.
3. A CREATIVE GOD. Two passages of scriptures just for you.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. -Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV)
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” -Genesis 1:27
Basically, God created something out of nothing (Genesis 1:1-2). THEN a few verses down He created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27) meaning that we have that same Godly creativity within us.
Enough said. Tap into the creativity of God and see/hear what happens.
*GOSPEL MUSIC – Here’s a little sidenote that you can have for free. The GOSPEL is an account describing the life, death, and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST. Therefore, GOSPEL MUSIC (or MUSIC that describes the GOSPEL) must line up with that definition in order to be defined as GOSPEL MUSIC. Otherwise, it’s just inspirational or some other subgenre.