Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Lost One: Gospel Artist Shei Atkins Now Doing R&B

Gospel artist Shei Atkins recently revealed she is leaving Gospel because the church is too judgmental. I wasn’t familiar with this artist so I looked up her music. To date, she has released three Gospel albums and received favorable nods for some of her songs like “He Can Fix It” and “Lord I Love You” but she also caught some flack for others. One song in particular is entitled “Temptation” from her album entitled, Girl Talk. It’s about a woman who is about to give into sexual temptation but she stops before the act takes place. I found the song to be extremely realistic and a great message for those who are trying to find inspiration and support to not “do the do.” What Christian woman hasn’t been in this situation? I know I have. Perhaps, the song is unorthodox for a traditional Gospel album but in a world where women are constantly bombarded with messages about “how he can get it,”  “all I need is a one night stand” and “pu---y don’t fail me now, I gotta turn this brother out” (yeah, I know this is a throwback but I remember getting into a debate with my boss about its message years ago.) there needs to be an alternative for those who don't get down like that. If I had a daughter I would be pleased to find "Temptation" on her Ipod.  I’m thinking of sending it to my teenage niece.

Although, I am saddened that Shei has felt the spurn of Christians for her music, I think switching to R&B may be a blessing in disguise. Switching to R&B would give her a greater audience for her message. However, I pray the message doesn’t change. I hope she doesn’t go from singing about fighting temptation to about how good it feels to give in to temptation.  I recognize both are parts of life and art imitates life but we need more young people in the R&B industry who aren’t encouraging sex, drugs, doing anything for money, materialism, violence and vulgarity. If I hear one more song about young women dropping it like it’s hot or booty popping I think I’m going to scream. I declare it’s overkill! Change the topic please!

If you haven’t heard “Temptation,” listen to it now.  I also posted a link to an article talking about how Shei is switching musical genres. I will admit there are some songs of Shei’s that even I wasn’t crazy about such as “Ghetto Princess.” I refuse to apply the term ghetto to myself simply because I was raised in the hood but I realize there are people who do use that term, so that song is for them. They may need to hear that the word ghetto can be paired with a word that means royalty to offer encouragement for their situation.  The song possesses a positive message regardless of how I feel about the title. Sometimes, we as Christians need to realize that everyone doesn’t have the same experiences, mentality or even maturity in Christ and certain songs/messages may appeal or speak more to some than others. Just because it doesn’t speak to you doesn’t make it unGodly. Some church folk need to sit down somewhere!

Her new R&B album is entitled Emotional. Shei please keep God first in your life and I wish you the best. I am praying for you. I'll be listening and God bless.

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