Hello, and welcome to the thirteenth installment of The DIVE Series*! Like last month, I did not post on the fifth of this month since FiveTwenty does not post on Sundays. In the previous installment, I spoke about Runnin’ with God by YB.
For today’s show, I have chosen a classic CHH (Christian Hip Hop) song from 2017. I recommend listening to the track near the bottom of this page before or after reading this article. Without further ado, let’s DIVE right into the music!
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8
About the Track
Derek Minor’s song, Take Off, is the second track on his fourth album, Your Soul Must Fly, released on September 1st, 2017, featuring Ty Brasel, Canon, and KB. This song gives me a sense of personal nostalgia, and it also gives me a unique feeling of unparalleled energy I had not felt performed in the same way before. This track has that “Minor” feel that has been a theme in Derek Minor’s songs before, and the artists featured do a particularly great job at matching this feel of the track.
Interpretation of the Track (Part 1)
Derek Minor starts off the track with Pre-Chorus:
“Take off, take off, take off, take off, take off.
Take off, take off, take off, take off, take off.
Runway, take off, take off, take off, take off.
Take off, take off, take off, take off, take off.“
This introduces us to the general theme of the song.
Ty Brasel comes in with the Chorus of the track:
“Clear the runway. Take flight, MJ.
Clear the runway. Take flight, MJ.
Clear the runway. Take flight, MJ.
Clear the runway. Take flight, MJ.“
Ty mentions clearing the runway and taking flight like Michael Jordan, a retired NBA player nicknamed “Air Jordan,” famous for being an ariel force to be reckoned with when dunking the ball. These phrases emphasize the hype of the track and make it clear they are bold in their life walk. Why? I suppose we’ll find out.
Ty Brasel then comes in with the first verse of the track:
“All things work for my good, I know. Big dreams, top flow. Eat good, combo. Just give me some time. All my life I[‘ve] been waitin’ for my chance. Have patience, Young Ty, man. They want my soul and the glean (yuh). They want me switch up the team. Lucy just want my allegiance. Run in cahoots with the evils. My God, I pray. Your blessings, my way (my way). Light beams, Kanye. You lead, Sensei.”
Ty starts his verse by referencing Romans 8:28. He knows everything works together for his good because he knows he is called according to God’s purpose. Ty remembers that it is essential to have patience and adhere to God’s timing to pursue his dreams in life. Given Ty’s verse, we can deduce that it is important to him also to pursue his dreams to glorify God.
Ty continues the verse by mentioning how the evils of this world (demons, including Satan) want Ty’s soul and ultimately want him to stop worshiping Jesus and turn away from God. Mr. Brasel implies that spiritual warfare is essential to his walk and relationship with Jesus. (See Ephesians 6 talking about the armor of God, which is crucial to protect yourself in spiritual warfare).
He finishes the verse by referencing his prayers to God, asking for direction and accepting His will for Ty’s life (all while referencing Kanye’s track “Ultralight Beams,” which talks about how Saul became Paul after being blinded for three days by a light beam from Heaven in Acts 9).
Interpretation of the Track (Part 2)
The second verse, which Canon performed, is as follows:
“Take off, get ready to go. Young Moses with the glow. I’m livin’ color, check my skin tone. Dressed in all white like the pope. Young Joseph with the coat. Dream big ’til they hate you. We don’t do it to get famous. Knock it off nah, bruh. I’m just tryna be faithful.”
Firstly, Canon compares himself to Moses, the man who was given the ten commandments and was described as having a glow on his face due to being with the Lord in Exodus 34. He then compares himself to Joseph, the son of Jacob, whose father made him a colorful coat to show that he loved him in Genesis 37. He then wraps up his first verse of the track by saying he and his friends and family do not work to become famous but rather to be faithful to God and those he loves.
Derek Minor comes in with the Pre-Chorus again, as Ty Brasel comes in with the Chorus for the second time.
Canon comes in with his second verse (third verse of the track) by saying:
“I ‘skirt’, whip in the coupe. Don’t try to walk in my shoes. I’m Superman with them tight jeans. I teach life in the booth. She say she want the guala, guala. Check, this ring on my finger, no holla. I had to leave them genies in them bottles. Found a model now I’m full throttle. Woah!“
Here, Canon continues to speak on being faithful. Except now, he promotes and talks about being faithful to his wife rather than doing the opposite.
Interpretation of the Track (Part 3)
KB comes in with the fourth verse of the track:
“One way, downtown. Oh me, oh my. Sauce, sauce, Alfredo. Buckets, kango. Take off, they know. I land, Caicos. Start up, then invest. Three stacks we, break outcast. Peak of the vibe (yuh). Daily I die, Cinco de Mayo. I come on down from the side. Intellectual that’s quick to get with your hype. Don’t go to hypin’ that boy, yeah. We will not lie to that boy, yeah. We do not wait for support, no. No vultures allowed in my courts.”
KB starts with some references, such as referencing Kangol bucket hats. He continues saying, “three stacks we, break outcast.” He also refers to Acts 2, where Peter led 3,000 people to salvation through Christ. These people were considered “outcasts,” and Peter “broke” their chains.
Derek Minor begins to wrap up the track with the song’s fifth verse:
“Minor in the pocket. Won’t you come take off wit me. This United, if you blocking. We might move you out yo seat. You must be sippin’ on sake. Boy, I ain’t worried ’bout nobody. I know, I know that God got me. Float on this beat like a ‘Rari. Wow, mane I see the devil on prowl. Yeah, he want to hold me down. He don’t want me way up in the clouds. He don’t want me way up in the clouds. I could never ever come down. A lot people online, tryin’ to flex for a check. Always talking ’bout birds but it’s never verified. None of my business, I just worry ’bout mine. The wave a tsunami, everybody run and hide, take off.”
Before this track was dropped, Delta Air Lines had an incident where a passenger was forcibly taken off an overbooked flight, and Delta was criticized for its poor customer service. Derek references this incident by saying he and his crew won’t let people get in his way.
He continues to talk about how he’s not worried about anyone working against him because he’s in God’s hands. He mentions Satan being on the prowl wanting to keep Derek down and keep him struggling with sin. Here, he is referencing 1 Peter 5:8, which happens to be the verse of the day. These schemes by Satan mentioned in this verse promote the opposite of “taking off.”
This track has over 1,300,000 Spotify streams, making it the second most popular track on his album Your Soul Must Fly.
These artists care deeply about their relationships with Jesus and collectively reference key Biblical concepts in this track.
The primary theme of this song that the artists Derek Minor, Ty Brasel, Canon, and KB are attempting to convey is “taking off.” Part of “taking off” as a Christian is being sober-minded and watchful of Satan’s desire to hold us down (See 1 Peter 5:8). Another big part of “taking off” is faithfully adhering to God’s will in the process of working heartily unto the Lord.
Ty Brasel references Romans 8:28, which states, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
So not only is this track about being sober-minded and watchful of the devil’s schemes to prevent us from “taking off,” but it is also about working heartily unto the Lord and promoting the act of adhering to God’s will for our lives since all things work together for those who are according to His purpose. If you follow Jesus, you have nothing to fear regarding how your life will turn out if you keep a strong relationship with Jesus and faithfully adhere to God’s will.
About The DIVE Series*
In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.
In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved for the whole meaning of their art.
Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).
**Listen to the full Take Off track at the end of the article!**
Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!