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.”


Conclusion

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).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**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!


The DIVE Series, YB "Running With God"

Welcome to the twelfth installment of FiveTwenty Collective’s very own DIVE Series*!

Last month, I dropped two consecutive DIVE Series installments of Red Tip’s single Nino Brown and Caleb Gordon’s single Fruits of My Labor. This month, I did not drop an installment of DIVE on the fifth because we do not post on Sundays.

I recently came across Runnin’ With God by YB, an older song I felt inspired to discuss in this installment. Let’s DIVE into the track!

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” ‭‭- James 4:8


About the Single

YB‘s track, Runnin’ with God, was released on his sixth EP, Provision II, as a follow-up to his fifth EP, Provision, on May 7th, 2021. This is a chill yet somewhat hype track by YB with an acoustic guitar melody and thumping 808s. YB speaks on what matters most to him and his firm Christian spiritual beliefs on this record.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 1)

YB effectively writes this track with one chorus and one verse.

The chorus begins the track with:

I been through the rain and I weathered the storm. I’m not looking to stop. My God sent the angels, I’m good when I move. Like I move with the mob. Tears in the valley, this life is a jungle. I pray to the top. Life is a marathon, I’m running to him. I’m shaking off weights. And I’m done with the fear cause I’m running with God (yeah). I’m running with God (yeah). I been through the rain and I weathered the storm. I’m not looking to stop. My God sent the angels, I’m good when I move. Like I move with the mob. I’m running with God.

In the Chorus, YB begins by covering how he’s been through his life tribulations and shows he’s not fearful and afraid of more hardships due to his faith in Christ. YB emphasizes God and his angels are watching over him in the chorus.

God provides for those called according to His purpose and whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That is, those who have accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts.

YB mentions praying during his lows, indicating he’s been through tough times and that he prays without ceasing and consistently seeks God. He also says he does not need to fear because of his faith in Christ and the knowledge that God will always provide for him.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 2)

I decided to consolidate the verse of the track into one quote. The verse of the song is as follows:

I been in a house with no lights. Momma would pray through the night. My brothеr was dodging a case. I witnessed thе fight of his life as he struggled for sight. And honestly I could see God through my mom as she work and she took care of eight. We didn’t get too many services, but we were blessed with a woman of faith. We ain’t have much, we had us. To me, God could never be normal. As long I live, as long I rap, I pray that I never put on an performance. It’s more than a show, more than a lyric. My question is man, I need Him period. James 4:8, I’m going near Him. I stand behind truth when I stare in the mirror. I know they don’t like this. Game in a tight grip. 2013 since I left passion it’s been a light switch. More like a life switch. The journey a battle, this moment of clarity. Grace in His love, I’m dying a soldier. The armor of God are the tools that I fight with (Yuh).”

Here, YB talks about living in a home without lights as his mom prayed through the night.

YB could see God working through his mom as she cared for him (and his seven siblings). He mentions that his family did not have much, but God blessed them with a mom who believed in C. He continues to rap about how he and his family may not have had much while growing up, but they had each other (and, of course, God). YB makes it clear in the verse of this track that his music is more than just some brilliant performance or “cool” lyrics. It’s about seeking Christ in his life and letting his light shine before others to glorify God in Heaven.

YB references James 4:8, which I will reference and speak on in the Conclusion of this installment.

YB conveys that he was saved and accepted Jesus into his heart in 2013 when he “left [the] passion” of this world and had a “life switch.” The journey may be challenging, but there is grace in Jesus’ love. YB fights with the Armor of God (See Ephesians 6:10-18) and is not afraid to die a soldier for Christ.

The chorus that started off the track wraps up the song.


Conclusion

This record has over 1,300,000 Spotify streams, making it his third most popular track on Spotify in terms of the number of total listens as of the writing of this installment.

Based on the meat of this track, which I have discussed here is what YB is trying to convey:

YB is passionate about his relationship with Christ. YB is not fearful and knows God will provide for his needs. In a broken world, YB makes it clear he is passionate about His faith in Christ and will seek God no matter what.

As mentioned in the previous installment of this series, Jesus is the Spiritual nutrient everyone longs for. This is an important concept that ties in nicely with the meaning of this record.

YB brilliantly references James 4:8, which states, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Drawing near to God is the primary message of this record that drives home the Biblical principle of seeking God and genuinely following Jesus, including repentance of sins, prayer with God, and staying rooted in God’s Word. YB cares deeply about fearlessly standing up boldly for his faith in Christ. This, and the previous Biblical principles conveyed in this record, are essential for all Christians to understand and lovingly live out daily.


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).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full Runnin’ with God single at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!

The DIVE Series, Caleb Gordon "Fruits of My Labor"

Hello and welcome to the eleventh installment of The DIVE Series*. I am your host, DJ Expander. Thank you for tuning in! I really enjoy creating these installments and I hope you enjoy this one.

Earlier this month, I dropped an installment about Red Tip’s single Nino Brown.

I recently found a new single by Caleb Gordon that came out just a day after my previous article (January 6th) called Fruits of My Labor. I enjoyed the song so much that I decided to create an installment about the single. Let’s DIVE in!

“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” ‭‭- John 6:27


About the Single

Caleb Gordon‘s single, Fruits of My Labor, was released on January 6th, 2023. The single is a chill yet relatively hype song. I will do my best to cover this single’s clear and potential meanings.


Interpretation of the Single (Part 1)

As with the majority of Caleb’s songs, he starts off by saying:

“Ayy, 2000, E-S-T. O-C-O-E-E.”

Then, he continues with the rest of his Intro:

“They said, ‘If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense’. They said my time’s wasted, if I ain’t chasing the bag. But pops told me, ‘Never chase nun’, only here to lead lost souls to the kingdom, that’s facts. I only focus on the kingdom and everything else that I need, I know it will attract. If I lose it all now, know He’ll bring it right back. I ain’t worried ’bout the cars, or the clothes, or the plaques. Even if I ball and count big stacks. I will never put that before you know I won’t get attached.

Here, he’s talking about how it is extremely important for him to put God first over everything else (including money). He’s not worried about material things because he knows God will provide for him. This is proven in Philippians 4:19, which states, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Caleb references Matthew 6:33, which states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

He conveys that even if he obtains material riches here on Earth, he will still keep Jesus at the forefront of his thoughts, actions, and words. This is a very good mindset to have as a follower of Jesus. The love of money is the root of all evil. However, having money and material things to provide for yourself and others is alright.

Caleb continues with the following first verse*.

(*Note that the first and third verses are practically identical, so I will not be going over the third verse separately):

Cause that will never last though. You wrapped Your arms around me likе a lasso. You went and painted the picturе, Picasso. Oops, Picasso, You made my heart grow. A lesson I learned from the seed is to start slow. Trust me you gon’ see the tree if you look close. Don’t you know havin’ faith is the substance to things that you don’t see. But trust me you ‘gon see the fruits of your labor.

Here, he emphasizes how material things won’t last into eternity. He implies that Jesus loves him with an everlasting love.

He also speaks about how God made his heart grow, meaning he grew in wisdom and experience as a follower of Jesus. I want to point out that he also emphasizes the same message “you reap what you sow.”


Interpretation of the Single (Part 2)

The Chorus continues the song as follows:

“Trust in the King and my focus on laser. Walkin’ in purpose, I’m blessed and I’m favored. I tried to go fall in love with the paper. ‘Til you showed me love that will never waver. No one can give me the food that you cater. Tried to move fast and regretted it later. ‘Long as I’m focused on You and Your truth. I know I’ll get the fruits of my labor.”

In this extremely important portion of the track, we see Caleb melodically rap about the Biblical principle of trusting and loving God.

He speaks on the fact that he acts with a purpose in Christ that lasts for eternity. He mentions that he previously almost fell in love with money but quickly realized that God’s love for us surpasses all understanding.

My favorite line of the track is, “No one can give me the food that you cater.” I love this line because it emphasizes that the spiritual nutrients God gives when you follow Jesus are exclusive to God. It also implies, as previously mentioned, that God’s love surpasses all understanding.

Verse 2 is different from verses 1 and 3 and is written as follows:

They said, ‘If you ain’t stacking guap, then you basic’. They said my times wasted, if I ain’t chasing the cash. Pops said, ‘The first gon’ be last’. You got everything you need right up in the kingdom, that’s facts. I could teach you how to serve like that, even the King wants your love from the front to the back. It don’t matter what you might lack. From the homeless on streets to the ones who got L’s to the back. Never too great to give back, know it’s quick to forget when you love everything that you had.

Caleb Gordon is likely expressing:

  • How the world says that if you aren’t hustling for money alone, then you’re wasting time and basic (a negative term meaning “shallow”).
  • His dad taught him that the first would be last and vice versa, as stated by Jesus in Matthew 19:30: “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” This means that all followers of Jesus will receive the same reward of eternal life when their lives on Earth are all said and done. Regardless of how long they’ve been believers.
  • You cannot take any material riches from the physical world to Heaven. It is best to focus more on the things of God’s Kingdom.
  • He speaks about how Jesus is accepting of everyone at the cross, no matter what people might lack. The grace of God saves people through their faith in Jesus.
  • When you love the material things in the physical world, it is challenging to show Christ’s love by giving to those in need.

The chorus is performed twice and the song ends.


Conclusion

This record has over 150,000 Spotify streams, making it the third most popular track on Spotify for Caleb Gordon as of this installment’s release. 

Based on what we have discussed regarding the track, Caleb Gordon is primarily trying to emphasize that:

If you trust and love Jesus, and walk in the truth of God’s Word, your needs will be met through Christ according to His purpose. Therefore, you need not worry about this world’s material things but focus on the things of Heaven.

John 6:27 states, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him, God the Father has set his seal.” This is an excellent primary verse for the record.

Some context for this verse is the day before Jesus had fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish. The people who came to Jesus in John 6 came to Him that day, Jesus accused them of coming for more physical food rather than spiritual nutrients. In short, these people set their focus on the things of the flesh (temporary/worldly focuses) rather than the things of the Spirit (eternal focuses).

Jesus is the Spiritual nutrient that everyone longs for!

Jesus says in verse 32 of John 6, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.” Jesus is the bread of life. Without faith in God, and a relationship with Jesus, there is no eternal life. So there is no need to worry about the fruits of your labor as a follower of Jesus. God provides for all who are called according to His purpose.


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 to get an exact idea of the true 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).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Listen to the full Fruits of My Labor single at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!

The DIVE Series: Ty Brasel, "Set It Off"

Welcome to the eighth installment of The DIVE Series*. I am your host, DJ Expander. If you are new to this series, thank you for tuning in! I appreciate you all, from new readers to consistent readers of this series.

Later this month, on the 20th, I will drop an article about the entirety of Ty Brasel’s most recent album, TRANSCENDENT. So, stay tuned!

The lead single for the album, GOD IS THE BEST, dropped on May 20th, 2022. Today, however, I will cover the follow-up single for the album SET IT OFF. The follow-up single is the track released between the lead single and the album.

“But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the Gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.” ‭‭- 1 Thessalonians 2:2‭


About the Single

Ty Brasel‘s follow-up single for his TRANSCENDENT album, SET IT OFF, was released on July 1st, 2022. The track’s production is by Juice Bangers and Dirty Rice. Ty Brasel wrote the song’s Chorus with Kenneth Christian Kacey (Dirty Rice) and William Josiah Howard Reeves.


Interpretation of the Single

I will now extract the most critical content of this track and make it as easy to understand as possible.

The intro of this track is straightforward and leads into the Chorus of the song, which is as follows:

“When I pull up, I’ma set this thing off. Set this thing off. I’ma set this thing off, yeah, whoa. For all of the days that pain cost. All of the loved ones we lost. All the long nights we fought, yeah. Whoa. All of them sacrifices paid off. Me and my fate in a face-off. I’ma set it off, I’ma take off, yeah. Whoa. Yeah. When I pull up, I’ma set this thing off, aye.”

Firstly, we must understand the phrase’s meaning in this track’s title and know how it likely relates to Ty Brasel. The term “set it off” (or “set this thing off”) primarily means boldly and passionately doing something major or significant.

In Ty Brasel’s case, being a Christian and a Hip Hop artist, this most likely means that he will boldly speak the truth of Christ to his audience and perform on stage with considerable passion and respect.

As seen in the Verse of the Day for today’s article, The Holy Spirit, in every follower of Jesus Christ, encourages believers to proclaim the Gospel boldly without fear of conflict.

Ty beautifully portrays this in the first verse of the song:

“I just pulled up in the brand new Yeezys. I rock the Ye with my Jesus pieces. Sitting in Sunday service, ultra beaming. Lil’ heathen came a long way from dreaming. See what I seen, gotta see to believe it. Nightmares and ecstasy, I done seen it. Satan sayin’ curses, speaking the evil. Angels watching over take me to Eden (Yeah). With my head to the sky. Look around, see the stars align. All the times almost lost my life. Too alive that you can’t kill my vibe. Made it through the storm and tribulation. Made a legend, history in the making. Pull up, I’m raging, made it out. Now it’s off to the races.”

These first sixteen bars were a great way to start this track.

In this first verse, Ty is expressing:

  • How blessed by God and fortunate he is to be still alive
  • How far he had come since the love and grace of Jesus saved him through His sacrifice on the cross
  • How Satan constantly tries to trip him up and drive him to sin since Ty’s belief in Jesus threatens Satan and his evil goals
  • How he has endured many tribulations (spiritual warfare and hardships)
  • How he has overcome his previous trials, becoming a “legend in the making” who is ready to make a difference in a significant way for Christ

The Chorus repeats for a second time, and then we hear the track’s second verse:

“Young Ty man back with the real rap. Not with the riffraff, not with the witchcraft. If you was wondering where I been at. I was chilling, kicking game at the kickback. They talking down, I don’t feel that. You can find me where the real at. I’m on the go, moving real fast. Took off so quick caught whiplash. In the script with a sixth sense. Seconds from seeing death win. Second chances just sets in, yeah. I got a second wind. ‘Fore I die, I gotta make a impact. Owe it to God, I got a sick past. I feel like Ye when the whip crashed. Made it through the wire, now when I look back. Out of the dirt was crystals. I saw the light, it’s blissful. I made it out of the pitfall. Now I gotta set this thing off.”

In this verse, he indicates that he is an artist all about creating real rap that does not conform to the ways of this world (examples being riffraff and witchcraft). Ty talks about how he was at a kickback (small party) with nice shoes (kick game). The rapper also mentions how he prefers to hang out with genuine people since you are the sum of who you hang around.

He says he owes it to God to positively impact people, especially since he (like all of us) has a sick and sinful past. He considers himself saved thanks to God’s everlasting love and Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. Now that Ty made it out of his previous pitfalls, he wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives. He aims to make a difference with Christ’s love in his heart and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. All by boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Chorus runs one last time, and then the song ends.


Conclusion

SET IT OFF is a track created by Ty Brasel, with the production credits going to Dirty Rice and Juice Bangers. Today, this record had over 147 thousand streams on Spotify, making it the second most listened-to track on Ty’s album TRANSCENDENT on Spotify just behind GOD IS THE BEST (the lead single for the album) featuring 1K Phew.

Based on the given information, Ty Brasel’s primary point he is attempting to convey is likely the following:

He has made it through his tribulations and has salvation in Christ because of God’s amazing grace and because he dedicated himself to making a positive difference in the lives of his audience by boldly proclaiming the Gospel without fear of rejection or persecution.

As mentioned in today’s Verse of the Day, 1 Thessalonians 2:2, “But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the Gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.”

It is very important for Ty Brasel to make a positive difference in his audience’s lives. He aims to make a big difference by using his sinful past as part of his testimony and boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus to help lead others to God.

In the same way, it is of the utmost importance for followers of Jesus to stay rooted in God’s Word and prayer, guided by the Holy Spirit, and bold in our sharing of the Gospel no matter how bad the persecution might be. As emphasized in this single, Christians should be courageous in making a significant positive impact on others with the Gospel, our testimony, and God’s love in our hearts.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true 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).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full SET IT OFF music video at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!

The DIVE Series: Caleb Gordon, "God Good"

Welcome to this installment of The DIVE Series* with DJ Expander. With the seventh installment of this series, I am starting this month with a review of an absolute banger of a song. Last month, I reviewed SLEEPIN! by nobigdyl. and Closer by Hulvey featuring Torey D’Shaun. Today, I will dive into God Good by rap artist Caleb Gordon.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” ‭‭- 1 Corinthians 15:1-2‬‬‬


About the Single

Dropped on August 14th, 2022, the track God Good has a theme that heavily promotes the Gospel without unneeded religiousness. Plenty of bars that blew me away, so I hope it does the same for you!


Interpretation of the Single

God Good is a mid-length single for a hip-hop track with just over two-and-a-half minutes of content, but I will endeavor to clearly and concisely convey this song’s apparent and potential meanings.

Let’s dive into the track! The chorus begins with:

“God good, and my money good. And my fam good, and my girl good. And my friends good. Everything good. And we never spoil, like a canned good. I don’t gotta act. I ain’t in the hood. I ain’t from the hood. But they still love me, cause the music good.”

The beginning of the chorus lets the audience know that he has a very positive and honest outlook on life. He has found truth in the Gospel and life in Christ. I will elaborate on these topics later.

Caleb finalizes the chorus by saying,

“Say you coulda done it. Shoulda, woulda, could. I ain’t superstitious. I ain’t knocking wood. I am not religious. Is that understood? I am not religious. Is that understood?”

At the end of the chorus, he conveys that you don’t need to be “religious” or “pious” to be a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. He also mentions that he is not superstitious and promotes the idea that Christians must rely on Christ alone, not on pious-sounding superstitions or religiousness.

Caleb bounces off of the chorus into the start of the first verse by saying,

“Do you get it though. I don’t do the rituals. They ain’t hear me, so I had to give them visuals. Big God, but I had to keep it minimal. You don’t need a lot when you’re standing on them principles. Florida where its hot, but the rain come in intervals. I was simpin’ simpin’ back when Kendrick dropped the swimming pools. Now my mission is different, cause He winning, made my vision new.”

Caleb emphasizes that to follow Jesus, you don’t need to partake in artificial traditions or religious rituals. You don’t need all that when standing on the Bible’s principles and what Jesus taught. Additionally, he mentions how Jesus made his vision new. Caleb has become a different man thanks to his faith in Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

“Ima king. Sober mind, who I give it to. Who I listen to When your down deep in sin who going to visit you. When you get a new crib who going to live with you. When you get a new whip who going spin with you. Father, Son, Spirt, those are all Him. Father, Son, Spirt, All three of them. Father, Son, Spirt, those are all Him. Father, Son, Spirt, He’s all three.”

Caleb promotes having a sober mind unto God. He also includes the fact that God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is omniscient and unfailingly loves us.

In the outro of the song, he hits us with a few more bars, essentially saying,

“I don’t get it though. Why you over spiritual? Jesus told the demon leave and the demon gone. Why you extra? That is not God… Why you shaking that. That is not God… That don’t do nothing. That is not God. You need to stop it.”

At this point in the song, he speaks directly to the people who partake in many man-made traditions. They consider themselves “religious” to look “pious.” The people he is talking to do not keep Jesus and the teachings of God’s Word as the main component of their walk. Instead, they turn to unessential practices that aren’t even Biblical.

He finalizes the track by saying,

“Now let’s go praise God. Let’s go praise God. Let’s go praise God. Let’s go praise God. Let’s go praise God.”

Praising Jesus is crucial in every Christian’s walk with God and is way more critical than artificial superstitions, religious traditions, or nonbiblical rituals.


Conclusion

God Good is a single by Caleb Gordon. The production of the song is currently unknown m as that information is not in the credits of the song. At the time of this writing, this track had over 185,000 streams on Spotify nearly three months after its release. Caleb Gordon has done phenomenal work conveying the primary points of this track’s message:

It is not essential for genuine followers of Jesus to be “religious” or superstitious to look “pious” to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It is, however, essential to believe in Jesus and the story of what He did for us (the Gospel) to be genuine followers of Christ.

As mentioned in the verse of the day, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2‬‬‬, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.”

1 Corinthians 15 is about keeping Jesus and the story of what He has done (the Gospel), the main thing as Christians. Staying rooted in Jesus and His Word (including the Gospel) is essential for Caleb Gordon as a child of the King.

It is equally crucial for us as followers of Jesus to keep Jesus and the principles of the Bible (including the Gospel) as the main components in our walk with God without getting too hung up about being “religious” or “pious.”


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the apparent and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true 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).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**Hear the full God Good audio at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out my previous article now!

The DIVE Series: Hulvey, "Closer"

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of The DIVE Series*. My name is DJ Expander. This installment is the sixth I have done so far. I must say that I am enjoying being a part of the FiveTwenty Collective writing team!

Earlier this month, I reviewed SLEEPIN! by nobigdyl. Nearing the end of the third month of The DIVE Series’ run, I will study Closer by Reach Records artist Hulvey.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” ‭‭- Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬‬‬


About the Single

Dropped on October 14th, 2022, the track Closer features Torey D’Shaun. Production is by Joel McNeill, Carvello, and Ace Harris. The song’s overall theme is Gospel-centric.


Interpretation of the Single

Closer has a lot of Biblical meat, so I will attempt to cover it all concisely.

Let’s dive right into this track. The intro of the track beautifully starts the song off with:

“I wanna get closer to Your heart. I wanna get closer to Your heart. Close, closer to Your heart.”

The song’s intro indicates that the track is about the want and need for followers of Jesus to be closer to God through a relationship with Jesus.

Hulvey starts off the first verse by saying,

“Uh, I’m tryna be a disciple, that’s showing my rivals Your love over givin’ ’em hatred/I’m tryna be a disciple, that’s living revival, my life is a whole conversation/I’m tryna be a disciple, that follow Your will whenever the trend is Jada/I’m tryna be a disciple, that put on Your armor whenever I know I can’t take ’em.”

Hulvey indicates that his ultimate goals are to:

  • Be a disciple (follower) of Jesus that shows people (including his rivals) the same love Jesus showed him
  • Act in a way that shows he is renewed through Jesus
  • Follow the Will of God even when the culture is unholy
  • Use the Armor of God whenever he knows he’s experiencing spiritual warfare (See Ephesians 6:10-20)

He mentions that the Body of Christ needs to stand together. Missionary work is dangerous since Christians all over the world are subject to persecution for their faith in God.

He continues,

“Yeshua, He walked on the Earth, He was on His own turf and His own people left Him hanging/What if we seen Him in-person without no rehearsing, man, tell me would we even claim Him?”

Hulvey is making his audience wonder if they would have denied Jesus the same way the Jewish people denied Jesus when He was on Earth. He says Jesus was on His turf (Israel), and his people (the Jewish people) left Him hanging. He’s referring to the majority of the Jewish people, most especially the Jewish authorities that denied Jesus and utterly rejected Him as their Messiah.

He finishes off the 1st verse by saying,

“I know I’m the one that need Him/Man, I found my freedom when I found out they hit and beat ’em/And He hung on the cross, that’s how they chose to seat Him/You don’t need a seat at the table when you got a seat in the Kingdom/I can’t help but be humble whenever I think of the day that I’ll see Him.”

These four bars were a great way to end the opening verse of this track.

Hulvey admits that he, like everyone else, needs Jesus. He also acknowledged his freedom when He learned about the love that Jesus showed us through the sheer amount of suffering that Jesus endured, to save those who believe in Him from being in Hell for eternity. This suffering includes His dying on the cross, which is how the Jews chose to kill Jesus. The Romans carried out the crucifixion because the Jewish authorities insisted. He finalizes this verse by talking about how humble he is just thinking about the moment he meets Jesus when he passes away and goes to Heaven.

The second verse is briefer but still has a good amount of Biblical meat.

Hulvey mentions he used to be dark, which in this case, means he used to be spiritually dark without his belief in Jesus and the Holy Spirit inside of him. He continues to sing to God, asking Him to open his heart and telling God that he has faith as a child of God. He said he’d rather have Jesus than fame here on Earth. Jesus is more than worldly fame or riches will ever be because we can’t take those things with us when we die. He also asks God to open the door to Jesus for the rich and poor throughout the world.

He continues the second verse,

“Top-down, He done paid my sentence, huh/I’m a drink this juice in sin remembrance, huh/Yeah, I’m from the Wick where it get wicked, huh/I guess that’s the reason that He sent Him, huh.”

Hulvey indicates to his audience here that Jesus paid his sentence, to Hell, before he accepted Jesus into His heart. He also says he’ll drink juice (grape juice typically used in communion) to remember Jesus and what He did to wash away our sins. Hulvey mentions that he’s from the “Wick.” Here, he pays homage to his hometown of Brunswick, Georgia.

As of the writing of this article, he has created two songs about his hometown (the “Wick”) called “This Pain We Feel” released in May 2020, and “Back In The Wick” released in January 2021. He then goes on to say the “Wick” can get wicked and that the wickedness of man is the reason God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.

Torey D’Shaun ends the track with a beautiful refrain where he praises God about how He’s always been close and there for him even in the darkest times.


Conclusion

Closer is a track by Hulvey featuring Torey D’Shaun and produced by Joel McNeill, Carvello, and Ace Harris. At the time of this writing, this track had over 64 thousand streams on Spotify, while it dropped less than a week ago. Hulvey and Torey D’Shaun have done good work conveying the primary two purposes of this song:

To sing praises unto God for what He has lovingly done for us and to convey the artists’ faith in Jesus, and Biblical knowledge so that the audience may consume this content to help improve their spiritual health by becoming closer to God.

As mentioned in the verse of the day, Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬‬‬, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Putting on the whole Armor of God is extremely important for Hulvey and Torey D’Shaun. This includes staying rooted in God’s Word and the way, truth, and the life that is Jesus Christ.

In the same way, it is important for these Christian Hip Hop artists to aim to be closer to God, it is equally important for us as followers of Jesus to want a closer relationship with Jesus as we follow Him.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true 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).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full Closer audio at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out my previous article now!

DIVE series: nobigdyl. "Sleepin'"

Hello everyone, my name is DJ Expander, and welcome to yet another edition of The DIVE Series*!

Last month we went over two consecutive tracks by Andy Mineo and Lecrae called “Coming In Hot” and “Been About It”. This month, I am going to switch it up a little bit. I will not be going over mutually complimenting tracks this month. However, today I will DIVE into the brand new single by artist and musician nobigdyl. called SLEEPIN!

“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” – Proverbs 22:4


About the Single

Dropped by nobigdyl. on September 30, 2022, STEPPIN! has over 49,000 plays in about 5 days. The song is doing very well statistically and is expected to rise in streams as the weeks pass by.

The first line in the track’s intro goes, “Eli got it jumpin’, Eli, alright.” It is a slowed sample from nobigdyl. ‘s verse on indie tribe’s “HOLY SMOKE!” track from their album ‘UPPERHAND’. The intro conveys that the Christian Hop Hop producer Wow Eli is a producer on this particular track. The second line, “Hol’ up, Wop, you made this?” is the official beat tag of Christian Hip Hop producer Scottie Wop. Later in the song’s outro, Wow Eli’s beat tag, “Wow Eli, can you be a little more serious?” is featured.

These lines show the audience that this track was co-produced by legendary Christian Hip Hop producers Wow Eli and Scottie Wop.


Interpretation of the Single

While I will not go over the entire song and its details, I will attempt to extract and analyze the lyrics to show what nobigdyl. is most likely trying to convey.

Diving into the chorus of the track, nobigdyl. says:

“Everybody keep on sleepin’ on Dyl. Blood, sweat, tears, man, look what I spill.”

Based on the other lyrics in the song, it seems like nobigdyl. believes he has a good enough work ethic to be less slept on by people than he currently is. (For context, “slept on” means when the greatness of someone or something is ignored or not appreciated). In verse one, he mentions how sometimes he’s “way too obsessed with [his] legacy.” He ends the chorus with, “Industry kill or be killed. And e’rybody just keep taking they pill.”

The overall premise of the hook is potentially that nobigdyl. wants to impact more people’s lives by becoming more known within the music industry and less “slept on.” This potential premise not only arises as a result of the chorus itself but also nobigdyl. ‘s overall belief and faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

There are some Biblical references in this track, a popular trend in nobigdyl’s records. The following is the Biblical reference that stood out to me:

“I think I won my fight with God. Came away limpin’. They think I’m pimpin’.”

He uses the slang term “pimpin’,” which means looking cool and is typically popularized by Hip Hop culture.

The Biblical reference in these lines is in Genesis 32:24-32, which tells the story of Jacob wrestling with God as a representation of nobigdyl. ‘s conflict with God. Jacob ended up winning, but there was a significant consequence. He gained a severe hip injury, causing him to walk with a limp.

nobigdyl. was born in Oakland, CA, but was relocated to and raised in the backwoods of Tennessee in Bell Buckle to be with family.

In the second verse, he compares these roots to Christ and His physical roots, who was born in Bethlehem but raised in Nazareth. He does this by saying, “Online, it say he from Tennessee. But really I come from Nazareth.”

I noticed that, in the second chorus, nobigdyl. slips the line, “This is a song about ego.” This gives the audience a clear indication that the song is at least partially about his struggle with his ego and how it affects his relationship with God.

nobigdyl. finishes the second verse off by saying:

“Can’t play with God like that, rather be hearin’ him out. I’m fearin’ him now. Spent years out here chasin’ things that now I don’t even care about. I’m here and devout.”


Conclusion

SLEEPIN! by nobigdyl. co-produced by Wow Eli and Scottie Wop. It has over 49k streams on Spotify in less than a week. While this track is not one of nobigdyl’s most listened to tracks, he has put together an astonishingly well-written song that:

  • Conveys his struggle with his ego
  • His want for fame
  • The desire for his legacy to be great
  • How His relationship with God helps him to overcome these struggles

As mentioned in the verse of the day, Proverbs 22:4, “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

Having a healthy fear of the Lord and a strong sense of humility is very important for nobigdyl.

As a follower of Jesus, in the spotlight of the Christian music industry, it is of the utmost importance to have and show humility on a daily basis.


About The DIVE Series*

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true 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).

God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full SLEEPIN! music video at the end of the article!**

Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out my previous article now!

"444+333 (God Is Perfect)" Artwork

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of DIVE with DJ Expander*.

Today, I will dive into a song from 2018 called 444+333 (God Is Perfect) by Ty Brasel.

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all His work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that he had done in creation.” – Genesis 2:2-3


About the Single

On March 30th, 2018, Memphis-born, and 4 Against 5 recording artist, Ty Brasel released Side A of his album ‘Destined for Greatness’.

Following that release on December 7th, 2018, Ty Brasel dropped the entire album. Side B contained the single 444+333 (God Is Perfect). He created this single with Grammy award winner Kenneth Christian Mackey (also known as Kenneth Chris Mackey) being the writer of the outro and Dirty Rice being the producer.


Interpretation of the Song

This song primarily came about due to Lil Uzi Vert’s “444+222,” equaling 666, Satan’s number. In response, Ty Brasel’s 444+333 (God Is Perfect) is a sharp contrast to “444+222,” cheerfully honoring and glorifying God.

Ty Brasel’s 444+333 (God Is Perfect) official music video has two counters. One is on the top left corner and one on the top right corner. The counter on the top right counts how many total words are in the song. The other on the top left displaying the number “4,” shows how many times “4” is in the song.

At the end of the video, the total word count of the song is 333. The total amount of times Ty Brasel says the number “4” is 44. Remember, the 44 follows the number “4.” Therefore, you have “444+333,” which equals “777.” “777” is Biblically the number of God, fullness, perfection, and completion. It represents critical Biblical concepts. One crucial concept that this number symbolizes is the Holy Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). Two verses in Genesis convey the perfection of God’s creation by explaining what happened on the seventh day; immediately following the six days He spent forming creation. These two verses mention “7” seven times, making the number “777” (See Genesis 2:2-3).

While repeating the number 7 three times represents not only the perfection of the Holy Trinity (who is God three-in-one), it also emphasizes the perfection and completion of God’s design.

This number represents that God formed creation in a good and whole way. Meaning God created all of us fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14). We can start to see what Ty Brasel aims to convey to his audience in this song. Especially considering the name of the album the single is on, ‘Destined for Greatness’. We, as God’s creation, all have a purpose given by God through His will. Since we are all wonderfully and fearfully made by God to serve a purpose here on Earth, we are all destined for greatness.


Conclusion

444+333 (God Is Perfect) by Ty Brasel, Kenneth Christian Mackey, and produced by Dirty Rice is a song having well over one million streams on Spotify. In this single, Ty Brasel uses numerical significance and some of his experiences to show that we are all destined for greatness, God is perfect in all His ways, and God has a plan for each of us.

Believers can walk away from this knowing God loves you and has a plan for you that corresponds with His will. Trust and believe God will put things in motion for your best interests.

For absolutely everyone—even those who are not followers of Jesus—this means that God loves you and has a plan for you! He created us all. His love for us supersedes anything we could imagine.


*About this Series

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meaning of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true 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).


God Bless,

DJ Expander

**See the full 444+333 (God Is Perfect) music video at the end of the article!**

Want more news on Ty Brasel? Check out this article now.

"Church Gone Wild" Artwork

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of DIVE with DJ Expander*.

Today, I will dive into the single Church Gone Wild by 1K Famo.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians‬ ‭3:16‬


About the Single

On October 18th, 2016, Georgia native and Reach Records artist, 1K Phew, released his single Church Gone Wild. It features the Atlanta-based rapper Tonio (currently known as Don Tino) and is produced by Zaytoven.

As seen above, the single’s cover has the “Girls Gone Wild” franchise logo with the word “Girls” covered up by the word “Church.”

On February 8th, 2022, 1K Famo (a collective of the artists known as 1K Phew, 1k Pson, Don Tino, Chris Elijah, and Chozen) rereleased Church Gone Wild.


Interpretation of the Single

1K Famo’s Church Gone Wild is about bridging the gap between enjoying life and loving God. 

The song mentions the “old church” by saying, “Tell the old church that we don’t play.” 

In context, “we” means the “new church,” which promotes a healthy relationship with God. The song emphasizes having fun worshiping God with thankfulness rather than advancing the idea that you need to be “religious” to be a follower of Jesus.

Being a part of God’s Church (otherwise known as the Body of Christ) does not mean being someone who goes to church and then proceeds to live sinfully the rest of the week, just to come back on Sunday to ask for God’s forgiveness. Nor does it mean that to be a part of God’s Church, you must be “religious” by partaking in artificial church traditions. Artificial traditions such as unbiblical practices that many churches promote.

Released on July 8th, 2022, 1K Phew’s single “New Church” contains similar meanings and ideals to Church Gone Wild and references it multiple times.

This song primarily promotes having a healthy relationship with God by having fun praising him with gratefulness in our hearts.


Conclusion

Church Gone Wild is a song with the rereleased version having over half a million plays on Spotify.

In this single, 1K Phew and Don Tino put a fun—yet Biblical—twist on having a relationship with Christ. He mentions the “old church” and the “new church.” The “old church” that he speaks of are churches that see themselves as “religious” rather than having genuine relationships with Christ—tending to value artificial traditions over truly Biblical practices.

The last point I noticed the song conveys is to have fun worshipping Jesus. The “new church” is about promoting a healthy relationship with God. Fellowship with fellow believers in Jesus. Singing praises to God with thankfulness in our hearts. (See Colossians 3:16).


*About this Series

In this series, I DIVE into the clear and potential meaning of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.

In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true 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).


God Bless,

DJ Expander

Want more news on 1K Famo? Check out this article now.