Song Title: What You Mean
Artist: Flame and Fedel
Album: Clear Sight Music Presents: Jesus or Nothing
Label: Clear Sight Music
Content Warning: Even though this is a Christian rap song, it contains some metaphors about violence. When used in its contextual meaning, it’s fine. Out of context however, it could seem a little mean quite frankly.
More often than not when I listen to music, I enjoy songs with a slower tempo. I really can’t explain it; I just feel so relaxed and chill when I play those songs, and it’s always been like this for me. I guess that’s why I liked listening older artists from back in the day (The Temptations; Earth, Wind, and Fire; Hall and Oates; etc.), since they tend to have those slower grooves. As I grew older and paid more attention to lyrics… I sort of understood why their songs had a slow tempo (let’s just say they were to set a specific type of mood).
Luckily for many of you, I’m not writing about those kinds of songs. For this Beat Breaker, we’re looking at “What You Mean?,” a song on the compilation album by Clear Sight Music, featuring the label’s owner Flame, as well as veteran Christian rapper Fedel.
Feeling of Song
Obviously, if I talked so much about slower tempo music in the introduction, you would guess correctly that this song has that part in common.
“What You Mean?” starts off with some bells as well as some eerie sound effects in the background. This might sound even more weird, it makes me think of a Halloween theme combined with a dark twist on Christmas music. Fortunately, that’s only the beginning of the song.
After the beginning, you get some of the good old 808 bass sounds we all know and love. (If you don’t know what 808s are, just crank up the bass on your audio device and turn the volume up. That thing that you can feel with your body, that’s the sound of 808s). This song brings plenty of the smooth sound, giving it a nice feel to complement the creepy bells we heard earlier.
Throw in alternating rhythms with the hi-hats and kick drum, then add a snare beat hitting on every second count of the slow melody I explained earlier… and you have what is called a trap beat. The sound started out in the southern states of America, but it’s a style known across the world now.
Lyrics and Meaning
“What chu mean? What chu mean? Ain’t nothing change but the date boy.” That’s how this song opens, and you can tell from the beginning it’s meant to send a message. You may think you have an idea of what that message is about, but then Flame starts the first verse by saying, “Um seven albums in, and I ain’t never switch; cause God ain’t never switch on me.” Now the point is crystal clear. In a world, where people are changing just for change’s sake, Flame makes it clear he is standing firm on his stance with God.
Flame also prolifically summarizes the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus when he states, “Crime scene. Innocent man. Bloody palms; nails in his hands, nails in his feet, torn flesh… They put the body to rest. They put the body to rest, I can attest on the third that he rose. Look at the murders, hustlers, Muslims; all of them Jesus’ converting their souls. So when I tell you that I turn up for the King, I ain’t playing. No that ain’t nobody playing. Know that ain’t nobody playing. What chu mean?”
Fedel comes just as hard in his verse of the song, affirming Flame’s verse but also taking on how people claim they are kings and gods, even when they ”know it ain’t true.”
Both Fedel and Flame are not only boldly declaring their love and position on the life of Christ, but they did an excellent job of using their unique point of view from living in urban areas, displaying the power of God in a way people with similar life experiences can understand. Yet, it’s still done in a way that anybody could understand when they sit and actually listen to the words.
Now, back to the original point of the song: change. Why do we change? Do we change because we are morphing into something better? Are we changing because we feel like we need to shake things up? Or do we change because God allows us to change?
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says that everything has a season, a time “for every activity under heaven” and that “there is a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to harvest.” What I take from that is that, as humans, we will go through changes, and change can come from a multitude of things. That being said, there is one thing that doesn’t change: Jesus Christ, who Hebrews 13:8 states “is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
So yes, while it’s okay to go through some metamorphosis, the one thing that should never change is who you call your savior. Because as Flame said in the song, “God ain’t never switch on me.”
Did I get it right? Do you feel differently about this song? Let us know in the comments section. Speak your mind and stay tuned in to Geeks Under Grace to experience more Beat Breakers.
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