Rep offers up Co-Laborations featuring Can’t Breathe

RepRep is known for his “To Be Honest” ministries, which includes his writings, music and media. Here’s what Rep has to say about his new project, Co-Laborations. 

…One of the songs on the project is called “Can’t Breathe.”  With all of the craziness of racial tension and social justice going on in our world, this one phrase stuck out to me.  Many of you know this specific injustice that happened in New York to Eric Garner.  If not, here is an excerpt from a CNN report on it…

Camera phone footage shows Garner, whom police accused of illegally selling single cigarettes, arguing with two officers. The 350-pound man tells the police he’s minding his business. He’s clearly upset, gesticulating as he accuses officers of previous harassment.

“I’m tired of it. This stops today,” he tells them. “I did not sell nothing.”

As the two officers reach for his arms to make an arrest, he pulls away, telling them, “Don’t touch me.” Office Pantaleo administers the chokehold after two more officers appear, and within nine seconds, they take Garner to the ground.

A fifth officer joins the fray as Pantaleo forces Garner’s head into the sidewalk, eliciting repeated, muffled cries from the 43-year-old, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”

Garner later died.

Now, while we know of the phrase ‘I can’t breathe’ being a part of the injustice and ultimately the death of Eric Garner, I don’t want to just talk about social injustice.  I don’t want to just talk about a man who was outnumbered.  I don’t want to just talk about a man who was overwhelmed. I don’t want to just talk about a man who was opposed. I want to talk about seeds.  Seeds?  What in the world?  Yeah.  See, I truly believe that we need to continue to talk about these social issues, but we also need to realize that the root of the injustice in our world ultimately is not social, but spiritual.

Eric Garner was put in a choke-hold.

Eric Garner could not breath.

Spiritually, there are a lot of Eric Garners.

I started to look at one of Jesus’ most popular parables.  The Seeds.  Check it.

“A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

You may be trying to figure out what this has to do with “I can’t breathe”.  Well, to understand where I’m coming from, you need to know what the parable means.

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:  When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.  The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.  But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Wait?  So, this parable is just talking about reading the Bible? No. And I get it. When I was a kid, people always explained this parable as “so, if you read your Bible and obey it, then you will be fine.” No! Let me bring it out for you.

The message of the Gospel is one of hope, freedom, and salvation. I think about everything going on in the world—what we mentioned earlier—the outnumbered, the overwhelmed, and the opposed. Seriously, that describes a lot of people. These people feel like they have no protection and are vulnerable. These people feel like they are on rocky ground and have no support system. These people feel like they are being choked and suffocated by the worries and fears of life. These people “can’t breathe.” These people need that message of hope and life. Maybe you are one of these people.

Rep’s Co-Laborations project was created to address social and cultural issues, promote other artists featured, and encourage people. Give it a listen via Bandcamp.

Rep

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Lookingdoor is Barnabas Nagy and Daniel Nagy

LOOKINGDOOR is a rock duo of singer-songwriter/guitarist Barnabas Nagy and drummer Daniel Nagy. They started to make music together in 2005 and decided to form a band. And yes, they are brothers.

Lookingdoor

An Internet search for Barnabas Nagy turns up his website, where you can get to know more about his views on faith and life. Interestingly, he writes on topics including marriage and sexuality, as well as evidence that the earth is flat. While you may or may not agree with his writings, one thing’s for sure: he’s a thinker and he wants to get you thinking about things, too. In an era when most songwriters write nonsense, he goes deeper…

If you noticed an accent after listening to the music on Soundcloud, it’s because the brothers are from Hungary in Eastern Europe.

“When I’m not writing, I fish the rivers, play the guitar or work in my homestead,” says Barnabas.

He and his brother have been interested in music from an early age. They studied at a local music school as youngsters, covering a variety of musical instruments including piano, drums, saxophone and even the clarinet. Eventually, they both dropped out of the music school, but continued to experiment as music makers. For instance, Barnabas picked up his mother’s classical guitar and used it to play covers of rock songs. Later on, he decided to write his own songs, which helped get LOOKINGDOOR off the ground.

Today, besides making music, both Nagy brothers still have “day jobs,” but would like to see their music career grow to the point where they can concentrate on it as their main thing in life.

The duo could best describe their music as “melodic rock from our hearts about the world we live in and the faith we overcome it by.”

Discover more about LOOKINGDOOR at their website here.

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EARL: Existence After Real Love

Remember that TV show named My Name Is Earl? You don’t meet too many people with that name these days. That said, there’s a new music maker on the scene calling himself EARL, which stands for Existence After Real Love. For the record, he is actually Christopher Earl Mathewson, but it’s just easier to call him that one simple four letter name, right?

EARL

EARL taught himself how to write, produce, record and mix music. He generally makes dance music with a hip-hop feel to it. Perhaps what makes him unique– these days– is that he doesn’t use profanity in his songs. He doesn’t want to fit the stereotype that to be popular is to curse in music. Instead, he’s going for an edgy sound that still appeals to a mainstream audience while being “clean” for even the little ones’ ears.

EARL loves God. He believes that when people experience God’s real and unconditional love for them they’ll find their purpose for being on this earth. It’s a message he doesn’t mind communicating to an audience because he thinks the world needs to hear that.

To get a taste of what he can do, listen to “Fire The Fuse,” a single being pitched to nightclubs around the world. Fans are falling in love with the intense beat of “Fire The Fuse,” and even MTV has taken notice, calling him a new “Artist To Watch” this year.

Other songs to listen to include “Restless,” “Release The Hold,” and “Crushed Diamonds,” which are on the artist’s website. To find out more about EARL, including information about his EP and tour, please visit www.EARLofficial.com.

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Syreeta is Number One on Jazz Chart

If you hadn’t heard of Syreeta Thompson yet, now’s the time to know her name. Why? Well, she just debuted at Number One on the Billboard Jazz Album chart with her latest work, appropriately titled Winner.

Syreeta Thompson is known as “The Trumpet Lady.” She has been playing the horn since she was a little girl, and in a world where there aren’t that many female black trumpet players, she stands out!

Syreeta

Generally, Syreeta has been making her mark in the Gospel music world, having shared the stage with Gospel greats like Hezekiah Walker and Dorinda Clark-Cole. So it’s interesting that she has just gone to Number One on the Jazz chart, right?

Syreeta is a musician and singer and educator. She has spent many hours inspiring youngsters to develop their own musical talents. As a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Syreeta didn’t stop there… she also holds a Master’s Degree in film scoring, jazz composition, and arranging. Is she serious about school and education? You bet she is–  she has also written music curriculum for the East Orange School District and is a Master Music Educator with the New Jersey Education Association.

To learn more about Syreeta, please visit www.TrumpetLady.com.

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