I Think I Crossed the Line...

Posted January 3, 2013 By: Audris Rozelle

I have always been outspoken and for the most part, I seek to speak the truth in love. Carefully choosing my words means a lot to me, therefore, I do a lot of thinking. I think about the sincerity and weight of my words. I think about my method of delivery to make sure that it applicable to the circumstance and audience. I think about the feelings of the receiver and if words are even necessary at all. HOWEVER, when frustration levels are high or anger reaches a peak, words just spill overboard. Much like they did yesterday...

A longtime friend released his newest gansta rap single. I am not a fan or promoter of such music because I am working hard to erase the message it carries from our children. As a friend, I felt that he deserved an honest opinion. After the first few bars, my ears had heard enough. I wanted to give him a fair opinion, so I continued to listen. Each line just pressed harder and harder against my nerves. I was furious because I know that this person has much more talent that what he offered on that record. He and I go back to the days when we would bang beats on the cafeteria table while he and my cousin spit lyrics. What I heard on that song was a far cry from what he did back in the day.

Right before I posted my response, I decided to read what other listeners had to say. Many scoffed, some expressed disappointment, many cracked jokes and a few shared delight. I thought that maybe I should post my response later or privately, but my disgust and frustration compelled me to act against my better judgements. Not only did I publicly state my distaste in the song, I referred to him by his real name, a name that he still graces me to use. I closed my laptop and tried my best to erase the hook from my mind.

I woke up this morning wondering, did I cross the line? I know that my friend respects constructive criticism, but how constructive were my words when I referred to his art as crap? Though I do not agree with what was produced, I could have saved my opinion for a private discussion and wished him well publicly. It's just that I struggle with holding in my words when I see someone doing something that is either detrimental to one's self or the well-being of others. I am tired of seeing our children think that it's acceptable to be thugs or gangsters because of the images that pop culture encouraged them to glorify. I am tired of reading about our children shooting and killing. Like many people pushing for change, I am at my apex.

I am not going to waste my friend's time by sending him a message to apologize for what I said. I meant every word, but my method was wrong and I take full accountability for it. And as many times that I have repeated and memorized James 1:19, I forgot that I should be "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." Note well taken and added to the top of my to-do list of checking my tongue. If I have not tarnished our friendship, I hope that he gives me an opportunity to work with him and maybe produce a song that will help our youth, not hinder them. In the meantime, I am going to work on minding my own light and respecting the light that others share.

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