Sho Baraka Responds To Music Being Pulled From LifeWay Christian Stores : ArtSoulRadio
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Sho Baraka Responds To Music Being Pulled From LifeWay Christian Stores

Art Soul



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Sho Baraka’s latest album “The Narrative” debuted in the top 10 on iTunes last fall and was once described with high praise on LifeWay Christian Bookstore’s product page as “saturated in a Gospel worldview.”  However, the retailer pulled his album last month after customers objected to the final track, “Piano Break, 33 A.D.” (a reference to Christ’s death), which includes the lyrics:

I was an insecure boy who just thought he was a genius
But always pissed off, that’s because I thought with my penis
It’s all strategic, I’m just asking us the reason
Share my faith on the track, I’m just exorcising demons

Click the video below to hear the entire song in it’s full context:

It is important to mention that the reference in which the word used was not profane in any way, and was meant to reflect on his life prior to becoming a Christian.  The verse was simply reflecting on his past failures to live his life monogamously.  Sho Baraka explained saying,

“It wasn’t profane in context because it communicates how God has been good in my life, while acknowledging how wretched and evil I am.”

According to the Washington Post, LifeWay’s spokesman, Marty King confirmed the retailer’s decision by email with the following statement:  “Like any retailer, LifeWay has a responsibility not to carry resources with content our customers consider inappropriate.  After receiving complaints about some language in The Narrative cd, LifeWay decided to no longer carry it.”

LifeWay got into a similar controversy in 2012 when progressive book author Rachel Held Evans accused the retailer of not carrying her book over the use of the word “vagina.”

Baraka previously told the Washington Post that he believes the incident reflects a double standard when it comes to anatomical references in their books.  Other books sold on their shelves geared towards married couples include similar references also used in a nonprofane context, that fit the narrative of those books, just as his reference of the word also fit the narrative that he was presenting in his song and verse.

“Everyone on both sides wants to censor the person that doesn’t fit their narrative,” Baraka said. “The moment someone like me communicates something like this, who’s the one being censored now?”




Christian music has been in transition for a while.  For many artists, despite the fact that their music is clearly faith-based and driven by a Christian worldview, many Christian artists have still struggled with the decision of whether or not to label their music as “Christian”.  The reasons for this back and forth struggle differs from artist to artist.

In Sho Baraka’s most recent video response below, he shares his reasons for previously dealing with the same struggle of how to label his music and it’s content.  The content of Sho Baraka’s music is known for being unapologetically Christian, often conscious (or “woke”), and very socially aware.  He doesn’t shy away from speaking about everyday life issues such as love, marriage, faith, race, culture, and even politics.  Sho Baraka makes what we like to call Life Music – music that touches all aspects of life.  For him, this means talking about life as he knows it from his worldview as a man, a believer, an African American, a husband, a father, etc.

Frustrated with LifeWay’s choice, Baraka previously told the Washington Post that he believes the incident reflects a larger problem with American evangelicals.  Read more about his thoughts on that here.

Last night, Baraka released a second statement on Forth District (a media platform that he founded) where he talks about the need for continued transformation in the industry and how he believes it could help bring a solution to many of the frustrations that Christian artists (and some fans) are having within the industry as our culture and audience continues to change.

Sho Baraka emphasizes that he is not looking for confrontation through his music.  “I do not find joy in conflict,” says Baraka, “I find joy in conflict resolution.”

Watch Sho Baraka’s Most Recent Response Below:

ArtSoul Radio is a 24/7, online Christian Radio Station and Entertainment news site promoting new and diverse sounds in Christian music! We highlight both indie and mainstream artists in Contemporary Gospel, Pop, Soul, Hip-Hop, Alternative, and Spoken Word Poetry.

ArtSoul Spotlight

ArtSoul Radio Drops Episode 2 Of New IG LIVE Series “Song Stories” (Ft. Wande)

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ArtSoul Radio recently launched new IG Live series “Song Stories” hosted by DJ/Host “DJ Standout”! Song Stories is a new Interview Series currently hosted on IG LIVE that gets up close and personal with your favorite artists to learn more about the story behind some of your favorite songs and their journey along the way!

This past week, we dropped our second episode featuring Wande of Reach Records! We got up close and personal with Wande about the inspiration behind her latest album, her musical journey and how she became the 1st female to sign to Lecrae’s label Reach Records! We also touched on her Nigerian immigrant background and much more! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to check out the full replay below today!

Be sure to stay connected for the next interview and don’t miss our weekly giveaways! Details for the giveaways are mentioned at the end of each new episode after the artist’s interview and live performance. So, be sure to watch all the way through. We’ll be sure to keep it interesting!

Scroll down to watch the replay of the full interview and to stream Wande’s newest project release “Exit”.


Watch The Full Replay of “Song Stories” Episode Two


New Video “Happy” By Wande



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Kim Kardashian Tells ‘The View’ Kanye is Born Again & Gives Clarity On His Traveling Services

Art Soul



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Kim Kardashian recently appeared on “The View” where she was asked about Kanye and his traveling “services”. During their conversation, Kim cleared up the rumors of Kanye starting an official “church” and shed new light on his newfound relationship with God.


When speaking about Kanye’s new found relationship with God, Kim gave everyone a lot more clarity:

Kim: “Kanye started this, I think just to heal himself. It was a really personal thing and it was [originally] just friends and family…and he has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ. People are always asking, ‘Well what are you worshipping and what is this?’… It is a Christian service [but more] like a musical ministry. They talk about Jesus and God and…”

The View: Is there a minister there?

Kim: Sometimes. So, if he goes to a different church as he has, they have shown up and done these surprise little pop up Sunday services at other churches. So, whatever Pastor speaks there…and sometimes like the one in Calabasas, he’ll have friends that are Pastors in town get up and speak. But, for the most part, it’s just a musical ministry. He doesn’t have his 501c3 yet to make it an official church. But, it is for God and it’s a Christian church…I think think that’s why some people were like ‘What is this and what are they doing?’ But, it started off feeling for him and now its become something that he just really wants to share for everybody else.”

In late August, Kim posted video clips of Sunday service on her Insta story and snuck in a photo of a piece of paper next to an open Bible containing West’s new album title Jesus Is King, track listing and a release date set for Sept. 27.

The tracklist for the album reflects his recent traveling experiences and his wife’s recent mention of his new found relationship with God:
“Baptized,” “Sweet Jesus,” “Garden,” “Selah” and “Water” are just some of the tracks coming soon on his new album. West and his Sunday Service choir premiered “Water” during a Sunday Service session at Coachella Easter weekend and recently made stops in Chicago and Atlanta.

Watch Kanye’s Traveling Music Experience In Atlanta:


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Hip Hop

ArtSoul Radio Sits Down With Indie Hip Hop Artist “Brian Keith”




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“It’s Brain Keith Baby!” Have you heard this introduction before? If not you’re sure in for a treat. This kind, humble, fun loving, and energetic man of God is someone you will fall in love with after just one time meeting him. In this sit down interview you will have a chance to learn more about Brain Keith and how he has been a huge inspiration to so many people.

ArtSoul Radio : It’s so nice to have you here with us today. We appreciate you taking out this time to do this interview. To get things started off, let’s dig deep into your musical background and how you got introduced to music?

Brain Keith : That is a very good question to ask, my musical background comes from many different things. Growing up I listened to a lot of different genres and popular artists that where around my city of Dallas, Texas. In fourth grade I was introduced to classical music and started playing the cello. Outside of playing the cello, I also remember practicing my rhymes in front of a mirror in my bedroom. There, I envisioned performing in front of an audience, and I honestly believe that is where the seed was planted.

ArtSoul Radio : Wow, that is something you don’t hear everyday! You really don’t hear much about rappers having a touch of classical music in their early development. The next question we have for you comes from your positive content and willingness to put yourself out there. Tell us why it is so important for you to relate to people with your music and not hold back anything?

Brain Keith : It is important to me because I believe sometimes, us being apart of the body of Christ, miss out on being transparent; and letting people know even though we are professing the goodness of God we still have our own issues and shortcomings. God is gracious enough, and merciful enough to look passed our imperfections. We are able to have this because God gave us his son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins.

ArtSoul Radio : That is a very good word, and something many could potential relate to. Understanding that you are in a position where you are called to minister your many talents and gifts. What is it like managing being a rapper, dj, show promoter, youth pastor, and family man? Do you have moments where you want to go insane?

Brain Keith : Man look, it’s by the grace of God because I find myself sometimes being overly busy that I can’t have an intimate relationship with our God. I am constantly in prayer asking him to help me seek out better time management skills so I have a relationship that is strong. I don’t want to meet him at the gate one day and he tells me to turn away you worker of iniquity I never knew you.

ArtSoul Radio: Agreed, that would be a terrible situation for anyone to be in. We must continue to be disciplined in finding that quality time with God.

Recently you have put out an awesome music video for your latest single titled Masterpiece. Tell us the story behind this powerful song, and how you came up with this concept?

Brain Keith : The background on the song Masterpiece, stems back to what I spoke about previously. Having an importance on being transparent and pushing to see that we all are a mess and we make mistakes. Doesn’t matter if we are T.D. Jakes or one of the lowest scums of the earth. God sees us as royalty and something that is so precious to him. A revelation I had one day after painting really put things into perspective for me. We come into this world as a blank canvas and when paint splatters on us that represents our imperfections. Now after going through my whole creative process and completing my art, I realized even though we might go through tough times and have flaws; God ultimately will be the one to show us that we are works of art, true masterpieces.

ArtSoul Radio : Thank you for breaking down your song, it makes so much more sense now knowing the background story. Your song provides hope and a sense of pride in loving who exactly God, has called us all to be.

Brain Keith : Thank you so much for that, that means a lot. I strive to give my audience only music that is from my heart. I can’t make music just to sell records.

ArtSoul Radio : No problem at all, this actually transitions very well into our last question for you. We wanted to know if someone was to listen to your music for the first time no matter the location; what would you hope they get out of it?

Brain Keith : I would hope that they got a sense of self worth, love, and knowing that they are not alone because God loves them. I talk more about these topics in my upcoming album I am working on currently.

ArtSoul Radio : Amen to that, once again we appreciate you taking the time to sit with us for an interview. We can’t wait to hear your new album.

Highlighted Lyrics: “I know I may look a mess right now, but every work of art starts out like that. Then it turns into a masterpiece.”

Stay Connected to Brain Keith here:

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