Unction for Usher

Dear Usher,

I have my preferences, sure; but I like all kinds of music. I can find the appreciation in all of it and never do I remember turning my nose up at a particular style. My 15-year-old son and I enjoy our trips together and he picks the tunes, which is usually something between techno, remixed, hip-hop, or metal.  Usher Performs At The Houston Livestock And Rodeo

But I had a music experience recently that left me angrier than I’ve been in a long time. My family went to see you at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I knew what to expect at a hip-hop concert so, even though you and your dancers were doing some things that made me shake my head, I stuck it out. We love the hip-hop sound. But somewhere about the third song into your set, I saw something I never, ever expected from you; something that even caused my 20 year old daughter – the coolest girl ever – who lives in NYC, to turn to me and drop her jaw.

You had your dancers get on their knees with their backs facing the audience; their hands flexibly postured in a prayer position behind their backs. You walked along the line of girls, touching their faces, grabbing their chins, stroking their heads as if inspecting your merchandise. It looked as if you were a solicitor trying to decide which girl you were going to use for the night, as if they were some kind of animals. My heart broke.

After all that people like Oprah have done to shine light on the rap and hip-hop video industry and its horrendous abuse of hip-hop dance girls, this scene, in my opinion, set us back 10 years in teaching our kids how to respect women. I watched Oprah interview a beautiful former hip-hop video dancer who testified that the only way she could get ahead in the industry was to follow the pointing finger. “If you want to be on this video, go see the producer in that trailer. He’s waiting on you. When you get done giving him what he wants, we’ll talk.”

I have people on my team who are working with investigative organizations that are kicking down doors, literally, in corporate America to rescue young girls from the sex-trafficking industry. It has become an epidemic, not only in places like Asia, but right here in the USA.

I don’t know if you will ever read this, but I had to try. I believe you’re better than this. My heart was moved for you today when I saw your comments on the Today Show about your son fighting diabetes. You’re a father. You’re a mentor on nation-wide television. You’re not some young punk artist anymore. I’m appealing to you from the heart of a daddy and a pastor, please consider changing the image you’re portraying concerning how to treat our girls while you’re on the stage. And please don’t say, “It’s just an act on a stage.” It’s much more powerful than that. If you know the power of music – and I know you do – then you’ll know you’re making a massive impact on the young ones watching. Young girls who might not have fathers to show them how a young lady should be treated see that and think, “If Usher treats us that way, that must be how it’s supposed to be.”

I don’t judge you, Usher. I implore you. After your fourth or fifth song, you went back to your power ballads and your smooth dance moves, and your dancers showed there was legitimate talent in those feet that don’t have to resort to cheap sex acts on the stage to make the crowd go wild, and you finished strong. Our kids are our invaluable treasure. I know you know this because you love yours. Please love ours too. I’m praying for you, my man, that you will have the unction to do the right thing, and for your son to be healed. Be blessed.

Kevin Herrin

(P.S. To my readers, I’m not looking for hateful remarks. I will reject comments in that spirit.)

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9 Comments

  1. Looked up this performance.. I found it and a couple of other performances (“love in this club”) also offensive. But he is in the world so it’s to be unfortunately expected. thanks for posting a heartfelt message!! I for one loved it..Usher needs Jesus.

  2. Wow PK – powerful. I was also at the Usher concert in Houston and have always adored him, his God-given talent and the constant love and affection he displays for his boys but I too was a little taken aback on some of the actions given during his performance. It still doesn’t take away from the fact that he is a gifted individual (and I know his heart is in the right place) but coming from a woman (a young one that is 😉 the message reflected was somewhat confusing and disheartening.

  3. Extremely well said, Kevin. I’m proud to call you my friend – it takes courage and true christianity to write a letter like this with no judgement! Love you guys.

  4. I do not care for rap music. I have refused to rent space in my head for it. I first begin to see usher in a new light while watching the singing show “the voice”. I found Usher to be smart, charming and very convicted about mentoring to young new singers. I now like him a lot. I’m sorry to hear about what you experienced and I will pray that he reads your message or in some other way gets an understanding that what he did that night is unexceptional and then Is moved with compassion to change that part of his show.

  5. Wow Pastor Kevin!! I applaud you for making such a remarkable statement to one of the worlds leading hip-hop artist!! I read this in awe and feel that you’ve done such a wonderful thing!! Thank you for making such an awesome letter!! I was attending your church quite frequently not too long ago, but living in Richmond is hard to make such a long commute. I really miss your church and your leadership!! I hope you have a wonderful day!!

    God Bless,
    Tiffany

    1. Pastor Kevin, Thanks for speaking out. I haven’t listened to that kind of music in 20 years because it dont sit well with my spirit. Because the artist are not saved I don’t expect there music or concert to give me peace or joy. That’s why I listen only to Christian/gospel music and go only to those concerts that feed my spirit. The content of your article was good. Prayerfully Usher will read and take heed. Thanks for speaking out.

  6. I respect your comments Pastor Kevin on this artist. I’ve been an accomplished musician for many years, though I’ve never really been into rap or hip hop among other genres, I can respect talent especially when it’s used for the Glory of GOD. Don’t know if User is a Christian, and if not then that’s about what I’d expect out of a secular artist. I personally played in a Christian Death Metal band, and had many people even Christians judge us and say it was evil. Despite leading many souls to Jesus and going through deliverance with others from witchcraft, Satanism, or the occult we were not understood.

    However Paul said I become all things to all men so I might by some means save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22 NKJV to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some). We have to be able to relate to people on their level just not partake in their sin.

    How could a country artist minister to a Satanist in Metal music. So as a Christian in the music industry we should be sharing the faith God gave us. To whom much is given much is required. If Usher is a Christian and has experienced the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then he should represent him on stage and share his salvation with others. If he’s not a Christian then you will know them by their fruits and the flesh will rule from the stage.

    As a Christian musician we must come out from the world and touch not the unclean things. 2 Corinthians 6:17 (Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”)

    This tells it like it is! (1 Thessalonians 5:22 King James Version (KJV) 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. We should not partake in the unfruitful works of darkness. (Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them). It doesn’t mean we can’t go out and minister to them.

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