Friday, April 09, 2010

Lyrics to M.I.'s Jehovah: the "gospel that he be preachin'"

This morning, I am obsessively grooving (can one obsessively groove?) to hot Naija musician M.I.'s Talk About It album. On the (next to) last track "Thank yous and ova ish," he gives a shout out to his Jos based "evangelist" parents with a sheepish admission that "yeah, I know I'm not doing gospel music, but, um, I'm still, this is my gospel. Let me preach it."

His "gospel" includes fantastic tracks full of Proverbs-style wisdom on the state of Naija, such as the sardonic "Crowd Mentality" in which he says "I've changed my mind I'd rather be the same as/ all these fake ass entertainers," who "use words like 'no bad language on regge'" or "Money," where he observes: "the rich get richer, the poor get screwed," and

"Money can break you, she's so unfaithful.
Don't love her too much because she will forsake you
Some give her everything and shower praise
But what a bitch, money never stays,"

with the chorus "money slow to enter/money quick to go." But, beyond M.I's streetwise takes on Christian wisdom, there is at least one directly "gospel" track on the album, "Jehovah," featuring Eben and Lindsey, which I must have listened to at least 10 times this morning. When I went in search of the lyrics online, I couldn't find them, so I decided to transcribe it myself. Here are the lyrics (keeping in mind that I'm sure I missed a few of the words and perhaps wrongly inserted what I heard rather than what he said. Any corrections welcome!)


(Girl’s voice)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He maketh me lie down in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside still waters.

He restoreth my soul.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

Thou annointest my head with oil.

My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Verse 1

Yeah, I fill my life’s pages, with the goodness of the Rock of Ages

The drama in my life is stages ,to fight the blazes

Going through life with seeing through many different phases

One way to run but with different paces, will track you different races

I bet on God because he knows all the aces

I give him everything in him my places

Because I ain't trying to waste this

Serving Jesus till my soul he raises

So call self, for in clay, we all vases

Different ranges, but I will argue as his vase he makes us

So he won’t let me face this, unless he knows that I can take this

The world remains, how my situation changes

Though the wrath of rages, he stands courageous

Because I know my basis

I read my Bible and I say my graces

I spend my time with him instead of reading Hadley-Chases.

And I’d forgotten that this is the basis, to going places

So when the wells dry up, Jesus is the oasis


Oh Jehovah, (yeah)

Still watching over (yes he is/yes he does)


Verse 2

Let me tell you what I do in crisis,

Whenever trouble rises.

I know that Christ suffices, and I receive his sacrifices

When the water rises and living tries us

The economy is shifting prices and when the world is cold and lifeless

It’s then I open up my eyes and realize this

That no weapon comes against us as long as he’s beside us

You see I read that he is promises that he’ll provide us

Whatever we need as long as he live inside us

So when the light of life is burning dim, he’ll reignite us

And when we lack the strength to fight the world, he’ll send us fighters

Angels to lead and guide us, until he’ll reunite us

Under his arms he’ll hide us, and he’ll provide us

So I don’t even know who you are or what you’re going through

But you see I know my Jehovah can be there for you

And I believe it’s true, the Bible says it too

I ain’t a preacher, just a sinner. He too beautiful


Oh Jehovah (watching over you and I)

Still watching over (watching over you and I)


Chorus of voices: Jehovah Jehovah Jehovah


(I fear no evil, thou art my rock of salvation, yes you are, yes you are, God on Jesus, God on Jesus)

Verse 3

I ain’t a minister, though I administer the truth

But one thing remains, while my sin is to youth

That is defendin’ the truth, when I speakin’ the proof

It’s a messenger here, bringing lessons of his

And the messenger is—not important at all

But I wholly fall at his feet and declare

You are marvelous, gracious, wonderful, beautiful, bountiful, merciful

You are everything


(simultaneous. Woven Together)

That’s who you are X3

Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah X24

(Yes, you are, yes, you are. God on Jesus. You are my salvation. God on Jesus. God on Jesus. Yeah. Strong Tower. The name of the Lord. HE’s a strong tower. The righteous call on him. Yes he is.)

Oh Jehovah, Still watching over X4


jinni said...

Hello Talatu.hope fine,just checking up on u

Asenka rose said...

M.I album is fantastic, I came across it late last year.
I like the easy way in which his lyrics flow, the lack of pretence and the realistic delivery of each word, just draws you and makes you wonder about this artist.

I found myself researching about him, interested in where he came from and his views (important things when listening to an artist)

All in all his a good artist, I'm still however confused about he blaze song, is that pro cannabis smoking or some other type of smoking, would like to know your views on that.

Talatu-Carmen said...

@Jinni, Hey, I'm doing great. Sorry I don't spend as much time on this blog as I used to! Have moved most of my effort over to a more "professional" blog, but I still post more personal things on this one.

@Asenka rose, I know. He's great isn't he?! I actually had a long discussion about "Blaze" on Facebook the other day. I LOVE the song. I think he is actually using cannabis or other drugs as a provocativ metaphor for his music--contrasting the "destructive" nature of drugs with the "healthy" drug of his rhymes: Take for example these lines:

"Yo,my music like marajuana, you wanna get high, brother you die smoking that 'juana, but my flow is nutricious like a banana...";

"my ish get you hooked like nicotine, at the same time my rhymes build like protein, so if you wanna fly, let me get you high off a "I" you can touch the sky"

Jesse Jagz: "Music take me high like a space ship from NASA, King of Babylon, I'm a lion, I'm Mufasa."

"Boys pass the raps around the room.... You know me now, I only smoke the mic cables..."

Female Vocalist (?):

"I thank the Lord, he legalized this herb, that we push it in the streets, baggin 'em like sweets... that good ish, the narcotics in the beat, we move it in kilos from the west to the east, the north from the south, that home grown pumping out of every mouth "; "this is music, hiphop, just the way I like it served" etc

I think the point is that his music is addictive, mind-blowing, etc, as well as healthy for society, as opposed to other kinds of drugs. Not too humble. But humility is not a characteristic usually associated with rappers! :-P ;-)

Re-listen to the track with that in mind and see what you think.

Jude Jentility said...

Hello MI fans.....Am an upcoming artist,i love MI & evrytin abt him,his swg,his it.he's de person am looking upto in dis entertainment industry,i.e,he's my mentor....I love you man,carry on!!!

Arclord Zerro said...

Wonderful beats,gracious lyrics and a sympathetic rap that keeps his fans ALWAYS amazed! M.I,that great music artiste that has an expertise in entwining words. Haha,i'm so perplexed,thats a wonderful song...kudos!

Anonymous said...

Jst did a google search on his lyrics the I found ur blog .... Even though this song is on his 1st album... I love d song like mad...I keep n playing dis song....heheheh in such away that my frds keep asking why I love the song... It makes me rememba that without GOD's mercy we are DOOMED... MI the only intelligent rap till date... Facebook

Anonymous said...

Great Job deciphering all that .