Changing our goals in life is never an easy transition, but it is often made more difficult when those changes challenge cultural norms.
Romans 12:2 states: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I had the opportunity recently to speak with Del Lawrence, also known as Mr. Del, former member of the hip hop group Three 6 Mafia, who did just that. He transitioned from being a secular hip hop artist to a Christian artist and author whose new mission in life is to spread the word to young people.
It was one Easter Sunday that Lawrence surprised his mother at church, when she thought that he was away on tour, that he saw a new vision for his life and his career. He said that he always had “a God conscience,” but he just never knew where to turn.
Lawrence changed his life path in 2000 when he left Three 6 Mafia and went on to start a Christian rap career, which resulted in getting nominated for many awards, including his GMA Dove Award nomination for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the year in 2010. His 2005 solo album, “The Future,” debuted at No. 15 on Billboard’s Gospel chart.
Lawrence said that at first he hesitated to produce a solo Christian hip-hop album. He saw a lot of the music in that genre as corny. Ultimately, though, it was “strictly a God thing.”
“Through persistence and trust in God, it led me to succeed,” Lawrence said.
These changes in his life caused a rift between he and his former group members, but there has since been an acceptance of his choices and a mutual respect between both parties.
He said he has been called in the direction of young people, being an active participant in high school and college ministries. This is reflected in his new book: “Soul Ties: How to Detox from Toxic Relationships.”
The book is broken down into three parts: friendship, kinship and skinship. His hope is to help guide young people reading his book to pursue healthy relationships, with two more books to follow.
“[This book will be] a part of my repertoire to minister to my generation, ministering on relationships and love to college students,” he said.
He looks up to Bishop I.v. Hiliard, author and preacher T.D. Jakes and Pastor Rick Warren for inspiration in his ministry. He does daily devotionals to just hear the word of God and keep grounded in his faith.
An e-copy of “Soul Ties: How to Detox from Toxic Relationships” can be purchased online or as a hard copy on upcoming book tours.
Rebecca Morris is Managing Editor of the Cardinal & Cream.