Drunk In Love With Jesus? The Peculiarity Of Freak Songs Getting Gospel Remixes

47 Comments
March 18, 2014 ‐ By Charing Ball

It certainly seems that Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love” is inspiring more than just overflowing bathtubs and increased sales of mops and buckets.

Some of the more righteous Youtube singers have taken the hit single and put a sanctified spin on it. Like YouTube user LaThelma Armstrong, who walks into the church, sits down in the pew and starts belting out:

I’ve been prayin’, I’ve been prayin’.

I can’t keep quiet when the spirit gets into me.

I’ve been thinking, I’ve been thinking

Why can’t people see they need you Jesus

We need you. Yeah, Yeah…

I’m not going to lie, the girl’s voice is on point. And I can’t stop singing “I been prayin, I been prayin…” – that’s until it gets to the bridge of the song, then it gets a bit weird for me, particularly the lines:

God fill me up, half way and use me for your purpose.

Purpose. Purpose.

Studying your word, Stu-studying your word.

I’m swerving on that, Swe-swerving on them

Cursing, I’ve been trusting in you.

Trust it’s working for my good-good…”

Jesus? Good-good? All in the same sentence? And that brings me to my point: who hears a song about drinking Jay Z’s babies (shivers at the visuals) and riding the D in bathtubs and thinks Jesus?

Well okay, maybe if the dude you are surfboarding has the last name of Rodriquez, that would make sense. And sure, good sex has been considered by many to be comparable to a religious experience. So it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to think of Jesus, along with Abraham, Moses, Allah, Xenu and the spaghetti monster too. However that is in another context. And I’m thinking that if I’m driving down the street, listening to “Drunk in Love” on the radio (and not while on the D), I’m not thinking that this needs a gospel remix.

Not to mention that whole thing is like bad Christian karaoke. Or worse, this guy I used to work retail with back in the day. He too was a singer with long roots in the church. He also liked to praise HIM through song all damn day long. Even when assisting other customers, he would be humming melodically under his breath. It’s when we rode the bus to and from work, where he would take his praise up a notch. Just like Tyrese in that Coca-Cola commercial, he would stand towards the back of the bus he would belt out some of the most ear-enchanting vocals this side of heaven. There would be hand clapping and plenty of riff and runs, mostly to the delight of fellow passengers. Mostly. Those who rode the bus frequently grew tired early on with his impromptu revival, in particular his penchant for taking top 40 songs and adding Jesus’ name in it. Like changing Sisqo’s “The Thong Song” to: “Without Jesus, you’re dead wrong, wr- wrong, wrong, wrong…”

I guess these gospel remixes shouldn’t bother me as other genres of music co-opt themes and completely lift whole songs without raising an eyebrow. Reggae is a good example of that. And so is Go-Go music. There are even a few secular songs, which have borrowed material from the gospel songs. So technicality, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise if a gospel singer does the same.

Besides, while lyrics are important, most times it is the rhythm and beats, which tend to move us. Although, I typically am not a listener of gospel music, I do like some of Kirk Franklin’s, Mary Mary’s and a few other artists who tend to mix secular with their Jesus-worshipping. Also I don’t mind when rappers like DMX, Bone, Thugs & Harmony and Kanye West mix their religiosity without their secular arts neither. And I am not alone. My best friend, who was born and reared as a Muslim, once confessed to me about the time, she was the car, dressed in full garb, singing at the top of her lungs, “Jesus Walks…,” to the bemusement of traffic in the passing lanes. Point is, if it is a good song, it does not really matter which genre or style the song borrows from.

With that said though, I do feel like there are lines, which should not be crossed because no matter how good a song is, sometimes our subconscious mind will have a hard time separating the original context with its newer, more church-friendlier version. In particular, adapting secular songs with sexualized meaning and content, like the gospel song Baby Got Book, which is a remix of Sir Mix Alot’s rump shaking classic “Baby Got Back.” It features inspirational lyrics like, “I like Big Bibles And I can’t not lie…” Nope, still thinking about Becky and them staring and gawking at that big black butt. Or this guy with the gators and crushed velour suit, who on some local Atlanta-area talk show, committed one of the most egregious cases of copyright infringement with his gospel rendition of R Kelly’s “Bump N Grind” that included such sanctimoniously-sexay lyrics as “I don’t see nothing wrong, with living for Jesus Christ-es…” Not to sound too much like blasphemy but it all does makes me wonder about what kind of relationship some folks are envisioning themselves having with the man upstairs?

And that’s the problem that I have with the “Drunk in Love” gospel remakes. No matter how hard I try, all I keep thinking of is: “surfboard, graining on that wood…” Now I confess: I am a bit of a freak. So depending on what version of God we are we talking about here… If it is Morgan Freeman God? I’ll pass. However if we can get Hollywood to stop being racist and make Idris Elba our Lord and Savior than I would humbly bow to that. Watermelon.

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  • Kayyyyy

    Fully agree with this one!!! lmao

  • LiiSH

    Remaking secular songs makes sense to me simply because it is the Christian mission to spread the teachings of Jesus. What better way than to reach people who need the word than to come to them with something they can relate to.

  • Just saying!!

    I’m not Christian but I have no problem with this remix. Are we just looking for reasons to judge people? I mean my goodness the girl is trying to spread a pure, positive message and yet we’ll defend the original before we defend this one!? She’s just using a popular tune as a vehicle to reach people. I’m convinced that if there is a hell we’re going there because that is just so backwards.

  • Unreal

    This writer has been deleting my comments. Be real, people will not always agree with you. Maybe you’re in the wrong profession.

  • LH

    This reminds me of a 2 Live Crew Gospel Remix we used to sing as teenagers in choir rehearsal. “Face down, hands up! That’s the way we like to Church!” The choir director didn’t know where that came from but liked it and the rest of us thought it was pretty hilarious for other reasons…

  • LH

    We just had a conversation about this! LOL. Why are women in the church (mostly) always trying to turn sex songs into songs about Jesus? I imagine there is some deeper subconscious desire to have sexual relations with a deity or ghost. The ultimate fantasy, to be impregnated by a supernatural spirit….. I’mma file this one under #thingsthatmakemegohmmmm

  • ITrue

    No thanks

  • Harriet S Gambles

    I don’t understand why this girl is being scrutinized just because she is telling other young woman they don’t need to be “drunk in love” her message is pure what most people need to do is read Romans 8, then you will realize why you can’t get “surfboard” out of your mind… Renew your mind

  • Huh?

    So if so someone changed the words to David Banner’s “Play”
    And referenced Jesus in it, it would be ok huh? LOL!! Those of you cheering this crap on have no idea how dumb you sound. It would go like this, “pray girl I’m tryna get your spirit wet, on your knees, pray until you drip sweat.” No thank you! Sexual songs are just that. Sexual! This reminds me of when God says either be hot or cold, because this likewarm mess is a hypocrite’s paradise.

    • MsShaynaT

      Even the gospel version of ‘Play’ sounds nasty-haha.

  • Ms. Dent

    The purpose of gospel music is to convert and uplift. Who are you converting with this song? Unbelievers will still have the more popular everyday radio version in their head and spirit. To convert there needs to be a difference. You don’t help a alcoholic change by going to the bar and drinking with them. And how does it uplift? Nothing about this song is original, just replaced words of sexual content with gospel lingo. And why does a Christian know every single word of this song in order to change it? Could it be because you are in the club surfboarding? If this is ok to sing because the words have been changed then it must be ok to mimic a satanic dance ritual and perform it to church music, it doesn’t matter that the dance moves are devil worshipping, just as long as you’re moving your body to church music. I don’t expect most people to agree, but then again about 99% of our country is brainwashed. So I can only expect about 99% of you to think this song was a great idea.

  • Pchris411

    I hear so many lost and demonic spirits on the subject of this song speaking. In fact, many of the same spirits that was also present at the foot of the cross speaking out as Christ was crucified. The words to this song was on time and an awesome delivery.

  • Ann StillStanding Clark

    Society is screwed as it is now yes Beyonces song is nice but it also is a negative message to younger females as well as adult females who take this song & aapply it to themselves wwhich will/can lower the value of self worth and not to mention enough with men not know ing how be a men & disrespect females as is see it all day he waits for a drunk n lust not love type of chick trust Beyonces life/music is for our entertainment it’s not always to be applied in the real world so I applaud gospel singer’s for turning negative message music into a positive who are we to judge that’s the world’s problem now ijs if it doesn’t honor the Lord then what’s the purpose $ the root of all evil we all sin just differently let God Work thru who & how he’s gonna cuz he is above all if I do say do myself in jay z”s voice!

  • loving#the#remix

    Well of course you would feel this way, and find a problem with it, you are not a believer. So you point is not really Valid, her vocals are awesome, actually better than Beyonce’s..and she has a positive message, which will not cause, hurt danger or harm to anyone, as Beyonce’s is promoting, clubing, getting drunk, and having sex. You have young girls even adults, well boys and men too acting out that song…getting drunk, probably driving drunk, (possible accident risking lives), having sex, (probably unprotected, causes unwanted pregnancy, stds, even AIDS) and that you perfer to groove to. All I can say is, I will pray for you, and everyone else who has a problem with this…one day you will come out of darkness, I’m sure you hsve at least if not more family member praying for you…

    • lavendarbloom

      The prayers of the righteous……now YOU know who are believers and who are not….your arrogance against God has allowed you to state this emphatically….. God doesn’t need help….. and on the flip side, do you really think Beyoncé’s song is the reason humanity is the way it is….Sexing, clubbing and getting drunk, unwanted pregnancies ( and all kinds of diseases) are certainly documented in our Bible….read ……”.I’ve been praying, I’ve been praying” that American Christians would truly become followers of Christ, who even in last minutes asked forgiveness for the men who placed him on the cross to die—–and yet we on Earth continue to judge, judge,judge

  • Chrisyj

    I personally love her remix. Some of you missed it, including the author, and that is ok. The point of re-making any hip hop song is to reach the people who love gospel and love the beat/melody of a secular song, but can’t fully enjoy the original song. I love Beyonce, well at least I used to, but can only play that song after 9:00pm because I have a child that I am raising properly and want to only influence her positively. Songs like this help to glorify while you get the same bounce. Both songs are ok and both are used for different purposes. Congratulate the girl! Great voice and great message hun!

    • BISONFAN

      I agree, well said. Swerving, swerving on them curses LOL!! ;-) #ILoveIt — I think the author just wanted to spark a debate which is all good – I get it ;-)

  • Beautiful

    “It’s working for my good good” WHAT!!! STOP IT! The purpose of a gospel song is to uplift Christ, no one is thinking about Christ because beyonce has stamped that song!

    • Pchris411

      If you knew the word of God you would understand that “working for my good” statement she made reference too is actually a scripture written in the bible.

      • Beautiful

        And if you knew the word of God, you would be offended at this mess. How about we take LL cool J “Doin it well” and change it to to ” Doing his work.”these remakes don’t attract or change unbelievers because all it reminds them of is the original song. It would have been better for you to not even respond to my comment because this whole topic had gone over your head.

        • Pchris411

          I’m sorry beautiful. Maybe I’m not making myself clear in my addressing you. So allow me once again, , what I shared with you wasn’t a seed (as in a thought) I planted in your mind.. nothing can’t plant in unfertile grounds; actually it was a open rebuke to a undeveloped mind..

          • Beautiful

            LOL! Your sarcasm is a deploy to your ignorance. I see know that you are clearly in that 99%. No need to go back and forth with a buffon. Go surfboard, I meant go find purpose.

            • MsShaynaT

              grainin’ on that wood…haha

              • Beautiful

                Right! Lol!

  • Beautiful

    stupid! This is why folk cant get right. There is absolutely NO NEED to take lyrics from an explicit song and try to make it gospel. Nobody is thinking about God, just the original song. Drumroll please………..FAIL!!!!!!!

    • Ann StillStanding Clark

      And that’s the purpose & point cause judgement day i coming for us all when you know better ijs you do better

  • Tru

    I think this article raises some good points, but there is one mistake that has been bothering me. The author says the lyrics from the bridge of the remix sound weird, because they are weird. The actual lyrics for the bridge are as follows:

    “…Ya’ll, I’m praising, Jeremiah 29 and11
    I’m speaking it, liiiiving it,
    If you scared
    Call that reverend
    Ya’ll I’m praising,
    Get my mind right, Righteous Grind
    Jesus Christ, New Life, he paid the price, greatest sacrifice, he gave it up
    Ya’ll, I’m praising, I’m singing, this truth till my voice hoarse
    God fill me up all the way, then use me for your purpose, purpose purpose
    Studying your word, study, studying your word
    I’m swerving on that, swerving, swerving on them curses
    I been trusting in you, trusting, It’s working for my good good…”

    I am not sure if the author knew the lyrics could be found in the description section on Youtube, but the fact she proceeded to make an argument as to why remixes like this do not work seemingly based off of the misquoted lyrics seems bit biased. Granted, none of this makes the author’s argument any more or less valid. I just believe that if you are going to quote someone, or something, you should do so properly.

    • charingb

      So instead of “all the way” I wrote, “half way” Got it. But other than that, everything else is accurate. Don’t see how that misleads folks.

      • Me

        No, it’s not. The “working for my good good” part obviously meant working for my good, not good-good like vagina. So the way you presented it WAS misleading

    • Ann StillStanding Clark

      I love you lol #since she preaching you better preach girl lol

  • CF Sista

    No, just, no.

  • Fallan

    Reclaiming territory! Its funny how people can listen and make a big deal out of JJ Ice Fish remixing and ruining songs but when she does it it’s unacceptable. Really? She has a beautiful voice that is being used to build the kingdom of God. Don’t like it don’t listen but I refuse for my god to be excused.

  • BISONFAN

    I enjoyed the song! The lyrics are dope, she flipped a song used to sell sex to glorify God’s love. In my head I am singing “yet you chose to love” … it’s stuck in my head. Props to her!

  • Guest

    BTW…. all this video did was make me go back and listen to the original-haha.

  • 9Boots

    I pretty much only listen to CHH (Christian Hip Hop) and remixing songs is a tradition of hip hop, however, I’m not a fan of remixing secular songs. It’s okay if it’s done from time to time and it depends on the song, but if that is all that a person can do is remix songs and never have anything original…..then you need to stop making music. Also, some remixes need to just stay out of the church. As in keep it at home because the only thing people are going to hear is the original song in their heads. So it defeats the purpose.

    • MsShaynaT

      all this video did was make me go back and listen to the original-haha. So yeah, you’re right. I guess I’m one of the ‘lost souls’ she’s trying to reach, but it didn’t quite work out.

      • 9Boots

        LOL. Exactly!

      • Ann StillStanding Clark

        Amen and that is between you and the man above judgement day cause we all have a date

        • MsShaynaT

          I actually believe my spirit will make its way back on to Earth in some form, so I’m good.

      • Dee

        And that’s because they’re taking something dirty and trying to make it clean. All these fake Christians on here claiming to love this song will be singing the beyonce version. Trust.

        • MsShaynaT

          haha… I know they are. They claim the Beyonce version is so dirty and whatnot. I bet they know all the lyrics.

  • JustAThought

    I rather listen to this version than the original any day. I give this woman much props for making this song that was place on her heart. Sounds to me that the author is just one sided when it comes to gospel/secular secular/gospel music. One truly speaks louder than the other, it just depends on which one.

  • GeekMommaRants

    Sista girl can sing, really really well! Put a album on it!

  • MsShaynaT

    haha… this is hilarious to me. I’m not a holy roller by any stretch of the imagination, but come on!!! Putting ‘Jeusus’ in the place of ‘surfboard’ does not a gospel song make-haha.

    • LH

      Not even the word Jesus. “Purpose” = “Surfboard” , Studying the Word = “Grindin’ on that wood”

  • hi-liter

    I got nothing for this one…….

    • http://adjustedsails.wordpress.com/ AdjustedSails

      kinda the same here, but possibly for a different reason. i’ve never heard “drunk in love”…so just taking this song for what it is, i wouldn’t buy this. lyrics kinda whack n don’t flow well, imo, but she has a decent voice.