Kirk Franklin As An Artist Who Is Helping Millions Lose Religion To Embrace A Better Life

Kirk Franklin changed the way most Christians looked at themselves from being sinners to children of God. Prickly Juice recognizes him as the best international gospel artist of 2021 with his famous song, ‘Strong God’. But here is Kirk Franklin’s musical journey experience that has transformed millions of lives. We totally love you.

Kirk Franklin is known to have forged an uncommon connection with “the youth,” as the elder churchgoers called it. His message rarely differed from that of the other gospel music circulating at the time, but his sound and his attitude were of a piece with the most popular hip-hop and R. & B. acts of the moment situs sbobet online. His physicality sometimes scandalized the older crowd. Often people complained, “He’s bringing the world into the church.” But those parents also accepted, sometimes grudgingly, that this flashy figure might hold the key to keeping their sons and daughters in the pew and off the streets.

Franklin’s first album, a live recording called “Kirk Franklin and the Family,” offered a smooth, pop-adjacent brand of gospel, descended from acts like Andraé Crouch, the Winans, and, perhaps especially, Edwin Hawkins, whose 1969 hit “Oh Happy Day” laid the template for the kind of mainstream acceptance that Franklin hoped to win. Franklin’s songs had compulsively singable melodies—there was little of the sweaty, melismatic display typically associated with gospel vocalizing. His choir, the Family, sang in sweet, perfectly blended, middle-of-the-register unison, splitting into three-part harmony only toward the propulsive endings of their songs. The lyrics were earnest statements of affection toward the divine. “I sing because I’m happy,” went one of the more popular numbers. “I sing because I’m free”—“His eye is on!”—“His eye is on the sparrow”—“That’s the reason!”—“That’s the reason why I sing.”

“Kirk Franklin and the Family” sold a million copies, becoming the first gospel début to go platinum. Franklin’s next record, “Whatcha Lookin’ 4,” went platinum as well, and earned Franklin his first Grammy. Both albums topped Billboard’s gospel-album category. And, surprisingly, they appeared on the R. & B. chart—a sign that gospel, Christ and all, might finally cross over. In 1995, Jimmy Iovine, then the chairman of Interscope Records, home of Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, engineered a partial acquisition of GospoCentric Records, the independent label that had signed Franklin. One of Interscope’s talent scouts had brought Franklin to Iovine’s attention, and Iovine was enthralled by Franklin’s charisma as well as by his commercial potential. He heralded Franklin—who, by now, was heading a new outfit, called God’s Property—as gospel music’s Bob Marley.

“Stomp,” the lead single on Franklin’s next album, “God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation,” made the Top Forty charts in 1997. Its video, which entered regular rotation on MTV, opens with Franklin, in a white suit and shades, issuing a warning directly to the camera: “For those of you that think that gospel music has gone too far—you think we’ve gotten too radical with our message. Well, I’ve got news for you: you ain’t heard nothin’ yet. And if you don’t know, now you know. Glory, glory!” It was a deliberate echo of the Notorious B.I.G.’s introduction to his 1994 hit “Juicy,” and served as a kind of mission statement for Franklin’s gospel/hip-hop hybrid. Throughout the video, the members of God’s Property—dressed, variously, in baggy jeans, shiny athletic gear, and Nike Air Force 1s—dance boisterously, striking poses you’d otherwise expect to see in a night club.

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