Lyrical Review: Kadhaa by Iclaat Msanii

04/09/2012 — Leave a comment

“Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” [Psalm 32:2]

It is songs such as this one that encourage me to keep believing that there is still a remnant in this generation, and most specifically; in the Kenyan Gospel Music scene. If you haven’t already given it a listen, please do so via this YouTube link. The rapping is a bit too fast (for me) but the message is CHRIST-all clear. Christian rap lovers will not be disappointed by this one. But hey, I should not be singing these praises even before reviewing the song! Maybe I am just imposing my biases on you. I apologize. So here we go;

The first verse aptly begins with the mention of the praise prelude, Psalm 9:1. The theme of the verse (and the whole song) is basically an encouragement to the struggling or despairing Christian, urging him or her to meditate upon the sufficiency of the Cross of Christ and to count his blessings in light of God’s Grace rather than material provision. Some of the notable lines, translated, include;

“Amidst all the turmoil (wars) and questions within us, God is the answer… No one can do what He has done. If you lack anything, just look at the Cross. His salvation is the reason why we are here… High thoughts don’t need a big brain, just look at the giraffe… It’s the grace of God that determines your path, and any material thing that you may have is a gift of love, (not a right)… You cannot know what God has done if you don’t read His Word. And this is why I am quick to proclaim His name and teach about His grace. His salvation is our greatest blessing. I may not have a car, but He is still Jireh. Coz what He has given me … Si moja si mbili ni kadhaa!”

I have to admit that I was elated by the fact that, considering how fast he raps in this first verse, Iclaat thought it necessary to justify the fast rapping. He mentions that the good news is urgent, the time is ticking and that is why he has to preach it quickly. How’s that for relevance in creativity?

The second verse delves even deeper in this theme of delighting ourselves in the spiritual (rather than the material) provision of our Lord. Here’s the basic line of thought;

“In your struggle to make it through this world, it helps to stop and review what God has done for you. Remember the Israelites fleeing from the Pharaoh, the confusion at the Red Sea. Yet God had a plan… He will make a way to a better day. Instead of murmuring about the desert, be grateful that you are no longer a captive. Whether you’re walking or you’re driving (lexus ama legzus), both are blessings from God. Perhaps you’re not getting paid at your workplace (or getting peanuts), you have wept to the point of dehydration, things are not working out for you. Yet, God is still God, and God is still strong. Look up to the sky, where does your help come from? (Psalm 121). Coz where God has delivered you from… Si moja si mbili ni kadhaa!”

Iclaat, in the verse above,addresses the desperation that often results from our material lack and circumstantial suffering. He urges us to remember that what we have been delivered from (the bondage of sin and eternal damnation – Egypt) is far worse than what we are going through (the wilderness). He therefore exhorts us to rest our hope in the Lord, for therein lies our truest help (Psalm 121:1-2). He also urges us to be content irrespective of our material possessions, in plenty and in poverty.

It is at this juncture that I would not hesitate to comfortably classify this as a Gospel song. It is Gospel-centric in the sense that it reminds believers to rest their hope and find their satisfaction in the finished work of Christ at Calvary. Honestly, there is no greater encouragement! Jesus is not just our surest hope, He is our only hope.

The final verse basically wraps up the prevailing theme. Iclaat reflects upon how he “has fallen short before God.” He confesses that even from his “reading of the book of James, there is no way his righteousness can approach that demanded by God.” He also reflects on how “some people, when they believed in Christ, thought that they would receive material blessings, and out of frustration, they decided to pursue these by their own strength. But there is never any blessing in hurrying before God”. Iclaat also notes on the sad state of prosperity preachers who alienate the poor in their churches and “demand” offerings like “matatu conductors”. These pastors peg the people’s hopes on what they WILL get. However, Iclaat emphatically reinforces the truth; that we don’t live because of what we will get, but rather because of what we got – the finished work of Christ on the Cross!

Can it be any clearer than this? Our hope is in God. We sing because of what He has done, not because of what He will do. Our delight is in the Lord. We are happy because we are forgiven, not because we will be given (stuff). We persevere because He will reward us in His time and with spiritual blessings, therefore we don’t despair because He has not rewarded us in this time or with material blessings.

I love this song, and I recommend it unreservedly. It is a Christian song.

Give it a listen via this link. And while you’re at it, please check out Iclaat’s album, “Epignosis: Back to Eden” on iTunes.

You will not be disappointed.

.

In His service and for His glory,

Cornell

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