Veteran Ghanaian gospel artiste Yaw Agyemang Benjamin, popularly known as Rev. YABS says Christians should be discreet in judging ‘the book by its cover’.
Rev. YABS speaking in an interview with Felix Adjei (Mr. Lattus) on Sunyani based Christian radio J.life Fm said it’s totally wrong for the Christian community to write meanings into songs based on its rhythm.
Rev. YABS is said to be the first Ghanaian musician to work with reggae rhythm in the country.
He released his first album with the reggae rhythm vibes in the 1980’s with the album titled “Ne Mu Na Nkwa Wo,” and in proving how quality his work is, he has won seven awards and has nine (9) albums to his credit.
According to him, he received lot of critique from the Christian community in Ghana when he introduced the reggae rhythm in his gospel songs.
“Many Christians spoke against the use of the reggae rhythm in my song s when I started, but Glory be to God, everything clicked perfectly at a fast pace. Reggae is a nice rhythm and never passes away (get old) so it’s good to rely on reggae rhythm if you want your song to last longer.”
“Reggae is a powerful rhythm that God gifted to the Jamaicans…when I made up my mind to do music, I realized that a lot of people patronize Bob Marley songs; so I decided to use the rhythm which is already the people’s taste to propagate the word of God and it worked perfectly after releasing the ‘Ne Mu Na Nkwa Wo’ album, Which won me three (3) solid awards.”
When asked if it’s wrong for a Christian to listen to secular reggae song, Rev. YABS explained that;
“ It is not the rhythm per say…but the message that the song carries—and I see nothing wrong with the use of any rhythm if by the end of the day you succeed in propagating the good message through it…You shouldn’t judge a particular song based on its rhythm but rather the message that it portrays.”
He added, “It is the message that is vital and a key point…if someone can use Kete, Adowa, Nndwomkoro and others to package something along with the word of God, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I think it is time for Christians in Ghana to do away with certain perceptions and learn from the foot steps of Apostle Paul who accepted the culture of others whilst championing his course as a messenger of God.
Rev. YABS noted that some Ghanaian songs which are termed as gospel songs; but doesn’t conform to the word of God. Therefore, he said it should be acceptable when someone who doesn’t call him/herself a Christian comes out with an inspirational piece/song.