Rapper, teacher, and poet Jackie Hill Perry has just released her newest album, Crescendo (Humble Beast Records), a follow up to The Art of Joy. The 14-track hip-hop record reflects her deep evangelical commitment to sharing the gospel through music. One particular song on the record "Woman" is particularly dear to Perry.
Having come of lesbianism, getting married and having her own child, have made Perry re-think the whole issue of what it means to be a woman. Speaking to Christianitytoday, Perry confesses her struggles: "As a former lesbian, and because of the way I displayed my lesbianism specifically-as a stud who tried to act as masculine as I could-I had a particular challenge when it came to learning how to embody womanhood the way it is described in the Scriptures. I also had to learn how to discern whether people teaching about womanhood were using God's version or culture's version. I saw how people were putting their culture into the texts instead of allowing the text to shape their culture."
Instead of following what our culture says womanhood entails, Perry goes straight to God and his word: "So for me, it was a lot of hard work to get back to the basics of what God has to say. When I started to actually see my womanhood through the lens of Jesus, it was really helpful. Bending my womanhood to what I see in Jesus changes everything."
I was astounded when I found that that I was of value
I object a power found in the body where idols let me be modest
Let me be honest, let me be woman
God forbid I ever tell God how it should be done
Perry dedicates the song "Woman" to all ladies as she prays they will look to God to define who they are. "The song "Woman" is for the young women I see who are really influenced by culture more than Scripture, in terms of how their worldview is shaped. I'm saying, "I'm done trying to wrestle with the culture to figure out who I am." That's not my job, that's not what I'm called to do."
"At the end of the day, I'm done bartering with a dead thing. That's why I mentioned vultures. I'm not going to barter with something that's not rooted in truth. At the end of the day, what I'm going to do is open up this God-breathed Word that God has written to us all, and I'm going to let that define me. Period. I'm done asking all of these questions of culture: "Should I wear dresses? Should I shave my head? Should I get married? Should I be egalitarian?" Instead, I want to know what God has to say about these things."
Woman woman, you don't know
Where you came from, please go home
Tell us, tell us, who gave you your name
Tell us, tell us, who gave you your frame
It's God, it's God, it's God, it's God
It's God, it's God