“It is time to fight for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Toronto singer-songwriter Jermaine Lawrence, 40, goes by the stage name Mayne Champagne. The R&B entertainer spoke the words as he sat down with Youth Speak News to discuss the inspiration behind his recent song “Vanity” and the impact he hopes the song will have socially and culturally.
Growing up with a very religious mother, Champagne sang in the local choir at her Christian church. His lifelong passion for music grew out of this bonding experience with his mother when he was young.
Experiencing a difficult childhood largely without his father, Champagne told CBC in a January 2020 interview that he began “hanging out with bad company”, drinking, dealing drugs and eventually participating in flights. Ultimately, he served three different prison sentences for theft and possession of weapons, totaling up to eight years between 1999 and 2013.
He developed his musical art during his incarceration and devoted himself fully to it upon his release from prison.
Observing the routine mockery of Christianity in secular entertainment – especially media aimed at young people – sparked his passion for defending the faith through his compositions.
After seeing Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar at England’s Glastonbury Festival wear a crown of thorns and sing, “They’re judging you, they’re judging Christ!” Good luck for women’s rights! Champagne said he felt the need to respond in song.
“Vanity” is a pro-life song that challenges and ultimately rejects Lamar’s assumption that Jesus is an abortion advocate.
After reading a HipHopDX pop-up article that put a positive spin on how Lamar “stands up for women’s rights,” Champagne was compelled to respond.
“I never thought about the abortion issue until he brought it up.” Lawrence added that while he “agrees with pro-lifers”, he wrote the song “more out of spiritual conviction”.
“I sympathize with women’s rights, but that’s a bigger issue – it’s a matter of life and death.”
Champagne notes that Lamar’s insinuation that Jesus is pro-abortion “reveals a bigger problem for the Christian faith and community which is being mocked and bullied at the expense of mainstream society’s agenda.” In “Vanity”, Champagne speaks out against this mockery.
“I don’t expect everyone in the world to agree on what I or billions of Christians around the world believe, but at the same time we should speak up if our faith is mocked or pushed. to follow ideologies that are contrary to the ways of Jesus and his teachings,” he said.
Champagne wants to articulate that this does not mean spreading hate.
“I don’t want people to misinterpret what I say. Not tolerating someone’s behavior and hating someone are two different things.
He admits that “it’s easy to turn a blind eye to this. This is the most convenient and easy thing to do. However, he urges people “to hold organizations and individuals accountable via social media for the mockery and intimidation of the Christian faith”. He hopes his song will inspire young Christians, in particular, to say, “Enough is enough. You will not make fun of our religion to entertain yourself.
The artist adds that speaking for truth in popular culture is not limited to musicians and encourages its audience to use the unique talents given to each of them by God.
“Whatever gift you have, (if) you believe in something, don’t let somebody else tarnish (it).”
“Vanity” can be found on YouTube.
(Corkery, 20, will study English at Redeemer University in Hamilton, Ont.)