Former A&R-Turned Pastor Cole Brown's "Lies Hip Hop Told Me" Examines Slogans Like "B*tches Ain't Sh*t"

Cole Brown never imagined leaving his job in the Hip-Hop music industry – until he made a most unexpected career change and became a pastor. The transition between these two worlds forms the basis for his new book, Lies Hip Hop Told Me.

In Lies Hip Hop Told Me, Brown examines 14 slogans from the music he loves, in light of the teachings of the God he loves. Interfacing with rap lyrics, Christian scripture, history, and other data, Brown addresses such famous slogans as “Only God Can Judge Me,” “Christianity is the White Man’s Religion”, and “B*tches Ain’t Sh*t.”

Brown is the founding pastor of Emmaus Church in Portland, Oregon, where he has served for six years. He previously worked as an A&R for legendary Hip-Hop producer Teddy Riley (Heavy D, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg). It is his personal identification with Hip-Hop music and culture that makes his critique of it unique.

“I did not write this book to move people away from Hip-Hop culture,” Brown explains, “but to move people toward redeeming what is broken within it.”

Brown provides a brief overview of the first chapter of Lies Hip Hop Told Me, releasing 0n July 2, and also put together a video of an excerpt from one of the “lies Hip Hop told him” – Only God Can Judge Me Now:

Follow Cole Brown on Twitter (@ColeBrownPDX).

Find more from contributor Chad Horton at, and follow him on Twitter (@chadhorton).

  • Kareem O’Wheat

    i feel like cole brown missed the point of what pac was saying. pac definitely was aware that iron sharpens iron… what i always felt like he was saying was -> i dont care what any of you think… im going to fight for what i believe in.

    i definitely agree with the pastor above but i think hes throwing pac under the bus here by taking pac’s words out of context. 

    good post tho.

  • dojo24

    he totally missed the point of what pac was even saying from the beginning and used his words out of context to promote his religious book…im sorry dude i cant mess wit you when you use someone to promote yourself especially when you do it wrong..pac is saying if anyone is to judge me let GOD be the one not a human who also has faults..

    • Ayeluso

      He said that. The meaning is in the sentence. You are confused.  “pac is saying if anyone is to judge me let GOD be the one not a human who also has faults” You obviously did not listen to the video. And also this guy was in the business, he worked with Jayz and other big time artists, I think he would know more about Hip Hop than you would.

  • Is dat Riff Raff from gs 2 gentz?

  • this book sounds interesting… if people know their Bible they would know that alot of hiphop music has been influenced by the bible.. i have heard alot of lines that rappers said and I am like that sounds really similar (either in meaning or in wording) to a verse in the bible… I think yall tripping.. he not trying to throw pac under the bus or shed negative light on pac, he trying to correct a wide spread misunderstanding that the phrase pac made famous does not appear in the Bible… many people hear that and think its biblical when it isnt… no where in his speech did he say anything disparraging about tupac.. he just corrected a misnoma, and he went a step further by informing his audience that its not only not biblical, but it is also the exact opposite of what the bible preaches… his job as a pastor is to teach what the Bible says, so that is what he is doing… he jsut speaking to a hiphop audience.. yalll two must be from cali if you too offense to what he said..lo and he isnt using pac to promote himself, his book is based on hiphop lyrics/phrases.. wake up yall and stop hating  #justsaying


    Nobody wants to believe in GOD until they meet the Devil…..

  • Brown needs to be a bit more definitive about the nature of judging and it’s references in the bible as it pertains to scriptural text and Yeshua (Yesus Christ). The bible is infact clear that the type of judgement for lack of a better word is a “discernment.” “Discernment” is the proper context or word of so called judgement as the bible and both Yeshua       (Yesus Christ) were referring to. Discernment is a sense of judgment or a recognizing that exist on a cosmic or spiritual level. It is not judgment of another human being as by opinion of self influenced thought. I don’t think he was attempting to knock Pac, however I think his point could have been executed a bit more precise. “Discernment,” is a judgment or realization of truth as bared through the essence of the divine/God in spirit. As oppose to common judgment of the finite mind (human) or ones opinion of self influenced thought. There’s a difference and that needed to be made clear for an accurate overstanding and application.
    And I do agree that what Pac was saying was that he rebuked the human judgment of opinion as we all naturally have a tendency to do by the very nature of being human (The Flesh). The comparing of ones faults to another’s faults or to put it in lame mens terms,”yours is worse then mind.”
    More often then not, we judge one another on a scale of opinions that does not allow the “judger” to potentially see them selves in the vulnerable position or a place of the “judged.” (A.K.A. Self Righteousness!) Therefore “mercy,” is less likely to occur (forgiving), which is what allowed Yeshua (Yesus Christ) to be able to sit down with tax collector’s and prostitutes alike without condemning them for there deeds. It was “divine discernment” that gave him the ability to see more in people without judging them or excommunicating them. Rather, by loving them and accepting them the people were more receptive to listening to his teachings and turning away from their sins or dirty deeds.
    Technically, Yeshua had a clear overstanding on the streets and street people as proven in his methods of ministry, and dealing with the common people and their issues of the day.
    Obviously, the judgers of Yeshua’s (Yesus Christ) fate did not exercise the same discernment thus they judged him on false allegations and viewpoints which resulted in his physical being, being sentenced to an execution ( The Cross by the San Hedrin & Pontius Pilot). “Only God Can Judge Me” is not literally written in the scriptures, that I’ve seen anyway. But it is to say a human being with human faults should not condemn another human being with human faults, particularly when to do so is to exalt yourself above the very nature of human fault and the divine God as your Creator as well. Who has this right but the Creator Divine? Of course none of us! 
    Simply put, never say never cause you could find your self in that same “never place” where you judged someone else from an outward point of view. May love guide us all! The greatest commandment even as said by Yeshua. Obey this commandment and you have obeyed all others.
    Brown’s trying to inform people to be conscious of truth which is an attribute of God. Don’t be so hard on the brotha I believe he means well. P.S. I am no preacher, only a seeker of truth! (Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”) Love….. And Prosperity….. Guide us all! Rastafari!

  • Lord Saltsworth McGinty III

    “Preacherman, dont tell me,

    Heaven is under the earth.

    I know you dont know

    What life is really worth.

    We sick an tired of-a your ism-skism game –

    Dyin n goin to heaven in-a jesus name, lord.

    We know when we understand:

    Almighty God is a living man.

    You can fool some people sometimes,

    But you cant fool all the people all the time…..”

    A Preacher selling a book. How surprising.

    • growyourawareness

       So, because he’s a preacher now he’s suddenly not allowed to sell a book? What do you think you’re buying when you purchase a song/album? It’s a message. A message being preached. Singers,writers,directors,movies,books,or any form of expression is ultimately proclaiming some sort of message (including your quoting Bob). If we begin mocking the genuine concern of this former A&R turned pastor then we should equally discredit people like Bob. Sounds ridiculous, huh? Bob spoke genuine concern for the things he believed in as is this pastor whom is coming at this with a background in the industry. Maybe we should give pastor Brown a break and see where he’s coming from before critiquing what we don’t know.

      ~ Peace Grace Truth Love

      • Lord Saltsworth McGinty III

         First of all where did I say that a “pastor” could not sell a book?  This is a free country and this “pastor can sell what ever crap he feels like it to the gullible sheep that are Christians.  I in turn can say whatever I feel about it. This isn’t the 1500’s where you religious zealots controlled what was said.  I feel that this is once again someone using religion to make a buck. It’s the easiest hustle on Earth next to pimping.  Want an easy gig that you have a ready made core base of people willing to throw dollars at you? Join the Church because the marks are ripe for the taking and you sound like one of those marks.

      • ChildOfYHWH

        What about those people in underground churches in China? Iran? Saudi Arabia and North Korea?

        Keeping it real, Biblical-Christians back in the 1500’s weren’t sheep to the zealots unless they were driven by fear. There are plenty believers that are persecuted by those who claim to be believers.

        Judas of the bible ultimately killed himself over some bread. The main reason most people are played by these pulpit pimps is because they don’t study the bible for themselves. Just take man’s word and run with it.

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