Mali (Making) Music on American Idol

I’m sure many of you don’t know who Mali Music is. Born Jamaal Pollard in Savannah, GA Mali Music has become a POWERFUL, edgy voice in the gospel music industry. He is clearly a worshipper at heart and loves the Lord as is evidenced in his music. I’ve been in and around gospel music my ENTIRE life and can attest that his music, while edgy, is a breath of fresh air. I don’t necessarily care for ALL of his music. But here’s the cool part: I DONT HAVE TO.

As a full time intercessor, I have been crying out for the gospel music industry now for almost 6 years asking that The Lord would raise up a voice (or many voices) within that genre of music who are MORE than a great set of lungs but who carry an actual message that transcends the “How I got over” message that has been resident for SO long in gospel music. The prevailing theme of gospel music hasn’t been the GOSPEL at all or even adoration for this God we so readily sing about as if he is our best friend but we don’t really know. The resounding theme has been about a God who fights on our behalf and is committed to our comfort. The reality is he’s after hearts that KNOW him and WORSHIP him based on who he is not mostly WHAT he does.

So then a voice gets raised up like Mali Music who is a man in love with The Man. And the opportunity comes for him to be a witness as a guest on American Idol. And the next day (today) believers everywhere do what we do best at times: complain. Seriously? In an industry where Christian artist have been fighting to sound like U2 and Greenday or Michael Jackson and 2Pac for YEARS – finally there is a voice of one who is fully in love with Jesus and we complain when the secular industry recognizes his sound and message and all we can do is “hold our tongues” because his song didn’t directly say the word “Jesus”? Recently, a powerful well-known evangelist said to me “In 25 years of street evangelism, we have never been successful in reaching homosexuals. Why?” I said “Thats easy. Its because you cant stand on a street corner and preach hell to them. They already know that. You have to SHOW them love not preach love to them”. Same with Mali Music. In my opinion, American Idol was NOT the platform for a “Jesus is the answer” type of song. They know that. What the world needs to see is the answer in action through the body of Christ. What Mali did was sing a love song from Jesus to us OVER the listeners which wet the appetite.

I’m sure there is plenty more to say but in the end, as a brother in Christ and as an artist I want to THANK Mali for his witness which is deeper than his song. You will likely never see this but you are paving a way and bridge a gap that needed to be closed long ago -oh but for a witness. Bless you man of God.