From the Don’t Waste Your Life Campaign to the new Man Up Campaign, the boys over at Reach Records seem to be clocking a 24 hour shift to both share and personify their message that young people (especially men) can and should be unashamed about their faith.
116 Man Up Anthem
I’ve listened to all the songs and I’ve watched the trailer and for me, there are 6 things that really make this current campaign stand out.
1. It’s Counter-Cultural (on all the right points)
Young men are not doing well (they are not doing anything much really), right across the world. Especially in predominantly black communities young men are avoiding every major mainstream organization (church, schools and business sector) like the plague.
2. Its Culturally Relevant
The Man Up Campaign is addressing a real problem. In their words:
“There’s an ongoing war within urban culture. Confusion over what manhood is has plagued our cities, families and lives. The concept of a biblical man has been lost in our generation.”
Reachlife is not the only ones to have noticed this problem. “Black men ‘to blame for most violent city crime’… but they’re also the victims,” a story by the Daily Mail in Britain is just one of the many reports on how cultural misconceptions of manhood are ruining young men, their families and communities.
3. Its Globally Relevant
i. The campaign focus is globally relevant:
At the University of the West Indies in Jamaica for example, the annual enrolment is around 82% females to 18% males.
A recent, rather controversial report in the International Business Times claimed that “Black Schoolboys in UK Fail Academically on Purpose.”
“In 2010, only 40 percent of Afro-Caribbean boys completed five good GCSEs including English and math, versus a national average of 58.5 percent.”
ii. The medium (Hip Hop) is globally relevant:
I doubt I need to justify this point beyond noting that I am in Jamaica (Caribbean) and already, I know all the songs.
4. The Campaign is BIG
The Man Up Campaign is, fittingly, a big response to a big problem. This is admirable because it reflects serious thought, consideration and faith that investing in the lives of others won’t be in vain.
They could have saved their money and just had a random article or a one off video blog post. They could’ve just had a big concert and a talk. Not so though – the Campaign includes a movie (short film), an album (sound-track), a curriculum and a concert tour.
5. The Campaign is INTERNALLY generated, i.e. – Authentic
The Campaign is not being directed by the National Association of Older Christian People Who Think Its Full Time These Young Boys Get Themselves Together Association, featuring a few young Christian rappers. Instead we have a few Christian young men who know what it’s like to be free from the distorted ideals of our culture.
(The truth is even if the Campaign was being led by older folks with a genuine love and passion and interest – (like John Piper!) – the effect still wouldn’t be the same. )
6. The Man Up Campaign is Ripping Masculine
Examine the Anthem video. It’s an all male cast, rapping like men, addressing male issues, from a male perspective.
It has stripped away the false – very uncomfortable for those of us with testosterone – “church” culture ideal of Christian manliness (the soft singing choir boy with a permanently bent wrist, and a seemingly unending wardrobe of long sleeve shirts and ties).
The BIG BLUNDER
There is one MAJOR drawback to the campaign however. I don’t know how they could have made such a ridiculous blunder! It seems that in all their planning and publicizing the Man Up Campaign has not yet set a date for the Jamaica leg of their tour 😀.
You cannot talk masculinity and not come to Jamaica son. We need to fix that Reach.
So what do you think about the Man-Up Campaign? Do you think it has the potential to make any significant impact?
For more info on Man Up campaign visit http://www.manup116.com/. To listen to the latest single from the Man Up soundtrack click the link: http://on.fb.me/nUGhLm