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*** 2nd UPDATE 2/21/11 *** by Steven Patton

So, as most of you probably know by now, Bizzle and I had a good, long chat today. There was no meeting of the Holy Hip-Hop High Council, just me & Biz talking to each other. We discussed our disagreements, grievances, explained our positions, talked hip-hop and more. During that conversation I did something I want to do in this updated edition - apologize and hopefully rewrite the script a bit.

One thing that I did that was admittedly wack: I never said what I liked about Biz’s music and why he should be mentioned in the Freshman 11 of 2011. I took time to mention what I disliked about his content without ever saying what I actually LIKED about it. I spent so much time on the small part of his catalogue that I disagreed with and never EVER mentioned any of the volumes of things I agreed with. I admit, that was lame. And it was wrong. I should have mentioned any of the other songs and features he’s done that highlight why I felt like he was deserving of the “honor” we were giving. Instead, in a genre where substance trumps style I never made mention of any of the content I actually liked. It was wack, lame and deserving of harsh criticism.

I’m not writing to defend myself. Have I seen some of the comments made about me? Sure. Some. There seemed to be A LOT and quite honestly I’d much rather be spending time in the scriptures, in prayer and in the lives of those needing the impact of the message we spread rather than spending all day looking at what other people think of me. But I’m not looking to share “my side of the story” or to defend myself against anyone with ill words towards me or towards Rapzilla as a whole. I think it would just perpetuate a problem that I helped create. I’m writing to say that ironically while I emphasized so much about my thoughts about Bizzle’s approach being wrong, mine was wrong. And for that I apologize. One thing I would try to do is to put Bizzle’s music in a light to where people - regardless of the feelings about the ONE or TWO songs -would look at his entire catalogue and not categorize him by just those songs. Obviously that was an EPIC FAIL on my part. I like Bizzle’s music and I genuinely think he deserves a mention on this list. Unfortunately, I did a poor job of representing myself as to why I feel this way and in turn I did a poor job of representing Bizzle and his music. I regret it, it was wrong and I sincerely apologize.

I know there are no mulligans in this but IF I could get one, I’d retell my feelings about Bizzle in this way:
He garnered a massive amount of attention from both the secular Hip Hop world (AllHipHop.com, WorldStarHipHop.com, etc.) and Christian Hip Hop world. Once anyone hears the L.A. based rapper, there's no question as to why he'd be mentioned as one of our picks to look out for this year. His slick lyricism and wordplay keep listeners engaged for the entire song. While he's done a few mixtapes, it was “Some Explaining to Do” & "Truth Music" tracks in which he takes a controversial shot at Jay Z that generated much of his early buzz. But whether you agreed with the songs or not, don’t fall into the trap of some and summarize his entire catalogue by these 2 songs. He continually challenges the streets to elevate and come out where they are follow Christ. And he does it in a way a true “Messenger” (the title of each of his 3 mixtapes) can do it. So whether you love Christian Hip-Hop or are like some of his audience that isn’t too keen on his many Christ centered messages,one thing is for sure: you'll be entertained enough to want to know what else he's got coming in 2011.

*** UPDATED 2/20/11 ***

We at Rapzilla would like to clarify and apologize to our audience and most importantly Bizzle, regarding the remarks made in our Freshman 11 piece.

It has been made obvious via the massive amounts of Twitter traffic and comments on the post, that our comments offended Bizzle. Particularly the “Pray for Bizzle’s growth in Christ...” line has seemed to cause quite a stir and plainly offended him. For that, we apologize. We apologized to Bizzle via direct message following his very first tweet and clarified that the line was misread and that we only intended to show him love. We offer this public apology as well. I added the line to Steve Patton’s contribution to the article as an earnest plea for believers to pray for him and his growth. It was not a shot, attack or diss aimed at him by any means. It wasn’t a backhanded “y’all pray for him ‘cause he’s a lost soul” type of thing, it was a genuine plea for prayer for our brother in Christ. You will see that we did the same in our numerous posts promoting Malice’s (of The Clipse) book, with it being received in love rather than taken as an offense. If this line was taken as anything other than that, then we offer our sincerest apologies for not choosing our words more carefully and obviously offending our brother in this. If you are a frequent Rapzilla reader, you know that we don’t take attack, diss, or take shots at artists and extremely rarely, if ever, even post album reviews that would receive a low rating by reviewers. We leaned on this reputation in using that last line hoping it would be seen through that lens. Seeing that it wasn’t viewed through that lens, we understand how that sentence could offend. Again, we apologize for offending our brother in this.

In regards to our feelings about his approach, in particular his approach to songs like “Truth Music”, we stand firm on those. While we see no biblical flaw in addressing sin and even attacking it, there is no biblical grounds for calling out and demonizing a person to get your point across. The way we see it, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities” is a real thing and we should keep our fight there. If and we mean, if a person is to address a person they disagree with, there are other ways to do it. In fact, we think Bizzle did it quite well in addressing Nicki Minaj in another one of his songs. Add on the the fact that he addressed highly speculative things like secret societies and devil worshipping and the approach becomes much more disagreeable. For us, its not a matter of being loving to the artists he attacked, its a matter of dealing with these things appropriately. Jay Z is not our enemy and neither is Rick Ross or Kanye West. Satan is our enemy and our attacks must be there. Feel free to disagree with what they stand for, but don’t put them to the place where they are the living representation of what you speak against. In scripture, we see Paul address all types of sin and false teachers yet doesn’t name them by name. On some false teachers he wished they would circumcise themselves to the point of castration - that’s how angry he was at their teaching. Yet, we have no idea who those people are. Why? Because he didn’t deem it necessary to name them. They weren’t the enemy, the one using them to confuse people was. There are a litany of other examples to pull from that lead us to the conclusion that we don’t agree with his approach.

What we find interesting is that while we do what we can to make room for people who disagree with our approach - and there are many - it seems as if Bizzle and his camp would make enemies of those who disagree with him. We disagree with his approach in the past yet find him fit for our Freshman 11 of 2011 series because we think that what he brings to the table outside of what he’s doing in those few songs is worth keeping a close eye on this year. We don’t think that brotherhood means total agreement. We hope that Bizzle and his camp can find a way for people to openly disagree with him on certain things without making a villain of those who disagree.

In closing, if you have been following this on Twitter and in the comments section, you will see a lot of responses of hate and division by Christians toward us and toward other CHH artists. Let’s continue to keep each other’s growth in prayer. We represent Christ to this dark world and our goal is to empower CHH artists with a platform to bring glory to Christ and to deliver his word. We know that sometimes we post things that some people will disagree with and we are okay with that. We just hope that in future when there is disagreement that we can either lovingly disagree or engage in civil dialogue without making villains out of those we disagree with. And if in the end we disagree on something non-essential, then so be it. Ultimately we hope to clear the air and forge ahead in love and stand with our brother Bizzle. We look forward to discussing this matter even further in private.

ORIGINAL POST 2/18/11 Bizzle - follow Bizzle @MyNameIsBizzle
He garnered a massive amount of attention from both the secular Hip Hop world (AllHipHop.com, WorldStarHipHop.com, etc.) and Christian Hip Hop world. Once anyone hears the L.A. based rapper, there's no question as to why he'd be mentioned as one of our picks to look out for this year. His slick lyricism and wordplay keep listeners engaged for the entire song. Obviously cutting his teeth as a battle emcee and often using those same ideas in his current music, some, including us, have taken issue with the way he's come into the spotlight. While he's done a few mixtapes, it was his "Truth Music" track in which he takes a controversial shot at, and disses Jay Z and Rick Ross for their alleged associations with the Illuminati and free masons. Whether you see it as rightly attacking sin, foolishly addressing wild speculation or just see it as a creative marketing ploy to promote his music - one thing is for sure: you'll be entertained enough to want to know what else he's got coming in 2011. Pray for Bizzle's growth in Christ, it seems he has a good heart but his approach was just wrong.

Click here to see other Freshmen of 2011



CONTRIBUTORS:
Steven Patton