07 April 2010
Rapping for Jesus
By Sandie Shirley, Network Norwich
With a brand of rapping that shouts its rhythmic faith vocals across the internet, Norwich prison and the East End of London, Michelle Hobart is at the cutting edge of the raw music scene with a poignant life-changing message for the masses, including the Church.
At just 23, with a faith transition three years ago, she harnessed the beat for Jesus with a creative medley that includes: 'My Darkest Hour' and 'Sacrifice'. Her CD - The Cube of Life - launched last autumn, comes in the wake of her live performances.
Her inspiration has come from American rapper Kanye West. Michelle confesses to leaving the path of faith and venting her anger against injustice and bullying at school with some heavy-duty rapping lyrics. But West, a Christian artist with a gospel message to penetrate the mainstream market, helped put her back on track. Hearing the song 'Jesus Walks' watered the seeds of Michelle's childhood faith and answered the prayers of her ceaselessly praying mother, Marilyn.
Within a short time, Michelle was drawn to the Norwich Family Life Church. She stepped through the door while the church service was in progress to hear the story of the Lost Sheep.
"Jesus left the 99 sheep to look for the lost one. I had become lost and heartbroken and wanted to find God. I was allowed to taste the world and see how awful it was but He has turned everything around for good and now I am free and I can go on," said Michelle.
Michelle is reminded of that freedom everyday. After making a faith commitment in September 2007, she had her arms tattooed with broken chains to record the event. "My life was once like a muddled Rubik Cube, twisted and mismatched but now its patterned and coloured aligned through my Saviour's forgiveness, mercy and love," she said.
"I scrapped all my old songs of hate and anger. My songs are now full of Jesus because, as one of my favourite songs says, even in my darkest hour I get my power from Him. My dream is to conquer the mainstream market with Christian music that tells the positive truth about Jesus and there is another album in the pipeline," she says.