Danny Brown's Pac Blood.
There are a ton of songs about or inspired by Dallas, and they say a lot about who we are. So each week in this space, we'll take a closer week at one of these songs — and we'll try to determine what, exactly, they say about this great city of ours. Check out this feature's archives here.
Though he was still a largely unknown commodity at the time, Spin magazine named up-and-coming Detroit rapper Danny Brown's 2011 mixtape XXX the No. 1 rap album of the year. To put that nod in perspective: That was six slots higher than Jay-Z and Kanye's Watch the Throne collabo placed.
But nobody thinks more highly of the Detroit rapper than Brown himself. Just ask him.
Better yet, take a listen to XXX's third track. Ambitiously titled “Pac Blood,” Brown brags in the song that his rhymes are so real, the rapper thought he “wrote it in Pac blood,” referencing the iconic Tupac Shakur. Sure, Brown's unique flow and distinctive voice make him one of the most compelling and promising rappers of the past decade, but boasting about being so unbelievable that it's as if he dipped his quill pen in the blood of deceased rap royalty? Now that's some next level ish.
And he doesn't stop there. The rest of the song's chorus throws jabs at sacred cows like Gandhi, the Pope, the Virgin Mary and low-hanging fruit like Sarah Palin, all while Brown boldly asserts that his rhymes are so mind-blowing that it causes these people to take actions drastically in opposition to their character.
His flow, Brown eventually says in that same chorus, “had T.D. Jakes 'round this bitch doing stickups.”
To understand just how crazy Brown's rhymes are, though, it helps to understand exactly how uncharacteristic it is to believe that Bishop T.D. Jakes would participate in armed robberies.
In 1996, Dallas' Eagles Nest Family Church came under fire when its pastor, the somewhat controversial televangelist W.V. Grant was convicted of tax evasion. Not long after, the facilities were sold to West Virginia televangelist T.D. Jakes, who reopened the church's doors under the name The Potter's House.
When Jakes moved to Dallas to start up his local ministry, 50 families from his West Virginia congregation relocated to the area as well, and formed the nucleus of what would soon to be the area's largest mega-church.
The Potter's House now boasts a congregation of over 30,000 members. Astoundingly, though, it's far from the largest mega-church in the country. It's not even largest in Texas — or even the Metroplex, for that matter.
According to Outreach magazine, which keeps a yearly track of this sort of thing, Texas is home to 18 of the country's 100 biggest mega-churches, and eight of those are located in North Texas. Houston's Joel Osteen-led Lakewood Church tops the list, of course, with 43,000 in attendance every week. Also in the top 10: Grapevine's Fellowship Church and Dallas' The Potter's House, whose weekly attendances are reportedly 19,900 and 17,000, respectively.
Interestingly enough, Dallas is also home to what is widely regarded as the world's largest predominantly gay church. Ninety percent of Cathedral of Hope's approximately 4,000 members are gay.
But we digress.
Growing one of the country's largest congregations takes a rather dynamic leader, and Jakes is most certainly that. In fact, back in 2001 Time magazine posed the following question when they featured Jakes on their cover: “Is this man the next Billy Graham?”
And that question is certainly a valid one. Jakes has authored 30 books, several of which spent time on The New York Times' Best Seller List, has produced and/or acted in a handful of religious movies, has been nominated for a Grammy for one of his gospel albums, has received 13 honorary degrees and doctorates from universities all over the country, and has hosted annual conferences like MegaFest which routinely draw well over 100,000 attendees.
But the comparison to Graham has also drawn Jakes his fair share of detractors, too. The biggest criticisms to Time's question are related to the two men's difference in lifestyle: Though Graham and Jakes boast net worths of $25 and $18 million, respectively, Jakes, according to his critics, lives a much more lavish lifestyle. Or, to put it another way, Jakes, who is known for commonly referring to himself as a “hillbilly,” isn't necessarily known for living like one.
That helps explain how his 2004 film, Woman, Thou Art Loosed, which was based on his 1996 self-help novel and its subsequent Tyler Perry-directed stage play, was funded by Jakes himself as well as a team of investors that included Johnnie Cochran and Cedric the Entertainer. Also? Jakes opted to play himself in the film.
But that's not to say he's all bad either. Jakes has, after all, helped turn the lives of thousands of residents from Dallas and beyond with his powerful messages that are televised around the globe each week.
Hey, he even baptized former Dallas Cowboys players Deion Sanders and Emmitt Smith once upon a time, too. All we're saying is that it would be pretty tough trying to imagine him ever participating in a stickup.
And, even though Brown seemed pretty serious when he tweeted about as such, it was just as hard to imagine he was serious about never performing in Dallas again after he was disrespected by fans at a show with Childish Gambino last April.
We'll take the fact that he's performed in town a couple times since then as evidence that he, in fact, did not sign that tweet with Pac blood.