MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Reverend Kenneth Whalum Jr., pastor of New Olivet Baptist Church, has a new rap music video. Whalum, who's also a member of the Unified School Board, says he made the video to help reach troubled kids. But, the video is causing trouble for the reverend among his fellow clergy.
As a preacher, Rev. Whalum is considered a man of the cloth. He says because of some his controversial statements many preachers want to take that cloth.
According to Whalum, those same preachers have not only declared war against him, they've also declared war against the hip-hop generation. So what Whalum decided to do was anger them even more.
Rev. Whalum is proud of his new music video, called "Hip Hop Is Not Our Enemy".
Whalum says since it debuted on the New Olivet Baptist Church website
, he's been slammed.
"I've been threatened by pastors, I've been ostracized, but the one who died on this cross here was ostracized by the very people he came to save."
The reverend says more traditional preachers don't like the fact he's rapping and allowing kids to dance inside the pulpit of his church.
Like it or not, he says there's a method to his madness.
"You got to reach them where they are," Whalum says. "We can't continue to marginalize an entire generation and expect them to become productive citizens in the society that marginalizes them."
He decided to make a music video because, "for like, 3 weeks in a row, all we've seen is teenagers being killed and shot by other teenagers - gang bangers doing what gang bangers do… we need to encourage our children."
Rev. Whalum says his music video has several purposes - one is to keep kids out of the Shelby County Jail.
"If we as a society don't begin to embrace them, we haven't seen the beginning. The violence we see now is the tip of the iceberg. We have to love our children, we can't war against them. We have to love them into their destiny."
A couple of years ago Whalum also released a book titled Hip Hop Is Not Our Enemy.
This past Saturday he was in Nashville picking up a Stellar Gospel Music Award for his book. It was the first time in the 28 year history of the awards show that a book was honored.