“Did you know that I was healed of cancer?
Not one time ever seeing a doctor;
By His stripes we are healed it says,
But a lot of ya’ll still walking around dead;
I’m the prodigal son and I’m here playa,
Setting up shop for God playa,
If your soul ain’t right, get it right playa,
Cuz it ain’t guaranteed to see tomorrow playa.”
The words from this verse are repeated every time South Florida-based Christian rapper, The Prodigal Son, gets on stage. His message: “If God did it for me, He can do it for you.”
After being diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer over eight years ago, The Prodigal Son, whose real name is Kelly Williams, said he heard a voice from God.
“I’d just done a show at the Apollo and when I stepped off the stage, my spirit said, ‘That’s it.’ I didn’t really get it at first, but on the plane on the way home, I clearly heard God say, ‘That’s it. I’ve allowed you do what you wanted to do, but it’s time for you to work for me,’” Williams said.
At first, Williams said he rebelled. Though he’d been raised in a Baptist home and believed in God, he’d lived a troubled adolescence. He was in and out of jail for eight years of his youth on complicity to robbery, probation violation and grand theft charges, and was also a Piru Blood gang member. Coming from the streets, rapping for God didn’t appeal to him.
“I had never even heard of any Christian rappers. So I was arguing with God, like, ‘What do you mean?’” Williams explained.
One night while channel surfing, Williams came across rapper-turned-pastor Mason Betha (aka Diddy’s old friend, Mase) giving his testimony on the Turner Broadcasting Network, TBN. That night, Williams said he surrendered.
“I got on my knees and asked God to save me for real. I thought, ‘Wow I’m going to be the first Christian rapper,”’ Williams recalled.
After that experience, Williams said he began to pray over his X-rays and decree the mantra found in
1 Peter 2:24 that Jesus’ stripes, he was healed. When he went back to the doctor, there was no evidence of the cancer.
Since then, Williams has been rapping for Jesus. Now 33, he is also a husband, father and vice president of Holy-wood Records, which he founded with his wife of eight years, Sheila.
“I’ve seen my husband perform a thousand times and every time I see him in concert, I’m always amazed at what he does. He has such zeal and it’s not about boosting up Prodigal or the man. I know he’s doing it for God,” Sheila said.
Williams’ music is an effective full-time ministry. To date, he has witnessed over 7,000 conversions, been nominated for the 2010 Stellar Award Gospel Rap CD of the Year, and worked with industry heavyweights Canton Jones, K-Drama and Lyfe Jennings.
Now, Williams is gearing up for a national CD release concert for his fourth studio album, Kingdom Swagga-Nomics.
“I think it’s important for artists to always give their testimony. I’m not a gimmick. My approach is to just be truthful. I give people real- life scenarios they can relate to. You have to come across in a manner where you can appeal to everyone so the message can be penetrating without compromising,” Williams said.
One day Williams hopes to get the same respect as a gospel artist that Jay-Z gets as a secular artist in mainstream culture. His
reason? He can reach more souls.
“The non-Christian can look at me and say he came from selling drugs, being in a gang, being homeless, being a crack baby, doing time in prison and now he’s talking about God in his music. I just don’t want people to go down the same path I went down, period,” Williams emphasized.
When it’s all over, Williams said, he hopes his journey as a gospel rapper will have made an impact both on earth and in heaven.
“I want God to say, ‘Yo! You did it Dawg. You did your thing. You did exactly as I told you to do. I’m proud of you, let me get a CD,” Williams said.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Kingdom Swagga-Nomics CD Release Concert
WHERE: Changing Your Life Ministries, 4501 N.W. 31st Ave., Oakland Park, FL 33309
WHEN: Friday, June 18 at 7 p.m.
COST: $5.00 (includes free CD and a chance to win a 19-inch Flat Screen TV)
CONTACT: For more information, please call 954-678-8498 or visit www.holywoodrecords.net.