Gospel Spotlight : 'Bad Boy Jabez' uses dancehall to deliver sermons
"Yes, man! Bad Boy Jabez!," the gospel singer said after revealing his knowledge of the current dancehall scene to THE WEEKEND STAR.
Though he has spent the past few years building his ministry at the Family Love Church, located in Linstead, St Catherine, while trying to strike the balance with being a gospel recording artiste, Jabez still keeps up with present day music.
"I listen the song," Jabez said of Ishawna's controversial oral sex-themed called Equal Rights. "I think part of it could have been toned down - very explicit. But I guess people do what they have to do," he told THE WEEKEND STAR. "The song is a very interesting song. I know she did it because she wanted to stimulate controversy. I'm aware of the Loodi controversy, too, so yuh know seh mi up deh!"
The only issue Jabez had with the now very topical song by Ishawna was the use of expletives.
"She could have used a different word. It's just too explicit. You're not leaving any room for creativity. Tanya Stephens talk about certain things, but she curve it," Jabez said.
Jabez believes that he has to be in tune with the dancehall scene in order to properly communicate with young people.
"As a pastor, I listen dancehall. From Gage to Masicka to Alkaline. You gotta know. I preach on these things. I use it in my message. I use it as a guide to at least talk to the young people," he continued.
Having been absent from the gospel stage after becoming a pastor three years ago, Jabez has been focused on the church. Now, he has regraced the stage with renewed energy.
"It's challenging. Pastor work is demanding," Jabez told THE WEEKEND STAR. He explained that ministry within the church and its community has limited his time in ministry through music and that this was noticeable to his diehard fans.
"People always asking how they don't hear from me. So this album means reconnecting with my fans and purpose, which is, originally, music," he said.
Last year, Jabez hit the studios and released two albums in one year: Favour Again in the summer and Reconnect in December.
FANS MISS THE MUSIC
According to Jabez, Internet statistics show that fans really did miss his music.
He recently released a music video for Cancelled, the lead single from Reconnect. Jabez told THE WEEKEND STAR that the song is in radio rotation in Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, and parts of the United States and Canada.
Following the release of Reconnect, the gospel artiste's schedule has become choked with international performances.
"I'm on tour in the US," Jabez said. "I just came down from Canada, a sold-out show with Kevin Downswell, and I'm doing a show in the Bronx. I'm also headlining along with international US gospel artiste Jonathan Nelson in St Maarten at Worship Without Apology in June," Jabez said, revealing that he has just turned down another booking for that same date.
Jabez returns to Jamaica tomorrow, just a week before his eighth annual Thank You Mama concert, which will take place at Dinthill Technical High School on Sunday, May 14.