“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 KJV)
Just after midday on Wednesday, Damian Griffin found himself meditating briefly on what undoubtedly is his favorable Biblical passage.
For Griffin, while such a scripture is amongst the most recited and familiar in the Body Christ, for him, it is one that has greatly shaped the overall landscape of his young life.
“It always reminds me that in all things, it is working out for my good,” Griffin told News Reporter Andre Johnson.
Fortunately for Griffin, a 24-year-old native of Memphis, his young life surely has been filled with its share of highs and lows — with the lows, to his recollection, steering him mightily ever so closely to Almighty God.
Looking back, it’s safe to assume that all things have worked out for his good, largely because of his immense talents through music.
After spending years entertaining crowds as an up-and-coming rapper in the secular realm, Griffin miraculously witnessed his musically-inclined endeavors take on a whole new meaning when he ultimately had an unforeseen worship experience with Christ.
Boy, did he ever.
“When I got saved, my way of living changed,” Griffin explained. “I was a secular rap artist before accepting Christ. After I accepted Him, I begin spreading the Gospel through rap music.”
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…”
For Griffin, who was raised in the heart of poverty-stricken South Memphis, life as he knew it wasn’t always such that he was living carefree, let alone on cruise control. Having dropped out of school months before he was scheduled to graduate from Memphis Carver High, Griffin subsequently witnessed his life seemingly take a dreaded detour.
An unchartered one at that.
All because he bolted school prematurely.
“I told my mother I would go and get (my diploma),” Griffin said. “I stayed persistent and I did.”
He eventually made good on his pledge.
Having re-enrolled in school, this time at Memphis’ Messick Adult High, Griffin last weekend earned his much-anticipated diploma, effectively ending the notion that this young black man was destined to become yet another statistic on the dangerous streets of Memphis.
“…to them who are the called according to his purpose….”
Aside from having earned his high school diploma days ago, life for Griffin appears headed a favorable direction.
For starters, he doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s become ever so close in his relationship with God.
“I didn’t grow up in church,” Griffin said. “I didn’t have anyone to drag me and my siblings into church. A lot of things I’m not familiar with because of this, but I have grown spiritually since being in church after I got saved.”
So much, in fact, that Griffin’s music talents soared to immense heights when he assembled his album entitled, “Jesus And Grind,” which was officially released on October 11, 2015.
A project that is comprised of seven tracks, amongst Griffin’s notable hits is a remix with Erica Campbell entitled “I Luh God.”
Not “Love,” mind you. But “Luh.”
“It caught the attention of RJ Groove,” said Griffin, alluding to the renowned disk jockey for Memphis’ Hallelujah FM 95.7. “Two months later, I heard it on the radio.”
Griffin said the purpose for his album — which is starting to become known amongst Memphians — is to “uplift and inspire” people from various walks of life, regardless of their age, regardless of their race, creed or color.
“(I want) to let people know about God’s love by spreading the good news through song and recording,” Griffin said. “This album was inspired by my pastor, Marron Thomas, who often tells us to, ‘Have, Jesus and grind.’”
Much to the delight of Griffin, Thomas, the Senior Pastor of Innovation Church at 3925 Overton Crossing Street in the Frayser area of Memphis, has helped steer him in the right direction spiritually, particularly during a time he needed it the most.
“Pastor Marron is one of my greatest inspirations and a spiritual father to me,” Griffin said.
Not to mention a man who greatly helped him realize that even through his musical gifts, he’s empowered and equipped to reach the masses.
“My ministry as a recording artist is anointed,” Griffin explained. “The thing I love to do is include a scripture in my songs. I honestly like to prefer them as sermons. Because I don’t see myself as an artist, but as a minister. The booth is my pulpit, and when I’m recording, I’m spreading the word of God. God has blessed me with the ability to actually memorize my rhymes instead of writing them. So when you see me recording, it’s neither pencil nor paper near me…just me, the microphone, and God.”
By and large, as Griffin tells it, there is no certain catch to putting his gospel rapping talents on display.
“I usually pray before recording a song,” he said.
Something by which we all ought to follow suit.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.