According to a north Philadelphia Minister, the new song from Meek Mill ft. Drake & Jeremih, "Amen" is blasphemous and is blatantly disrespectful.

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Posted by Jenice Armstrong, Daily News Columnist
Philadelphia Daily News

A NORTH PHILLY preacher isn't offering an "amen" to a Philly rapper's most recent offering.

The Rev. Jomo K. Johnson is calling for a boycott of Meek Mill, one of Philly's most popular hip-hop artists, after being offended by the lyrics of Mill's new single.

The song's title? "Amen."

The song, which also features Canadian rap superstar Drake, is blasphemous because it thanks God for what many would consider rather ungodly things, says Johnson: freewheeling sex, money, violence. And that, Johnson says, is going to send Mill straight to hell.

Such pronouncements might be predictable if Johnson were one of the usual suspects in the culture wars: some old fart who didn't understand hip-hop or the environment about which Mill sings. But that's not the case. Johnson is practically the same age as Mill, and he grew up listening to much of the same music and having many of the same influences as Mill did. Johnson's church, moreover, the Philly Open Air Church on Germantown Avenue, isn't far from where Mill — born Robert Williams — grew up.

"I'm a hip-hop fan. But I believe there is a need to really call him out and say enough is enough," said Johnson, who founded his nondenominational evangelical Christian church two years ago. "He seems to really be using the church as a backdrop and a parallel for some of the sinful things that he does."

Johnson, who first called for a boycott of Mill on his blog,, has also self-published a book he wrote on the subject called No Amen: Why Boycotting Meek Mill Will Help Save Hip Hop.

"As a hip-hop fan, I want to encourage every rap fan in Philadelphia who is a believer in Jesus Christ, to boycott Meek Mill until he acknowledges this blatant disrespect," Johnson wrote on his blog. "And being resident of North Philadelphia and pastor, I revoke Meek's ‘hood pass' until this happens."

Though a representative, Mill declined to comment on Johnson's call for a boycott.

So what in Johnson's mind is so sacrilegious about Mill's song?

After all, "Amen" starts off innocuously enough, as Mill sings:

"I just wanna thank God/For all the pretty women he let into my life/ All the Benjamins he let me count ..." But then the song takes a turn makes a turn, becoming darker, as Mill starts going on about killing people, having sex and drinking alcohol until he overdoses.

"Now it's a lot of bad b------ in the building (Ooh, Amen)

A couple real n----- in the building (Amen)

I'm finna kill n----- in the building (Amen)"

He sings in the song's hook. Then, in the last verse, we get this:

"Lord forgive me for my sins, I'm just tryna win and s---

Devil in a dress but if she knock I let her in

And if she knock I let her in

I have her wet by 12 o'clock, then 3 o'clock she wet again

I'm screaming Oh Lord, that p---- good, that p---- good"

So "Amazing Grace," it isn't. And something tells me that somewhere, the late C. Delores Tucker, the Philly-based civil rights activist who led a national campaign against offensive gangsta rap music lyrics in the 1990s, is cheering Johnson on about now.

Which isn't to say Johnson's boycott is going to get very far. It won't. Mill is a comer, an emerging hip-hop star who is poised to become one of the bigger rap artists to come out of Philly. Jomo is small-time preacher looking to establish a name for himself. Plus, the song is catchy. I caught myself bopping around in my seat as I listened to it for the umpteenth time. Mill, who made headlines last month for being among those in a New York City nightclub last month with Chris Brown and Drake when a fight broke out, is clearly a talent.

But could we get at least get an "amen" for Johnson for at least taking a public stand against all-too-common negative imagery in hip-hop?

It's one thing to have knee-jerk criticism from some corners when it comes to hip-hop, but I pay a little more attention when the criticism is from a die-hard fan who embraces the genre the way Johnson does. The 32-year-old Georgia native grew up listening to gangsta rap music and living his version of the lifestyle — until he was locked up aggravated assault charges.

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My question is how do you feel about the song? If you haven't heard it yet, check it out here and then weigh in and tell us what you think. Did Meek Mill go too far by naming this song Amen and is it blasphemous?