Jesus is popular. Like diamond grills and Cristal champagne once were, hip hop and R&B artists are noticeably infatuated with Christ. His word is casually weaved into rap lyrics, like rapper Meek Mill’s controversial song “Amen,” which pushed Philadelphia pastor, Jomo K. Johnson, to start a boycott of the artist’s music. Kanye West, known to use Christianity in a way that some consider blatant blasphemy and others utter genius, sprinkled in Matthew 13:42 in the babbling bridge of “Mercy.”
Though use of the gospel has strangely become as common as luxury cars and large-bottomed women in rap culture, we were surprised to see singer Dawn Richard’s use of Mary and Jesus Christ on one of the covers for her new song 'Pretty Wicked Things.'
“I wanted to show images of beauty that were tainted by wicked acts. The photo captured the love of a mother and son, and the sad fact that He had to die because non-believers didn't understand His purpose,” Dawn explains to EBONY.com, concerning her decision to use the religious photo.
The song, which features dark, melancholy lyrics, is accompanied by two other covers featuring dueling white lions, and a third of Dawn showing off a pair of long, black spiked nails that look like talons. “I also chose white lions attacking one another. The beauty and rarity of white lions…but the wicked truth of instinct and nature.”
Concerning the meaning behind 'Pretty Wicked Things,' Dawn says, “One must destroy the other to prove rank. These [photos] are relatable in the world today. It explains how the beautiful can be tainted by the wicked. Many know this truth all too well.”
'Pretty Wicked Things' is available on iTunes.