After “coming out” as homosexual in June, Jeremiah Givens, a gifted lyricist who stormed Christian Hip Hop, just announced he has HIV.
“As a man living with HIV, I’m taken aback right now,” tweeted the man whose Twitter handle is @pray4jgivens. In response, his peers in the industry have shown him love. “You are in my prayers bro,” responded DJ Wade-O, for example.
This is not a tidy gutter-to-glory story. This is a Christian tragedy in five acts, which includes the latest doctrinal assault on 2000 years of church teaching. Some may debate whether this story ends in glory or tragedy, but most will be praying a redemptive thread prevails.
Jeremiah Timothy Givens was born on May 27, 1987 in Los Angeles, California, but his parents moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, so that their son wouldn’t get ensnared in gangs.
Givens was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from USC when he was introduced to drugs.
He partied on weekends, but followed a pattern of cleaning up his mess so he could return to school on Monday. A friend introduced him to crystal meth, a potent and deadly drug, and it became nine-year battle to finally get free.
Towards the end, Givens was lying on a bathroom floor, not caring if he died. He walked away from that near overdose and eventually stumbled across the hip hop of Jackie Hill-Perry. She was a Christian rapper who had turned her back on lesbianism.
Because of her music, Givens started attending church. Eventually, he met Propaganda, a CHH sensation, and Prop helped him get signed on his then-label Humble Beast Records in 2014. His album Fly Exam, a takeoff of the Icarus myth, was an examination of the fallacies and enticements of drug addiction.
“It’s about being dope and struggling with doing dope while being dope in Hip Hop,” Givens told HipHopDX. “It’s kind of a chronicle of my life in that time period of writing it. It’s sad that the older generation can’t forewarn these teenagers about the comedown part” after getting high.
Rappers who praise drugs should be truthful about the negatives, Givens said. They should say, “Yo if you go down this road, you’re gonna feel like a superstar at the party, but it’s gonna lead to this and this and this and this.’”
Fly Exam peaked at number 19 on BillBoard in the category of Top Christian Rap Albums.
After erupting in CHH, Givens broke the Internet when he announced his homosexuality in June 2018. He responded to a Twitter follower who said, “You gay bro. Instead of hearing form others, imma (sic) just ask.” His reply: “Yup.”
CHH colleagues were quick to express love towards him and suggest fans pray for him, but other commenters resorted to a more confrontational approach: “He just needs to get delivered,” one said.
Givens retorted with a flurry of blistering responses until 5:00 a.m., according to Jay from The Crew who monitors CHH.
“Y’all are in a cult and calling me the devil,” he retorted. “Zealots are insane.”
Again: “I see why people have disgust for self righteous. They’re so fragile & full of false piety… They can curse you to hell, attack your business, defame your character, while secretly jerking off to incognito browser tabs.”
Givens response contained some valid points: Most Christians would be wise to remember that Jesus says the one without sin should be the first to cast the stone.
But behind the conflagration is an even bigger issue: Should homosexuals be accepted in evangelical churches and doctrine revised to no longer see it as a sin? Intentionally or not, Givens became a beacon for those pushing for a major revision of the Bible. Read the rest of JGivens gay CHH artist.