Since the first African footprint marked our Black ass arrival onto American soil, Old Negro Spirituals have been instrumental in transforming us, up from the bowels of slavery into the most glorified symbols of resilience. This form of gospel is a staple in Black culture. Inspiration for negro spirituals come straight outta text from The Bible:
“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:19 KJV)
God’s good word cannot be overstated. Thus, it is universal law to keep ourselves lifted by following the way, the truth and the light of his greatness.
Suchlike old negro spirituals, it takes an exceptional negro spiritualist to keep Black folk encouraged. One must be charismatic, provocative and have an innate ability to pour into our mind and spirit. He must be a shepherd at heart-—one that tell’eth no lies, that snatch’eth thine edges and maketh thy soul glow. We may recognize these rare qualities in top-shelf negroes such as TD Jakes and Creflo Dollar, or even our own local cleric. However, I’m here to tell y’all there’s a new hitta on the block. His name is Plies.
Yes, that Plies.
In these perilous times, wherein women and men are “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…” (Timothy 3:2-5 KJV), the “Gimme-that-Becky” rapper-turned-Niggevangelist is handing out the anointment, and saving souls, one Instagram post at a time.Ain't no arguing, Bih. I'm happy. ~Plies Click To Tweet
In his most recent alter call, he delivers parishioners from the harm and risk associated with chowing down on expired victuals, specifically Thanksgiving leftovers. According to Pastor Plies, leftovers mustn’t linger till the point of ptomaine poisoning. The holiday scraps are to be eulogized and funeralized in a timely manner. He preaches health and wellness as he breaks down actionable commandments for handling post-Thanksgiving grub. It behooves us all to listen:
- Wednesday: meal prep.
- Thursday: go in.
- Friday: savory remix.
- Saturday: you pushing it.
- Sunday: abandon turkey.
- Monday: you fucking around.
- Tuesday: now you got worms.
- Wednesday: Emergency Room run.
- Thursday: you the dead homie.
Plies shows up religiously for Blackness. He offers daily affirmations on knowing better, for those who don’t; doing better, for those you won’t; and feeling better about yo’self. He encourages women to celebrate their authentic selves in an era of tummy tucks, boob jobs and ass-shots–“whether [they] got a lil booty, or too much booty or no booty at all.” His reverence keeps us lifted.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 ESV).
Plies don’t stand for ignorant violence in his clergy. A goon offered “goon services” with a promise to “ride or die.” He politely declined, telling the wretched soul that he must first value life—his own and others. He is a minister of peace.
“The words of a good person give life, like a fountain of water, but the words of the wicked contain nothing but violence.” (Proverbs 10:11 NCV)
With a drawling southern tongue and non-enunciated consonants, Plies calls out fuckery and he shoots from the hip. Anybody can get it, including his own auntie who borrows money from a family member, then becomes indignant when its time to pay up. Plies is an honest servant.
“Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.” (Proverbs 28:18)
Like a true prosperity preacher, Plies stunts for his followers. He dons expensive fedoras and shit, silk pajamas, custom-designed Roberto Cavalli get-up, all Gucci ery’thang, and ‘nough bling to make them vintage Cash Money CD covers look piss poor. He’s extra. But he does all this in jest—to say get up, get out and get some. Plies preaches prosperity.
“Whoever brings blessing will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.” (Proverbs 11:25)
His everyday is modest and filled with humility; from big upping Popeye’s employees to dropping insightful jewels and nigga knowledge on the masses. He out here handing out salvation.
On some of the shittiest days 2017 had to offer, Plies blessed my heart, made me chuckle, put a big ole Kool-Aid smile on my face. I am delivert. Get you some. This negro is the good reverend doctor. He is to be protected at all cost ’cause he’s Black as fuck and he is ours. On. My. Mama.
Ida Harris is a journalist and cultural critic covering a range of topics that intersect with Blackness, including art, activism, pop culture, parenting and womanhood. Ida is especially known for her critical writing on sexual assault against Black women and girls. Her work is featured in ELLE , DAME , Blavity, Teen Vogue , and USA Today.