That is when one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the cabal of high priests and said, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They settled on thirty silver pieces. He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over. (Matthew 26:14-16, The Message)
Wednesday is when the plots start to gather momentum. Moving from theory to practice, Judas chooses his side. Jesus is starting to annoy powerful people, and they want rid of him. It feels as if there really is no way back from here. It’s easy to paint Judas as the embodiment of evil, but that would be to miss the point. What his story tells us is that it’s possible to live well and still end up going badly wrong. We all mask dark secrets; if we don’t bring them into the light at some point, they’ll come back to bite us somehow, somewhere, sometime. Judas’ betrayal is, in reality all too believable. Better to make him a cartoon villain than the normal person he actually is.
Hip-hop, like much contemporary music, has an easy reputation as about sex, money and other worldly pleasures. Some of it is, of course; much of it, though, deals with the big stuff of life with wit, intelligence and perception. Scroobius Pip is one half of one Britain’s best hip-hop acts, and this song is taken from his solo album. It’s a dark song about the dark struggles behind the balanced facades of celebrity; released around Halloween, the disturbing lyrics and video capture darkness, gathering gloom and fear well. It’s an uncomfortable song of uncomfortable truths, to which I feel Judas would ask me to pay close attention.
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