Eugene Cho

rapper xzibit mourns son’s death

Some of you may think I’m on some sort of celebrity binge.  I’m not [and I don’t subscribe to TMZ] but when I stumbled onto news about the death of Xzibit’s baby son, it sucked.  For folks whose musical taste lean towards Rick Astley, Xzibit [Alvin Nathaniel Joiner] is a rapper, actor [Gridiron Gang], and TV personality [Pimp My Ride].  Sadly, couple of you will be offended that as a pastor, I’ve chosen to blog about an artist with “questionable” lyrics and expressions.  If that’s the case, you’re missing the point…by a lot.

As a pastor, I have the privilege of often having the best seat in some of life’s most joyous moments: officiating weddings, welcoming and praying for babies at birth, baptisms, and the list goes on.

And then, there are those moments that can crush the human soul such as the story of Xhibit’s loss of his baby son.  Just couple months ago, we had a couple at our church whose son was born prematurely and passed to be with the Lord several minutes after his birth. 

Xhibit became a father on May 15 to Xavier Kingston Joiner [born prematurely] and sadly, his son, passed away this past Monday, May 26.  On his myspace blog, Xhibit shared this entry entitled, “It’s 4.32am and I Have Some Bad News” and it’s something you should read.  It’s honest, raw, and painfully beautiful.  Honestly, one of the best ‘sermons’ I’ve read/heart in a long time.  In the same way that the recent Chapman family tragedy compelled me, reading this made me go straight to my kids’ room to just hug, kiss, and delight in them.  It compelled me to action.

My condolensces to Xhibit and his family.  Here’s his myspace blog entry:

AS you all know, I shared with you the announcment of my newborn son Xavier Kingston Joiner on may 15th and also informed you that he was born prematurly. well this week was extremly difficult for him because his lungs were not strong enough to handle regular oxygen on his own. Xavier passed away this morning at 3:30am and I must tell you this, It is unatural for a parent to bury a child. I am telling you this because of the same reason I tell you when im having great times, life is too short to be fake. Hold on to your kids if you have them, protect them and show them you love them everyday you wake up and see them, dont take a second you get to hug them teach them and care for them for granted. You can have all the material wealth in the universe but it is NOTHING compared to having your family.  I am thankful for all of my blessings and i’m not one to question God’s perfect plan, so I leave you with great love and thanks for the love that was sent earlier on my pervious blog to my son. Of course I need to take some time and handle my loss, STAY FOCUSED PEOPLE.  Its not promised to any of us.

R.I.P Xavier May 15th 2008- May 26th 2008

Filed under: entertainment, religion, , ,

17 Responses

  1. James says:

    Dang. I don’t particularly like his stuff but this is difficult news. My condolensces to X.

  2. Sandy Dobbins says:

    And the greatest of these is Love. Your blog is so refreshing and thought provoking.

  3. Joann says:

    I appreciate the juxtaposition of this entry to the entries about Maria Sue Chapman. I think that we are often inclined to show more compassion or sympathy to people like the Chapmans because we have judged them to be more “deserving” of those things, but of course, that is not true. The loss of a child is a difficult situation no matter who you are, and whether you are Xzibit or SCC, a “good” person, a Christian, etc. WE as Christians do not and should not get to judge such things.

  4. ubuntucat says:

    It’s particularly sad if you listen to his song “The Foundation”

  5. DK says:

    Great post Eugene for the very reason that @Joann mentioned.
    “X to the Z…”

  6. Donna says:

    He and his family are in my prayers as well. I am so very sorry for the loss of his son.

  7. Todd says:

    This statement in his entry was what stood out the most for me…

    “I must tell you this, It is unatural for a parent to bury a child…”

    I can’t imagine anything more painful.

  8. GenX says:

    I was just talking to someone yesterday about how though one’s beliefs maybe different from another’s, or one is deemed by society’s standards “a better person” than another, we are all still human. Loss is loss, and it is felt the same no matter who you are or what your beliefs are.

    The terrible loss of his little baby boy is an example to this. No matter how far his moral compass has strayed, no matter what he has said or done, there was a moment where the love of a father overshadowed the frailty of a man.

    My heart goes out to him and his family.

  9. Ann says:

    Eugene, didn’t know you were writing for Sojourners now. Good for you.

  10. Capt Ralph says:

    Yes, it should make us want to go to the room of our children and hug and kiss them. Thank the Lord for them and cherish every minute you have with them.

  11. Hannah says:

    Thats so sad =[
    My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family

  12. gar says:

    The sad tragedies that strike everyone, Christian recording artist and rappers alike… though the cynical side of me thinks that because of their chosen occupations and backgrounds, more people will sympathize with SCC versus Xzibit.

    But some classic 1996 Xzibit (reminds me of HS)…

    “Sometimes I wonder if it’s all worth my while
    Xzibit stay versitile
    with Million Dollar lifestyle
    and I can feel it as a child growin’ up
    the brothas that were real and the brothas that were scared as f*ck
    that’s why Xzibit only roll with a chosen few
    You ain’t really real, I can tell when I look at you
    ease off the trigger talk, you ain’t killin
    it’s not affecting me or the clique that I’m rollin’ with
    I don’t believe the hype or buy a Woof ticket
    you make a gang of noise and never seem like a cricket
    I guess that’s why we never kick it
    a lot of rappers are soft and get tossed tryin to come through the liquid
    How many rappers do you know like this?
    Also claimin that they’re riding but they really ain’t ish
    It don’t make sense
    Either you’re a soldier from the start
    or an actor with a record deal tryin to play the part
    like dat

    It’s a shame
    you only in the rap game
    only for the money and the fame
    EXTRA LARGE
    It’s a shame
    you only in the rap game
    only for the money and the fame
    Paparazzi”

    Something interesting social commentary there on media images, entertainment, and the kind of culture that gets marketed to people as “real”.

  13. eugenecho says:

    gar: “you think” – we all know it’s obvious but that’s ok. xzibit’s got his family and community and he has his faith as well. his faith, to me, is as real as SCC.

  14. Aaron says:

    “I am thankful for all of my blessings and im not one to question God’s perfect plan” Wow!!

    I think one of the hardest things about these situations is the helplessness. In a time when you would give whatever it takes, anything at all, to fix the situation… there is absolutely nothing you can do except rely on God…

    I come across these situations a lot. Last week I delt with a particularly wrenching situation involving a 4 year old boy who had been burned beyond recognition, clinging to life through multitudes of medications and a ventilator.

    As tragic as these situations are, they put life into perspective in a way that nothing else can. Be grateful for your blessings! Pray for those who are hurting in this world! Trust in Gods plan!

  15. al says:

    This is sad. My wife is pregnant right now and you know all the scares have entered my mind. I was never usually like this, but when another life is involved — a life that is literally a part of you, everything changes completely.

    I work as a marriage counselor and I’ve seen this happen to so many people. As much as there should be a correct way to deal with things, they all cope differently.

    I wish this guy well.

  16. monsi says:

    My prayers and sympathy are with you and you loved one’s, my brother lost his son the same way. Though many people tell you (It will get better) some people think that is bull sh*t, but the truth is Your heart will be forever broken, but you must go on and know that one day, he will see his Angel again..God Blees you X and keep the faith! I love your show because of you, you seem so humble and such a kind hearted person.

  17. chan1980 says:

    am so sorry to hear Xibit and families loss, its dreadful, hugs my heart aches and the childs not even mind so god only knows what all of you are feeling. im thinking and praying for you and your family to try and come through this , tho your hearts in sorrow, we mourn with those that mourn , my heart reaches out to you and the family, R.I.P XAVIER X

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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