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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First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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